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Jodi Angel, author of You Only Get Letters from Jail and Matthew Spektor, author of Amerian Dream Machine reading at Powell's Books Monday, July 22, 7:00pm
(From The Writer’s Notebook II)
An Exploration of the Comic Impulse (From The Writer’s Notebook II)
“In all storytelling, no matter how nonlinear or diffuse the narrative might be, no matter how whimsical the pacing is, some kind of time bomb should always be ticking toward zero.” -Anthony Doerr, “The Sword of of Damocles” (Writer’s Notebook II)
“Let’s suppose a philosopher who after having published several works declares in a new book: ‘Up to now I was going in the wrong direction. I am going to begin all over. I think now that I was wrong.’ No one would take him seriously anymore. And yet he would then be giving proof [...]
From The Writer’s Notebook II
An excerpt from Karen Russell’s Writer’s Notebook II Essay.
Wisdom Coupon: Beginning with Dialogue.
“You can’t really succeed with a novel anyway; they’re too big. It’s like city planning. You can’t plan a perfect city because there’s too much going on that you can’t take into account. You can, however, write a perfect sentence now and then. I have.” -Gore Vidal
“Maybe it’s the fact that most of the arts here are produced by world-weary and sophisticated older people and then consumed by younger people who not only consume art but study it for clues on how to be cool, hip…”
“In a world facing the revolt of ragged and hungry masses of God’s children; in a world torn between the tensions of East and West, white and colored, individuals and collectivists; in a world whose cultural and spiritual power lags so far behind her technological capabilities that we live each day on the verge of [...]
“Art addresses everybody, in the hope of making an impression…”
“A new man is made out of the whole cloth, by a change of heart which alters everything, every living cell of the body. Anything less than a change of heart is sure catastrophe which, if you follow the reasoning, explains why the times are always bad. For, unless there be a change of heart [...]
“What Rick Perry meant to say.”
In honor and support of Occupy Wall Street, we present a special video edition of our Wisdom Coupon.
“Print out your story and put it on a wall. Put it up in a way that allows you to look at it all at once. You might or might not break it up between paragraphs, or scene breaks, or some other obvious structural element that is key to the piece. Look at the patterns [...]
“Say what you mean. I used to be exasperated by such teachers, but am no more. I understand now that all those antique essays and stories with which I was to compare my own work were not magnificent for their datedness or foreignness, but for saying precisely what their authors meant them to say. My [...]
Fine writing has the beauty of both complexity and grandeur.
Only mortal beings experience time as a shaping medium.
The haters seem alive.
The odd privilege of existence as a coherent self.
If we can remember, why can’t we remember everything?
Exploring the meaning of “meaning” in a secular age.
An amuse-bouche from the Irish master’s masterful “Watt.”