I am a creature of routine occupying a body of convention living a life of habit. So when I got exciting news this week that seems to portend my world changing drastically this summer (holy crap I was admitted to an MFA program!), I immediately got the flu. It was my body’s way of saying, “Don’t go changing on me.” And not only am I receiving conflicting signals from my ambitious brain and my curmudgeonly immune system, I am further confused by the rejection letters slowly piling up from other MFA programs. Maybe I got into the one program that didn’t read my application. Oh well – sucks for them. I’m still going. A green light is a green light even when you can see a collision on the horizon. Thank you, dear benefactors!
In other news:
I give you the Halloween costume of the future! (The future being 2009.)
Tom Perotta talks Tracy Flick: “Especially with Palin, I don’t feel as if Tracy Flick was the best comparison. I just think people are made uncomfortable by ambitious women.”
Romantic comedies might be as harmful to the developing psyche as violent video games and cheese from a can.
Are poets held to lower standards today?
What war on drugs? I don’t remember fighting a war on drugs.
I’m the last person to be wrapped up in the WTF Blanket.
A new book asks why women get short shrift when it comes to writing the next Great American Novel. (Thanks to DD for the link.)
[Elaine Showalter] has insisted that themes central to women’s lives — marriage, motherhood, the tension between family and individual aspirations — constitute subject matter as “serious” and significant as traditionally masculine motifs like war and travel. Yet she rejects the preference of many feminist literary scholars for emphasizing “culture importance rather than aesthetic distinction” . . .
This website is to sociologists what PhotoshopDisasters is to designers.
Judith Warner writes about the pitfalls of mindfulness and Anna Fricke writes about not getting the baby drunk (both from NY Times blogs).
My alma mater is looking for a new mascot. Remember that artichokes, banana slugs, and “The Fighting Quaker” have already been done.
Jonathan Ames is taking on TV and James Franco is taking on books. And I live on the moon and moon rocks live on my couch!
I’m waiting for a quiet, sad moment to read this New Yorker piece about David Foster Wallace and his unfinished novel.
[Wallace’s] goal had been to show readers how to live a fulfilled, meaningful life. “Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being,” he once said. Good writing should help readers to “become less alone inside.”
Garrison Keillor learns a lesson from an unread writer.
And thanks to Edward Upward, I have decided not to take a sabbatical after all. You go off to the woods for a year and it puts you under terrible pressure to write “Moby Dick” or something worthy of having had an entire year in which to write, and the longer you work at this masterpiece the shabbier it looks, the whale turns into a guppy, and at the end of the year you have torn up almost everything you wrote and you are filled with self-loathing and bitter regret.
I’m just happy more good looking people seem to be choosing the literary profession over acting, modeling, or working at Hooters. Makes readings feel more like the talent portion of a beauty contest. Vive les letters!