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8 posts from May 2011

May 29, 2011

The Writer's Life: Among modern novelists, few have as many gifts as Martha McPhee.

Her prose even splits the difference between the novel and the screenplay. Read the opening paragraph of Dear Money (I also devoured L’America): The story begins, of course, with real estate. The heady days of 2003. Pond Point, the old Victorian cottage tied together, it seemed, with twine, standing as it does before the dunes with a swath of sea grass like a moat, sweet pea shoots, their blue flowers dancing in a late afternoon breeze blowing offshore. The beach. Miles of sand, flanked by rivers, one large, one small, spilling into the Atlantic. Little islands floating just offshore, connected at low tide by sandbars that reach to them like arms.

May 25, 2011

The Writer's Life: Dept. of “Now Read on” openings: L’Étranger or The Stranger/Outsider by Albert Camus:

Ever in print since it was published in 1942, L’Étranger has been repeatedly listed among the top books of all time by those who make such lists - newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, etc. Here’s the alluring first sentence: "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. I got a telegram from the Home: 'Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.' That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday."

Re: Joyce, Episode 50. Weaving The Wind

Stephen fathoms the depths of both Hell and Dublin Bay, and Frank muses upon T. S. Eliot.

May 18, 2011

Re: Joyce, Episode 49. Holy Heresy

Stephen presents us with a roll call of heresiarchs.

May 16, 2011

The Writer's Life: Great Remarks Dept.: John Updike on the reader at whom he aims.

Updike said, When I write, I aim my mind not toward New York but toward a vague spot a little to the east of Kansas. I think of the books on library shelves, without their jackets, years old, and a country-ish, teenaged boy finding them, and having them speak to him.

May 13, 2011

Re: Joyce, Episode 48a. Matters of Character

In this bonus episode, Frank discusses the four characters we've met so far, along with their real-life antecedents.

May 11, 2011

Re: Joyce, Episode 48. Creeds Not Deeds

Stephen considers the Church.

May 04, 2011

Re: Joyce, Episode 47. Masters and Servants

Stephen claims to serve three masters.