In the spring of 1934, a young man who wanted to be a writer hitchhiked to Florida to meet his idol, Ernest Hemingway.
Arnold Samuelson was an adventurous 22-year-old. He had been born in a sod house in North Dakota to Norwegian immigrant parents.
William Faulkner, 1949:
Almost every year since 1901, the Swedish Academy has apportioned one fifth of the interest from the fortune bequeathed by dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel to honor, as Nobel said in his will, “the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.[...]
It used to be that accepting an advance on an unwritten novel was as good as admitting failure before the work is even finished. Can you imagine blue-blood novelists Edith Wharton or Henry James taking a check before finishing their books?
As television news continues its pathetic slide into the abyss of celebrity worship, political partisanship and 24-hour punditry, its encouraging to note that in one area of traditional broadcasting there is actually something of a renaissance going on.[...]
Here is a rare recording of Flannery O’Connor reading an early version of her witty and revealing essay, “Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction”:
O’Connor gives an eloquent outline of her vision as both a Southern and a Catholic writer. She defends her work against critics who say it is highly unrealistic.[...]
For almost a century, writers and other creative people have found inspiration and a profound sense of validation in the Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s posthumously published Letters to a Young Poet.[...]
According to The Telegraph, experts rummaging through a dusty box recently uncovered a letter penned by Oscar Wilde in 1890 (or thereabouts). Addressed to a “Mr. Morgan,” the letter runs 13 pages, and it offers what amounts to practical advice for an aspiring writer.[...]
Everyone from Kurt Vonnegut to Ernest Hemingway has shared his ideas on crafting solid narrative writing. One of the most recent sages to join the canon is Emma Coates, Pixar’s former story artist. Her list of the 22 Rules of Good Storytelling gleaned on the job has been gaining Internet traction since it was published last June.[...]
What advantage, I recently asked a trilingual writer, could you possibly find in using such an improvised, confusing, irregular patchwork of a language as English? She replied that this very improvisation, irregularity, and even confusion comes from the vast freedom of expression (and of invention of new expressions) that English offers over other[...]
Jamaica Kincaid is out with her first novel in ten years, See Now Then, but she hasn’t been idle, steadily publishing non-fiction and essays in the span between 2002’s Mr. Potter and now. Kincaid is a many-faceted woman: Antiguan native, contented Vermont gardener, improbable literary success story, fierce critic of European colonialism.[...]