n. the moment you realize that you’re currently happy—consciously trying to savor the feeling—which prompts your intellect to identify it, pick it apart and put it in context, where it will slowly dissolve until it’s little more than an aftertaste.
“I’d spent quite a few years asking editors and publishers to take a chance on my writing. It felt like the right time to take that chance myself.”—Dallas Hudgens on self-publishing his collection of short stories Wake Up, We’re Here.
“No matter how much we learn, the vision science offers — of ourselves and of the universe — will always be incomplete and consequently imperfect. Stories of gods, angels and rainbow horses will persist in the gaps.”—Maud Newton, “My Son Went to Heaven and All I Got Was a No. 1 Bestseller”
“Sorry burrito lovers, in a list of the most important issues covered this year, the potential closing of [local Mexican restaurant] Los wouldn’t even make the top 10.”—From possibly the snakiest newspaper correction note ever.
It has again been decided that April 27th will be passive voice day. Fun will be had by everybody as the passive voice is used for tweets, blogs, and casual conversation. The active voice will be frowned upon. The hashtag #passivevoiceday should be used when passive voice is used in social…It has again been decided that April 27th will be passive voice day. Fun will be had by everybody as the passive voice is used for tweets, blogs, and casual conversation. The active voice will be frowned upon. The hashtag #passivevoiceday should be used when passive voice is used in social media, so the fun can be shared by all.
Why is this being done? Simple. It’s considered fun. No point is being made. It’s just enjoyed when things are taken to an absurd extreme.
It is hoped we will be joined by you, and that the word will be spread to everybody known.
“Since the fading of the original Enlightenment during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, stubborn impasse has existed in the consilience of the humanities and natural sciences. One way to break it is to collate the creative process and writing styles of literature and scientific research. This might not prove so difficult as it first seems. Innovators in both of two domains are basically dreamers and storytellers. In the early stages of creation of both art and science, everything in the mind is a story. There is an imagined denouement, and perhaps a start, and a selection of bits and pieces that might fit in between. In works of literature and science alike, any part can be changed, causing a ripple among the other parts, some of which are discarded and new ones added. The surviving fragments are variously joined and separated, and moved about as the story forms. One scenario emerges, then another. The scenarios, whether literary or scientific in nature, compete. Words and sentences (or equations or experiments) are tried. Early on an end to all the imagining is conceived. It seems a wondrous denouement (or scientific breakthrough). But is it the best, is it true? To bring the end safely home is the goal of the creative mind. Whatever that might be, wherever located, however expressed, it begins as a phantom that might up until the last moment fade and be replaced. Inexpressible thoughts flit along the edges. As the best fragments solidify, they are put in place and moved about, and the story grows and reaches its inspired end. Flannery O’Connor asked, correctly, for all of us, literary authors and scientists, “How can I know what I mean until I see what I say?” The novelist says, “Does that work?,” and the scientist says, “Could that possibly be true?”—E. O. Wilson, “On the Origin of the Arts”
Did the Poets.org Tumblr get hacked, or are we all being held hostage by the most asinine Dashboard vandal known to man? Rob, whoever you are, please return to wherever you are needed before this drags on any longer.
“The editor came back to the office; I assumed we would now have a discussion involving someone with a wider knowledge of literature. My editor has an undergraduate degree from Oxford in French and Italian; he has an M.Litt. for a thesis on Music and Montale; presumably someone who has read Montale &c. &c. The office was on the 55th floor of a building looking down Manhattan; it was so high you could see the East River and the West River and the end of the island, it was the office of a Master of the Universe.
In this office we have a stupid, petty little conversation. The editor explains that if one does not italicise the titles of books it looks like carelessness. He explains that there are rules. The production manager explains that there are rules. I explain that the Chicago Manual of Style has only whatever authority we choose to give it. I explain: Look, these are two characters obsessed with numbers. The Chicago Manual of Style does not have a rule for using numerals in texts about characters obsessed with numbers because THIS BOOK HAD NOT BEEN WRITTEN when they last drew up the Chicago Manual of Style. They could not ANTICIPATE the need for a rule because the book did not then exist. I WROTE THE BOOK so I am obviously in a better position to decide what usage is correct for its characters than a group of people in Chicago who have NEVER SEEN IT.”—Helen DeWitt
Wouldn’t you rather be known as a great exponent of literature rather than as an African American writer?
It’s very important to me that my work be African American; if it assimilates into a different or larger pool, so much the better. But I shouldn’t be asked to do that. Joyce is not asked to do that. Tolstoy is not. I mean, they can all be Russian, French, Irish or Catholic, they write out of where they come from, and I do too. It just so happens that that space for me is African American; it could be Catholic, it could be Midwestern. I’m those things too, and they are all important.