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Carol Black on Twitter: "I'm sorry, but this is delusional. If you don't read the book the first time for rhythm and flow, just *read* it, you haven't read the book. You have dissected it. This is like the vivisection of literature. There is no author ali
"I'm sorry, but this is delusional. If you don't read the book the first time for rhythm and flow, just *read* it, you haven't read the book. You have dissected it. This is like the vivisection of literature. There is no author alive who would want their book read this way."



"Look, the reality is that most people do not want to analyze literature. It's a specialty interest, a niche thing. There is absolutely no reason all people should have to do this. By forcing it we just create an aversion to books.

[@SOLEatHome "Would you consider someone re-reading a book they love and noticing things they missed the first time analysis? It at least fits what has come to be known as "close reading""]

Kids who become writers (or filmmakers, or musicians) re-read, re-watch, re-listen to their favorite things repetitively, obsessively. They internalize structure, rhythm, characterization, language, vocabulary, dialogue, intuitively, instinctively.

Close reading & analysis is a separate activity, it requires a whole different stance / attitude toward the book. It can enhance this deeper intuitive understanding or it can shut it down, turn it into something mechanical & disengaged.

I think it's a huge mistake to push this analytical stance on children when they are too young. I was an English major, & I don't think I benefited from it until college. Younger kids should just find things they love & process them in ways that make sense to them.

This is one of the many delusional things about the way literature is taught in HS. The reality is you have to read a book at the *bare minimum* twice in order to do meaningful analysis. But there is never time for this. So we just club the thing to death on the first reading.

One of the principal things a writer does is to work incredibly hard at refining the way one sentence flows into the next, one chapter springboards off the last. To experience this as a reader you have to immerse yourself, turn off the analytical brain, just *read* the damn book.

To insert analysis into this process on a first reading is like watching a film by pausing every couple of minutes to make notes before continuing. It's fine to do that in later study, but if you do it the first time through you've destroyed everything the filmmaker worked for."

[@irasocol: How a teacher destroys not just reading but culture. Can we let kids experience an author's work without dissection? How I tried to address this in 2012... http://speedchange.blogspot.com/2012/11/why-do-we-read-why-do-we-write.html "]



[This was in repsonse to a thread that began with:
https://twitter.com/SOLEatHome/status/1053338882496958465

"This thread details a real school assignment that was asked of a high school student to do while reading a book they hadn't read before. I assure you this is is not something isolated to one school:

Annotate.

Inside front cover: major character with space for...

...character summaries, page reference for key scenes or moments of character development. Evidently these are enormous books.

Inside Back Cover: list of themes, allusions, images, motifs, key scenes, plot line, epiphanies, etc. Add pg. references or notes. List vocab words...

...if there's still room. (big books or small writing?)

Start of each chapter: do a quick summary of the chapter. Title each chapter as soon as you finish it, esp. if the chapters don't have titles.

Top margins: plot notes/words phrases that summarize. Then go back...

...and mark the chapter carefully (more on these marks to come)

Bottom and side margins: interpretive notes, questions, remarks that refer to the meaning of the page (???). Notes to tie in w/ notes on inside back cover

Header: Interpretive notes and symbols to be used...

...underline or highlight key words, phrases, sentences that are important to understanding the work
questions/comments in the margins--your conversation with the text
bracket important ideas/passages
use vertical lines at the margin to emphasize what's been already marked...

...connect ideas with lines or arrows
use numbers in the margin to indicate the sequence of points the author makes in developing a single argument
use a star, asterisk, or other doo-dad at the margin--use a consistent symbol--(presumably to not mix up your doo-dads?) to...

...be used sparingly to emphasize the ten or twenty most important statements in the book.
Use ???for sections/ideas you don't understand
circle words you don't know. Define them in the margins (How many margins does a page have?)
A checkmark means "I understand"...

...use !!! when you come across something new, interesting or surprising
And other literary devices (see below)

You may want to mark:
Use and S for Symbols: a symbol is a literal thing that stands for something else which help to discover new layers of thinking...

Use an I for Imagery, which includes words that appeal to the five senses. Imagery is important for understanding an authors message and attitudes
Use an F for Figurative Language like similes, metaphors, etc., which often reveal deeper layers of meaning...

