August 30, 2012
When I find that a sentence I’m writing isn’t working, I don’t think about what I want that sentence to look like or to be; I don’t pull it from the page to weigh it in my hand; I don’t worry over its internal balance. I simply ask myself, ‘What do I need this sentence to do?’
August 27, 2012
It turns out that it was hard for me to find a good wedding reading because I’m a gloomy old bastard.
August 16, 2012
by Bill Morris
Elvis’s life is a weirdly precise mirror of America’s story. Both the man and the nation began humbly — poor, neglected, despised. Both awoke to an inner flame, a gift, that was then harnessed to a ferocious drive. Both used that gift and that drive to create something unprecedented, something dangerous and irresistible and magnificent, which led to unimagined power and riches. Both were consumed by their power and wealth, became distrustful and insular, grew fat and sloppy, then slid into a terminal decline.
August 15, 2012
If it sounds like I’m saying, “It’s all about who you know,” that’s because that is exactly what I’m saying. You can rail about how unfair that is, and how it makes publishing into an incestuous little club, and to a degree you would be right. But that’s the way the machine is built, people.
August 13, 2012
My decade-long enamor with the poets and writers of the Beat Generation was about to pay off. As the only woman who adored Kerouac, I would be the vixen of the literary matchmaking board.
August 10, 2012
Reacting to the opening ceremony, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, a fearless and outspoken critic of his own government’s totalitarian ways, put his finger on the zeitgeist when he said that only a free country could have pulled off this kind of an idiosyncratic entertainment that reflected the character of a free people rather than the marketing vision of a police state.
August 8, 2012
Despite all the trouble technology might cause, when it’s absent from contemporary novels, a big white elephant appears on the page and starts ambling around. (Perhaps searching for an unprotected Wi-Fi network?)
August 6, 2012
I will now posit a corollary to Godwin’s Law: as a sportswriter’s career progresses, the probability that he will needlessly invoke Nazis approaches 1.
August 3, 2012
When I saw Love, Here is My Hat, I needed to buy it again because Saroyan appeals to my heart and not my literary head. I bought it because Saroyan signals the pull of something or someplace absent; because the stories collected there are about people trying to make do, to make simple lives of love and happiness; and most of all because the book and that title I’ve never quite understood represent an offer. “Here is my hat.” Perhaps it’s a gesture of surrender, or of begging.
August 1, 2012
Writers I publish with give a look of pain when I tell them I teach high school, wondering how I have any remaining interest or energy to write. I argue that I not only have sufficient time — the summers certainly help — but the emotional freedom that sometimes is only provided through job security.