Archive for the 'Fiction' Category

MEDITATION ON KURT VONNEGUT: VII…

August 24th, 2014

I know it is the place of the man to do brilliant things with money, but this manhood thing has me completely worn out. I just want to be a writer. –– to Don Farber on 7 January 1972, p. 179 Kurt Vonnegut: Letters. The reality seems to me to be self-imposed. How much trouble […]

DAN BROWN LOST ME ON PAGE 294 OF INFERNO

August 20th, 2014

I wasn’t going to read Dan Brown’s Inferno because, while I found The Da Vinci Code entertaining, his breakout book wasn’t very well written and contained too many holes. What held the book together was Brown’s use of engaging historical and art trivia well enough to make any conspiracy devote salivate. That worked for one […]

WE ARE WHAT WE DO AND DON’T READ…

July 8th, 2014

There are many varieties of nerd, but only two real species—the serious and the nonserious—and shelves are a pretty good indication of who is which. “To expose a bookshelf,” Harvard professor Leah Price writes in Unpacking My Library, a recent collection of interviews with writers about the books they own, “is to compose a self.” […]

NO. 10 WAS AN EDUCATED GUESS…

June 14th, 2014

But I still scored 10 out of 10…

THREE PAGES A DAY OF HELL…

April 30th, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 5″ with William Styron: INTERVIEWER: Do you enjoy writing? STYRON: I certainly don’t. I get a fine, warm feeling when I’m doing well, but that pleasure is pretty much negated by the pain of getting started each day. Let’s face it, writing is hell. INTERVIEWER: How many […]

SEE CRAWFORD, FINDING FORRESTER

April 27th, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 5″ with William Styron: INTERVIEWER: What value has the creative writing course for young writers? STYRON: It gives them a start, I suppose. But it can be an awful waste of time. Look at those people who go back year after year to summer writers’ conferences, you […]

AND MORE THAN 60 YEARS LATER…?

April 26th, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 4″ with Irwin Shaw: SHAW: Still, for a long time, the intellectual in America has had, at least socially and psychologically, a difficult time. In the thirties the Communists were making their first big dent, and it was they who began to belittle the intellectuals in places […]

IS THIS A PENSÉE…?

April 26th, 2014

Jessica Love write: Most of us have strong intuitions about how adjectives should be strung together. More concrete, intrinsic descriptors—purple, wooden—should appear close to the noun, with more subjective, relative descriptors—stupid, nice—appearing further away. Size descriptors such as big—more situation-specific than purple, less so than stupid—ought to fall somewhere in between. What’s fun about these […]

SELF- PITY CAN BE VERY PRODUCTIVE…?

April 25th, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 4″ with Irwin Shaw: INTERVIEWER: Well, what about success? Certainly that’s beneficial to a writer? SHAW: To a certain extent it is. But everybody forgets that a writer who has had success—even one who’s made a lot of money on one book—may have waited fifteen years for […]

I AM FASCINATED BY THE PENSÉE…

April 24th, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 203″ with Ray Bradbury: INTERVIEWER: In Zen in the Art of Writing, you wrote that early on in your career you made lists of nouns as a way to generate story ideas: the Jar, the Cistern, the Lake, the Skeleton. Do you still do this? BRADBURY: Not […]

IS THERE A BLUE PILL FOR WRITERS…?

April 24th, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 203″ with Ray Bradbury: INTERVIEWER: Do the novel and short story present different problems to you? BRADBURY: Yes, the problem of the novel is to stay truthful. The short story, if you really are intense and you have an exciting idea, writes itself in a few hours. […]

I WISH I’D READ THIS IN 1973…

April 23rd, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 203″ with Ray Bradbury: INTERVIEWER: You have said that you don’t believe in going to college to learn to write. Why is that? BRADBURY: You can’t learn to write in college. It’s a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than […]

I, LIBRARIANISTA…

April 22nd, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 203″ with Ray Bradbury: INTERVIEWER: You’re self-educated, aren’t you? BRADBURY: Yes, I am. I’m completely library educated. I’ve never been to college. I went down to the library when I was in grade school in Waukegan, and in high school in Los Angeles, and spent long days […]

CREATIVE SLEEP AND WAKEFUL DREAMING…

April 11th, 2014

From Famous Writers’ Sleep Habits vs. Literary Productivity, Visualized: I’m somewhere between Haruki and Toni…

YANKING THE FILTER IS REALLY, REALLY HARD…

April 9th, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 4″ with Irwin Shaw: [A]lmost every writer will tell you that events that happened to him before he started writing are the most valuable to him. Once he starts writing he seems to observe the world through a filter. I believe that’s true about writers: that the […]

THE BURGLER WHO COUNTED THE SPOONS

April 6th, 2014

I wrote this letter to Lawrence Block this morning: Dear Mr. Block, I just finished your latest Bernie Rhodenbarr and, as always, I wish the tale had continued longer. Elmore Leonard was famous, at least among writers, for suggesting that his particular skill was to know when to “leave out the part that readers tend […]

NO, THAT CHARACTER IS NOT YOU…

March 12th, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 1″ with E.M. Forster: FORSTER: In no book have I got down more than the people I like, the person I think I am, and the people who irritate me. This puts me among the large body of authors who are not really novelists and have to […]

OR AM I JUST HAVING A WANK…?

March 11th, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 3″ with Graham Green: INTERVIEWER: Do you see much of your fellow authors? GREENE: Not much, they are not one’s material. A few of them are very dear friends of mine but for a writer to spend much of his time in the company of authors is, […]

THE IMPORTANCE OF UNINTENT…

March 10th, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 1″ with E.M. Forster: INTERVIEWER: Now, can we ask you a few questions about the immediate business of writing? Do you keep a notebook? FORSTER: No, I should feel it improper. INTERVIEWER: But you would refer to diaries and letters? FORSTER: Yes, that’s different. INTERVIEWER: When you […]

FICTION TECHNICALITIES…

March 9th, 2014

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 1″ with E.M. Forster: “That is not all of Arctic Summer—there is almost half as much of it again—but that’s all I want to read because now it goes off, or at least I think so, and I do not want my voice to go out into […]

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