Dear reader, part of my job now is to read blogs. Really. Fantastic, but true. When I’m not reading the slush pile or schilling magazines or writing e-mails for ASF, I’m reading blogs. I’m supposed to stay knowledgeable about the current discussions and trends happening in the great big world of writing.
I thought you might enjoy seeing the more interesting things I found over the last week. Some of this is pulled from lit blogs, some of it is courtesy of friends, and some of it comes from my personal explorations. I have, magpie-like, collected the shiny bits and arrayed them for you, dear reader. I’ll try to make this a regular feature.
This week I have a couple stories, some internet objects, a short critical history of fandom, and, of course, David Foster Wallace.
Donald Barthelme is very high on my list of favorite authors. And this is one of my favorite Barthelme stories. With bonus Salman Rushdie!
This story was published a few months ago, but I’m still reading it and thinking about it. Melissa Goodrich does exactly what I want to do. She takes something speculative and renders it in a way that is very ordinary and true.
Russel Davies on the Internet of/with Things. This article makes me want to build personalized LED-and-paper maps that can tell me exactly what I need to know. Though Davies says I might need to find a tame programmer to help me with the code. “They’re turning from mucking about with the web to mucking about with the real world because there seems to be a whole new set of interesting things to invent, unoccupied, uncolonised space.”
I really wish I could take this course. Developing algorithms to randomize and cycle text seems like it could actually motivate me to learn Python.
A very short critical history of fandom. Specifically, commonplace books of the 19th century. Apparently Byron used to write poems for his nubile young fans. Oh, Byron.
Maude Newton takes on the rhetorical gambits of DFW. An interesting critique. I often think about whether my online voice is consistent or not and, lately, as I’ve been producing content for other people, about writing in a house voice versus my own voice. Whether I’m writing as a magazine asking you to subscribe, or as an individual asking you to read me, I’m still, essentially, trying to get you to like me.
I rarely watch or listen to interviews with David Foster Wallace, so it’s strange to hear his voice in real time as opposed to in text. It may have made me weep a little into my Saturday morning tea. The DFW segment starts about 23 minutes in. This is particularly interesting to watch after reading the Maude Newton article.