Posts Tagged: tolstoy

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The Rumpus Interview with Paul Griner

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Paul Griner talks about his newest novel, Second Life, his just-released story collection Hurry Please I Want to Know, putting real life into fiction, and whether creative writing can be taught. ...more

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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The Unhappy Marriage Rule

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For the New York Times‘s Bookends column, authors Charles McGrath and Leslie Jamison share their thoughts about what they perceive to be the best portrayals of marriage in literature. While McGrath argues that the more interesting literary marriages tend to be unhappy and failing, Jamison explores relationships within Jack Gilbert’s poems, which characterize love “as a state of seeking, rather than having.”

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Exploring the “Russian Soul”

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For the New York Times, Francine Prose and Benjamin Moser share their experiences reading 19th century Russian literature. While Prose shows an appreciation for the timeless themes of Tolstoy and Gogol, Moser contends that what makes 19th century Russian writers distinctive is the way their work “echoed their particular national history.” 

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The Science of Why You Can’t Read Good Literature

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Writer Michael Harris discusses digital distraction and reading War and Peace at Salon:

But there’s a religious certainty required in order to devote yourself to one thing while cutting off the rest of the world. We don’t know that the inbox is emergency-free, we don’t know that the work we’re doing is the work we ought to be doing.

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One More Thing That Literature Is Good For

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A few weeks ago, I went to a dermatologist to have something on my nose removed. He said less than two sentences to me, asked me one question he didn’t listen to the answer to, ignored my protests, had a nurse hold me down, stuck a large needle in my nose with no warning, and then dug the thing out with a scalpel even though the anesthesia was barely working.

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