Monday, November 8, 2010

Savannah Schroll Guz, On Reading

"Reading, for me, is a completely delicious escape while also an opportunity to reconnect, since my view of the world and my internal monologues are often driven by what I am reading. I love Baroque descriptions, exquisite adjectives, stunning nouns. I’m especially fond of reading psychological descriptions. What does someone else’s internal world look like? This is why I go to Joyce Carol Oates’ work when I need to restock my own ‘word larder.’ There’s an intense beauty to her descriptions of angst (because with JCO, there’s always angst). Also, I return again and again to G√ľnter Grass. I’ve read his work in the original German, but it’s the translations—the really good translations (I know how hard it is to match meaning)—I go back to again and again. My favorites are Tin Drum and The Flounder , translated by Ralph Manheim in 1961 and 1978, respectively (my copies are badly dog-eared). Both are like that really good first shot of bourbon, which seems to brighten and sharpen the look of the world. I seem always to be thinking about reading The Flounder when I’m writing, and conversely, reading any of the above makes me want to get back to writing."

{Savannah Schroll Guz is author of the short story collections,
American Soma (2009) and The Famous & The Anonymous (2004), and editor of Consumed: Women on Excess (2005). She divides her online life here and here.}


  1. Love this idea of restocking the "word larder" :)

  2. Hi, Jessie! I kept thinking about my Mum's big "food file", where she keeps all her staples, like flour and sugar, but also the *really* good stuff--the chocolate chips, red hots, and candied ginger. If those kinds of things were words, I'd be about 12,000 pounds. :-)

  3. Candied ginger and red hots that could make for an interesting poem..hmmmm

    (and my captcha code is..believe it or not..parent!)