And I speak as one who loves to reach for the phone, dial the number, and talk. She can read them twice and again tomorrow: We need to write, otherwise nobody will know who we are. So a shy person sits down and writes a letter.
Like another tall, skinny writer who came from a town just up the road a ways, Keillor has become an unmistakable presence on the American scene.
At age thirty-five, Sinclair Lewis was eight years younger than Keillor when he burst on the literary scene in with Main Street, a novel that, more than any other literary work of its time, redefined the way in which Americans thought about their small towns.
Main Street launched a series of novels that were intended to provide a panoramic view of American society. Having been honed during his journalistic apprenticeship, Lewis's forte was a remarkable capacity for detailed observation and description.
Joseph Wood Krutch admiringly observed in Lewis's novels "a completeness of documentation not less than amazing" and "a power of mimicry which, so far as I know, no living author can equal. It was the "amazing skill with which he reproduces his world" that impressed T. Whipple, who viewed the novels as "triumphant feats of memory and observation.
Cloud, Mankato, Rochester, and Fergus Falls. After being absent for more than a quarter of a century, except for a few visits lasting only several months' time, the town remained, he said, "as vivid to my mind as though I had left there yesterday.
To Carol, they were drab, ugly, uninviting. But it wasn't the overwhelming ugliness that distressed her so much as "the planlessness, the flimsy temporariness of the buildings, their faded unpleasant colors. Lewis's picture is almost unrelievedly squalid: Keillor provides plenty of clues about Lake Wobegon's location, indicating it is near St.
Cloud, northwest of St. Cloud, and, more specifically, thirty-two miles from St. That would put it almost exactly at Freeport, the town Keillor lived in when he started inventing stories about Lake Wobegon as a radio announcer for Minnesota Public Radio during the early 's.
It could hardly be closer to Sauk Centre, which is just ten miles up Highway 52 from Freeport. Lewis's strikingly detailed visual images capture one kind of reality; Keillor's carefully wrought word images evince another.
The former's strength lies in visual description, photographic in its effect; Keillor's is aural, finely tuned to subtle tones and gestures.
Lewis was not deaf to the sounds of the town. If Carol Kennicott's thirty-two minute walk is described almost entirely through visual images, the simultaneous tour of Bea Sorenson, a country girl come to town to work as a maid, climaxes with her bewilderment at all the noises around her: There were five automobuls [sic] on the street all at the same time—and one of 'em was a great big car that must of cost two thousand dollars—and the 'bus was starting for a train with five elegant-dressed fellows.
There was but the hum of motor tires crunching the road, the creak of a rocker on the Howlands' porch, the slap of a hand attacking a mosquito, a heat-weary conversation starting and dying, the precise rhythm of crickets, the thud of moths against the screen—sounds that were a distilled silence.
Keillor's superior sensibility comes through in a passage describing his impressions of a cold snowy evening when he was sixteen: I could hear his boots crunch in the snow, could hear a car not quite starting a long way away, and then the door slamming when the guy got out and him hitting the hood with his fist.
The volume of the world was turned up so the air molecules hummed a deep bass note. If the fire siren went off it would knock a person into the middle of next week.
Usually he's describing people feeling or meditating or experiencing and not simply acting. The authorial presence constantly weaves in and out of Lake Wobegon Days as Keillor varies stories about himself with those about other people in town.
While Lewis kept his readers guessing about whether Carol Kennicott's view of the town was his own, Keillor begins with a straightforward description of his town as he knows it. Now, approximately seventy years after Carol first viewed Main Street, Keillor guides us on a tour of a town about one-third the size of Gopher Prairie.
Lewis calls his a "wheat-prairie town of something over three thousand people" while Keillor says his town contains "the homes of some nine hundred souls, most of them small white frame houses. For Keillor, a backslidden member of the fundamentalist Plymouth Brethren who still values much in that heritage, "soul" carries a heavy burden of meaning.
Viewing people as more than mechanical toys, Keillor also perceives the structures they live in not simply as houses but as homes. Even granting that seven decades have wrought a revolutionary transformation in American material life, the contrasting visions of Lewis and Keillor are necessary to explain why the former through his protagonist, Carol Kennicott sees "huddled low wooden" houses on the plains, "prosaic frame" houses with "small parched" lawns, and "square smug brown" houses, "rather damp," while the latter observes "small white frame houses sitting forward on their lots and boasting large tidy vegetable gardens and modest lawns, many featuring cast-iron deer, small windmills, clothespoles and clotheslines, various plaster animals such as squirrels and lambs and small elephants, white painted rocks at the end of the driveway, a nice bed of petunias planted within a white tire, and some with a shrine in the rock garden, the Blessed Virgin standing, demure, her eyes averted, arms slightly extended, above the peonies and marigolds.
There isn't as much to see in Lake Wobegon as in Gopher Prairie.How to write a formal letter. How to write a formal letter: 1. Your address goes in the top right corner. 2. Under your address you write the date. Write the date like this: January 10, 3.
Writing is a means of discovery, always, and when you come to the end and write Yours ever or Hugs and kisses, you'll know something you didn't when you wrote Dear Pal. Probably your friend will put your letter away, and it'll be read again a few years from now-and it will improve with age. How To Write A Letter by Garrison Keillor Summary: Garrison is talking about that we should write letters to our friends and family or really anyone that we want. Personal Letter Writing Definition Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms. Share Flipboard Email Print Westend61/Getty Images Languages. English Grammar Glossary of Key Terms Garrison Keillor on "How to Write a Letter" "Don't worry about form. It's not a term paper. When you come to the end of one episode, just start a new paragraph.
The name and address to the person you are writing to. If you don’t have a name, you should try to address the letter to some form of title.
Eg. He is best known as the creator of the Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) show A Prairie Home Companion (called Garrison Keillor's Radio Show in some international syndication), which he hosted from to You write and I read and in that moment I find Keillor received a letter from the MPR CEO, Jon McTaggart.
specifically to write to them deeply touches that person. Keillor reasons with the reader that writing an approximate fifty-word letter can depict much more than one phone call.
Keillor is trying to encourage a younger, more modern generation to preserve their past through the process of writing letters. Link to Garrison Keillor's approachable and insightful essay on how to write a letter - and how to start writing in general.
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.” —John Edgar Wideman.
Jun 15, · Garrison Keillor is best known for his creation of the fictional Minnesota town of Lake Wobegon, and for the trademark opening statement of his radio show, "It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon.