Tuesday, June 24, 2008

David Milch lecture series

Milch on the set of HBO's Deadwood...pulling the sled to Woo's Ice House?

David Milch, the genius creator/writer of HBO's Deadwood (or the self-indulgent engineer of the train wreck called John From Cincinnati) holds forth in a series of lectures, which, coming from a self-indulgent genius are both maddening and fascinating. I think Milch understands more about the psyche of the writer than anyone I've heard on the topic. His life story is a composite of some 1950's writer-persona mythology (drunken, whoring, heroin-addled drifter), and the contemporary context: Ivy League wunderkind, Iowa MFA, struggling in a market increasingly intolerant of character-based fiction. Collapses into the refuse pile of police procedural television. One wonders how much of this adventure tale he engineered and how much his circumstances shaped him. What's certain is few can write damaged human beings better than Milch.

Here's a blog with a series of his lectures. The first, at the bottom of the page, concerns a writer's contentious relationship with the ordering structures of his or her life. It's rambling at times but worth the payoff.

The Idea of the Writer Blog