22 July 2008

Asimov at Bread Loaf

Moving back to New Hampshire has meant that I am, once again, living with all of my books -- I had left many in storage when I was in New Jersey. I still don't have room for them all, and will have to get rid of many if I ever want this place to look like anything other than a warehouse, but for now it's fun to reacquaint myself with the many books I have missed.

Yesterday's Readercon post, for instance, included a passing remark about Isaac Asimov at Bread Loaf, and I just now took the source of this information out of a box: Whose Woods These Are: A History of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 1926-1992 by David Haward Baine and Mary Smyth Duffy, which I bought when I attended Bread Loaf in the summer of 2000.

Asimov first visited Bread Loaf in 1950 at the invitation of one of the faculty members, Fletcher Pratt. In 1971 and 1972, he attended as a member of the faculty, invited by his friend John Ciardi, who was director of the conference for many years.

My favorite of the anecdotes about Asimov in the book comes from Seymour Epstein:
I remember [Asimov] saying something to the effect that I must teach him how to create fully dimensioned characters, and my thinking that I would be happy to try it if he would teach me how to make even a fraction of what he made on his writing.

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