Over at the Story Prize blog, Year in Reading alumnus Colum McCann shares a letter of advice to writers starting their career. As he puts it, “A story begins long before its first word. It ends long after its last… [it] reveal[s] a truth that isn’t yet there.”
Ever since the advent of modern neuroscience, the language of the brain scientist has entered our common vocabulary. Words and phrases like “synapse,” “chemical imbalance” and “hardwired” point to its relevance in contemporary culture. At Page-Turner, a look at how cognitive language and our notion of attention affects the way we think about fiction and music, with particular reference to On Beauty by Zadie Smith and Orfeo by Richard Powers.
Want to learn filmmaking from a self-proclaimed “soldier of cinema”? Then sign up for a class with Werner Herzog. The enigmatic director, whose films include Grizzly Man and Fitzcarraldo, announced he’ll be teaching a course in the summer through the online provider Masterclass.
The New Yorker lovefest continues: Emdashes is compiling a list of the New Yorker articles that have appeared in Houghton Mifflin’s annual Best American Essays series. It’s a perfect guide for dipping into your Complete New Yorker set. Update: Emdashes has also done a “short stories” version of the list.My cousin Mitch produces a survey of state quarters. Arkansas: thumbs down. Connecticut: thumbs up!The Regret the Error blog (which tracks all sorts of funny newspaper corrections) has produced a book with a serious sounding subtitle.I would love to get my hands on Transit Maps of the World, an encyclopedic book that’s already been noted by Boing Boing and kottke.
Recommended Reading: Bernadette Murphy on how knitting can be instructive for writers.
Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir was published a few weeks ago to great critical acclaim, and this excerpt from the book on carnal writing and sensual data is evidence of why. If Karr’s your thing, we’ve mentioned her in a couple of previous Curiosities over at The Millions.