John Dickerson

John Dickerson is a CBS senior national correspondent and Chief Political Analyst. He is also a Contributing Writer to The Atlantic and is co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest.

What You Don’t Write

Toni Morrison on Leaving SpaceAs readers of this space know, I am obsessed with the space in which art takes place and the role the artist plays in creating that space. I have written about it with respect to films, acting, art, religion, music and writing. This Paris Review post from the wonderful @parisreview Instagram page was posted by the excellent actor Nadia Bowers who played Lady Macbeth along with her husband Cory Stoll who played Macbeth and it was a wonder to behold. The best performance of the many I’ve seen of that play.  I am reminded of these two quotes:

“Writing is about a blank piece of paper and leaving out what’s not supposed to be there.” — John Prine

“Don’t play everything (or everytime); let some things go by. Some music just imagined. What you don’t play can be more important than what you do play.” –Thelonious Monk. 

I’d like to include a quote from Don Murray, the famous writing teacher, who says you shouldn’t teach students everything. Leave room for their revelation, because that’s the only way you learn. Richard Hugo writes about that same idea in The Triggering Town. But I can’t find the damn Murray book because we moved and the books are a mess, which makes me think of this by Emerson.


1 thought on “What You Don’t Write”

  1. I was thinking about this this afternoon at a concert, Inon Barnatan playing Beethoven’s second piano concerto. Deep silences in the second movement.

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