Monday, January 26, 2009

Tropical vs. Polar Writers

I've been reading deeply in the works of writers emerging from tropical regions (Junot Diaz, Derek Walcott, Ngeme Obo). Their words teem with such a marvelous fecundity, like an overripe guava bursting open on a sweltering day. As a contrast, I've also been reading the works of polar writers (Knut Hamsun, Tara Tangunquak). Their work tends to be sheltered, subtle, protected, like a tern's egg.

When I review my own work, I can see the influence of temperate Massachusetts. Sometmes my writing is bitterly cold, sometimes suffocatingly humid, often switching over in a matter of a few clauses, like a nor'easter coming in off Nantasket.

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