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Remarkable, how easy it is to ignore whatever obligation it may be I have to this here blog. I was thinking, actually, of kissing it good-bye on its birthday, which was back in September. But I didn’t, but was busy with my queries and all, and doing time as a substitute, and finding that every […]

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A couple of years ago, while substitute-teaching at the school that is so fond of Finding Forrester, I found, in the English office, a copy of Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted. Great stuff, but I didn’t get to finish it until two weeks ago. It’s an impressionistic account of the author’s two years in a mental […]

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Continuing my exploration into the world of Carson McCullers, I’ve just finished The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, her first novel, which instantly launched into literary fame. I was surprised, after all I’d heard about it, and after having just re-read Member of the Wedding, and after having seen the movie version twice, at how […]

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Sorry for that outrageous bit of venting yesterday. As I’ve mentioned before, and I really mean it, I don’t enjoy writing about bad art, and I don’t enjoy trashing other people’s work. But I’d taken a short break from my own, run across that depressing bit of news about a book that I’d really, truly […]

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I hereby confess that I have a natural aversion to best-sellers. My feeling is that in order to become hugely popular, art can’t be very demanding and that it probably panders to a low common denominator and that it probably has something fundamentally wrong with it. If my own work ever hits the best-seller lists, […]

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As you may recall, a few weeks ago I wrote about film director Howard Hawks’ cavalier attitude towards, not to say contempt for, stories. What interested him was scenes, and how they brought out the relationships between characters. So I’ve been watching some Hawks films with this in mind. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it makes […]

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Continuing my impossible dream of reading every piece of fiction the world has ever considered important, I have given up once again on John Dos Passos, this time after about fifty of the fourteen hundred or so pages that make up the U.S.A. trilogy. The tragedy, for me, of Dos Passos is that some of […]

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Peter Bogdanovich has written an interesting pair of books for movie buffs, Who the Hell’s In It and Who the Devil Made It. They’re combinations of essay and interview, the first about Hollywood actors and the second about directors. Bogdanovich, over the years, has worked in all sorts of capacities within the theatrical industry. As […]

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That’s twenty-eight thousand, seven hundred and seven words, and that’s what the first draft of part one of the new novel has come to. It’s a relief to be able to say the draft is done, as it was moving really slowly there towards the end as the threads of the story were winding in […]

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In my quest for Spanish literature, I read a mildly interesting thing the other day by Javier Cercas that would have made a good short story. Unfortunately, he stretched it out to three hundred and four pages. It was called La velocitad de la luz (The Speed of Light), which was kind of funny because […]

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