Posts Tagged: jonathan russell clark

Celebrating Borges’s Dual Natures

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Maybe there are two Borges in the world, existing at the same time. One is the fiction writer we know, the lover of paradox, the trickster, the forger, the artist who describes fantastical events with straight-faced authority, using the syntax and tone of academia; and then there is this other Borges, the critic, who writes reasonably and clearly, companionably and insightfully, about high-brow and esoteric subjects, whose aim is elucidation rather than bewilderment.

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Thinking about the Past as If It Were the Future

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Chuck Klosterman’s new book, But What If We’re Wrong, theorizes how today will appear in the history books. But how will his own work hold up?

The further in the future you peer the more impossible it is to anticipate what that future will look like or even what its denizens believe about the basic principles of existence, let alone what books they’re reading.

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Stop Worrying About What Comes Next

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At The MillionsJonathan Russell Clark analyzes several last sentences from well-known novels by Hemingway, Tolstoy, Morrison, and Roth. He pays particular attention to the craftsmanship necessary to write these sentences, and considers how last sentences work to reinforce larger themes within a novel:

For writers, the last sentences aren’t about reader responsibility at all — it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to stop worrying about what comes next, because nothing does.

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This Incredible Writer and Thinker and Person

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For The Millions, Jonathan Russell Clark covers Little Brown’s new The David Foster Wallace Reader, touching upon what he calls the writer’s “metanonfiction.” He also discusses, among other things, his hopes for the volume:

… if this “Reader” accomplishes anything, it would be wonderful if some new Wallace fans emerged from its publication.

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Word of the Day: Logodaedaly

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(n.); cunning in words; skill in adorning speech; the arbitrary or capricious coinage of words; from late Latin and Greek, log (“speech, word”) and daidalos (“skillful, ingeniously formed)

Every society we’ve ever known has had poetry, and should the day come that poetry suddenly disappears in the morning, someone, somewhere, will reinvent it by evening.

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