Here’s another clip from a great interview The Paris Review conducted with Kingsley Amis.
Amis was asked about a professor who had called his work “pornographic.” Read more
The Confessions of Nat Turner is just a fascinating novel.
The fact that it’s loosely based on a true story, the fact that a white man had a big enough pair to write this novel, and the fact that he received a ton of backlash for doing so, make this book full of intrigue.
Last week, I mentioned that William Styron, as a white author, attempts to get inside of the head of Nat Turner, an African American slave from the 1830s, a “character” who actually exists.
When the novel was released in 1968, The Confessions received a lot of praise. The novel was a best-seller and won the Pulitzer Prize. Styron was even well received at a historically black college. He told The New York Times: Read more
It’s said that John O’Hara wrote the epitaph that appears on his tombstone.
You catch that? He wrote his own epitaph.
“Better than anyone else, he told the truth about his time, the first half of the twentieth century. He was a professional.”
“Better than anyone else.” Who says that about themselves—on our their own tombstone, no less?
John O’Hara…that’s who. Read more
It would seem to me that dyslexia would be one of the more difficult disabilities to overcome in becoming a writer.
The International Dyslexia Association defines it as such: It is “a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.”
However, for Richard Ford, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Sportswriter and Independence Day, the disability has been a bump in the road that, he says, has actually improved his writing.
I’ve posted a lot of the Paris Review’s Art of Fiction series interview over the last few years. It’s a really interesting look into the personal and professional lives of a lot of the world’s most famous authors.
The Art of Fiction featured Richard Ford in 1996, and of course he had much to say.
I love Ford’s answer to how his writing developed over the years. Read more
If you’re in the mood for a somewhat dry 1968 BBC documentary about JRR Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, then today’s post is for you!
Below is the first part of the documentary about Tolkien, which is part of the BBC series called “In Their Own Words.”
The setting is the Oxford campus, so the documentary also includes interviews with students and scenes from around campus. There’s dramatic, eerie music, grainy video, and, oh yeah, an interview with Tolkien as he walks throughout Oxford.
He explains how the Hobbit originated and what his thought process was in creating LOTR.
Like I said, a little dull in that 1960s documentary kind of way, but worth a watch if you haven’t seen much of Tolkien on video. Read more
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