“A man who is not born with the novel-writing gift has a troublesome time of it when he tries to build a novel. I know this from experience. He has no clear idea of his story; in fact he has no story. He merely has some people in his mind, and an incident or two, also a locality, and he trusts he can plunge those people into those incidents with interesting results. So he goes to work. To write a novel? No—that is a thought which comes later; in the beginning he is only proposing to tell a little tale, a very little tale, a six-page tale. But as it is a tale which he is not acquainted with, and can only find out what it is by listening as it goes along telling itself, it is more than apt to go on and on and on till it spreads itself into a book. I know about this, because it has happened to me so many times.”—Mark Twain (via martinaboone)
If “The Marriage Plot,” by Jeffrey Eugenides, had been written by a woman yet still had the same title and wedding ring on its cover, would it have received a great deal of serious literary attention? Or would this novel (which I loved) have been relegated to “Women’s Fiction,” that close-quartered lower shelf where books emphasizing relationships and the interior lives of women are often relegated? Certainly “The Marriage Plot,” Eugenides’s first novel since his Pulitzer Prize-winning “Middlesex,” was poised to receive tremendous literary interest regardless of subject matter, but the presence of a female protagonist, the gracefulness, the sometimes nostalgic tone and the relationship-heavy nature of the book only highlight the fact that many first-rate books by women and about women’s lives never find a way to escape “Women’s Fiction” and make the leap onto the upper shelf where certain books, most of them written by men (and, yes, some women — more about them later), are prominently displayed and admired.
What is your opinion on audio books? Do you listen to any?
I haven’t listened to one in a while but they’re great. What’s kept me from them, mostly, is that they cost as much - if not more - than a real book, and I’d rather read on paper. I buy them, and listen to them, most when I’m traveling a lot or have a long commute. It’s a great hands-free way of consuming literature. Frequently they are narrated by great people who can really make the story come alive, which I love.
Perhaps once I’m over this podcast phase I’m in right now, I’ll move back to audiobooks. I say go for them if you like them though! Anyway to get the books in your brain!
So, I know a lot of people have been speculating that Castle and Beckett will get together in the beginning of the finale or before it, only to have Beckett stumble upon Castle’s murder board at the end of the episode (cue cliffhanger). However, I really doubt that’ll be the case.
We were discussing homosexuality because of an allusion to it in the book we were reading, and several boys made comments such as, “That’s disgusting.” We got into the debate and eventually a boy admitted that he was terrified/disgusted when he was once sharing a taxi and the…
Every time I see a story like this, I think of that scene in The Rowan when the big guy (whose name I’m blanking on) can’t find origami paper in his desk because of all of paper’s replacements in the future.
Yes, I realize by referencing a book most of you have probably never heard of, let alone read, I’m outing my sci-fi loving self. But that Anne McCaffrey series was really good. It was almost as influential on me as Ender’s Game.