“She surrounded herself with a hot plate, telephone, scotch—and books.”

Oasis: The bookshop on Fifty-second Street and Fifth Avenue in New York which stays open till midnight.

Dietrich: In the German language: the name for a key that opens all locks. Not a magic key. A very real object, necessitating great skill in the making.

The actress Marlene Dietrich spent the last ten years of her life bedridden, in her apartment on Avenue Montaigne, in Paris, refusing to see old acquaintances and avoiding photographers… She coped with isolation by running up a three-thousand-dollar-a-month phone bill and reading everything from potboilers to the pillars of the Western canon. She consumed poetry, philosophy, novels, biographies, and thrillers—in English, French, and her native tongue, German.

Via: The New Yorker. Marlene Dietrich’s Marginalia by Megan Mayhew Bergman

I’m following Dietrich’s advice and reading like crazy, when I’m not working on the conclusion of my novel.

On writing, she mentioned this:

The laws of the written style are to me the same as of the spoken style. The tempo of a sentence is so important to me that only when the tempo is just right does the meaning seem clear.

Which brings me back to the last act of the book, which I was fiddling with, but it was vague and I couldn’t make it out, couldn’t see it, couldn’t hear what the characters were trying to tell me. Until my friend Pippa narrated and recorded a few pages I had written, and by giving them voice the whole resolution danced into view.

Thank you, Ms. Rathborne! Thank you, Ms. Dietrich!

 

 

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