The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Truth be told

January 18th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“Language doesn’t lie. A cliché can’t hide itself. Platitudes can’t pretend to be meaningful. Solecisms can’t convince you they are something else. Easy verbs and indolent adjectives will never have potency. An assault of the quotidian will never be intellectually charismatic. You can’t dress up sentimentality as emotional truth. No amount of rouge will ever camouflage rhetoric and sophistry. Propaganda and dogma will always reek of immorality.  Defenders of the middling and bland might try to counter with the tired retort, ‘He’s not a good writer but he’s a good storyteller,’ which is rather like saying, ‘His food tastes like shit but he’s a good cook.’ Is he not telling the story with sentences? If the sentences are broken how does the story work?” — William Giraldi, “Letter to a Young Critic”

Tags: Lit & Crit · Wliiam Giraldi

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Averil Dean // Jan 18, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Oh, this is brilliant. I’ve often heard the ‘good storyteller’ comment, and while I do see the distinction, I’ve always thought a storyteller who can’t write is working in the wrong medium. Go make a movie or something.

  • 2 Tetman Callis // Jan 18, 2013 at 7:55 am

    one of the best storytellers i’ve known refused to write. he just wasn’t interested. his stories died with him, except for those few that i know, and they are not his but rather are those of his that i shared with him or that passed through me on their way to the page.

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