CRF Blog

Magic Hours

by Bill Hayes

Tom Bissell looks at the creative process in a series of essays: Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation.

From the New York Times Book Review:

He writes these essays with a storyteller’s eye for detail. He can summon a setting in an adjective or two: the “Viagral” cars and “bespoke little mailboxes” of the Hollywood Hills, the “hash-marked permafrost” of a football field in his hometown, Escanaba, Mich. About character, too, he can be funny and pithy and acute. (He writes of Tommy Wiseau, the auteur behind the cult-shlock Gesamtkunstwerk “The Room,” “The overall effect was that of a vampire who had joined the merchant marine.”) This is not to suggest that Bissell coasts on novelistic chops. He is also a diligent researcher with a genius for quotation. His greatest gifts as an essayist, though, resemble the more numinous attributes he imagines in an ideal travel writer: “curiosity, a willingness to be uncertain, an essential emotional generosity.”

To this list, we might add “moral imagination.” [more]