“What does a sesame seed grow into? I don’t know - we never give it a chance!”—MITCH HEDBERG (via inothernews) I’m embarassed that I never had this thought. Because of this, I looked up sesame plants. Here.
1. Be Writerly: If your writing is too natural, then there is no way it is scholarly.
2. Sprawl: Content doesn’t matter, it’s all about size. Critics are impressed by big books, so brevity should be dismissed.
3. Equivocate: If it doesn’t make sense, there can always be a good excuse. Truth can always be distorted as long as it makes the writer sound good. For example, the plot isn’t important because the lack of plot is what’s important.
4. Mystify: If people think that your writing is smarter than their writing, then they will respect your writing. If you sound smart (and definitely if you are published) then you must possess a brilliant mind.
5. Keep Sentences Long: If the sentence is not long and boring, then it is definitely not literature.
6. Repeat yourself: Repetition of words is important. If you don’t mention your subject enough times, then the reader may not know what you are talking about. You may also use synonyms to show that you know how to use a thesaurus, and thus, must be an intelligent writer.
7. Pile on the Imagery: Your writerly credentials will bloom to greatness if your ability to tie together multiple similes and metaphors like the wooden pieces of a Lincoln log set, never disintegrate from the fiery visage of the sun. The more literary devices that you can throw together, the better the writing.
8. Archaize: If thine style of writing reflects an age long gone, and a world unfamiliar to the modern reader, than thou art indeed a master of the quill and the ink. This is very similar to rule number four, except you must write as if you are stuck in the past, rather than stuck in a dictionary.
9. Bore: The word boring may as well be a synonym to the word scholarly. Along the lines of rule number one, you cannot write naturally, or make your words interesting. It is simply not scholarly. People are not supposed to be able to understand your writing, they are only supposed to realize that your writing is brilliant, because it just might be the cure for insomnia.
10. Play the part: Remember to be as you write, scholarly, literate, practically a god. You must understand that when you seem smart, when you seem to believe in yourself, others will do the same, because, how could someone that is so smart and so pompous be wrong?
[These rules are from the appendix of B.R. Myers’s book titled A Reader’s Manifesto: An Attack on the Growing Pretentiousness in American Literary Prose]
these are great rules for writers.
#11 is never have any money ever, drink whiskey because it’s what the great writers drank, and be depressed.
…I added those in because I’m more of a cultural writer, not so much a practicing one. (see what I did there?)
This is a great idea, because everybody’s knows that abortions are a classic impulse buy — one of those things you toss into the cart at checkout, like Us Weekly or Sugar Babies! …That’s why I am giving a well-deserved tip of my hat to South Dakota. Now let’s be clear, folks: this abortion law (requiring a three-day waiting period to get an abortion) is not limiting a woman’s rights. As South Dakota Dennis Daugaard said, ‘I hope that women who are considering abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices.’ See? He’s clearly pro-choice, in that he sometimes uses the word ‘choice.’
Now personally, I think any procedure a doctor performs should have a three-day waiting period — unless that procedure is to save the life of a handgun, because in South Dakota, there is no waiting period for guns of any kind! South Dakota backs a woman’s right to choose — as long as it’s between a .45 and a semi-automatic.
So, Paul LaRosa, HuffPo writer, used to love his e-reader, but he realized he he really, really loves those indie bookstores in Brooklyn. Instead of checking to see whether they sell ebooks (Greenlight Books, mentioned in the article, actually does), he’s going back to the tried n true print books. Moldy smell n all.
Perpetuating the reading dichotomy: Paul LaRosa. Who calls himself a journalist. I realize this is kind of an op-ed but it’s good to be informed, no? Cover your bases? See if indie bookstores are selling ebooks before you decide that you MUST choose and explain why? The fact is, you CAN have it both ways—buy an ebook from an indie! I know, I just blew your mind.
To all of you who just fell asleep reading this mini rant about a rant about ebooks versus paper…I’m sorry. I know it’s boring…get readers to fight with each other about the best way to read…zzzzzz… I guess some people are still interested in discussing it on the internet?
“Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you.”—
You Should Date An Illiterate Girl, Charles Warnke (via nocternity)
As a girl who reads, I predict that the end of the story is, narrator/protagonist realizes he is good enough, smart enough, and, doggone it, people like him. that’d be poetic, don’t you think?
I realize that this passage is meant to backhandedly praise women…but it also backhandedly puts down men, doesn’t it? meh. What if I wrote the same thing substituting guys who listen to music… and your ideas of heartbreak and the impermanence of relationships. Someone argue with me about it. C’mon.
I wish everyone knew who Sarah Kane was. I wish I could be in the middle of a conversation about Procol Harum or tuition fees and say, “I just fucking love Sarah Kane” and have someone know what I mean, have someone throw out a few lines from Blasted or say, “You have no choice the choice comes…
I have the 5 play collection of Sarah Kane’s work… dark, gruesome stuff. It’s an amazing talent to be able to actually create the darkest place, and to write outside of the constraints of theatre—dismemberment, bombings, weather… it’s brilliant and terrible.
To borrow a tagline from Soldoutmusic.com…Sarah Kane: fucking gorgeous and horrifying.