Use a T for Tone, which is the overall mood of the piece. Tone can carry as much meaning as the plot does.
Use a Th for Theme: timeless universal ideas or a message about life, society, etc.
Plot elements (setting, mood, conflict)
Diction (word choice)

The end. ::sighs::"]
carolblack  irasocol  howweread  reading  literature  closereading  2018  school  schooliness  education  absurdity  literaryanalysis  writers  writing  howwewrite  filmmaking  howwelearn  academia  academics  schools  unschooling  deschooling  analysis  understanding  repetition  experience  structure  rhythm  characterization  language  vocabulary  dialogue  noticing  intuition  instinct  film  flow 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Dodie Bellamy - Wikipedia
"Dodie Bellamy is an American novelist, nonfiction author, journalist and editor. Her work is frequently associated with that of Dennis Cooper, Kathy Acker, and Eileen Myles.

Bellamy is one of the originators in the New Narrative literary movement of the early and mid 1980s, which attempts to use the tools of experimental fiction and critical theory and apply them to narrative storytelling.[1]

Bellamy also directed the San Francisco writing lab, Small Press Traffic, and taught creative writing at the San Francisco Art Institute, Mills College, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of San Francisco, Naropa University, Antioch University Los Angeles, San Francisco State University, California College of the Arts, and the California Institute of the Arts.[2]"

[via: https://sofiasamatar.blogspot.com/2016/07/when-sick-rule-world.html

"Dodie Bellamy's essays have a muscular force. They are all muscle, seamless, shimmering. A Dodie essay is constructed like a snake. A Dodie essay requires that you call her "Dodie" rather than "Bellamy," even if you don't know her. It requires an awkward intimacy. Of course you can get around this by referring to her as "Dodie Bellamy" every time, as if she's a rock star or a corporation, I feel like this would be fine, after all her essays infiltrate your world the way music and products do, stealthily like that, but me, I'm going with Dodie because Dodie Bellamy feels too formal, plus I've already used up a lot of words without talking about the essays. At this point I need to conserve, so: allergies, writing, movies, death, love, Occupy, gentrification, murder. Those are some of the things you can read about in Dodie's new collection, When the Sick Rule the World. Each of these subjects is treated not as a subject but as life: a Dodie essay might have a thing that it's "about," but it's not attempting to attack, contain, or finish that thing, rather the essay's "subject" is a doorway that lets you into life. By "you" I mean you the reader and also Dodie and also me: we're in this together. An essay on steel is an essay on art and impoverishment of all kinds. An essay on loss is about E.T. An essay on allergies is a science fiction story, utopian or dystopian depending on how sick you are. If you could figure out exactly how a snake is constructed, maybe you too could write a Dodie essay, or anyway an essay that had been bitten by a Dodie essay and stricken with some of its vital force. One crucial aspect seems to be transition: an essay's movement depends on how the scales are put together. Somebody once told Dodie that you could improvise a talk just fine as long as you'd worked on the transitions. So it seems that the scales, however shiny, are not the point, rather it's what connects, what makes the scales a skin, and this is what makes a Dodie essay feel at once so breathless and so alive, so unexpected and so true. The final, fantastic work, "In the Shadow of Twitter Towers," is about Dodie's neighborhood in San Francisco, a skin that ripples with mental illness, rent, tech workers, brutality, and the idea of community, among other things, and somewhere in there Dodie remarks that writing students, even those in grad school, sometimes make every sentence a separate paragraph, a practice she likens to the 140-character genre of the tweet, which she considers alien to her own sinuous monster paragraphs, so there you have this opposition between fragmented contemporary form and flowing atavistic Dodie form, yet strangely what I was thinking before I got to that part was how much a Dodie essay resembles my Twitter feed. I was actually thinking that this flowing Dodie essay form, this literary livestream that drags everything in its wake, was the best example I'd seen of a form that expresses what it's like to live in the stream of a feed, in the current of social media. You see the cupcakes your friend baked last night right next to a report of a gang rape, and where's the transition? There's no transition, yet these things happened at the same time. The transition is the problem and Dodie is working on that problem and it's so urgent you can hardly catch your breath. So maybe a Dodie essay really is opposed to Twitter, or maybe it's the answer to Twitter, or what Twitter would be if it had any spiritual power, if a live feed was like a skin you could wear, something that could protect you, a muscle to use, or something that bit you, or something that fed you."]

