Alcestis Art Austin Books Killingly Meta Publishing Writing

Catching up

The Blanton Museum Book Club meeting was really lovely — we met in one of the galleries while the museum was open for Third Thursday, next to some very fitting art. It’s been a little while since I’ve talked to a group about Alcestis, and I’ve been thinking so much about Killingly lately that it was fun for me to compare the two projects and consider, as I talked with the group about the book, what I’m doing differently this time.

Have to get back to dissertation revisions now, but here, a whole bushel of links:

  • A rejection letter in kind, to Gertrude Stein.
  • A border collie that knows more than 1000 names of objects (and is now working on grammar).
  • Jubal Early doing his bit for the mode of self-defensive autobiography. (No, not that Jubal Early, the real Jubal Anderson Early [ouch at that web design]. Who is apparently one of Nathan Fillion’s ancestors. What.)
  • Via Jessa Crispin, an Edith Wharton short story in which she snarks about book clubs… published, in PDF, by the Library of America. As they introduce it: “During Story of the Week’s first year, we have been gratified to learn (via e-mail messages, blog posts, and phone calls) that an increasing number of readers are using selections for reading groups, the classroom, and library events. And so it is with a bit of trepidation that we offer, in commemoration of Edith Wharton’s birthday on January 24, a story that makes fun of such gatherings by describing one of the more dysfunctional reading discussions in the history of literature.” Heh.
  • Maud Newton “on creating the feeling you want the reader to feel“, which opens with the question “Do you think writers have to feel what they want the reader to feel when they’re writing?” What’s interesting here is that this isn’t a “write what you know” question — it’s not about whether or not writers need to feel what their characters feel, but about whether they need to be able to evoke the same state in themselves that they will evoke in their readers. I’m not sure that’s possible, exactly. I think the fact of being the writer of the work always tempers, even if just slightly, the feeling that will be fully accessible to readers — if you’ve done your job right.

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