I have said in one of my few forays into nonfiction (On Writing) that you can’t learn to write unless you’re a reader, and unless you read a lot. AI programmers have apparently taken this advice to heart. Because the capacity of computer memory is so large—everything I ever wrote could fit on one thumb drive, a fact that never ceases to blow my mind—these programmers can dump thousands of books into state-of-the-art digital blenders. Including, it seems, mine. The real question is whether you get a sum that’s greater than the parts, when you pour back out.
Stories about people who write books
His Preface, “The Freedom of the Press” was omitted from the first edition of the book, then disappeared, and was not rediscovered until 1971. From it, we learn that Orwell had considerable difficulty getting his fable published. That wasn’t principally because of wartime issues. There was a shortage of books and his was highly readable. Rather, British intellectuals of the day did not wish to hear any criticism of Stalin or allusions to his atrocities…
And he ends his Preface on a high note,
I know that the English intelligentsia have plenty of reason for their timidity and dishonesty, indeed I know by heart the arguments by which they justify themselves. But at least let us have no more nonsense about defending liberty against Fascism. If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
I Would Rather See My Books Get Pirated Than This (Or: Why Goodreads and Amazon Are Becoming Dumpster Fires)
We desperately need guardrails on this landslide of misattribution and misinformation. Amazon and Goodreads, I beg you to create a way to verify authorship, or for authors to easily block fraudulent books credited to them. Do it now, do it quickly.
When a sledgehammer isn’t really an option.
THE SLAB OF CONCRETE IS more than a foot tall, ten inches wide, and two inches thick. It weighs about 20 pounds, and it is cataloged in the University of Chicago’s library system as a book.
Thoughts of “home” often dominate the last two weeks of the year as people celebrate the holidays, so this week’s quiz is about novels at least partly set in states where their authors have also lived at some point. To play, just make your selection in the multiple-choice list and the correct answer will be revealed.
This essay by Jerry Craft is part of a series of interviews with — and essays by — authors who are finding their books being challenged and banned in the U.S.
Author Jerry Craft: Most kids cheer for the heroes to succeed no matter who they are
The Moral Judgments of Henry David Thoreau Why, given its fabrications, inconsistencies, and myopia, do we continue to cherish “Walden”?
From: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/10/19/pond-scum Why Do We Love Henry David Thoreau? | The New Yorker
Who Did What in Every Agatha Christie Murder Novel All of the author’s deadly plots, plotted. (Spoilers if you look closely.)
In Agatha Christie’s novels, murder and financial fraud are often intertwined. The murderers are more likely to be men, are partial to poison, and frequently commit the crime as part of a scam such as winning an inheritance.
From: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-07-02/who-did-what-in-every-agatha-christie-murder-mystery-novel Who Did What in Every Agatha Christie Murder Mystery Novel – Bloomberg
This is all to say that Flannery O’Connor did not care if you liked her work, and she certainly did not care, it would seem from her letters, if you liked her. Writing was not for her a means of making a point or gaining admiration, though, being human, it is hard to imagine that she was not pleased at times with herself and her success. Writing for her was a means of understanding herself: “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”
From: https://churchlifejournal.nd.edu/articles/flannery-oconnor-didnt-care-if-you-liked-her-work/#.Xvn5txvapco.hackernews Flannery O’Connor Didn’t Care If You Liked Her Work | Church Life Journal | University of Notre Dame