shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


thursday hangovers

Lots of good stuff this morning.

So, blogger really has been screwed up lately. Good to know officially. (Via John Klima.)(It was definitely screwed up this morning when it ate my first post of the day.)

Maud Newton has an excellent entry on being a slacker (yeah, right) and her classmate Chris Adrian's success.

Paul Ingram of Prairie Books reacts to the news of Frank Conroy's passage. A little bit: Oh Oh Oh Frank Conroy, for longer than I can remember paterfamilias of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, has died. We all knew he was failing, but the shock of his sudden absence from our world, is hard to take. After losing Don Justice, one of America's finest poets and a deeply bright and original person, the writing community of Iowa City has lost another of its finest. When I first came to Iowa City in 1967 as a student John Casey required his class to read Stop Time a memoir by of all people a young man named Frank Conroy. At the time young writers did not write memoirs. Everybody writes them now but there has never been anything with the energy, the honesty, the feeling for people that Stop Time has. I daresay there won't be either. I was awed by it as an undergraduate and I am still awed by it.

Holly Black reacts to some of Terry Goodkind's recent blahdey blah about not being a fantasy writer from this interview. She sez (among much else): I feel that since Mr. Goodkind is writing secondary-world books in which there are wizards, sorcerors, and at least one dragon, he is far more at the center of the fantasy genre than he might like. Why he would use these elements and scorn the label of fantasy, I don't know. I once heard Gene Wolfe speak stirringly about the fantasy genre. I quote inexactly, "so-called realistic fiction excludes the supernatural and the divine, so we read it and feel like something is missing--because all the important stuff is missing." We use it as metaphor, as literal truth, as speculation about how we would be different if the world was different. There are many good reasons that we fantasy authors use fantastical elements. All of us. Not just Terry Goodkind.

Newsday reprints a Smithsonian Magazine piece about Eudora Welty's garden and how it affected her writing. (Via Mark.)

And, finally, the Pretty in Pink remake mystery is definitively solved -- the British media got punk'd.

Hopefully, this will post and not disappear into the wild cyber-ether. Good day everybody.

An addition: A NYT piece on the authorless book tour for a new collection of Richard Feynman's letters. "We want to see a national best seller here," said David Steinberger, president and chief executive of Perseus Books Group, the parent of Basic Books. "That is a challenge when you're talking about letters from a dead guy."

worm "Freakin' Out," Graham Coxon


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