Monday, December 28, 2009

Everyday I Have the Blues #14
What is AP style on “everyday”? Here's a paragraph from a story on PIMCO᾿s CEO, Mohamed El-Erian, by Bernard Condon, an AP business writer, that ran on December 27th :

El-Erian says he learned to be open to many different views on the world (and markets) from his father, an Egyptian diplomat who insisted on reading several newspapers everyday, both on the right and the left. El-Erian had hoped to become a college professor. But when his father died, he took a job at the International Monetary Fund to support the family. He rose through the ranks, eventually becoming deputy director.
Read the whole article here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Horton Foote and David Mamet in Conversation
When I moved to New York in 1980 I went a little bit wild. Yes, I did, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. After years of relative deprivation in Denver, I subscribed to concert series like they were going out of style, joined Manhattan Theater Club and the Public Theatre, and even became a member of the 92nd Street’s Poetry Center. Those were the days, my friend! I heard Eudora Welty, Eugene Ionesco, Bill Murray perform in a Yeats play, Robert Merrill, Salman Rushdie, and so on.
And there, on October 6, 1986, introduced by Lindsay Crouse, Horton Foote met David Mamet for a conversation on writing for the theater and the movies. I took notes, either to share with a friend who couldn’t be there or for my own amusement. When Horton Foote died earlier this year, I looked for the notes but couldn’t find them. It would have made a nice commemorative post, I thought. Since then, one page of the notes turned up and even though there’s more Mamet that Foote in my notes, I’m going to share them in Foote’s memory.
Mamet: Their idea of the craft of screenwriting jingles when you put it in your pocket.
Foote: Nobody is writing plays, stories, or poems much — they’re all writing screenplays. I quickly try to discourage them from that.
Foote: I was an actor and I started from the most terrible reason: I wrote myself a part.
Mamet: Why should one go back to that other hell-on-earth unless one’s wife needs a new kitchen?
Mamet: Tolstoy, I kind of think, was a Russian Dreiser.
Mamet: I just kind of write down what people say to each other. That’s where I think the theater differs from the movies.
Mamet: Dodsworth was one of the greatest American movies ever made.
Mamet: Sandy Meisner told me I’d starve in the gutter if I became an actor. And well I would have, if any gutter would have had me.