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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Posts added in October 2006

Learning to Write V

Art affects life because it teaches us how to see, how to hear, how to feel; because it has the capacity to create for us what we might term norms of feeling. Within comedy, whatever else we may find, there is always the assertion of invulnerability, we are given permission to laugh by the perception […]

Books talking

You let it out from time to time. Margaret Atwood, I like her. Or you tell someone you’ve just finished another Elmore Leonard novel. Rupert Thomson, I’ve read a couple of those, there’s always something . . . Whatever, your tastes change and you get to the end of this author’s work and start on […]

Out-takes XII

The midwife told me that gender conditioning begins the moment the baby is born. The parents, the doctor, the first visitors, grandparents, the nurses on the ward, they all conspire together. The first question is always: “Is it a boy or a girl?” And once they know the answer they react accordingly. “Oh, what a […]

Presque vu X

If you haven’t seen Marion Ettlinger’s Gallery, which consists of photographic portraits of writers, then now’s your chance. The gallery opens with a study of Truman Capote taken in 1982. * Over at Chekhov’s Mistress, another review of the Sony Reader: At the fashionable yet oddly cold Sony store on Madison Avenue I checked out […]


There will be time . . . To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock; T.S. Eliot Masks are void of all substance. They hide identity and project the image of another personality. In tribal societies the mask is used to protect the individual from […]