Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fame & Fortune

I discussed the current issue of Fugue recently but there was one essay in the magazine that I thought deserved its own post: "Fame & Fortune, or I am not Christopher Buckley," by Christopher Buckley. I looked forward to reading the piece precisely because it was by Christopher Buckley and then, it turned out, that was at least half the point of the essay because the author, Christopher Buckley, is not the Christopher Buckley I thought he was--not, that is, the author of Thank You for Smoking and son of William F. Buckley. This Christopher Buckley is a poet, quite an accomplished poet it seems, and his father's name is William H. Buckley, but in any case he isn't who I thought he was.

Dealing with that confusion took up half the essay and was amusing (especially for me, given my comments in this space recently about the other Clifford Garstang), but the real value of the piece was the first half, dealing with, as a beginning writer, Buckley's first attempts to publish. He asks the question why some writers are touched by fame and others are not.
"Perhaps the best way to get beyond it is to never really "go there" at all? Write, publish when you can, but be Zen; get on with the work, cut the complaining, and od the little thing you can. Still, some bit of confirmation along the way wouldn't hurt--a letter, a review, a small check or invitation."
Exactly. It's a fun essay, if you can find it. By the way, is it petty of me to point out that in the odd page header throughout this piece, five times in a ten page essay, the title of the essay has a typo? "Fame & Fotune" it says, over and over. That's a lesson all by itself, I think.

1 comment:

A.L. said...

Interesting stuff, which I'll come back to when I don't have to read, read, read, for the two classes I'm teaching. Good one.