From the Archives: Unlike the memoirist, who promises to tell the truth, the fiction writer says, “I am going to tell you a lie, but at the end you will feel it is true.” He or she is a kind of magician who makes sure you know the flames are only an illusion before letting you burn your fingers.
Entering a piece of writing in a collaborative way is at the heart of what Fowles called the “I-thou” theory: no matter how many times a book is read, it is fundamentally a relationship—an encounter—between just two people.
From the Archives: What does our reading have to do with our writing, exactly? Charlotte Boulay departs from traditional talk about fiction, reflects on her own reading list, and finds comfort and enthusiasm in reading Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell’s letters to each other, in which they discuss everything they read—and the fact that they read all the time.
Do you remember a while back when goat cheese became a Huge Culinary Thing? And it started appearing everywhere—on pizzas, in salads, in ice cream, even in cheesecakes. Everyone I knew loved it. “Try it,” they kept telling me. “It’s so delicious.” But when I did, I couldn’t stand it. “Try it again,” they’d say, the next dinner out. “You know, it takes 10 times before your taste buds really decide if they like something.” They were so excited about it, and loved it so much, that I really, really, really wanted to like goat cheese. But I just didn’t. […]
Not awesome enough? How about Rosa Parks reading a children’s book about herself, Gabriel Garcia Márquez wearing a book like a hat, or William S. Burroughs reading to Kurt Cobain? Much more at the Awesome People Reading Tumblr site. (You’re welcome.)
You think you have a problem with hoarding books? The above short film, by Sergey Stefanovich, walks you through the library of writer and critic Duncan Fallowell, which “has spilled over into every available space and become an art installation in its own right.” (Via.) Fallowell narrates, with lots of meditative insights on reading and writing: “I’m so glad I haven’t read everything–I have such a wonderful future awaiting me.” However, if you really need to clear out some space, perhaps this post by Jodi Chromey, “How I Learned to Stop Hoarding and Give Away Books,” provides the solution. Further […]
The title of Jim Shepard’s latest collection, You Think That’s Bad, could also be a creative mantra. Here the veteran writer discusses his research process, the apocalyptic state of the world, the (possible) irrelevancy of literature to the apocalypse, his epic mustache—and other matters of importance.