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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Presque vu LXXIV

Sprint: Plug into Now. But you don’t want to know about this.

With thanks to A Little Red Blog


The Guardian has a piece from Richard Price on his old tutor, Richard Yates, author of Revolutionary Road:

We were in our early 20s, and most of us had neither read nor even heard of him. In class he called you by your last name, no title: a brusque, slightly boarding-schoolish and utterly seductive form of address. He regularly and passionately savaged those writers whom he perceived to be his more validated (“lucky”, he called them) peers, but he treated a student’s work, no matter how hapless, with shocking earnestness.

He was a nurturer of grudges; an incubator of slights.

His personal gods were Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

He was bitter.

He had every right to be bitter.

He was really bitter.


Chris Bowers at Undernews doesn’t see much hope or change on the horizon:

Even after two landslide elections in a row, are our only governing options as a nation either all right-wing Republicans, or a centrist mixture of Democrats and Republicans? Isn’t there ever a point when we can get an actual Democratic administration? Also, why isn’t there a single member of Obama’s cabinet who will be advising him from the left? It seems to me as though there is a team of rivals, except for the left, which is left off the team entirely. Not a single, solitary, actual dyed-in-the-wool progressive has, as far as I can tell, even been mentioned for a position in the new administration.


Jonathan Dozier-Ezell speculates on writing and publishing:

It’s now easier than ever to get your ideas and content out to readers with or without help from publishing channels. Now there are writers who only write to see their names on a pulpy spine (and they will be disappointed), but on the whole, writers, authors, poets, etc. simply want to be heard. Being paid is nice, but it really isn’t the priority.


Robert Fisk in the UK’s Independent:

General Roberts of Kandahar (told) the British in 1880 that “we have nothing to fear from Afghanistan, and the best thing to do is to leave it as much as possible to itself. . . I feel sure I am right when I say that the less the Afghans see of us, the less they will dislike us”.


Love Thy Belly:

The record label Roadrunner has been getting some serious online bellyache from fans of one of its artists, Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls, after she reported on her blog that she had been asked to cut shots from the video for her solo song Leeds United because “they thought I looked fat”.

2 Responses to “Presque vu LXXIV”

  1. J.C. says:

    Great collection of articles John, thanks for this. Cheers!

    jb says: Thanks, jc. I try to keep ’em coming.

  2. Jim says:

    I like the comment about Afghanistan. The good General was onto something, I do believe.

    Thanks for stopping by my fiction blog and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the Ross Thomas book.

    jb says: Hi Jim. You should listen to a general when he’s talking sense. That’s what I say.