[See also:
http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2014/07/29/colonized-on-every-level-an-interview-with-dodie-bellamy/
http://bombmagazine.org/article/7463/dodie-bellamy
http://therumpus.net/2015/09/when-the-sick-rule-the-world-by-dodie-bellamy/
https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/when-sick-rule-world
http://www.latimes.com/books/la-ca-jc-dodie-bellamy-20151220-story.html
http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/bookworm/dodie-bellamy-when-the-sick-rule-the-world
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2015/09/james-reich-dreamily-reviews-dodie-bellamys-when-the-sick-rule-the-world/
http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/When-the-Sick-Rule-the-World-by-Dodie-6543529.php ]
writers  sanfrancisco  narrative  storytelling  denniscooper  kathyacker  eileenmyles 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Denise Levertov : The Poetry Foundation
"Because Levertov never received a formal education, her earliest literary influences can be traced to her home life in Ilford, England, a suburb of London. Levertov and her older sister, Olga, were educated by their Welsh mother, Beatrice Adelaide Spooner-Jones, until the age of thirteen. The girls further received sporadic religious training from their father, Paul Philip Levertoff, a Russian Jew who converted to Christianity and subsequently moved to England and became an Anglican minister. In the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Carolyn Matalene explained that "the education [Levertov] did receive seems, like Robert Browning's, made to order. Her mother read aloud to the family the great works of nineteenth-century fiction, and she read poetry, especially the lyrics of Tennyson. . . . Her father, a prolific writer in Hebrew, Russian, German, and English, used to buy secondhand books by the lot to obtain particular volumes. Levertov grew up surrounded by books and people talking about them in many languages." It has been said that many of Levertov's readers favor her lack of formal education because they see it as an impetus to verse that is consistently clear, precise, and accessible. According to Earnshaw, "Levertov seems never to have had to shake loose from an academic style of extreme ellipses and literary allusion, the self-conscious obscurity that the Provencal poets called 'closed.'"

Levertov had confidence in her poetic abilities from the beginning, and several well-respected literary figures believed in her talents as well. Gould recorded Levertov's "temerity" at the age of twelve when she sent several of her poems directly to T. S. Eliot: "She received a two-page typewritten letter from him, offering her 'excellent advice.' . . . His letter gave her renewed impetus for making poems and sending them out." Other early supporters included critic Herbert Read, editor Charles Wrey Gardiner, and author Kenneth Rexroth. When Levertov had her first poem published in Poetry Quarterly in 1940, Rexroth professed: "In no time at all Herbert Read, Tambimutti, Charles Wrey Gardiner, and incidentally myself, were all in excited correspondence about her. She was the baby of the new Romanticism. Her poetry had about it a wistful Schwarmerei unlike anything in English except perhaps Matthew Arnold's 'Dover Beach.' It could be compared to the earliest poems of Rilke or some of the more melancholy songs of Brahms.""



"Levertov's American poetic voice was, in one sense, indebted to the simple, concrete language and imagery, and also the immediacy, characteristic of Williams Carlos Williams's art. Accordingly, Ralph J. Mills Jr. remarked in his essay in Poets in Progress that Levertov's verse "is frequently a tour through the familiar and the mundane until their unfamiliarity and otherworldliness suddenly strike us. . . . The quotidian reality we ignore or try to escape, . . . Levertov revels in, carves and hammers into lyric poems of precise beauty." In turn, Midwest Quarterly reviewer Julian Gitzen explained that Levertov's "attention to physical details [permitted her] to develop a considerable range of poetic subject, for, like Williams, she [was] often inspired by the humble, the commonplace, or the small, and she [composed] remarkably perceptive poems about a single flower, a man walking two dogs in the rain, and even sunlight glittering on rubbish in a street."

In another sense, Levertov's verse exhibited the influence of the Black Mountain poets, such as Robert Duncan, Charles Olson, and Robert Creeley, whom Levertov met through her husband. Cid Corman was among the first to publish Levertov's poetry in the United States in Origin in the 1950s. Unlike her early formalized verse, Levertov now gave homage to the projectivist verse of the Black Mountain era, whereby the poet "projects" through content rather than through strict meter or form. Although Levertov was assuredly influenced by several renowned American writers of the time, Matalene believed Levertov's "development as a poet [had] certainly proceeded more according to her own themes, her own sense of place, and her own sensitivities to the music of poetry than to poetic manifestos." Indeed, Matalene explained that when Levertov became a New Directions author in 1959, this came to be because editor James Laughlin had detected in Levertov's work her own unique voice."
deniseleverton  poetry  writing  writers  autodidacts  unschooling  deschooling  blackmountaincollege  blackmountainpoets  robertcreeley  charlesolson  robertduncan  cidcorman  projectivism  bmc  rilke 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Fallen Idols - NYTimes.com
"Tobias Wolff was a literary hero to Saunders. “Toby was the first great writer I ever met and what the meeting did for me was disabuse me of the idea that a writer had to be a dysfunctional crazy person,” Saunders said. “Toby was loving, gentle, funny, kind, wise — yet he was producing these works of great (sometimes dark) genius. It was invigorating to be reminded that great writing was (1) mysterious and (2) not linked, in any reductive, linear way, to the way one lived: wild writing could come from a life that was beautifully under control. Watching him, I felt: O.K., nurture the positive human parts of yourself and hope they get into your work, eventually.”

