Mark Garvey Revealed
About Mark Garvey
What is your birthdate?:3/4
Previous occupations:musician, claims examiner, English teacher, recording engineer, editor
High school and/or college:Reitz Memorial High School, and the University of Evansville, both in Evansville, Indiana.
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:It's too tough to name one favorite. I grew up on The Beatles and I still love them. I've been through periods of fevered fandom with Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, XTC, Radiohead, and many other bands. These days I listen to a lot of Bach, Mozart, Puccini, and others---and I always return to my rock and pop favorites. Nine times out of ten, though, when I have my iPod on, I'm listening to lectures, podcasts, or audiobooks.
Favorite movie:To Kill a Mockingbird
Favorite television show:The Andy Griffith Show
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Deep mystery tempered by love, work, and humor.
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. Charles Portis, Nicholson Baker, Joseph Mitchell, E. B. White, P. G. Wodehouse, James Joyce, Alec Wilkinson, Ian Frazier, Elmore Leonard, Dave Barry, Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, John McPhee
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. The Dog of the South, by Charles Portis; The Mezzanine, by Nicholson Baker; The Bottom of the Harbor, by Joseph Mitchell; The Code of the Woosters, by P. G. Wodehouse; Ulysses, by James Joyce
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. There are many books I love to reread, including The Mezzanine, The Dog of the South, True Grit, and Ulysses (in fact, the only way to read Ulysses is to reread it).
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. Read widely, follow your interests, write to please yourself, re-read The Elements of Style occasionally.
- Q. How did you come to write Stylized?
- A. The Elements of Style, an icon of American culture, has been a touchstone for me since I was a teenager, in the mid-1970s. But the book really hit home with me in college, when I was becoming interested in writing myself and trying to figure out how writers got their work done. Strunk and White, in Elements, provided a path that appealed to me--in their calm presentation of a few helpful guidelines, in their attitudes about simplicity, concision, brevity. The book also reassured me that if a writer was paying attention in his life and working hard to write with care and clarity and honesty, he stood a decent chance of putting his finger on some real truth from time to time and passing that along to his readers. Finally, White's Chapter 5 essay, "An Approach to Style," widened the Elements message to include the subject of self-discovery, offering sage advice about clearing the brush and deadwood from your prose so that you can emerge (which, it turns out, is the final secret of achieving "style"). In 2005, I noticed that The Elements of Style was approaching its 50th anniversary, in 2009. The anniversary seemed the perfect time to tell the story of Elements and to give some thought to the reasons for the book's staying power. I had been an E. B. White fan for many years, and I wanted to learn more about White's work with Elements. I was also intrigued to learn more about William Strunk, a man we didn't know much about beyond what White had written in his introduction to Elements. I thought other admirers of The Elements of Style might appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the book and the men behind it.