Naropa Archive Presents 5,000 Hours of Audio Recordings of Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs & Other Beat Writers

≡ Category: Poetry, Writing |1 Comment

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Schools like Harvard, Oxford, and the Sorbonne surely have qualities to recommend them, but to my mind, nothing would feel quite as cool as saying your degree comes from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

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David Foster Wallace’s Syllabus for His 2008 Creative Nonfiction Course: Includes Reading List & Footnotes

≡ Category: Literature, Writing |Leave a Comment

Photo courtesy of Claudia Sherman.
The term “creative nonfiction” has picked up a great deal of traction over the past decade — perhaps too much, depending upon how valid or invalid you find it.

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Kurt Vonnegut Explains “How to Write With Style”

≡ Category: Writing |7 Comments

If you feel the need for tips on developing a writing style, you probably don’t look right to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ journal Transactions on Professional Communications.

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H.P. Lovecraft Gives Five Tips for Writing a Horror Story, or Any Piece of “Weird Fiction”

≡ Category: Literature, Writing |Leave a Comment

Though the term “weird fiction” came into being in the 19th century—originally used by Irish gothic writer Sheridan Le Fanu—it was picked up by H.P. Lovecraft in the 20th century as a way, primarily, of describing his own work.

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Steven Pinker Identifies 10 Breakable Grammatical Rules: “Who” Vs. “Whom,” Dangling Modifiers & More

≡ Category: Writing |2 Comments

We’ve previously featured Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker discussing writing at a Harvard conference on the subject. In that case, the focus was narrowly on academic writing, which, he has uncontroversially claimed, “stinks.

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Haruki Murakami Lists the Three Essential Qualities For All Serious Novelists (And Runners)

≡ Category: Writing |1 Comment

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We’ve brought you a wealth of Haruki Murakami lately, and for good reason. Not only does the wildly popular Japanese novelist have a new novel out, he also has an upcoming novella, The Strange Library, a 96-page story about, well, a “strange trip to the library,” due from Knopf on December 2nd.

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Flannery O’Connor Explains the Limited Value of MFA Programs: “Competence By Itself Is Deadly”

≡ Category: Education, Writing |Leave a Comment

Flannery O’Connor once wrote, “because fine writing rarely pays, fine writers usually end up teaching, and the [MFA] degree, however worthless to the spirit, can be expected to add something to the flesh.

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Jane Austen Used Pins to Edit Her Abandoned Manuscript, The Watsons

≡ Category: Writing |1 Comment

Before the word processor, before Whiteout, before Post It Notes, there were straight pins. Or, at least that’s what Jane Austen used to make edits in one of her rare manuscripts. In 2011, the Bodleian Library acquired the manuscript of Austen’s abandoned novel, The Watsons.

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Haruki Murakami’s Passion for Jazz: Discover the Novelist’s Jazz Playlist, Jazz Essay & Jazz Bar

≡ Category: Literature, Music, Writing |Leave a Comment

Any serious reader of Haruki Murakami — and even most of the casual ones — will have picked up on the fact that, apart from the work that has made him quite possibly the world’s most beloved living novelist, the man has two passions: running and jazz.

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“Tsundoku,” the Japanese Word for the New Books That Pile Up on Our Shelves, Should Enter the English Language

≡ Category: History, Language Lessons, Writing |9 Comments

There are some words out there that are brilliantly evocative and at the same time impossible to fully translate. Yiddish has the word shlimazl, which basically means a perpetually unlucky person. German has the word Backpfeifengesicht, which roughly means a face that is badly in need of a fist.

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