Writers and their books will always be inextricably connected, but the relationship between them isn’t simple. As Saunders told me, “A work of art is something produced by a person, but is not that person — it is of her, but is not her. It’s a reach, really — the artist is trying to inhabit, temporarily, a more compact, distilled, efficient, wittier, more true-seeing, precise version of herself — one that she can’t replicate in so-called ‘real’ life, no matter how hard she tries. That’s why she writes: to try and briefly be more than she truly is.”

Maybe, as a reader, that is what I keep falling in love with — not the author, but the art of reaching."

[Similar to Tobias Wolff and George Saunders as creative people not having to be "a dysfunctional crazy person": Robert Irwin and Dave Brubeck]
georgesaunders  creativity  tobiaswolff  2013  howwework  art  writing  writers  relationships  books  reaching  goodpeople  goodness  separation 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Brooklyn Writers Space
"All spaces provide writers with a desk, a lamp and a chair on a first come first serve basis. Coffee is always on hand, as well as provide your own paper printing, wi-fi(but if you are trying to get away from the internet we can help you with that too), storage ($30 per quarter), and kitchenette lounge areas for socializing.

Each space is unique by location and by services, the Garfield location has a roof deck with monster tomato plants, Room 58 has a beautiful art gallery and a lounge with really comfy couches, and the Court Street location has plenty of books and very comfy reading area. All spaces are accessible 24/7."
writers  coworking  community  nyc  brooklyn  writing 
december 2012 by robertogreco
David Foster Wallace on 'The Nature of Fun' | Books | The Guardian
"The smart thing to say, I think, is that the way out of this bind is to work your way somehow back to your original motivation: fun. And, if you can find your way back to the fun, you will find that the hideously unfortunate double bind of the late vain period turns out really to have been good luck for you. Because the fun you work back to has been transfigured by the unpleasantness of vanity and fear, an unpleasantness you're now so anxious to avoid that the fun you rediscover is a way fuller and more large-hearted kind of fun. It has something to do with Work as Play. Or with the discovery that disciplined fun is more fun than impulsive or hedonistic fun. Or with figuring out that not all paradoxes have to be paralysing. Under fun's new administration, writing fiction becomes a way to go deep inside yourself and illuminate precisely the stuff you don't want to see or let anyone else see, and this stuff usually turns out (paradoxically) to be precisely the stuff all writers and…"
ego  writers  readers  audience  psychology  howwewrite  fiction  authenticity  2012  fun  writing  creativity  creativewriting  davidfosterwallace 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Tom La Farge, fabulist
"Reading and travel — twin vectors of escape — have formed me as a writer by exciting a love of strangeness and an impatience with exclusive concepts (adult/​child, male/​female, human/​animal) and proprietary domains (realism/​fantasy, serious fiction/​genre fiction). I have always written to readers as a reader."
reading  travel  strangeness  books  constraints  oulipo  writers  writing  nyc  brooklyn  tomlafarge 
october 2012 by robertogreco
WENDY WALKER
"I was born in 1951 in New York City where I still live with my husband, the writer Tom La Farge. Major influences are world travel and the visual arts. I have been a teacher of studio art, art history and creative writing. I have also worked as visual consultant, advisor and curator with a number of galleries, including Art Awareness in Lexington, New York, the Kentler International Drawing Space in Brooklyn and at the Grady Alexis Gallery at El Taller Latino Americano in Manhattan. I am now a core collaborator at Proteus Gowanus in Brooklyn, where I edit Proteotypes, books which grow out of Proteus Gowanus initiatives.

I am working on a poetic non-fiction about the origins of the Gothic novel in Jamaica and Haiti. This book is called SEXUAL STEALING."
proteotypes  proteusgowanus  brooklyn  nyc  tomlafarge  writing  writers  wendywalker 
october 2012 by robertogreco
China Miéville: the future of the novel | Books | guardian.co.uk
"With the internet has come proof that there are audiences way beyond the obvious."

