André Dubus III
What does it take to create a literary masterpiece? To an audience of teachers, writers, and artists at the Chiesa di Santa Paola, author André Dubus III discussed the mental state one must be in order to write a tour de force. He offered anecdotes from his own life and the lives of other authors, including The Sound And The Fury, Ragtime, his own work, Dirty Love (L’amore sporco in Italian), and the books that never were, such as the lost works of Mary McCarthy, all of which involve a seemingly strange and unique creative process. Something that he later showed was not so unique after all, but rather the purest form of how many others create their works.
According to the author, there is something in literature, art, prayer, healing, and music that taps into the unknown that surrounds us all. Dubus doesn't believe in God or religion, but he does believe in the divine, and he believes that we tap into it every time we write or create. “This event is not about literature, or art, it is about life.”
Doing his best to speak some Italian for the benefit of his enthusiastic crowd, he explained that to find la parola giusta one must reach back into the images of your memories and imagination with the desire to understand them. You will create what you wanted to create, but not necessarily in the way you expected.