– Mr. Zayamsbury reflects on writer’s block:
When I feel like I’ve got nothing left, when every word I write is crap, utterly disconnected from the world, disengaged, flat, superfluous, the only way out for me is to write anyway. The muse isn’t a discrete entity, she’s mutable–sometimes a lover to be seduced, sometimes an animal to be stalked, sometimes a prisoner to be restrained, sometimes a parent who comes to you love in hand, and sometimes she’s nowhere to be found, and the only thing that can bring her back is to rip yourself open word by word, to offer sacrifice by the ferocious act of merely being there.
Inspiration is for civilians.
Spoken like a professional.
– Ms. Maccers speaks dark wisdom:
Ah yes, the things I should have known when I was wrinkle-free and still thought a pension was something one marries. Things like never trust a woman who wears too much eye make-up or who surrounds her workspace with photos of herself. Or a man who claims to love his wife.
We tolerate each other, is all. Anything else is fantasy.
Yikes! Double yikes!
– I wish I’d said this:
Blogs are great, blah blah blah. Why, when there is an article about blogs, is it always about political blogs? Why is it that when the democratizing nature of blogs is mentioned it is always political blogs? Why does the press make it seem like there are political blogs and then everything else? And why is the everything else often implied to be drivel? Why is news about blogs that are not political confined to the book pages, the tech pages, etc? Why am I surprised?
– Are books too long? Mr. BuzzMachine thinks so, and points you to an eloquent concurrence by Susan Tomes:
Unlimited cyberspace will allow people to say as much as they need, or to publish a tiny poem which wings its way round the world in a moment without the need for 125 other poems to bulk up the volume.
The point is, surely, that the removal of “sizist” constraints should be liberating. In cyberspace, authors need not pad out, or cut down, what they want to say. It should be a welcome chance to use just the right number of words. Though whether we can find our readers without bookshops is another matter.
(Incidentally, Ms. Tomes also happens to be a wonderful pianist who can be heard to excellent effect on this CD.)
– Mr. Anecdotal Evidence reflects sadly on the bestsellers of yesteryear:
Is anything sadder than yesterday’s bestsellers? Once they were shiny and unblemished, promising pleasure without risk, at once virginal and passionate, like the latest actress or new cars in the showroom. Now, ranked on dim shelves, they look faded not entirely resigned to being forgotten. New books are odorless. Old bestsellers seem shamed by the must they emit when you riffle their pages. They remind me of Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard….
– Mr. Something Old, Nothing New remembers Frank’s Place, a short-lived TV series recalled with affection by all who saw it, myself very much included. (Follow the links.)
– I’m normally no fan of Theodor Adorno, but Mr. Think Denk has posted a long, arrestingly intelligent excerpt from Adorno’s Late Style in Beethoven that is right on the money. Here’s how it starts:
The maturity of the late works of significant artists does not resemble the kind one finds in fruit. They are, for the most part, not round, but furrowed, even ravaged. Devoid of sweetness, bitter and spiny, they do not surrender themselves to mere delectation….
Read the whole thing, please.
– I ran into these guys on the street the other day and did a triple take. They’re way cool.
– Anyone who read Cheaper by the Dozen in childhood must have wondered ever since what the motion-study films made by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth actually looked like. Wonder no more: you can view excerpts from the Gilbreth films here.
– Feeling hungry? Go here and salivate. (I especially like the pithy discussion of the Ketchup Question.)
– Still got the blues? Go here and amuse yourself. I guarantee results.