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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Advice for Young Artists/Writers/Performers

posted by on May 20 at 12:59 PM

Local hotshot Craig Lucas (playwright, associate artistic director at Intiman) gave the commencement speech at Boston University College of Fine Arts this past weekend, and it wasn’t the standard commencement speech about, you know, how you’re walking across a bridge toward a path and that path has a fork in it, etc., etc. Lucas gave advice about how to handle success, criticism, and fame in a country whose current government is pretty hostile toward art.

One of his lessons of his speech: “Just remember: your success is only news once. After that, the only possible news flash is that you’re not what you’re cracked up to be or your new work isn’t as good as the old.” Another:

Clearly, many great and deserving writers have received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Nonetheless, here are some who never won, all of whom died after the Prize was instituted:

Virginia Woolf

James Joyce

Marcel Proust




Mark Twain

Wallace Stevens










D.H. Lawrence




F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ralph Ellison

Who are some of the greats who took their place?

Jaroslav Seifert

Carl Spitteler

Ivo Andric

Selma Lagerlof

Paul Heyse

Pearl S. Buck.

The Moral: only time will decide. Since you may already be dead then, make the art you want to make.

The whole text (riddled with grammatical weirdness, but still) is here.

RSS icon Comments


How could they miss Jorge Luis Borges?

Posted by SeMe | May 20, 2008 1:12 PM

I've been saying this for decades. The Nobels for Literature are mostly embarrassingly bad.

Posted by Fnarf | May 20, 2008 1:21 PM

Heller, Salinger, Keroauc, Burroughs, and DeLillo also missed the list. But Falkner and Updike made it twice each.

Posted by elswinger | May 20, 2008 1:41 PM

I'll tell you what I'd give the Noble Prize enormous whozeewhatsit!!!

Posted by Christopher Frizzelle's Enormous Whozeewhatsit | May 20, 2008 1:42 PM

it's 'bulgakov', not 'bulkagov'.

Posted by scary tyler moore | May 20, 2008 2:03 PM

didn't tolstoy turn it down?

Posted by Bill | May 20, 2008 2:14 PM

Iím surprised that Jimmie JJ DYNO-MITE! Walker never won the Nobel, considering what Alfred was famous for inventing.

Posted by SeMe | May 20, 2008 2:26 PM

@6, no Tolstoy was actually passed over for it.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | May 20, 2008 2:27 PM

Maybe so, Mr. Lucas, but I'd still like to have a Nobel Prize for Literature. Just 'cause.

Posted by Bub | May 20, 2008 3:00 PM

Fortunately, Craig Lucas is not good enough nor quite bad enough to qualify for a Nobel.

Posted by michael strangeways | May 20, 2008 3:19 PM

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