Why the most famous writers choose running

From Jonathat Swift to Wisten Auden and Haruki Murakami, Ira Morgunova recalls writers for whom running is not just a sport, but a necessary component of the creative process. Word by word, kilometer by kilometer - this text has turned out.

For many centuries, beginning with Homer's Iliad and ending with Alfred Housman with his poem “Athlete Dying Young” (which Vladimir Nabokov refers in his poem "Pale Fire"), writers use running as a multi-valued literary image. “Stop running for life! / Close your eyes, turn over the pages. / Stop .

.. / Why take off? / When the flight does not take place?”, Wrote Uisten Oden in the translation of Joseph Brodsky. But not all writers were limited only to metaphorical maxims, many of them considered (and still consider) a short run as an integral part of the creative process, a kind of dynamic meditation. So, during his youth, Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, ran several kilometers every two hours, climbing a hill and running downhill.

And the writer Louise Alcott wrote in her diary: "It always seemed to me that in a past life I was probably a doe or a horse, because it is such a blessing to simply run."

Why the most famous writers choose running

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On the one hand - freedom, with the other is absolute awareness: for a writer to go for a run means not to run away from work, but rather to be alone with your plan and, possibly, get off the ground: physical movement, open space and a changing landscape, like the wind, make thoughts circulate. Joyce Oates, an American writer, has long started running, for her running is not only a source of new ideas, but also an opportunity to analyze what has already been written. In her diary, she writes: "In imagination, a runner writer sweeps through the cities and expanses of his works, like a ghost in a real environment.

" According to Joyce, while running, she either scrolls through the scenes from her novels in her head, or once again studies the content of the drafts she has just written. "A tangle of compositional problems, which I tried desperately to solve all morning, with every kilometer unravels by itself." And the plot of the novel You Must R34ember This was born precisely during a run. “ There there are so many ideas that are waiting for me. To stay in the room is to lose them,” Joyce writes.

Why the most famous writers choose running

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Oates also like many other writers, he contrasts intense running with intense mental work, considering it to be a natural continuation of his work. You can draw a parallel between how one word, following another, turns into a meaningful sentence, and how steps become kilometers. Moreover, both the one and the other process require efforts from a person, giving in return a feeling of joy and satisfaction. Running helps the writer further develop his ability to focus on one thing and completely immerse himself in creativity, while not separating himself from reality - kilometer by kilometer, word by word.

Don Delillo, a modern American writer whose works are already considered classics, said in an interview: “Running helps me shake off one word and pick up another. Trees, birds, drizzling rain are a wonderful interval between morning and afternoon work.” Perhaps it was this condition that inspired Delillo to the story The Runner, the description of the run in which is the most important stylistic means to convey the state of a person at the moment of emotional experience.

Why the most famous writers choose running

Photo: shutterstock. com

Running not only allows you to feel freedom physically distance, but also gives solitude artistic appeal.

Such a kind of inhabited loneliness - a person becomes an observer: he can run and cover with his eyes and heart the whole world around him, remaining this world not recognized. The famous writer Haruki Murakami, a former manager at the Tokyo jazz bar, by his own admission, smoked 60 cigarettes a day, but at one point he decided to radically change his usual scenario and go for a run. By that time, the third novel had already been published, but Murakami felt that the real existence as a serious writer began only on the day when he first went for a run.

Haruki Murakami

- Well, that's how I started running. I was then thirty-three years old.

Still young, but not young. At thirty-three, Jesus Christ died. At thirty-three, Francis Scott Fitzgerald's sunset began. If you compare life with a mountain road, this age will probably be one of the most important passes. It was at thirty-three that I realized that I was a runner and, albeit a bit late on the road, I became a writer.

In his autobiographical book "

What I'm talking about when I talk about running

", consisting of essays and sketches, Murakami, without noticing it, deduced a real philosophy in which running is an allegory, symbolizing in fact, the whole life path of a person. For Murakami, running does not mean to squeeze everything to the last drop without thinking, but on the contrary, going for a run, he knows himself and his limits, accumulates energy, creates the unity of the inner and surrounding worlds. In this book, as never before, one can feel the opposition of the Western mentality, whose peculiarity is to “consume” and “grind” people, sucking all physical and spiritual forces out of them, and the Eastern one, the essence of which is three words - to accumulate, preserve, contemplate.

Why the most famous writers choose running

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So ​​Joyce Oates liked the state of inner freedom and “special loneliness”.

“I ran through the orchards, through the fields of corn, the stems of which rustled from the strong wind and were so high that they covered me with the head. All this is closely connected with writing, because in those moments a certain fictional, detached“ I ”appeared that allowed I’m both a participant in reality and looking at it from the side. I am convinced that any art is a symbiosis of searching and going beyond the material. " Physical effort frees the fictional, ghostly "I", allowing the consciousness to be outside the borders and frames.

The writer exists in the mental space between imagination and intelligence, between random and planned.

So each person "runs" through his life, leading his own line of storytelling. Someone is lucky to be a marathoner, someone becomes a sprinter, each has its own turns and falls. At the moment of birth, a whistle sounds and the person starts. As the American poetess Kay Ryan said: "I like to run. Although in fact I do not really like to run, but I have been doing this for a million years.

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