John Pistelli

writer

Tag Archives: creative writing

My Year in Books, 2018

Looking back, I see that I did a lot of rereading in 2018. Some of it was out of necessity (teaching), and some for pleasure. Some of it showed up … Continue reading

31 December 2018 · Leave a comment

In Praise of Semicolons

Literary influence is usually amorphous, which is why an influence-obsessed critic like Harold Bloom has to bring in words like clinamen, tesserae, and apophrades as well as esoteric schools of … Continue reading

22 December 2018 · 2 Comments

Q, Conspiracy, and the Novel; or, Why Portraits and Ashes Should Be Your Summer Read

Readers who perceive an esoteric subtext to my writing and who therefore keep a paranoiac tally of my cryptic allusions will recall that I have mentioned the “Q” or “Qanon” … Continue reading

1 July 2018 · 1 Comment

My Year in Books, 2017

But let’s start with movies. Ten years ago, the Scottish musician and critic Momus observed that one of the most acclaimed films of 2007, Guillermo del Toro’s Spanish-Civil-War fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth, … Continue reading

31 December 2017 · Leave a comment

Buy Portraits and Ashes for Small Business Saturday!

There was a debate recently on social media over indie press Tyrant Books’s tweeted proclamation that “they no longer accept agented authors.” The pro-agent side argued that agents were necessary … Continue reading

25 November 2017 · Leave a comment

Back to School: Literature and Life

Older generations of writers who had come up through the ranks of journalism (and who had often been to war) used to complain about the academic colonization of literature, particularly … Continue reading

5 September 2017 · Leave a comment

Announcing Portraits and Ashes

As you might have guessed from yesterday’s defense of self-published literary fiction, I have independently published a novel, Portraits and Ashes. For a brief description, here is the back cover copy: … Continue reading

28 June 2017 · 2 Comments

Literary Fiction: To Self-Publish or Not?

If American literature had been left wholly in the hands of established publishers—Ticknor and Fields, for instance—Longfellow might have remained our greatest poet. But Walt Whitman, an American, one of … Continue reading

27 June 2017 · 13 Comments

Composition: Planned vs. Unplanned, Written vs. Typed

(Inspired loosely by this essay on planning vs. non-planning novelists.) I have written two and a half novels now, and my method seems to always be the same, despite my … Continue reading

5 August 2016 · 1 Comment

Published: “White Girl”

My short story, “White Girl,” which I had thought too controversial to be published even before it took on a new and ghastly relevance this summer, appears in the first … Continue reading

26 July 2016 · Leave a comment