“7 Awesome Ways Barnyard Animals Are Like Communism.” From McSweeneys, great literature retitled to boost website traffic.
Recommended reading: “What is Color in Poetry” by Dorothea Lasky for Poetry. It’s a lengthy article but a thoughtful one, and, as a bonus, it includes some of Lasky’s childhood poetry. Pair with our earlier post about reading teenage poetry to crowds and you’ve got a theme for the day.
“On the day I moved in, without giving it any thought, we started to refer to one storage space—there are three, two low-ceilinged ones on either side of the pitch-roofed room and one closet—as ‘the bad area.’ We had barely walked in, we (at least I) had forgotten the ghost, and here we were—‘the bad area.’” Amie Barrodale writes at The Paris Review Daily about life in a haunted apartment.
What happens when a literary fiction writer tackles YA? If that writer is Sherman Alexie, he produces an award-winning book that rivals the quality of his books in other genres. At the Ploughshares blog, Annie Cardi writes about writers who’ve made this transition, including Alexie, Roddy Doyle and Louise Erdrich. You could also read our survey of high school students on the best YA books of 2013.
As the 20th century wore on, the Strugatsky brothers grew pessimistic about Soviet Communism, eventually turning their fictional worlds from socialist utopias to dystopias. Their most famous early novel, Noon: 22nd Century bears little resemblance to later works like Hard to Be a God, which implicitly criticizes the Soviet government. At The Paris Review Daily, Ezra Glinter charts their evolution.
Mary Ruefle, author of the forthcoming Madness, Rack, and Honey, wrote a poetic essay on the subject of fear. It’s chock full of lines like this one about why she likes the word dread more than the word fear: “because fear, like the unconscious emotion which is one of its forms, has only the word ear inside of it, telling an animal to listen, while dread has the word read inside of it, telling us to read carefully and find the dead, who are also there.”
It’s already mid-morning, but have you really started writing yet? If you’re procrastinating, it might be because you see your future self as a stranger. Psychologists believe that because we don’t know who we will be years from now, we fail to make good decisions for the long term. Perhaps both your current and future selves can agree you just want to finish that novel already.