My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Art of Recklessness (2010) by Dean Young (his first book of prose criticism on poetry) is a breath of fresh air for any who wants to read books about the art of poetry or the craft thereof. The portable book offers some wonderful advice to any writer. One I enjoyed: “At every moment the poet must be ready to abandon any prior intention in welcome expectation of what the poem is beginning to signal. More than intending, the poet ATTENDS!” (p 4)
And later: “Meaningless results not from too little but too much meaning” (p 91).
One of the great things about this book, and its writer, is that Young makes it clear that the writer at many times in the process of writing must let go and enjoy the act of creation through writing, and not to get hung up on too many rules (although he asserts throughout that certain rules do indeed dictate the craft), but to allow the message to flow through unfiltered and for the writer not to wheedle the message or the art/craft too much that it becomes stale, boring, unoriginal. Originality is clearly one message the book promotes.
The other message is Surrealism and how it can be achieved and its usefulness, and necessity among the current art forms (or genres) of writing, and how surrealism (authentic surrealism) to often abandoned and disrespected far too quickly.
“If there is divinity in us,” writes Young, “it is in the process of allowing ourselves to unmake and remake ourselves” (p 125).
The reader will not be disappointed with this guide to recklessness, for all its sage and witty remarks make this an insightful and pleasurable read. A strong recommend for those who read craft workbooks.
The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s a member of the Hemingway Society, Club Med, and the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London.
He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Father’s Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), The Mystic’s Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), Little Hometown, America: A Look Back (2020); and forthcoming: Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being; A Time to Forget in East Berlin; and, The Endless Endeavor of Excellence.
He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.
You can follow the author on Facebook @ cg.fewston – where he has 400,000+ followers