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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #151  
Old 08-16-2012, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

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I would love to read 'Eastern Tides: the editor's edition'. .... The version you submitted
If ROB means the one you submitted before it was cut to pieces, I would too.
But I reckon there is only one copy, and it belongs to you. Same for all of your originals.
DAMN a critiquer to Hell. I don't want their version, I want the writer's. Nothing anybody could say could change my mind on this, misspelled words, fragmented sentences, things they think ought to be omitted, the whole nine yards.
I've written a bunch of editorials, and little stories in magazines where they were requested from the public, that were printed, and cut to pieces so much that people who read'em told me, "That didn't sound like you."----I told'em it wasn't me. They just printed my name at the bottom. Now, when I write something, I tell the publisher to either print it without changing a word, or throw it in file 13.


MULE.
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  #152  
Old 08-16-2012, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

In this case, Mule, it was advisable that some stories be cut out of the book to protect me from any liability. So it was a good thing. Nothing was cut from Twenty Years. It happened more in Eastern Tides because I commonly went over the line. Most editors won't cut the author without clearing it with him, other than simple things about sintax or language errors. (One of the things I like about here is I can use yuz as the plural of you.)
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  #153  
Old 08-16-2012, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

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I would love to read 'Eastern Tides: the editor's edition'. .... The version you submitted
Me as well. Funny thing is I couldn't pick either title as my favorite, I read them backwards ET first and 20 years later.
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  #154  
Old 08-16-2012, 04:10 PM
JoeLyons JoeLyons is offline
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

So they diluted Eastern Tides.
If somebody out there has a home run of a manuscript, they should look for a different publisher than the usual outdoor suspects.
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  #155  
Old 08-16-2012, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

Frank right now 20 years is in my bathroom. Usually either 20 years or ET is in there. That is the highest compliment I can give to an author.
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  #156  
Old 08-16-2012, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

Place, marketing, influence and talent make a far greater impact on the success of a book than talent alone.
Those with influence, established authors whose endorsements carry weight with the gatekeepers. Academics who double as critics. The publishing industry itself, the agents, together with the most connected, serious, and vibrant writing community - are all in New York.
When Fitzgerald fired off that note to his publisher about this "Hemingway" he had met in Paris being the real thing, do you think that Hemingway's manuscript sat among the other unsolicited works in some junior editor's office, or was pulled and moved up the chain?
It's less important than ever, but still an extreme advantage to travel within the literary circles of NYC. The thinking within in the publishing industry is that all the really serious people are in NYC, because that's where the industry is.
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  #157  
Old 08-18-2012, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

Well put, Joe. I think your summation of the book game helps to explain the irrational nature of book publishing. But there was never a time in my life when I would have given up our lifestyle for literary success. Few things, when I look back, would I change. Even if a person were to commute from the berbs, I could never endure New York. I know its over the line but I see a certain corruption in your assessment of how things work. Not you, Joe Lyons, friend and messenger, but in drinking with the right people. Those kinds of hoops to jump through fail to ferret out the best literature for the reader. And service to the reader is, or certainly should be, paramount to having the cream rise to the top. Movies directed by Spielberg, books written by Tom Clancy is how it works well.
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  #158  
Old 01-16-2018, 10:54 AM
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Question Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

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I just hope Joe doesn't think I was picking on him -- he's all aces in my book. It's just a couple of fishermen talking over the bar, that's all.
Chris,

If you're around, I seem to remember you hawking on Hemmingway about something.

The word, "fraud", came to mind, but I can't find the post where I thought I read that.

Can you, or anyone else, elaborate on why Hemmingway was not as great a writer as I always imagined he was esteemed to be (note, I can't comment on his writing directly, given my rudimentary appreciation for the writing arts, Frank D excluded )
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  #159  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

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Chris,

If you're around, I seem to remember you hawking on Hemmingway about something.

The word, "fraud", came to mind, but I can't find the post where I thought I read that.

Can you, or anyone else, elaborate on why Hemmingway was not as great a writer as I always imagined he was esteemed to be (note, I can't comment on his writing directly, given my rudimentary appreciation for the writing arts, Frank D excluded )
I'm still here!

Hemingway had one trick, and it was a great one: he was a great prose stylist. A great prose stylist.

And he was an original one to boot. Go back and read an American author from before World War I -- I'd recommend Henry James -- and you'll see that the florid style that them guys used is A) laughably wordy and utterly overwrought, 2) pretentious and boring, III) horribly dated and hopelessly antique. I particularly remember once reading some utterly excruciating drivel by the insufferable and intolerable Henry James, where the old blowhard spent what seemed like 5,000 words (in actually, it was about 4 long paragraphs) saying what can be expressed in three words: I like tea.

