In my workshop the default subject position of reading and writing—of Literature with a capital L—was white, straight and male. This white straight male default was of course not biased in any way by its white straight maleness—no way! Race was the unfortunate condition of nonwhite people that had nothing to do with white people and as such was not a natural part of the Universal of Literature, and anyone that tried to introduce racial consciousness to the Great (White) Universal of Literature would be seen as politicizing the Pure Art and betraying the (White) Universal (no race) ideal of True Literature.
Junot Diaz on the race problem in creative writing M[F]As, in The New Yorker. (Thanks, Freesia.)
This poem by a small child is amazing. What a last line!
Brand new zine! Seeking submissions! Get on it!
I remember one situation, when we lived in a village, when a woman asked me what I did in the prison and when I said I was a teacher she patronisingly asked what was the purpose if they were criminals. This view holds in general, sadly.
Prisoners — and those who work with prisoners — respond to Chris Grayling’s disgusting and utterly absurd ban on books behind bars.
Here’s Marina Warner being super smart and fascinating. You know, as always.
My book was the No. 6 bestselling title in America for a while, right behind all the different “50 Shades of Grey” and “Gone Girl.” It was selling more copies than “Hunger Games” and “Bossypants.” So, I can sort of see why people thought I was going to start wearing monogrammed silk pajamas and smoking a pipe.
But the truth is, there’s a reason most well-known writers still teach English. There’s a reason most authors drive dented cars. There’s a reason most writers have bad teeth. It’s not because we’ve chosen a life of poverty. It’s that poverty has chosen our profession.
Even when there’s money in writing, there’s not much money.
How much money an Amazon bestseller really makes. (Spoiler: not a lot.)
Hey, are you a teacher of literature, at any level? Scottish Book Trust has made you some reading resources that fit with almost any book imaginable! You’re welcome.
Edinburgh realised you can never have too many libraries: it now has a Library of Mistakes.
The literary novel as an art work and a narrative art form central to our culture is indeed dying before our eyes. Let me refine my terms: I do not mean narrative prose fiction tout court is dying – the kidult boywizardsroman and the soft sadomasochistic porn fantasy are clearly in rude good health. And nor do I mean that serious novels will either cease to be written or read. But what is already no longer the case is the situation that obtained when I was a young man.
Will Self: the novel isn’t dead, but it might be undead.
I’m speaking at this event (& billed as “Scottish Book Trust’s Claire Askew”!) next week, and all are welcome. It’s free, too!
My writing devices are a laptop and a green Princess Standard typewriter and a variety of notebooks, each filled less than a third and then jettisoned in favour of new notebooks that will be The Perfect Notebook—the one that will inspire all the words to come.
I just completed a day-long public speaking training with these folks, and I love this advice from them on fielding hostile questions.
Haven’t found yourself a typewriter yet? You can use this typewriter text editor in the meantime!
“How are you so confident?” “I’m an asshole!” Okay? It’s my good time, and my good life, despite what you think of me. I live my life, because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame. I show up because I’m an asshole, and I want to have a good time.
Gabourey Sidibe is so freaking great. So great.
I loved these photos of Whitby Goth Fest 2014. Going there is definitely on my bucket list.
I’m obsessed with peeking inside these tiny apartments.
Universal veganism would reduce agriculture-related carbon emissions by 17 percent, methane emissions by 24 percent, and nitrous oxide emissions by 21 percent by 2050. Universal vegetarianism would result in similarly impressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. What’s more, the Dutch researchers found that worldwide vegetarianism or veganism would achieve these gains at a much lower cost than a purely energy-focused intervention involving carbon taxes and renewable energy technology. The upshot: Universal eschewal of meat wouldn’t single-handedly stave off global warming, but it would go a long way toward mitigating climate change.
Destroyed UKIP billboards… is what UKIP billboards were made for.
DID YOU SEE WHAT JANELLE MONAE WORE TO THE MET GALA?? So going to my high school reunion in this outfit.
I hadn’t watched this for years, and I thought that was a damn shame:
I never really paid much attention to Adele… not because I didn’t like her or anything, I just sort of never got round to it. Then Sonia shared this with me the other day and wow, Adele is awesome!
Have a great weekend!
Like shiny things? Check out Edinburgh Vintage, a totally unrelated ’sister site’ full of jewels, treasures and trinkets. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!