“Kay Boyle and Love” in The Scofield

The Scofield

Issue 1.2 Kay Boyle & Love Fall 2015


Our guiding principle here at The Scofield is to create a place where lovers of literature gather. Of course, we aren’t actually gathering. We are still in solitude, reading these words alone. The hope though—as is the hope, I suspect, with all artistic endeavors—is to transcend our loneliness, to populate our solitude with others.

Selected excerpts

“In her best work Boyle will never take us to the resolution of a story … In reading much of Boyle’s work, you’re left there to figure out what just happened, and it’s challenging for the reader, and yet the themes that she takes on are very much matters of the heart whether on the personal scale or a global scale” — Sandra Spanier, “Uniting Aesthetic and Political Revolution in Love,” p. 48-49.

“Kay never gave me assignments that were traditional writing exercises. She just said, ‘Writing is about belief.’ It should be about what you believe in. I teach the same way she taught me. I tell students the same thing. I alter it a little these day by adding that they shouldn’t write what they already know, but what they’re trying to learn or understand. When you read Kay’s work, you see almost the entire 20th century in her work and everything she believed in. Her writing is tied to every traumatic human event in the 20th century. Historical fiction is the life we’re living right now” — Shawn Wong, “Writing is About Belief,” p. 26.

“After all, even though she taught creative writing at San Francisco State from the early 1960s to the late 1970s, she always harboured a realistic attitude regarding her job, publishing, during that time, an essay in which she argued, tongue perhaps only partly in cheek, that “all creative writing programs ought to be abolished by law.” And even though she was my graduate supervisor, it wasn’t like we had the usual teacher student relationship. We would simply meet, first in her office on campus, and then, once the 1968–69 student strike was under way, at her home on Frederick Street in the Haight. I remember our first conversation concerned a short essay I had written about discovering the work of writer Jorge Luis Borges. It wasn’t about Borges’s writing so much as about the pleasures of discovery, and how that particular discovery came about” — Woody Haut, “If Written It Must Be True: Remembering Kay Boyle,” p. 175.

“If more people knew her story, then perhaps more people would stand up and do the things they want to do—to have courage to do them. If you stand up for what you believe in, will you be ‘successful’ in the conventional sense? Probably not” — Kelley Baker, “There’s No Plot to a Life,” p. 184.

“So let Kay Boyle be a writer no one reads no longer” — Tyler Malone, “The Absolute Essentiality of Love,” p. 8.

Cite this blog post
KBS (2018, June 8). “Kay Boyle and Love” in The Scofield. The Kay Boyle Society. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/qltu

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