Kijk en luister naar YouTube schrijfcollege Amy Bloom over ‘Waar de god van liefde is’

Tijdens de eerste bijeenkomst van het Leesblok Korte Verhalen bij de Schrijversvakschool Amsterdam bespraken we Waar de God van liefde is van Amy Bloom (inkijkexemplaar).

Op YouTube is een heldere en inspirerende film van bijna een uur te vinden waarin Amy Bloom een compleet verhaal voorleest uit Waar de god van liefde is en aansluitend vertelt over het schrijven van verhalen. Drie mooie citaten hieruit:

On tension (32’15”)

I think that the tension is very much from the difference between how people feel and what they do. I’m alway interested in that space between the sidewalk and the street.

The gap

  • between what people say and what they really feel
  • between what they think and what they really feel
  • between what they tell you and what they know to be true
  • between what they remember and what they really remember.

That leads to a lot of tension in people’s action. If there aren’t two stories, nothing interesting is happening.

 

On anecdote versus short story (34’25”)

If there aren’t two stories, nothing interesting is happening. The history of human beings is the life on the river banks, in which people cook and clean and raise babies and feed there families and grow things and catch things AND the river of blood that runs through it. That’s how I think of fiction too. It’s domestic life, it’s everything that goes on, it’s everything that is everyday. And then there is that thing which is big and powerful and sometimes terrible and sometimes great that runs all the way through it. And I thing you always wanna have both. So it’s not an anecdote. It’s a story

 

On short story versus novel (38’35”)

How do the characters come, sort of full-formed, or do I discover them as I’m writing along?

  • FOR THE SHORT STORIES they (the characters) are often a little more formed, because not much happens in my short stories. I said to somebody my short stories are like 1973 French films: people have dinner, somebody looks at somebody over the table, somebody kisses somebody in the garage, somebody folds the napkins. It’s like that’s the whole story. (…)
  • BUT IN MY NOVELS I feel morally obliged to have something take place over the course of 300 pages. That usually leads me to have sketches of characters, but it’s like life actually, the events tend to reveal who they are. Sometimes I have to write the thing that happens, to see what they are going to do.

Het is interessant om deze citaten toe te passen op Blooms eigen verhalen, om te zien wat we van deze methodes terugvinden. Tijdens de eerste bijeenkomst deden we dat voor het korte verhaal ‘Slaapwandelen’, dat het openingsverhaal is van de tweede cyclus uit de bundel.