Hemingway, more than anyone else, was responsible for changing this, for changing how serious writers write. His famously terse style, which most have attributed to his time as a nothing-but-the-facts newspaper reporter, may seem old hat now, but it was enormously innovative, and enormously influential, in its time. It is no mean feat, being responsible for such a sea change in how the written word is composed.

There were two things about Hemingway that detracted from this achievement: the first, and lesser, one is that he was a real ashole, a jerk who became a caricature of himself. An overly macho guy, going to Cuba and fishing for big game? Puh-leeze. That shtick is older than Henny Youngman's.

But the bigger factor that limits Hemingway's legacy, to me, anyway, is that I think behind his stylistic innovation lay nothing: I don't think Hem had anything to say. And having something to say, when it comes to writers, is ultimately what matters.

In Raymond Chandler's terrific The High Window, the protagonist, Private Eye Philip Marlowe, meets a cop he calls "Hemingway." When the cop asks Marlowe who the hell this Hemingway guy is, Marlowe replies, "He's a guy that keeps saying the same thing over and over until you begin to believe it must be good." This is about as succinct, and accurate, an assessment of Hemingway's legacy that I've ever seen.
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  #160  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

Yep I'm still around. Hemingway's writing was good and so was Ruark's, but after reading and studying their personal lives and finding out just what arrogant and holier than thou personalities they were, it just took a lot of feeling out of reading them. A writer's character and respect for other people is important to me, not that I'm some Saint which I sure as Hell ain't. Anyhow, best to you and good fishin'.
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  #161  
Old 01-16-2018, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

Thanks, Chris and Steve!

Now it makes sense... I haven't read enough Hemmingway to note the sameness / repetition... though I had heard about his character flaws... guess his ending was fitting, then.
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  #162  
Old 01-16-2018, 04:46 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

I took a number of literature courses in undergrad school and a big problem was that the profs all taught the same things about the same books. They never brought anything new to the study of literature. They took a course when in college; then they taught the same books and authors to their students a generation later. I don't know what lit courses are doing today because it has been a while.

In my early education Hemingway was the man. Though, you would think so much writing about hunting and fishing I would worship him. But as a person who carried a fishing rod and/or rifle all his life, I did and still do, view him as a googan. I give him a C+ as a writer and a D as an outdoor author. Were I an editor I would not have bought his drivel. Hemingway certainly was not a Tom Clancy.
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  #163  
Old 01-17-2018, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

I think that during Hemingway's time there was less good writing going on. Every generation needs heroes and he got the public's nod by default. I remember high school English teachers saying he was perfect for me but the teachers themselves did not appreciate him.

Also, having been once a teacher myself, I now know that teachers talk about students. As a result that many of them told each other how Hemingway-esque my interests were viewed. Of course word was out about me because opening day of trout season I was never in school and I took a lot of time out to hunt with my father; two years in the 8th grade part of the price and consequence.
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  #164  
Old 01-17-2018, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

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I think that during Hemingway's time there was less good writing going on. Every generation needs heroes and he got the public's nod by default. I remember high school English teachers saying he was perfect for me but the teachers themselves did not appreciate him.
The sheer number of great writers in Hem's time is staggering: John Dos Passos, Sherwood Anderson, Billy Faulkner, Edith Wharton, Sinclair Lewis, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, John Steinbeck -- the list goes on and on, and I'm not even including minor writers like Hart Crane or (the favorite of the rod-and-gun types) Zane Grey. It's hard to imagine even a single writer today -- Philip Roth probably comes closest -- with the stature of even the lesser lights of this time. One could live a very rich life, in terms of literature, never reading anyhtin

Fitzgerald is a particularly interesting comparison to Hem: when Fitzy died in obscurity the 1940s, he was broke and considered himself a failure, whereas Hemingway was at the top of his game, rich, successful, and such a manly man that women threw their panties at him the way that they do (shudder) Tom Jones in Vegas.

But since then, their reputations have gone in opposite directions: Hem is seen as at least partly, or even mostly, a joke; whereas Fitzy is considered among the greatest writers, and many consider The Great Gatsby, which wasn't even in print at the time of Fitzy's death, the greatest American novel of the 20th CenturY (I'd vote for The Grapes of Wrath, but that's a story for another time).

We will probably never see the number of great writers that existed in this country 100 years ago.
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  #165  
Old 01-18-2018, 12:10 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Book Talk: Twenty Years on the Cape

Good point, Chris. it could be that at the time I had exposure to these authors I was not then ready to read them. It always seemed to me at the time that if you had to take a course to enjoy a book, something was missing. Inspite of loving literature, I liked little of what was being studied in college lit classes.
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