Good Things About Twitter -
Several light-years ago in Web time, Jonathan Franzen spoke at Tulane University and said that he found Twitter “unspeakably irritating,” expressing a concern for “serious readers and writers” and the medium’s inability to “cite facts or create an argument.” I like that Franzen doesn’t sound like a celebrity worried about reducing friction and shifting units. He is the Kanye West of fiction: popular, gifted, influential, and willing to make unpopular statements without the intervention of handlers.
But Thomas Jones at the London Review of Books points out that Franzen makes a “category error” by pitching Twitter users against serious readers/writers. The two coëxist, happily. Maud Newton and Sarah Weinman are some of the closest readers I know, and using Twitter has not hampered their ability to create arguments or to be serious. Authors are on Twitter: Shelia Heti, Lynne Tillman, Margaret Atwood, Colson Whitehead, and Neil Gaiman come to mind most quickly, though they are hardly alone.
Anticipated Stranger: Lullaby / WH Auden -
Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.
Soul and body…
Bradley Warshauer: Yesterday at Jamaica station -
a girl watched me for a few moments and then nodded from behind big sunglasses at the book into which I was scribbling words and asked, “Are you writing a book?”
I said, “Kind of. I’m writing a short story.”
“Are you a journalist?”
I said, “Sometimes. But this is fiction. I just graduated from…
This is, I swear, a real book cover for a real book, due out this fall. What happened here? I respect Otto Penzler, Grove (under whose aegis Mysterious Press is being resurrected), even Ken Bruen. But what is this? Let’s all take a nap and try again.
Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head. — Paul Auster (The Brooklyn Follies)
I go by a field where once
I cultivated a few poor crops.
It is now covered with young trees,
for the forest that belongs here
has come back and reclaimed its own.
And I think of all the effort
I have wasted and all the time,
and of how much joy I took
in that failed work and how much
it taught me. For in so failing
I learned something of my place,
something of myself, and now
I welcome back the trees.
Castro and Hemingway