Times they have a-changed, friends.
In today’s “image means everything” political climate, I can’t imagine the United States sending a drunken author overseas as an official ambassador. In the 1950s, though? No problem.
Over at Slate, Greg Barhisel discusses how, during the Cold War, many American authors traveled around the globe as ambassadors for the United States—meeting with foreign diplomats and dignitaries. Their purpose? To show that “America wasn’t just Mickey Mouse and chewing gum.” Read more
Back when the new Great Gatsby movie was coming out, I wrote a post with a story about a friend who complained when I ruined the plot for him.
Basically, as I was talking about the movie, I mentioned that Gatsby died. My friend had never seen the movie, nor read the book, so this was all news to him. He jokingly accused me of “spoiling” the plot.
So in that old post, I asked whether or not there’s a statute of limitations on spoiler alerts. I mean, after a novel’s been out 90 years, can’t we stop dancing around spoilers? Read more
This blog post is 133 words.
The average article I write for my day job is around 600 words.
The estimated word count on the book I’m pitching to agents is 50,000 words.
All that to say some of the word counts in the following infographic from Electric Literature blow my mind.
Some examples: Read more
So I wasn’t crazy about the opening paragraph in Housekeeping, as I explained recently.
But as I mentioned in that same post, Marilynne Robinson’s writing style is much less choppy, much more poetic, throughout the rest of the book.
Almost all the characters in Housekeeping have a great sense of loneliness and longing. It’s a melancholy novel.
Here’s one of the more beautifully written, poetic passages from the novel: Read more