"In fact what's becoming obvious - an intriguing counterpoint to the growth in experiment - is the tenacity of relatively traditional narrative-arc-shaped fiction. But you don't radically restructure how the novel's distributed and not have an impact on its form. Not only do we approach an era when absolutely no one who really doesn't want to pay for a book will have to, but one in which the digital availability of the text alters the relationship between reader, writer, and book. The text won't be closed."

"A collection of artists and activists advocating the neoliberalisation of children's minds. That is scandalous and stupid. The text is open. This should – could – be our chance to remember that it was never just us who made it, and it was never just ours."

"We piss and moan about the terrible quality of self-published books, as if slews of god-awful crap weren't professionally expensively published every year."

"There's a contingent relationship between book sales and literary merit, so we should totally break the pretence at a connection, because of our amplifying connection to everyone else, and orient future-ward with a demand.

What if novelists and poets were to get a salary, the wage of a skilled worker?"

"This would only be an exaggeration of the national stipends already offered by some countries for some writers. For the great majority of people who write, it would mean an improvement in their situation, an ability to write full-time. For a few it would mean an income cut, but you know what? It was a good run. And surely it's easily worth it to undermine the marketisation of literature for some kind of collectivity.

But who decides who qualifies as a writer? Does it take one sonnet? Of what quality? Ten novels? 50,000 readers? Ten, but the right readers? God knows we shouldn't trust the state to make that kind of decision. So we should democratise that boisterous debate, as widely and vigorously as possible. It needn't be the mere caprice of taste. Which changes. And people are perfectly capable of judging as relevant and important literature for which they don't personally care. Mistakes will be made, sure, but will they really be worse than the philistine thuggery of the market?

We couldn't bypass the state with this plan, though. So for the sake of literature, apart from any- and everything else, we'll have to take control of it, invert its priorities, democratise its structures, replace it with a system worth having.

So an unresentful sense of writers as people among people, and a fidelity to literature, require political and economic transformation. For futures for novels – and everything else. In the context of which futures, who knows what politics, what styles and which contents, what relationships to what reconceived communities, which struggles to express what inexpressibles, what stories and anti-stories we will all strive and honourably fail to write, and maybe even one day succeed?"
writers  writing  publishers  democratization  democracy  futures  politics  selfpublishing  self-publishing  neoliberalism  copyright  hypertextnovels  fiction  literature  weirdfictionreview  ubuweb  lyricalrealism  zadiesmith  jamesjoyce  poulocoelho  oulipo  modernism  brunoschulz  lawrencedurrell  borges  ebooks  hypertext  hypertextfiction  text  cv  economics  publishing  leisurearts  bookfuturism  futureofbooks  2012  chinamieville  collectivity  money  artleisure 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Personal Libraries Library
"The Personal Libraries Library is a specially-curated lending library located in Portland, Oregon. The Library is dedicated to recreating the personal libraries of artists, philosophers, scientists, writers and other thinkers & makers. The collection has commenced with the personal libraries of Maria Mitchell, the 19th-century astronomer, librarian, educator and suffragist and Robert Smithson (1938-1973), the influential artist, writer and thinker. Recent additions to the Library are the personal libraries of Italo Calvino & Jorge Luis Borges. Subsequent personal libraries of interest to collect belong to: Buckminster Fuller, Hannah Arendt, Lady Bird Johnson and Yoko Ono.

Members can check out books for an initial three-week period, with additional renewals possible. The Library resides in NE Portland, and has Reading Room Hours monthly. Please see Membership and Reading Room information below."
presonallibrarieslibrary  personallibraries  books  writers  lcproject  literature  philosophy  philosophers  yokoono  ladybirdjohnson  abraancliffe  mariamitchell  robertsmithson  italocalvino  borges  buckminsterfuller  hannaharendt  science  art  oregon  portland  library  libraries 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Gabriel Garcia Marquez Meets Ernest Hemingway (and how I learned of Marquez's Nobel) - David Dobbs's Somatic Marker
"Somehow this completes a circle: Hemingway, Garcia commenting on Hemingway's bullfighter Spanish, and the Colombian wine steward, beaming, bringing me the news of Garcia's own triumph."
hemingway  gabrielgarcíamárquez  writers  idols  spanish  español  encounters  literature  virginiawoolf  williamfaulkner 
november 2011 by robertogreco
How to write fiction: Andrew Miller on creating characters | Books | guardian.co.uk
When we set out to write, we do not do so out of a sense of certainty but out of a kind of radical uncertainty. We do not set out saying: "The world is like this." But asking: "How is the world?"
books  writing  fiction  thinking  storytelling  2011  andrewmiller  characters  literature  understanding  sensemaking  writers  classideas 
november 2011 by robertogreco
275 Cultural Icons: Great Artists, Writers & Thinkers in Their Own Words | Open Culture
"Great writers, dazzling filmmakers and musicians, brilliant philosophers and scientists — you can now hear and see them in their own words. Here we present audio and video that captures the words of our greatest cultural icons."
education  culture  art  writing  writers  video  thinkers  filmmaking  music  firstperson  audio  classideas  primarysources  wcydwt 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Zadie Smith's rules for writers | Books | guardian.co.uk
"1 When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

