Sunday, June 04, 2023

What I learned about writing from Tina Turner: Rough writing is good

As a novelist, 

Anthropologist of filth. Chuck Berry's sexual predilections were seen as un-chic, un-romantic, and too “real” for public  taste »

What I learned about writing from Tina Turner: Rough writing is good

In a prologue to an iconic performance of ‘Proud Mary,’ Turner explained how she revised the song with a radical change of tempo — from easy to rough.

Incredible picture. (From top left) Mark King, Ray Cooper, Bryan Adams, Midge Ure, John Illsley, Joan Armatrading, Paul Young, Rick Parfitt; Francis Rossi, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler; Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Tina Turner, Phil Collins, Howard Jones.…

Ian McEwan's lovely, heartbreaking tribute to his friend Martin Amis. The “body of work he leaves behind is deeply humane. Like Dickens, he loved and revelled in the wild eccentricities of human nature.”

friend may ripen over the years into a sibling, and after forty-nine years I’ve lost a brother. Martin Amis’s reputation in the press—as coruscating wit, intellectual cool dude, controversialist—hardly touched the surface. Close up, he was tender, generous, warm, and heroically funny. His memory for people and past conversations was long. He was sweet and uncondescending with children and teen-agers. No journalist could have known or guessed that there was something magnificent about his last few months. Amid such suffering, he had no capacity for complaint or discussion of symptoms. He wanted nothing more than to get himself as comfortable as possible for a day of reading or time with close family. “I have no metaphysical fear of death,” he wrote to me, and then added, as if with a self-ironic smile, “(YET).” That fear never came, and I think he gave us a lesson in how to die—and in how to read him.

As a writer, too, he was fearless and superbly self-confident. An impostor once wrote a letter to Private Eyesigning Martin’s name. To set the record straight, Martin began his own letter to the magazine with “I don’t write like that. I write like this.” Then he proceeded to demonstrate. The recent global outpouring of praise has been pleasing, but, for much of his life, Martin had to bear a venomous press. Journalists longed to be him, and, when fate denied them that role, they turned on him, portraying him, for example, as a vain fool who spent tens of thousands of dollars on his teeth. He took this as he did his cancer—without complaint. Years later, he told the story in his memoir, “Experience.” No British dentist knew how to operate to resolve the serious condition of his teeth and gums. A dental surgeon in New York made the attempt and came close to needing to remove Martin’s jaw. Back in London, the vanity-teeth story took a long time to die, but Martin never pushed back.