I read. I write. I spend all together too much time on the internet. I talk incessantly about books, TV and movies. I write for Hello Giggles, and tweet frequently as Bookoisseur.
~ Friday, December 14 ~
For our time the most effective agent of the moral imagination has been the novel of the last two hundred years. It was never, either aesthetically or morally, a perfect form and its faults and failures can quickly be enumerated. But its greatness and its practical usefulness lay in its unremitting work of involving the reader himself in the moral life, inviting him to put his own motives under examination, suggesting that reality is not as his conventional education as led him to see it. It taught us, as no other genre ever did, the extent of human variety and the value of this variety. It was the literary form to which the emotions of understanding and forgiveness were indigenous, as if by the definition of the form itself.

Lionel Trilling, “Manners, Morals, and the Novel”

Oh, Lionel. Took a little journey back down grad school lane last night.

(via thelifeguardlibrarian)

Tags: history lionel trilling lit the novel prose
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~ Monday, December 10 ~
Permalink Tags: lit libraries librarians prose books
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~ Tuesday, November 27 ~
It is the storyteller who makes us what we are, who creates history. The storyteller creates the memory that the survivors must have — otherwise their surviving would have no meaning.
— Chinua Achebe, born on this day in 1930. (via thelifeguardlibrarian)
Tags: lit prose storytelling chinua achebe
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David Sedaris Reads Miranda July’s short story “Roy Spivey” for this month’s New Yorker Fiction Podcast. Happy holidays!

Tags: lit libraries miranda july david sedaris prose fiction reading
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~ Wednesday, June 6 ~

“As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.”—Ray Bradbury


“As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.”—Ray Bradbury

Tags: Lit writing science prose fiction ray bradbury
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~ Sunday, March 25 ~
Writers nowadays shouldn’t ignore the reality of objective evidence and our current journalistic standards for assessing it, or insist that facts and fact-checkers have no place in writing, but they also shouldn’t ignore the rich heritage of non-fact-checked nonfiction that got us to this point.
— Colin Dickey (LA Review of Books) on the continued discucssion of facts and fictions (via thelifeguardlibrarian)
Tags: essay fiction john d'agata lit prose the lifespan of a fact writing larb
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~ Thursday, March 22 ~
The novel, of course, is an unequaled medium for the exploration of human social and emotional life. And there is evidence that just as the brain responds to depictions of smells and textures and movements as if they were the real thing, so it treats the interactions among fictional characters as something like real-life social encounters.
— Annie Murphy Paul, “Your Brain on Fiction” (New York Times)
Tags: BRAINNNS lit science fiction prose writing authors
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~ Wednesday, March 7 ~
Permalink Tags: Prose Lit How to Seduce a Writer A Really Useful Post
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~ Monday, February 27 ~
Good prose is like a windowpane.
— George Orwell, “Why I Write” (via thelifeguardlibrarian)
Tags: lit prose writing george orwell
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~ Sunday, February 26 ~
Being able to make right the many quotations that appear on the internet either incorrectly attributed to E.B. White, badly mangled, or completely without a source reference was one of the primary reasons I decided to edit ‘In the Words of E.B. White’.
— Martha White, via “When E.B. White is also Grandpa” (via thelifeguardlibrarian)
Tags: lit eb white prose writing
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~ Tuesday, February 21 ~
When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.
— (via writersrelief)
Tags: Writer's Relief James Earl Jones writing reading readers language words lit literature drama poetry prose essays short stories novels books plays poets authors writers create imagination ideas
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~ Monday, February 6 ~
Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.
— Jessamyn West (via writersrelief)
Tags: Writer's Relief fiction reading readers writing writers books novels short stories prose quotes by writers
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~ Tuesday, January 10 ~
There are nineteen rules governing literary art in domain of romantic fiction — some say twenty-two. In “Deerslayer,” Cooper violated eighteen of them. These eighteen require:

1. That a tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere. But the “Deerslayer” tale accomplishes nothing and arrives in air.

2. They require that the episodes in a tale shall be necessary parts of the tale, and shall help to develop it. But as the “Deerslayer” tale is not a tale, and accomplishes nothing and arrives nowhere, the episodes have no rightful place in the work, since there was nothing for them to develop.

3. They require that the personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others. But this detail has often been overlooked in the “Deerslayer” tale.

4. They require that the personages in a tale, both dead and alive, shall exhibit a sufficient excuse for being there. But this detail also has been overlooked in the “Deerslayer” tale.

5. The require that when the personages of a tale deal in conversation, the talk shall sound like human talk, and be talk such as human beings would be likely to talk in the given circumstances, and have a discoverable meaning, also a discoverable purpose, and a show of relevancy, and remain in the neighborhood of the subject at hand, and be interesting to the reader, and help out the tale, and stop when the people cannot think of anything more to say. But this requirement has been ignored from the beginning of the “Deerslayer” tale to the end of it.

6. They require that when the author describes the character of a personage in the tale, the conduct and conversation of that personage shall justify said description. But this law gets little or no attention in the “Deerslayer” tale, as Natty Bumppo’s case will amply prove.

7. They require that when a personage talks like an illustrated, gilt-edged, tree-calf, hand-tooled, seven- dollar Friendship’s Offering in the beginning of a paragraph, he shall not talk like a negro minstrel in the end of it. But this rule is flung down and danced upon in the “Deerslayer” tale.

8. They require that crass stupidities shall not be played upon the reader as “the craft of the woodsman, the delicate art of the forest,” by either the author or the people in the tale. But this rule is persistently violated in the “Deerslayer” tale.

9. They require that the personages of a tale shall confine themselves to possibilities and let miracles alone; or, if they venture a miracle, the author must so plausibly set it forth as to make it look possible and reasonable. But these rules are not respected in the “Deerslayer” tale.

10. They require that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of the “Deerslayer” tale dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together.

11. They require that the characters in a tale shall be so clearly defined that the reader can tell beforehand what each will do in a given emergency. But in the “Deerslayer” tale, this rule is vacated.

In addition to these large rules, there are some little ones. These require that the author shall:

12. Say what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it.

13. Use the right word, not its second cousin.

14. Eschew surplusage.

15. Not omit necessary details.

16. Avoid slovenliness of form.

17. Use good grammar.

18. Employ a simple and straightforward style.

Mark Twain’s rants on James Fenimore Cooper via “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offences: 18 Rants by Mark Twain

Eschew surplusage!

(via thelifeguardlibrarian)

Tags: Lit james fenimore cooper mark twain prose writing hahahha eschew surplusage
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~ Monday, January 9 ~
To survive, you must tell stories.
— Umberto Eco, born today in 1932 (via thelifeguardlibrarian)
Tags: Lit writing prose umberto eco
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~ Tuesday, December 27 ~
Permalink Tags: Writer's Relief blog writing writers Writing tips writer problems ideas inspiration authors poets lit literature poetry books short stories prose editing publishing publishing tips literary journals lit mag literary agencies
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