The hardest part about running a literary magazine has been, thus far, pulling my hands away—that is, to not be so forceful in molding the publication that I accidentally strangle it, robbing it of its potential. When I started Specter back in 2011, I had high hopes, big dreams, and even bigger ideas for what it should be, and what it should look like. This caused the magazine to swell in scope and size—the damn thing became too unwieldy.
Almost three years later, everything about Specter encompasses a minimalist approach to publishing literature, interviews, and art.
This isn’t just Spike Lee’s worst movie, it’s practically his “Wicker Man”.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with remakes, and to suggest otherwise is to deny the fundamental nature of storytelling itself. Of course, it’s certainly understandable that contemporary film audiences might feel otherwise, as the laziness and lack of vision with which Hollywood has repurposed pre-existing films has burdened the idea of a “remake” with needless cynicism, our recent commercial cinema effectively suggesting that a good story is only worth telling once. Spike Lee’s “Oldboy” is fascinating in how it reinforces that sad notion while also being an abysmal film in its own right, the movie practically martyring itself in order to illustrate how the problem with remakes is rooted in practice rather than theory.
Every single sentence in a short story is bearing weight, and for that reason most go wrong on me. Most end up on the floor. I write ten or twelve of the fuckers a year. One or two will get seen by anyone. I have a workroom at home in County Sligo that’s just littered with the corpses and near-corpses of half-dead zombie stories. It’s appalling shit. It’s fucking terrible. But I will always finish them, because I think that’s when you know you’re a pro: when you finish even the bad stuff.
Kevin Barry (via mttbll)
"I don’t like the idea of ‘understanding’ a film. I don’t believe that rational understanding is an essential element in the reception of any work of art. Either a film has something to say to you or it hasn’t. If you are moved by it, you don’t need it explained to you. If not, no explanation can make you moved by it.
I’m not going to lay down in words the lure of this place. Every great writer in the land, from Faulkner to Twain to Rice to Ford, has tried to do it and fallen short. It is impossible to capture the essence, tolerance, and spirit of south Louisiana in words and to try is to roll down a road of clichés, bouncing over beignets and beads and brass bands and it just is what it is.
It is home.
The weekly literary listing post by Odd Words was disapproved again. Still no answer from Facebook help desk or ad department. If you disagree refusing to promote a post because it references a library event for GLBT teens, the following please go to the small sprocket icon, select Report…
Via @gholson: “I fixed that NYMPHOMANIAC poster.”
So how did people start using “because” like this? Unclear. There are certainly connections to memes, as in 2001’s elegantly straightforward “Because fuck you,” and 2011’s “because race car.” The construction could also be, as the linguist Neal Whitman speculates, a shortened version of “because, hey, [noun]”—as in, NSF cancels new political science grants, because, hey, politics—with people dropping the “hey” while keeping the rest of the construction intact. (In this case, hey functions “like an adaptor, letting you shift from the ordinary speech register to this casual and condensed register.”) There could also be echoes, Carey points out, of parent-child exchanges (kid: Why? Parent: Because). A comment on the blog Language Log also mentions the intriguing, though likely unrelated, fact that in Spanish, “because” (porque) and “why” (¿por qué?) are close to synonymous.
Good Will Hunting (1997). “I used to go with the wrench. Because fuck him, that’s why.”
|INTERVIEWER:||Aside from length, is there any difference between writing a novel and writing short stories?|
|FORD:||Novels are a lot harder to write. Long ones, anyway.|
|FORD:||Because they hold so much more stuff, and the stuff all has to be related and make one whole—at least the way I do it. And from my experience with writing both, I do think writing a long novel is just a larger human effort than writing a book of short stories—assuming that both are good. I used to say that a novel was a more important, a grander literary gesture than a story. And when Ray Carver would hear me say that he’d vigorously disagree, and then I’d always cave in. But he’s gone now, and the fun’s gone out of that argument. I don’t care, to tell you the truth. Is a week in bounteous Paris more important than twenty-four hours in somewhat less majestic Chinook, Montana, if in Chinook your life changes forever? If it is for you, it is; if it isn’t, well? Forms of literature don’t compete. They don’t have to compete. We can have it all.|
Do not let yourself be governed by it, especially not in unproductive moments. In productive ones try to make use of it as one more means of seizing life. Used purely, it is itself pure, and one need not be ashamed of it; and when you feel too familiar with it, when you fear the growing intimacy with it, then turn towards great and serious subjects, before which it becomes small and helpless.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1903), Letters to a Young Poet