ARCHIVE FOR Nina MacLaughlin

The flesh of the world: carpentry and writing

Comparisons between carpentry and writing come often and easy. Chiseling away at a threshold or an essay. Hammering a ten-penny nail or your closing line. Framing a wall or a world. As Susan Bell writes in The Artful Edit, “For if writing builds the house, nothing but revision can complete it. One writer needs to be two carpenters: a builder with mettle, and a finisher with slow hands.” Or, as Gabriel Garcia Marquez has it in an interview with the Paris Review, “Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry

April 7, 2011 | Nina MacLaughlin

The Writing Life