What is fiction? What is it for? Hints at an answer to these imponderables turn up in the unlikeliest places. For example, in an old article on psychology's replication crisis: If it turned out that people were so variable that even very close replications threw up entirely different results, “it would mean that we could … Continue reading Manifesto, Advertisement, and Excerpt: Introducing The Class of 2000
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 thought like gnosticism, kabbalah, and psychoanalysis to explain it. Even when you can identify what one writer took from another, it is often a matter … Continue reading In Praise of Semicolons
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 as advocates for the economic and creative interests of authors, while the anti-agent side claimed that agents were bottom-line-focused gatekeepers of the middlebrow, inescapable duller … Continue reading Buy Portraits and Ashes for Small Business Saturday!
Let us continue to count, and talk, and think about the numbers. —Claire Vaye Watkins As one of the major theses of Claire Vaye Watkins’s celebrated manifesto, “On Pandering,” is that the subject-position I represent should not be acknowledged as a legitimate authority on the essay’s quality or cogency, I will not address myself to … Continue reading Punching What?
First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process by Robert D. Richardson My rating: 4 of 5 stars I'm not sure I got what I was supposed to from this book, even as it is a book that argues for the rights of readers to get whatever they need from their reading. … Continue reading Robert D. Richardson, First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process
My short story, "The Embrace"—in my view, the best of my short stories to be published so far—appears in Vol. 3 of Winter Tangerine Review, an ebook version of which you can download instantly for $10. To arouse your interest in this tale about mothers and daughters, mollusks and marriage, adolescence and the ocean, sex … Continue reading “The Embrace”