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Agony and the Ego: The Art and Strategy of…
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Agony and the Ego: The Art and Strategy of Fiction Writing Explained

by Clare Boylan

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Clare Boylan's Book 'The Agony and Ego' could be happily read alongside my other Bible' 'Becomnig a Writer' by Dorothea Brand. It is basically an edited Compilation that theoretically could be re done in cycle, every now and then by a well known Author who has contacts with the great and the good of the Literary World. The Author selection is of impeccable pedigree: Marina Warner, Patricia Highsmith, Malcolm Bradbury, Marilyn French, Graham Swift, Fay Weldon 'and many others' to qoute the cover.

Some Authors namely Marina Warner will have one, once again needing to go backwards in reading Authors redolent of a Classical Education: Homer, Virgil, Marcus Aurelius etc.

Backwards Reading should therefore BE ASSUMED as necessary and desirable in order to access the full panopoly of an Authors Reading.

Although we can assume that the other Authors cited are well read. It is Marina Warner that amplifies the absolute need for meaning to be gained from reading these texts. (Admin has Homer's Odydessy book, Illiad Plain Vanilla, Marcus Aurelius Meditations on MP3 on Desktop just as an wayward example of the Reading that needs to happen as a result of encountering such Authors on the innocuous looking pages)

Reading wise this was yet another additon which was read alongside 'Sources of the Self' Charles Taylor (with a few heavyweight Philosophy volumes to come) and now Naomi Klein's 'The Shock Doctrine' Five is a bit of a maximum for me so I have had to priortise Taylor and Klein with only 200 pages to read of each. So one needs books of known qaulity and authority.

The length 257 pages which took me longer to read than is usaul ( I still have not got reading habit under my belt despite being a lifelong Reader in a Family of devoted Library Lovers).


Because of the Authorial pedigrees, the Articles are authorative, reliable, helpful, teaching, imparting which is just what you want if you wish to circumnavigate this World called 'Creative Writing' preferably with it's Companion Lots of Literature; so one has the broadest possible basis for ones attempts at fluency in all types of genre as and when, and according to one's inclination (Dorothea Brand 'How to become a Writer'). So as a result I thoroughly commend this volume and I am glad I went through all the aggro to get my little mits on one.A mass of ideas to use as a Reference book alongside Dorothea Brands classic.


Length 257 pages

428 words

Tags 2000 Book Reading Programme, 2009 Reading List, ( )
  wonderperson | Mar 30, 2013 |
An exceptional boook for writer and readers. It explores many facets of writing fiction from the initial inspiration, through editing, to making a living as a writer. The book is compilation of essays from a variety of writers, including William Boyd, Mary Wesley and Fay Weldon. It is a credit to the late Clare Boylan that she assembled so many authors between two covers without egos getting in the way!
  CatherineDaly | Mar 26, 2007 |
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