Monday, May 21, 2018

Imitation and parody

From the May 20, 1974 episode of Cavett, available from Hulu. Eudora Welty, responding to Dick Cavett’s question about writing in the manner of another writer:

“There are many writers that I admire. But it doesn’t occur to you to attempt to do anything someone else has done, because you can’t do anything except what you know how to do.”
Cavett goes on to tell a story of Graham Greene entering a Graham Greene parody contest and coming in second. It’s a true story.

Related posts
Against “deep reading” : A Welty self-portrait

comments: 4

zzi said...

I think the story is, in the 60s the script for "Casablanca" was submitted, by an agent, around to the various studios. All turned down. The only thing that was changed was the title page. Might have been called "Rick's Place" or "Everyone goes to Rick's"
“In Hollywood, no one knows anything.” W. Goldman

Michael Leddy said...

There are stories like that about fiction and poetry too. Gatekeepers don’t always know what they’re reading.

Charles Céleste Hutchins said...

I saw an interview with Dolly Parton where she said she'd entered a drag queen contest as someone imitating herself. She did not win.

Michael Leddy said...

Kinda complicates the idea of realness, no?