Searching for Dinty Moore

Recently someone was directed to my blog by googling my favorite lines from one of my favorite essays, by Eudora Welty, “The Little Store,” which I’ve discussed twice on this blog:

 setting out on the world, a child feels so indelible. he only comes to find out later that it’s all the others along the way who are making themselves indelible to him

 The punctuation is the searcher’s of course, but s/he got the lines right.

A WordPress feature allows me to know, if I care to look, what Google searches led readers here. The searches range from mundane to interesting to scary.

A recent perusal disclosed this rambling whopper, perhaps traceable to an assignment from a writing teacher:

 what insights about the writing process have been learned while developing your narrative essay? what provoked them and what impact have they had on you and this essay?

 And here are some others, from who knows whom or why:

 jerald walker, street shadows, dinty more, impressive sentences

Speaking of Dinty Moore, I loved this search that also referenced him:

 select the appropriate self dinty moore

So, Bub, you’re ordering Dinty to select his proper self? He’s made a career of it—he practically invented selecting a proper self. But I couldn’t help googling the phrase myself to see what comes up, and this was first:

 Nutrition Facts and Analysis for HORMEL, DINTY MOORE Beef Stew 

As a mutual friend said, “I love Dinty Moore. The man and the stew!”

But Dinty has written better than anyone on his neat name. His essay “Mick on the Make: Notes on an Unusual Name,” appeared in Southern Review (2007, Vol. 43; No. 3, pages 561-564) and it’s humorous and poignant.

Anyway, the Hormel info was followed by my interview with him on this very blog.

Below that was a link for The Writing Well Newsletter, which discusses Dinty’s essay “Bring Your Voice to Life in Personal Essays” in the July/August 2011 issue of The Writer magazine.”

As Dinty explains, according to the excerpt I found (links since defunct):

 Your goal is to partially isolate a part of who you are, the you that you are today, as you meditate on a particular subject and sit down to write.

So there.

It sounds so simple, but isn’t, for most of us.

Okay, I’ll own it: for me.

But surely others write hundreds of pages to get at that sweet place—that nexus of me now and me then—and then throw away 180 to get twenty good pages. Maybe they pare that to 750 words.

And they send them to Dinty W. Moore, editor of Brevity, the new issue of which is just out, with essays on memory and desire.

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3 Comments

Filed under MY LIFE

3 responses to “Searching for Dinty Moore

  1. Your posts keep getting better and better, Richard. Is it because you are taking your own (and Dinty’s) advice above? Very helpful as I try to get to the nubbins of Chap. Two, rough draft.

  2. David C. Bailey

    Fun.
    I noticed that Dinty split an infinitive: to partially isolate. To me, the natural and “right” place for the adverb is between “to” and “isolate.” Is it finally OK to split infinitives? I was soundly chastised during my orals for splitting an infinitive. Totally humiliated by one prof, as if I’d farted out loud. What are students taught about them, nowadays, Richard?

    • It’s considered fine, to be done by sound and sense. I think it always has been, that Fowler said it’s okay, but became a point of pedantry with some. I find that following the old rule often works better for me, but splitting is sometimes more natural and conversational and then should be done.