Tag Archives: writing

Asking for the ridiculous

“What I am asking for is really very ridiculous. Oh Lord, I am saying, at present I am a cheese, make me a mystic, immediately. But then God can do that — make mystics out of cheeses.” Flannery O’Connor prayed

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The day I decided to write like music

I almost remember the day. I was eight years old. We lived in Buckley Field, then a settlement of tarpaper barracks east of Denver. Long gone now except for its name. The barracks had constituted military housing during World War

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Thinking about murder again

Why is murder so popular? Even if we’re not part of the mob or a terrorist group; even if we’re not serial killers; even if we don’t believe in bearing arms – most of us indulge ourselves nearly every time

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There are words, and then there are words….

Not very long ago, I found myself at a friend’s 75th birthday party, despairing aloud about the deluge of words that engulfs our world. A somber, very sober, man leapt to the defense of  language and good writers. There’s nothing

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Writing in a world awash in words

Years ago, when I went to college in San Francisco, I was distressed by the numbers of people who wanted to write. My writing was to be special – more stylish, more moving, more profound than theirs. Besides, I had

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Snapshots with the heads on

A few snapshots. Unlike photographs or portraits they’re quick, casual glances at people. My father usually cut off the subjects’ heads. I promise, at the very least, that I won’t do that. A few days ago I met a couple

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Eudora Welty’s photographs

Making pictures of people in all sorts of situations, I learned that every feeling waits upon its gesture, and I had to be prepared to recognize this moment when I saw it…. These were things a story writer needed to

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Why read? Why write? Why live?

Some people suggest that reading, and especially reading literature, is out of style and will gradually become obsolete. After all, you can find any information you need on the Internet. Graphic novels and celebrity memoirs are the order of the

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Where will all the poets go in an age of virtual realities?

Yesterday a friend of mine who manages a desktop publishing business that’s turned mostly to proofreading got a letter from a 95-year-old woman. It was neatly typed (yes, on a typewriter!) and well written: she was clearly alert and intelligent.

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The faltering foundation, the fragile self

I’ve been reading Searching for Memory: The Brain, The Mind and The Past by Daniel Schacter, a professor at Harvard. I know. It sounds over-rich, dry perhaps, not exactly riveting. But actually, it’s both well written and compelling. Since the

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