Writers & writing
Dale Peck is a novelist and critic. The first time I heard the word samizdat was at an ACT UP meeting. The term was applied to the vast stacks of photocopies that every member picked up on the way into the Monday-night meeting: treatment guidelines, drug studies, bureaucratic analyses, action plans, contact lists, and announcements of events ranging from performances and gallery openings to house parties and memorial services. Jhumpa Lahiri: My Life's Sentences. You Owe Me. The children I write with die, no matter how much I love them, no matter how creative they are, no matter how many poems they have written, or how much they want to live.
They die of diseases with unpronounceable names, of rhabdomyosarcoma or pilocytic astrocytoma, of cancers rarely heard of in the world at large, of cancers that are often cured once, but then turn up again somewhere else: in their lungs, their stomachs, their sinuses, their bones, their brains. While undergoing their own treatments, my students watch one friend after another lose legs, cough up blood, and enter a hospital room they never come out of again. The M. A long sentence is worth the read - latimes.com. "Your sentences are so long," said a friend who teaches English at a local college, and I could tell she didn't quite mean it as a compliment.
The copy editor who painstakingly went through my most recent book often put yellow dashes on-screen around my multiplying clauses, to ask if I didn't want to break up my sentences or put less material in every one. Both responses couldn't have been kinder or more considered, but what my friend and my colleague may not have sensed was this: I'm using longer and longer sentences as a small protest against — and attempt to rescue any readers I might have from — the bombardment of the moment. When I began writing for a living, my feeling was that my job was to give the reader something vivid, quick and concrete that she couldn't get in any other form; a writer was an information-gathering machine, I thought, and especially as a journalist, my job was to go out into the world and gather details, moments, impressions as visual and immediate as TV. Document: The Symbolism Survey, Sarah Funke Butler. In 1963, a sixteen-year-old San Diego high school student named Bruce McAllister sent a four-question mimeographed survey to 150 well-known authors of literary, commercial, and science fiction.
Did they consciously plant symbols in their work? He asked. Who noticed symbols appearing from their subconscious, and who saw them arrive in their text, unbidden, created in the minds of their readers? When this happened, did the authors mind? IS (Roberto Bolaño's) "2666" A MASTERPIECE? Reading "2666", "it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish Roberto Bolaño's genius from his excess.
Indeed, it starts to seem that Bolaño's genius is his excess", writes Garth Risk Hallberg... Special to MORE INTELLIGENT LIFE In his treatise on drama, "Three Uses of the Knife", David Mamet cribs a distinction from Stanislavsky. Some narratives, he suggests, leave us saying, "What a masterpiece! Let's get a cup of coffee," while others ask us to wrestle with them for the rest of our lives. James Baldwin: Witty, Fiery in Berkeley, 1979. Hot on the heels of Independence Day, here’s a chance to listen to one of America’s best writers declaring his own form of Independence — a freedom from some of the more troubling assumptions embedded in the English language.
Starting with a dry, mild questioning of phrases like “black as night,” “black-hearted,” and “black as sin,” Baldwin turns quickly to a critique of the name of the civil rights movement itself, which he suggests would be more accurately described as a slave rebellion. The logic and eloquence with which Baldwin makes his case is much better savored than explained. Enjoy the clip, and especially make sure not to miss his remarks on Huck Finn at minute 3:00, or the lovely description of Malcolm X at about minute 5:00.
And, to be sure, we’ll add this to our collection of Cultural Icons. Arts & Letters Daily - ideas, criticism, debate. Sontag_torture.pdf (application/pdf Object) Saul Bellow - Nobel Lecture. December 12, 1976 Listen to an Audio Recording of Saul Bellow's Nobel Lecture (paragraph 1-3)* 11 min.
Chris Hedges "Brace Yourself! The American Empire Is Over & The Descent Is Going To Be Horrifying!" Tariq Ramadan asks: how can different religious traditions move beyond tolerant co-existence to mutual respect and enrichment? Reza Aslan’s New Book, Table and Pen: Literature Bridges Civilizations. One utterly confounding and intriguing question lies at the very heart of 'Mad Men': How many women can one married man sleep with over the course of 92 hour-long episodes?
Mad Men, the ambitious, award-winning AMC series, is embarking upon its seventh and final season this Sunday. Throughout its epic run, Mad Men has attempted to answer a myriad of fascinating and complex questions. They include: what is the American Dream? Tahmima Anam | The Good Muslim.