Monday, October 3, 2011

New Website

New website! Check it out at!

Two, actually. The other is

Thursday, July 21, 2011

on novels

Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.

Kurt Vonnegut

Friday, June 17, 2011

William Wei

"But the thing about a dark truth is it is indistinguishable from doubt. And so—since I couldn’t just go home—I kept approaching the dark area. Not by anything I said, but by what I did, and by watching how she reacted. "

such simple prose

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

German Expressionism Influences

-Thomas Theodor Heine

"Unfettered by bourgeois norms, Simplicissimus attacked the hypocrisy and ridiculousness of German society, thereby opening new possibilities for later artists."

Max Klinger, for example, played a crucial role by emphasizing the suitability of black-and-white printmaking for exploring the darker side of life and artistic imagination.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Amitav Ghosh - Guernica

cocoon my friend Ashley Zelinksie made last year....I want to make some sort of swing in my yard when i get back from epic road trip and high school reunion to montana.

Guernica interview with AMITAV GHOSH

-anthropology is useful for writing

-he calls Updike "pathetic" and a racist (when talking about his novel Terrorist affront to my sensibilities as a writer

on reading One Hundred Years of Solitude:

"When you’re living in this very tiny place, [with] a thousand people or something, your temptation is to think of it as being outside the flow of history. In reading Marquez you begin to think of all the ways in which the whole world is visible in the microcosm of this one small place, like Marquez’s Macondo."

on VS Naipal:
"His representations of India, his representations of Islam. I think very often they’re just mistaken. They’re just in fact a sort of perverse kind of autobiography rather than representations of what he sees. But the thing that I respect about Naipaul is that he was struggling with something. He was struggling with something that he was trying to do truthfully, pushing himself. He was never doing what’s comfortable, or what’s easy. He was always pushing himself."

Thinking of a summer reading list......

starting with Run, Rabbit, Run by Updike

take-away tactic for my writing:
listening to other people more, open up my experience of listening to hear other people in new ways

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Guernica Updike Review

Great interview with Updike from Guernica on how art can influence writing and vice versa, and on borrowing moments or angles or perspectives from art in different mediums to create something new.

"John Updike: Yes, often. I think what Eliot said was bad poets, or maybe weak poets imitate, strong poets steal.
Lila Azam Zanganeh: Yes, good poets steal.

John Updike: Yeah, you’re always looking for something. You know, this image I mentioned. There’s an image in one of the first Nabokovs I read, was the pencil sharpener, which said “Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga.” Ticonderoga being the brand of a pencil. But to listen to what a pencil sharpener is saying was a kind of image you would love to have created yourself. I don’t think I would steal that, it’s so special. But I have stolen images, I think, in the course of my work, when I thought nobody would notice. Sure. At first, I think trying to form an approach to writing you look for a model. And I named four or five that meant a lot to me at a formative point in my life. But after you’re formed, then basically you kind of read for things so admirable that you wish you had done them and you’re not above maybe stealing them, if you can find a good place to hide them."

Guernica Magazine

I've been writing a lot lately by doing so very slowly.

"Lila Azam Zanganeh: Are you a slow writer?

John Updike: .." I’m always interested in how other writers do it, what their quota is, if they have a quota, what their hours are. John O’Hara, a writer I admire, worked at night—he worked from midnight till one... I try to do about a thousand words a day. It depends on what you’re writing, of course. In the beginning of a novel, where I am now, you go very slowly because you’re trying to feel your way into the heart of the thing, and also you’re naming characters and trying to create incidents that will resonate through the length of the book."