Archive for March, 2014

The Power of a Great Mentor

Posted: March 30, 2014 by jamieschaffner in Uncategorized

From Andrea Arnold

For six years, Les taught me to be honest on the page and that writing was about emotions. The first piece of advice he’d given me was: “Think about what you’re committing to paper.” That is, every word counts. I can still hear his throaty cigarette-burned voice in my head: cut, more faster, pay attention, don’t be redundant.

I’ve often heard the craft of writing described as slicing open your flesh and bleeding on the page, as killing babies, darlings, et al, the implication being that it’s something of a brutal, ugly, masochistic endeavor for the sad, the angry, the messed up artists whose hearts are too wounded for any other type of work, who can’t work well with others, who are—eek—introverts. Maybe. But if I ever tried to romanticize it in Les’s presence, he would say “Aw, boohoo,” or “Oh, brother,” just as he would have to anyone who’d written something self-indulgent or with forced sentimentality. Continued…

Les’s magnum opus, the Hungarian novel ‘No Stopping Train’ has been purchased by Counterpoint Press/Soft Skull, and will be published in October of this year.

About a Lucky Man Who Made the Grade

Posted: March 20, 2014 by jamieschaffner in Uncategorized

From Sanjay S

I can’t quite reconcile Les’s appreciation of absurdity with his leap from the building but it’s perfectly consistent with his melancholy fiction and his pronounced social awkwardness. In our culture, we ostensibly tend to be forgiving of suicides: a person who chooses to pay such a final price to escape pain, we presume, must indeed have had many “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” to endure. A veritable shitstorm of slings and arrows. Continued…

I wasn’t keeping up.

Posted: March 20, 2014 by jamieschaffner in Uncategorized

From Johanna

I wasn’t keeping up. I was about to send Les a story about Venice. This is unbelievable. I have been crying all day. What a good man. A supportive man. I cant thank him enough for the encouragement. I am so sad that he’s gone, and gone in this way. A very special man.