July 26, 2011KR BlogKRWriting

Short Takes: “That Reckless Swim Through the Imagination”

Rest in Peace, David Blair. (Here, he sings an a cappella version of “Farewell” by Emily Dickinson.)

Alert, ye aspirant scribes: Blake Butler at the ascendant lit blog HTMLGIANT has made public the fate of every submission he sent out from 2006 through 2008, not to mention all the lessons he learned in the process.

Make room on your shelves: with the help of a Fulbright, Martin Woodside, a Ph.D. student at Rutgers-Camden, recently translated and compiled an anthology of classical and contemporary Romanian Poetry, Of Gentle Wolves.

The Official Catalog of the Library of Potential Literature might potentially be the best book you’ve ever read about books that don’t exist.

Andre Dubus III: “It’s my belief“ that most writers are inherently “outsiders” by nature, whether they live with a publicist in Brooklyn or in a brick house on the Iowa City campus, whether they work as bartenders or tenured writing professors. Why? Because the actual daily act of writing, that free-fall into the subconscious, that reckless swim through the imagination, demands a certain level of ego-surrender that leaves all those worldly concerns (writerly reputation, money, tenure, etc.) behind.”

If Michael Chabon invited you into his house to take whatever books you wanted from his library, what would you take?

Some guerilla Blake fans:

(Photo: JD Clark)

In an ongoing suit that seems to be slowing down now, J. K. Rowling faces accusations of plagiarizing parts of her wildly successful series from Adrian Jacobs’s 1987 book, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard: No 1 Livid Land.

Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who ousted himself as an undocumented immigrant a month ago, is a fraction shy of his goal to collect 100,000 signatures in support of his new project, Define American.

And the winning entry in the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for the worst possible opening sentence of a hypothetical novel goes to University of Wisconsin professor Sue Fondrie. The blue-ribbon snatching atrocity: “Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.”

On being both lamb and lion–I mean, writer and book critic–simultaneously.