A short-story writer fields many questions about the genre, among them the persistent and accusatory: But why didn’t you finish it? Or the related: Why didn’t you write a whole book about this? Depending upon audience and context I’ve given any number of answers. Because the job of a short story is to leave you in suspended animation, and let you linger there until you think you know what it means. Because there’s something to the experience of being dropped into something and then forced to surface. Because the right one-night stand can be as interesting as a marriage. Because the world can change forever in a few centuries or in a few seconds, and we need measures of both. Because closure is overrated and fiction’s job is to open us up.
— Danielle Evans, Selecting Editor, wigleaf 50.
I’m very proud to be part of the w50 team, and hope you enjoy these stories as much as I do.
TUNA WONDER: A loving Terrence Malick parody, and a tribute to the best cat in the world.
um, this is major.
A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.
Junot Diaz (via livelearnandpanic)
Charles Bukowski (via sweetlotus)
POSTER: LARS VON TRIER’S “NYMPHOMANIAC”
oh here we go.
The mistakes I tend to make in my first draft are too many adjectives. When I type it up and look at it, I try to take out half the adjectives and a third of the self-pity.
When [Printers Inc. bookseller Lewis] Buzbee read Mona Simpson’s Carver interview in the Paris Review, he discovered that nearly half the questions and answers from the interview he had conducted with Ray — the one that had been declined by the Paris Review and had since been accepted by the New England Review — appeared verbatim in the pages credited solely to Simpson. Ray explained in a letter to Buzbee that he had noticed the overlap in the proofs and asked the PR to credit Buzbee, but that hadn’t happened. When Buzbee’s lawyer threatened to sue, PR publisher George Plimpton telephoned to ask him not to pursue a lawsuit. Buzbee said he could never forget the exact words of the final call: “Who the fuck do you think you are? You’re just a little shit on the West Coast. You don’t own everything that comes out of your typewriter!” Buzbee replied, “I work in a bookstore for five dollars an hour. My words are all I do own.” Ultimately PR listed Buzbee as coauthor with Simpson on all reprintings of the interview.
—Carol Sklenicka, Raymond Carver: A Writer’s Life