Do you have to understand every word?

When Joseph Conrad's Nostromo was first published in 1904, many of the words used in the text must have been unfamiliar to the general public. The common folk of the neighborhood, peons of the estancias, vaqueros of the seaboard plains, tame Indians coming miles to market with a bundle of sugar-cane or a basket of maize worth … Continue reading Do you have to understand every word?

Joyce Maynard vs James Patterson

In the cult movie The Decline of the American Empire, a young intellectual confesses he has sexual fantasies about sleeping with Susan Sontag. The movie was released in 1986, so Susan Sontag was about 53 years young. Times were different then. Men in their early twenties having fantasies about sex with fifty-something writers was considered … Continue reading Joyce Maynard vs James Patterson

To NaNoWriMo or Not to NaNoWriMo?

I have learned the existence of the National Novel Writing Month only recently. When I was a young man in my mid-twenties with aspirations of being a published novelist, an institution like NaNoWriMo was unthinkable. It is pretty much unthinkable today, even though it exists. Who would have imagined? NaNoWriMo is a strange institution for … Continue reading To NaNoWriMo or Not to NaNoWriMo?