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robertogreco : saulbellow   2

Paris Review – 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?

McAllister had just published his first story, “The Faces Outside,” in both IF magazine and Simon and Schuster’s 1964 roundup of the best science fiction of the year. Confident, if not downright cocky, he thought the surveys could settle a conflict with his English teacher by proving that symbols weren’t lying beneath the texts they read like buried treasure awaiting discovery.

His project involved substantial labor—this before the Internet, before e-mail—but was not impossible: many authors and their representatives were listed in the Twentieth-Century American Literature series found in the local library. More impressive is that seventy-five writers replied—most of them, in earnest. Sixty-five of those responses survive (McAllister lost ten to “a kleptomaniacal friend”). Answers ranged from the secretarial blow off to a thick packet of single-spaced typescript in reply.

The pages here feature a number of the surveys in facsimile: Jack Kerouac, Ayn Rand, Ralph Ellison, Ray Bradbury, John Updike, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer. Each responder offers a unique take on the issue itself—symbolism in literature—as well as on handling a sixteen-year-old aspirant approaching writers as masters of their craft.

Even if he approached them en masse, with a form letter.

And failed to follow up with a thank-you note."

[via http://mentalfloss.com/article/30937/famous-novelists-symbolism-their-work-and-whether-it-was-intentional
via http://thoughts.russgoerend.com/post/68892626778/on-symbolism-and-digging-for-deeper-meaning
via https://pinboard.in/u:lukeneff/b:0a007ce18bed ]
art  literature  symbolism  surveys  brucemcallister  writing  fiction  1963  jackkerouac  aynrand  ralphellison  raybradbury  johnupdike  saulbellow  normanmailer 
december 2013 by robertogreco
For Dewey, Bellow, and Sweetness: The Story of the Chicago Comma - storify.com
"The University of Oxford no longer uses the "Oxford" or serial Comma in its own publications. Even though the serial comma is still recommended by Oxford University Press, we feel that the time has come for the torch to be passed to a new city on a new continent. We say: let the so-called Oxford Comma become hereafter known as the Chicago Comma."
timcarmody  danielsinker  oxford  oxfordcomma  punctuation  chicago  2011  manualofstyle  writing  style  ego  humor  appropriation  renaming  classideas  storify  commas  howwewrite  parentheses  quotationmarks  dumbquotes  serialcomma  language  communication  johndewey  saulbellow  styleguides 
june 2011 by robertogreco

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