Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another Info/Link Dump

"Many young writers, I think, are drawn to what is unkindly called 'purple prose,' and most find themselves pilloried for their efforts. This kind of lavish, ambitious language is easy to fail at and easy to make fun of. Almost all of my own early work was met with rejections, dozens and dozens of them, that began with the chilling phrase 'The prose is beautiful, but...' The typical response to this barrage of criticism seems, sadly, not to continue trying to write better, richly metaphorical, muscular prose, but to retreat into something flatter and less adorned. For fiction writers there's no way round having to write some fairly serviceable sentences—'Nina had spent the night in the living-room' (Alice Munro), or 'The house wasn't clean' (William Trevor)—but that isn't a reason to give up on the excitement and the possibilities of language. The notion of a painter who isn't interested in paint is baffling, but many writers (I exclude poets) don't actually seem that interested in language. They are convinced that the interest of their work lies in characterization, plot, and theme." —Margot Livesey

Anonymous telling Westboro to chill out.

Laura's cool Field Guide to one of my favorite prose writers, Blake Butler. 

OMG. I missed the Word on Wayne White. But I'M HERE NOW. This dude is a stellar artist.

This is from the next book on my To-Buy List: Methland by Nick Reding. 

  On a cold winter night, Roland Jarvis looked out the window of his mother’s house and saw that the Oelwein police had hung live human heads in the trees of the yard. Jarvis knew the police did this when they meant to spy on people suspected of being meth cooks. The heads were informants, placed like demonic ornaments to look in the windows and through the walls. As Jarvis studied them, they mumbled and squinted hard to see what was inside the house. Then the heads—satisfied that Jarvis was in fact cooking meth in the basement—conveyed the message to a black helicopter hovering over the house. The whoosh of the blades was hushed and all but inaudible, so Jarvis didn’t notice the helicopter until he saw the heads tilt back on their limbs and stare at the cold night sky. By then, Jarvis knew he had to hurry: once the helicopter sent coordinates to the cop shop, it would be only moments before they raided the house.
Sam Harris with a Real Ideas piece on gun violence/laws.

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