2 When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.

3 Don't romanticise your "vocation". You can either write good sentences or you can't. There is no "writer's lifestyle". All that matters is what you leave on the page.

4 Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can't do aren't worth doing. Don't mask self-doubt with contempt.

5 Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.

6 Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won't make your writing any better than it is.

7 Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.

8 Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

9 Don't confuse honours with achievement…"

[See also http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/10-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-two and http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one and (adding this much later) http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/19/zadie-smith-10-rules-of-writing/ ]
zadiesmith  writing  advice  writers  2010  honors  achievement  reading  howwework 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Byliner
"Introducing Byliner Originals. Great writers. Compelling stories. Told at their proper length."
writing  journalism  news  books  writers  byliner  longform  longformjournalism  shorts 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Don DeLillo Biography
"This biography is largely an oral auto-biography, stitched together from the various interviews. All the passages below that are in quotes are from DeLillo himself, and the other text is from the interviewer noted below each entry."
dondelillo  biography  writing  writers  via:robinsloan  quotes  interviews 
april 2011 by robertogreco
vizKult vizKult vizKult
"About vizKlut: This panel is part of vizKult, a loose band of artist and writers exploring the ‘cult of vision’. This group explores the ways in which the visual operates in our society and the mechanism which manufacture, shape, and control the world around us. In this sense VizKult’s emphasis is on the process rather than the products of our contemporary visual condition."
vizkult  art  situationist  anarchism  self-education  education  arts  unitaryurbanism  urban  urbanism  nyc  visual  cultofvision  writers  writing 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Ted Chiang on Writing - Boing Boing
"Science fiction and fantasy are very closely related genres, and a lot of people say that the genres are so close that there's actually no meaningful distinction to be made between the two. But I think that there does exist an useful distinction to be made between magic and science. One way to look at it is in terms of whether a given phenomenon can be mass-produced. [...] I think magic is an indication that the universe recognizes certain people as individuals, as having special properties as an individual, whereas a story in which turning lead into gold is an industrial process is describing a completely impersonal universe. That type of impersonal universe is how science views the universe; it's how we currently understand our universe to work. The difference between magic and science is at some level a difference between the universe responding to you in a personal way, and the universe being entirely impersonal."

[via: http://interconnected.org/home/2011/01/02/ted_chiang_makes_a_neat_distinction ]
writing  scifi  writers  science  sciencefiction  interviews  tedchiang  magic  fantasy  universe  individual  individualism  understanding  philosophy 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Rebecca Solnit - Wikipedia
"Rebecca Solnit (born 1961) is a writer who lives in San Francisco. She has written on a variety of subjects including the environment, politics, place, and art. [1]

She skipped high school altogether, enrolling in an alternative junior high in the public school system that took her through tenth grade, when she passed the GED exam. Thereafter she enrolled in junior college. When she was 17 she went to study in Paris. She ultimately returned to California and finished her college education at San Francisco State University when she was 20.[2] She then received a Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley[3] in 1984 and has been an independent writer since 1988. Prior to this she was a museum researcher and art critic.[4] She has worked on environmental and human rights campaigns since the 1980s, notably with the Western Shoshone Defense Project in the early 1990s, as described in her book Savage Dreams, and with antiwar activists throughout the Bush era."
literature  rebeccasolnit  unschooling  deschooling  alternative  education  sanfrancisco  california  writing  writers  books  wanderlust  wandering  walking  nomads  neo-nomads  nature 
december 2010 by robertogreco
The New Yorker - publicradiointernational: In which we learn that...
"publicradiointernational: In which we learn that Salman Rushdie is a fan of video games. “I think video games exist to allow children to feel superior to their parents.”<br />
<br />
Salman Rushdie and Nicholson Baker should be friends. They could bond over video games and their feelings about Michiko Kakutani."
salmanrushdie  nicholsonbaker  michikokakutani  writing  writers  videogames  games  gaming 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Annie Dillard and the Writing Life by Alexander Chee - The Morning News
"If I’ve done my job…you won’t be happy w/ anything you write for the next 10 years…not because you won’t be writing well, but because I’ve raised your standards for yourself. Don’t compare yourselves to each other. Compare yourself to Colette, Henry James, or Edith Wharton. Compare yourselves to classics. Shoot there.

