Posts tagged ‘New York Times’

March 14, 2010

Typing away your day…

by caroanna
I imagine many writers dream about a life dedicated to writing. No need to be somewhere at a particular time because you can write anywhere, at home, in cafes.
“In normal times, they tap away in their ‘offices’ at Starbucks, thanking their lucky stars for the book contracts that allowed them to give up their day jobs. But in recent months a cry has gone out for fiction writers to get up from behind their laptops and get back to work, real work — or at least to start writing about it again.”
– Jennifer Schuessler, “Take this job and write it,” The New York Times Sunday Book Review (March 14, 2010)

Of course it’s nice to spend your day doing whatever you want. But let’s not forget that novelists usually don’t just write some stories by using imagination. Their stories are often a reflection of society, however hidden an elusive it is. Good novels are usually somehow related to the current society.

So, in order to know something about the society you write about, even if your character live on, say, a planet like Pandora, you need to immerse yourself in it. If you wanna write about life, you need to live it first!

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February 1, 2010

A world without readers? What a sad vision.

by caroanna

J.D. Salinger may not be able to actually rest in peace with everybody talking about his reclusive life now that it’s over.

But Jennifer Finney Boylan has a point when she writes that the literary recluse is nothing to be jealous of. Writing without the purpose of it being read is keeping a journal or therapeutic writing. That’s fine, if you enjoy it. But I don’t think these are writers.

Writers relish people reading what they have to say. What makes writing worth its while is when other people take the time to read it and think about it. That’s the greatest compliment you could pay to a writer. Even if you hate their style or content. I will deem myself a successful writer if someone cares to comment on it because he wanted to read it, not because he has to or because he knows me.

April 20, 2009

Do most authors love violence?

by caroanna

   Joyce Carol Oates says in the New York Times Magazine edition of April 12, 2009 that she considers “tragedy the highest form of art.” Well, I guess someone needed a catchy phrase to sound literary.

   Art is something that is created by a person. A tragedy is by definition something that happens to you, something that you cannot avert or influence. Basically, Oates combines words that have opposite characteristics. Now, I have never read any of Oates’ novels and based on the acuteness of her remarks, I highly doubt I will ever do that.

   Nevertheless, the question she was asked, about why she uses the topic of violence so extensively in her stories, is quite an interesting one. One important function of literature is, in my opinion, that of triggering emotions in a reader, either by commizerating with the protagonist or reliving his own experiences. Tragedy is one of the most intense emotional experiences of a person. Therefore, it is very effective if you want to engage your reader instead of just entertaining or informing.