Posts tagged ‘books’

November 25, 2012

Anaïs Nin on the Unfamiliar in Books

Anaïs Nin on Embracing the Unfamiliar

It’s the personal insecurities of leadership which lead to paranoia, the need to control the freedom of individual and social personalities, and finally to mass violence. It’s been true throughout history from Atilla The Hun to Obama. It’s the responsibility of each artist to sieze his or her own piece of space, whether it’s geographic or psychic, and to produce art within his or her own chaos of freedom. “A room of one’s own,” yes?

Nin says:

The men who built America were the genuine physical adventurers in a physical world. This world once built, we need adventurers in the realm of art and science. If we suppress the adventure of the spirit, we will have the anarchist and the rebel, who will burst out from too narrow confines in the form of violence and crime.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/08/anais-nin-unfamiliar/

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March 24, 2012

December 11, 2011

The Daily Beast has a list of 10 books you shouldn’t miss

They say these are: “10 Books That You Might Have Missed but Shouldn’t.” They are titles that might have flown under the radar for you.
There are capsule reviews of the books to help you decide which to read. Enjoy.

1. ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’
2. ‘Habibi’
3. ‘A Book of Secrets’
4. ‘Assassins of the Turquoise Palace’
5. ‘What It Is Like to Go to War’
6. ‘Hemingway’s Boat’
7. ‘Anatomy of a Disappearance’
8. ‘Into the Silence’
9. ‘Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness’
10. ‘Keynes Hayek’

October 13, 2011

Why “The Cats Table,” by Michael Ondaatje Is Not an Interesting Novel

When I read about this novel, I struck by some of its similarities to my own most recent works, Tardy Son and Tesora. I read an excerpt from his latest novel to find out. But I found that it’s all written from a remote adult’s POV with indulgent explanations about the boy with very little emotional or psychological understanding of him. That may have been all right with The English Patient, but not with this one. Instead of the writing being alive like a teenaged boy is, it’s petrified and dusty and conclusive. Life for a boy of that age might be dangerous in this situation, but it is not boring. He doesn’t seek out answers ontologically. A boy looks for gold and squished bugs and is obsessively optimistic.

It seems the closer a subject is to mine, the further the writing is apart from my style. Here’s a link to a NYTimes review of his new novel.

September 27, 2011

Excerpt from Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson

This is a favorite novelist of mine. His prose is straight forward and his action and characters are very alive. Here’s bit of the novel:

July 3, 2011

Except from an Interview with William Giraldi

“It doesn’t bother me [that my students do most of their reading on screens] all that much, actually. Harold Bloom very sensibly talks about saving those students who are saveable, teaching to that minority who have the potential to be transformed by Whitman and Blake, who already suspect that betterment is to be found in books, not in electronic illumination. We writers and teachers don’t change lives, and we certainly don’t make lives. We nudge them. We nudge the nudgeable. Let’s not let anyone tell us that the Internet is going to murder the book, because the automobile has yet to murder the bicycle. The book, like the bicycle, is a perfect invention, and perfection dies hard. What object is more beautiful than a book?”
—Except from an Interview with William Giraldi, writer of the novel, Busy Monsters, by Steve Almond in “Poets and Writers,” July, 2011.

June 16, 2011

“Book sales are up, way up, from twenty years ago.”

McSweeney’s has some positive notes on the state of publishing today. Here. They say: “Book sales are up, way up, from twenty years ago. Young adult readership is far wider and deeper than ever before. Library membership and circulation is at all-time high. The good news goes on and on.” Of course all that takes place with everything else about the industry in a total state of change. Cool.

May 5, 2011

Progress is progress every day

I’m happy to say that all is going well with my new novel, Tesora. Hopefully, I will complete its rough draft by August 1st at 1:00 p.m. This will be my third novel in as many years. I love that feeling of confidence knowing I can succeed every day by making progress on it. My ultimate plan is to finish another forty before I’m done although by then, I’m sure the number of planned novels will be eighty. I can’t stop coming up with new ideas: one problem is deciding which one. The main goal is really to excel and improve with each new day of writing—it’s not a goal of perfection so much as the goal of opening up to the world in my imagination and trying to join a wider world full of imagination. Thanks, readers.

March 7, 2011

A fine interview with Mario Vargas Llosa and the point-of-view of a donkey.

On Michael Silverblatt’s Bookworm radio show (KCRW) there’s a fine interview with Mario Vargas Llosa. They discuss how realist stories have supplanted magicalism in Latin American literature and the use of humor. They talk much about writing itself, and the point-of-view of a donkey. The link is: http://www.kcrw.com/etc/mario-vargas-llosa

March 7, 2011

Writing: The Sweetest Curse

Writing is like pro football—you have to work at it until you sweat every day (and, of course, the injuries are more severe).

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