She paused here…another of her fugue states. & then she smiled. We all knew she was right.

Go up to the place in the bookstore where your books will go, she said. Walk right up & find your place on the shelf. Put your finger there, & then go every time.

In class, the idea seemed ridiculous. But at some point after the class ended, I did it. I walked up to the shelf. Chabon, Cheever. I put my finger between them & made a space. Soon, I did it every time I went to a bookstore.

Years later, I tell my own students to do it. As Thoreau, someone she admires very much, once wrote, “In the long run, we only ever hit what we aim at.” She was pointing us there."
via:lukeneff  anniedillard  creativity  writing  writers  teaching  education  advice  reading  learning  craft  alexanderchee  classideas  expectations  comparison 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Literary Writers and Social Media: A Response to Zadie Smith - Alexis Madrigal - Technology - The Atlantic
"When professional writers, especially ones trained in the literary arts, see horrifically bad writing online, they recoil. All their training about the value of diverse (or, you know, heteroglossic) societies and the equality of classes goes flying out the window. Social media acts as a kind of truth serum, as Marshall Kirkpatrick likes to say: This is how the masses of people talk. This is how the masses of people write. Not moonlighting bloggers. Not the 20 million NPR listeners. But the other 300 million people trying to LOL their way through boring days at office jobs or in Iraq.

I think we confuse the ability to see what everyday writing looks like -- and probably has for a long time -- with a change in how people write. Toss in that the traditional (usually religious) practices and sayings around serious topics like death or childbearing have lost valence, and you get people just saying what comes to mind. It's not always pretty."
zadiesmith  alexismadrigal  writing  writers  reality  thesocialnetwork  facebook  socialmedia  theory  colloquialwriting  snobbery  insularity  everydaywriting  literature  media  immaturity  perspective 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Blogger, Reporter, Author « Snarkmarket [One of three Snarkmarket posts on Marc Ambinder's "I Am a Blogger No Longer", links to them all here: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/6396]
"So far, we have lived in a world where most the bloggers who have been successful have done so by being authors — by being taken seriously as distinct voices and personalities with particular obsessions and expertise about the world. And that colors — I won’t say distorts, but I almost mean that — our perception of what blogging is.<br />
<br />
There are plenty of professional bloggers who don’t have that. (I read tech blogs every day, and couldn’t name you a single person who writes for Engadget right now.) They might conform to a different stereotype about bloggers. But that’s okay. I really did write snarky things about obscure gadgets in my basement while wearing pajama pants this morning. But I don’t act, write, think, or dress like that every day."
blogging  journalism  timcarmody  snarkmarket  blogs  marcambinder  authors  athorship  writing  writers  identity  voice  publishing  newspapers  magazines 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Truman Capote - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"When he was 17, Capote's formal education ended when he was employed at The New Yorker magazine, which he held for two years. Years later, he reminisced, "Not a very grand job, for all it really involved was sorting cartoons and clipping newspapers. Still, I was fortunate to have it, especially since I was determined never to set a studious foot inside a college classroom. I felt that either one was or wasn't a writer, and no combination of professors could influence the outcome. I still think I was correct, at least in my own case."" [Summarized youth here: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2010/09/30]
trumancapote  dropouts  education  unschooling  deschooling  writers  biography 
october 2010 by robertogreco
A Happy Writer Is a Lousy Writer? - Wordtastic - GOOD
"So why do crappy moods have such un-crappy consequences? Forgas said, “The most likely explanation is based on evolutionary theorising—affective states serve an adaptive purpose, subconsciously alerting us to apply the most useful information processing strategy to the task at hand. A negative mood is like an alarm signal, indicating that the situation is problematic, and requires more attentive, careful and vigilant processing—hence the greater attention to concrete information.”
writing  writers  mood  science  depression  happiness  language  culture  psychology 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Ten rules for writing fiction | Books | guardian.co.uk
"Get an accountant, abstain from sex and similes, cut, rewrite, then cut and rewrite again – if all else fails, pray. Inspired by Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing, we asked authors for their personal dos and don'ts"
culture  books  tips  literature  howto  advice  fiction  writing  tutorials  rules  writers  classideas 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Many Minds, One Story § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM
"Virginia Woolf’s mental illness may have ultimately defined her craft—one that rejected convention in a decades-long attempt to portray the very character of consciousness."
health  writers  neuroscience  virginiawoolf  mentalillness  bipolardisorder  writing  consciousness  convention  mentalhealth 
february 2010 by robertogreco
LRB · Bridget Riley: At the End of My Pencil
“For me, drawing is an inquiry, a way of finding out – the first thing that I discover is that I do not know. This is alarming even to the point of momentary panic. Only experience reassures me that this encounter with my own ignorance – with the unknown – is my chosen and particular task, and provided I can make the required effort the rewards may reach the unimaginable.”

