“What a bitch of a thing prose is!” Gustave Flaubert wrote in a letter to his lover Louise Colet in 1852. “It’s never finished; there’s always something to redo. Yet I think one can give it the consistency of verse. A good sentence in prose should be like a good line in poetry, unchangeable, as rhythmic, as sonorous.” In this essay, contributing editor Travis Holland meditates on Flaubert’s influence and legacy in fiction.
Posts Tagged ‘essay’
Poet Debra Albery examines the influence of Sherwood Anderson on her writing, and on her understanding of her own history and place. She writes: “If I came into writing feeling largely without history or place, writing became a means of discovering both; it also became [...] a means of discovering a way out, the road ahead. Sherwood Anderson gave me a map.”
What do the 2011 Japanese Tsunami, the Cuban Missile Crisis and one family’s personal heartbreak have in common? For Ellen Prentiss Campbell the answer lies in Pearl S. Buck’s 1948 young adult novel The Big Wave and the individual acts of creative defiance that help survivors not only carry on, but value life’s beauty more highly because they know it will not last.
Step two: engage. Sozopol coverage continues with Molly Antopol’s conversation with Bulgarian author Miroslav Penkov and Lee Kaplan Romer’s meditation on writing as an act of defiance and grace.
Step One: Leave home. Three fellows from the Sozopol Fiction Seminar consider questions of travel, culture, and translation. Part I: John Struloeff on international diplomacy and collaboration, Jane E. Martin on finding home abroad, and Michael Hinken on how we rediscover home by leaving it. Later this week: Molly Antopol and Lee Romer Kaplan.
Writers are continually told to trim their work down, but is that always the best course of action to follow? Not if you don’t know why.
What happens when a composer falls in love with a David Foster Wallace short story? Eric Moe describes the genesis of his “sit-trag /concert monodrama” Tri-Stan, his correspondence with DFW about the project, the challenges of translating a short story to a one-woman vocal piece, and why “making art is a lot more exciting when big risks are being taken.”
Jennifer Solheim examines the polyphony of both Natacha Appanah’s The Last Brother and the translation process in general. In this essay, she reveals how language structure impacts emotional resonance in the narrative—and for the reader.
Other than the addition of photocopying and the subtraction of cigarettes, creative writing workshop formats haven’t changed much since their earliest days. Is there a better way? Writer and teacher Liam Callanan reports on his experiments, and the legend that inspired them.
Sometimes all the talent and skill in the world are not enough to get a book written. Valerie Laken makes a case for coaching, not just teaching, young writers.