(Interlude: Essay-Story #2)

The world we are born into is not the one we leave. Mary Ruefle: Madness, Rack, and Honey, 243, 2012. 1938’s Marie Antoinette burbles up another ball scene on the television aspark in a corner of the bedroom, the one to the right of the wall of windows looking out, if windows, like eyes, could… More

(Interlude: Essay-Story #1)

Dr Siegel says You’ve tested negative, and you imagine that the hook hidden in his mouth pierces through each word: his bottom lip sticks against his teeth on negative, as though he could hardly bear to let it go. But Dr. Siegel is like that with words. You remember–when you came before–the particular kind of… More

Reading for the Pleasure of Purpose

An agent friend of mine told me long ago that the best way to learn how to write well was to “read well” – meaning read quality stories, books, perhaps even recipes with nutritious ingredients rather than artificial additives. Unfortunately, I took this advice as the agent “stating the obvious,” thinking it impossible not to… More

The Pleasures of Philosophy

So, when I wrote on reading drama, I was perhaps too optimistic. When I said that drama is a break from prose fiction and that it can be read more quickly, I didn’t take into account that drama, like, I suppose, all genres, can get repetitive. I made the mistake of reading only one author,… More

The Joys of the Amateur

In his book The Cult of the Amateur, Andrew Keen gives a scathing indictment of the brave new world of the internet, arguing that user-created content is lowering the standard and preventing true talent from rising above the tide of garbage. His predictions are nothing if not apocalyptic: he pictures a world where newspapers go… More

The Pleasures of Drama

I wrote in my last post about the new PBS special Shakespeare Uncovered, and because I walk the walk in addition to blogging the blog, the show inspired me to open Henry V. And I have on my hard drive—taking up space that could otherwise be occupied with pictures of my cat—the collected works of… More