[via: http://anti-mega.com/antimega/2009/10/18/whatever-diminishes-constraint-diminishes-strength ]
design  learning  art  drawing  painting  inquiry  writers  constraints  ignorance  cv  process  freesom 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Why are we still reading Dickens? | Books | guardian.co.uk
"These are all wonderful reasons to read Dickens. But these are not exactly the reasons why I read Dickens.
culture  books  charlesdickens  writing  language  literature  reading  fiction  motivation  writers 
september 2009 by robertogreco
kung fu grippe - "...that kind of a machine..."
"I can’t believe I’ve made it this long without ever hearing this audio, described as Vonnegut’s “first public reading of the classic Breakfast of Champions, three years before it was published, on May 4, 1970 at the 92nd Street Y.” ... When you hear Kurt Vonnegut reading this aloud you appreciate the necessity of science fiction; it’s a way we crazy people have of talking about the world without talking about the world. I didn’t always get that, but now I really think I do."
merlinmann  vonnegut  literature  sciencefiction  scifi  writers  books  kurtvonnegut 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Eduardo Galeano Contemplates History’s Paradoxes
"I found the context of this radio interview intriguing for a number of reasons. The setting of a cafe as a place to think and plot and plan future worlds — of course this is resonant to me. The right cafes are peerless as places to think, observe, meet people, write, sketch, ponder. Much, much better than just about any of the social settings available in digital environments. I mean, really — Facebook is an obscure diacritic in the language of human social practices as far as my experience suggests."
eduardogaleano  thinking  facebook  writing  thirdplaces  julianbleecker  djangoreinhardt  jazz  cafes  music  books  latinamerica  uruguay  writers  thirdspaces  openstudioproject 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Eduardo Galeano Contemplates History's Paradoxes : NPR
"Now 68, the Uruguayan author spends most days at his favorite cafe in Montevideo, Uruguay, where fans phone to ask if he is there or when he's expected. Sometimes they leave letters and books for him to sign. Galeano says he was formed in this cafe and others like it:

"These were my universities. Here in cafes is where I learned the art of storytelling — great anonymous storytellers that taught me how to do it," he says. "I love these places where we may have time to lose time. It is a luxury in this world." ... When it's time to leave the cafe, a friend appears outside to give him a lift. Galeano doesn't drive, nor does he use his cell phone much. He suspects his computer — and all computers — drink whiskey at night when nobody's watching.

"And that's why next day they do some enigmatic things that nobody can understand," he says."

[via: http://www.nearfuturelaboratory.com/2009/08/26/eduardo-galeano-contemplates-historys-paradoxes/ ]
eduardogaleano  writing  thinking  technology  mobile  phones  computers  myth  storytelling  history  thirdplaces  paradox  jazz  djangoreinhardt  music  books  writers  latinamerica  uruguay  cafes  thirdspaces  openstudioproject 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Daily Routines
"How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days."
routine  howwework  artists  writers  writing  art  blogs  organization  creativity 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Annals of Culture: Late Bloomers: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker
"Late bloomers’ stories are invariably love stories, and this may be why we have such difficulty with them. We’d like to think that mundane matters like loyalty, steadfastness, and the willingness to keep writing checks to support what looks like failure have nothing to do with something as rarefied as genius. But sometimes genius is anything but rarefied; sometimes it’s just the thing that emerges after twenty years of working at your kitchen table."

[more at: http://www.kottke.org/08/10/gladwell-on-early-and-lateblooming-geniuses ]
malcolmgladwell  genius  art  creativity  work  success  relationships  writers  writing  culture  history  publishing  books  psychology  education  life  age  latebloomers  cezanne 
october 2008 by robertogreco
The Hollywood writer's strike (Scripting News)
"Creative work won't be directly paid for in the future. And we're already in that future."
davewiner  writing  writers  hollywood  internet  web  online  youtube  money  future  change  media 
december 2007 by robertogreco

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