This week I dedicate Writer’s Quote Wednesday to a writer I am beginning to admire very much, Chuck Palahniuk. I know of Palahniuk the way most people do, from the amazing film Fight Club! I have been a Fight Club fan for years and years. I tell everyone in my opinion it is one of the greatest stories ever told on the screen.
A few years ago I read the book and found that while they both were quite different, they both were both somehow equally amazing.
A year or so later, I pick up Pygmy, a story about a young kid from a totalitarian state who comes to the U.S. under the guise of a foreign exchange student but plans to commit an act of terrorism. This book blew me away! It was a hard read because it written almost entirely in broken English but after a few chapters you get used to it and you realize that this is a damn good piece of writing.
After that I was hooked and declared myself a Palahniuk fan. Until I read, or tried to read, Damned, his story about a thirteen-year-old girl who goes to hell. I tried to read it, I really did. I plan on trying to read it again, but I have to say at first read, I hated it.
This past weekend though Palahniuk got his chance to redeem himself, I found Rant in a thrift store for $0.99. I figured even if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have really wasted any money, nothing I couldn’t replace with change I would on the street or in a family member couch.
I’m only on page 25 so I can’t say for sure whether I like it or not but so far it’s good. I am reluctant to let myself get emotionally involved though, I was really hurt over Damned.
That’s why I write, because life never works except in retrospect.
― Chuck Palahniuk, Stranger Than Fiction
I didn’t know this but apparently Palahniuk has written a book about what inspires him to write. The book, titled Stranger Than Fiction, it’s a “collection of essays, stories, and interviews” that directly influenced his fiction. I have, of course, added the book to my own “to-read” list since I enjoy reading how other writer’s do what they do.
I chose this quote because I have learned that writing is a great way to work through the events of your life and gain some perspective. In the moment things can be scary, or confusing, but when looking back we can put the events in proper order and make sense of it all. Then, when we write it down, we do it to share something of ourselves, to teach something to the world, and, hopefully, to entertain our readers in the process.
I believe good writers are able to do all three at once.
And I hope to be a good writer one day.
Original image via Kévin Couette