Today’s the day we honor Douglas Adams. Here’s a link to the essay I wrote about him last fall for largehearted boy. Eat your peanuts, y’all. I feel as though I’m always turning to art to find the same thing, even though it’s often dressed up in camouflage: what I want is a secular point of view that nevertheless retains a certain joy in creation and a sense of...
I had no idea this term/genre existed, but I think my last book was New Weird. I feel both ignorant and excited to learn more. from wikipedia: Various definitions have been given of the genre. According to Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer, in their introduction to the anthology The New Weird, the genre is “a type of urban, secondary-world fiction that subverts the romanticized ideas...
The language of the river was scarcely less enchanting than that of the wind and...– John Muir, from The Mountains of California
On Woolf and Jess Row
Back in my grad school salad days, deep in a cloudy Ithaca fall (my friend Erin likes to say that Ithaca is where clouds go to die), I happened upon Ben Marcus’s Harper’s retort to Johnathan Franzen’s “Why Bother?” article one afternoon and read it with great interest, slurping Gimme Coffee. I was 24 25, an aspiring writer, and naturally interested in the aesthetic...
As for warnings, two are of most importance. On the one hand, don’t overdo...– from John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction, which I have been revisiting of late for my class on writing the novel. Fear of sentimentality and obviousness is a terrible, terrible thing, especially as it’s so very warranted. And yet the heart is the core of it all. Write that, too.
Today, too, in the literary world, a certain aristocracy sees its sun setting:...– From Jess Row’s (amazing) essay on the novel.
Every action or word in a plot ought to count; it ought to be economical and...– E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel
My Essay on Tolkien, Madison, and Writing
Annotations, the alumni magazine of UW-Madison’s English Department, invited me to write an essay for their “Alumni Spotlight” series. I gladly accepted, and dug into some nostalgia. Check it out if you like Tolkien, the Inklings, UW, Madison, Wu-Tang, lit classes, or the anxiety young writers struggle to process when they’re just young pups walking the halls of English...