background preloader

Jack Kerouac’s List of 30 Beliefs and Techniques for Prose and Life

Jack Kerouac’s List of 30 Beliefs and Techniques for Prose and Life
by Maria Popova “No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge.” In the year of reading more and writing better, we’ve absorbed David Ogilvy’s 10 no-bullshit tips, Henry Miller’s 11 commandments, John Steinbeck’s 6 pointers, and various invaluable advice from other great writers. Now comes Jack Kerouac — cultural icon, symbolism sage, exquisite idealist — with his 30-point list, entitled Belief and Technique for Modern Prose. With items like “No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge” and “Accept loss forever,” the list is as much a blueprint for writing as it is a meditation on life. The list was allegedly tacked on the wall of Allen Ginsberg’s hotel room in North Beach a year before his iconic poem “Howl” was written — which is of little surprise, given Ginsberg readily admitted Kerouac’s influence and even noted in the dedication of Howl and Other Poems that he took the title from Kerouac. Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/03/22/jack-kerouac-belief-and-technique-for-modern-prose/

Related:  ProseAuthors

Memoir Manifesto by Deb Olin Unferth Guest editor Deb Olin Unferth offers insights into the art of the memoir and introduces the present and future stars of the genre. Photograph via Flickr by Alice Carrier Let’s have no more insults hurled at the memoir, shall we? 130, Italo Calvino Upon hearing of Italo Calvino’s death in September of 1985, John Updike commented, “Calvino was a genial as well as brilliant writer. He took fiction into new places where it had never been before, and back into the fabulous and ancient sources of narrative.” At that time Calvino was the preeminent Italian writer, the influence of his fantastic novels and stories reaching far beyond the Mediterranean. Two years before, The Paris Review had commissioned a Writers at Work interview with Calvino to be conducted by William Weaver, his longtime English translator.

Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck By Maria Popova If this is indeed the year of reading more and writing better, we’ve been right on course with David Ogilvy’s 10 no-nonsense tips, Henry Miller’s 11 commandments, and various invaluable advice from other great writers. Now comes Pulitzer Prize winner and Nobel laureate John Steinbeck (February 27, 1902–December 20, 1968) with six tips on writing, originally set down in a 1962 letter to the actor and writer Robert Wallsten included in Steinbeck: A Life in Letters (public library) — the same magnificent volume that gave us Steinbeck’s advice on falling in love. Future - Technology - Cats, memes and internet schemes Why is the internet so obsessed with pictures of cats and is there more to them than meets the eye? “Oh hai. Welcom 2 dis weekz colum all bout teh peculiar fenomenon ov memez an teh internetz fascianashun wif kats.” That sentence probably puts you in one of two camps: someone who thinks the BBC’s standards have reached an all time low, or an aficionado of one of the most virally pervasive of all internet memes, the lolcat. For the uninitiated, lolcats are the near-numberless offspring of a venerable class of object: the “image macro”, in which text is superimposed on to a photograph. Born in the mid-2000s, “laugh-out-loud-cats” – as nobody would ever dream of spelling them out – pair cute animal images with comically-misspelt captions.

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing Never open a book with weather. If it’s only to create atmosphere, and not a character’s reaction to the weather, you don’t want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. 'The Black Dog' by W. H. C. Pynchon The Dog, J. Laurent, 1874. From Archivo Ruiz Vernacci, Fototeca del IPCE, Madrid. by W.

Kurt Vonnegut on Reading, Boredom, Belonging, and Hate by Maria Popova “Hate, in the long run, is about as nourishing as cyanide.” What makes the commencement address such a singular pinnacle of the communication arts is that, in an era where religion is increasingly being displaced by culture and secular thought, it offers a secular version of the sermon — a packet of guidance on how to be a good human being and lead a good life. It is also one of the few cultural contexts in which a patronizing attitude, in the original sense of the term, is not only acceptable but desired — after all, the very notion of the graduation speech calls for a patronly father figure or matronly mother figure to get up at the podium and impart to young people hard-earned, experience-tested wisdom on how to live well. And implicit to that is an automatic disarmament of our otherwise unflinching culturally conditioned cynicism — which is also why the best commencement addresses are timeless and ageless and sing to us beyond the boundaries of our own life-stage.

Why I Write: George Orwell's Four Motives for Creation by Maria Popova “All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery.” Literary legend Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell, remains best remembered for authoring the cult-classics Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, but he was also a formidable, masterful essayist. 25 Handy Words That Simply Don’t Exist In English Approximately 375 million people speak English as their first language, in fact it's the 3rd most commonly spoken language in the world (after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish). Interestingly enough it's the number 1 second language used worldwide - which is why the total number of people who speak English, outnumber those of any other. But whilst it's the most widely spoken language, there's still a few areas it falls down on (strange and bizarre punctuation rules aside). We look at 25 words that simply don't exist in the English language (and yet after reading this list, you'll wish they did!)

H. P. Lovecraft’s Advice to Aspiring Writers, 1920 by Maria Popova “A page of Addison or of Irving will teach more of style than a whole manual of rules, whilst a story of Poe’s will impress upon the mind a more vivid notion of powerful and correct description and narration than will ten dry chapters of a bulky textbook.” “If there is a magic in story writing,” admonished Henry Miller, “and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another.” And yet, famous advice on writing abounds. In January of 1920, iconic science fiction and fantasy author H. P.

Web Film & Video: Georges Perec - Récits d'Ellis Island, Part 1: Traces (1978-1980) Duration: 60 minutes Part 1: Traces Part 2: Mémoires, 60 min Produced by: Institut National d'Archives (INA) Written by: Georges Perec Directed by: Robert Bober Sound: Jean-Claude Brisson In 1978, Robert Bober and Georges Perec set out to in the search of traces of Ellis Island, that is, as Georges Perec put it, of "the very site of exile, the place of the absence of place, the non-place, the nowhere." They traveled to New York to film what was left of this "Golden Gate", nicknamed "the Island of Tears" by the immigrants. One of the objectives of the filmmaker and the writer was to gather testimonies of survivors who, as children, passed through Ellis Island. However, they also wanted to understand how and why they both felt that this place concerned them personally.

Related: