Recommended Reading: Justin Taylor on Sam Lipsyte’s The Fun Parts and how “attention to language at the molecular level” creates a better experience reading and writing. Pair with our review of Taylor’s Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever.
Most of our discussions about changing the canon revolve around adding onetime marginalized writers. But there’s a flipside to this -- who do we need to eject? In a Bookends column for the Times, James Parker and Francine Prose pick greats that are no longer great.
"Writers are outsiders, and usually not by their own choosing. It's why they're writers. If they didn't feel alienated from human experience, they wouldn't feel so drawn to writing to make sense of their lives. It's not the outsider's facility for language that makes her a writer — many a student body president or homecoming queen can turn a phrase — but her ability to howl at the moon, on the page." Karen Karbo writes for Powell's Books's blog about how much publishing has changed in the last 20-some years, but she also has a lot of great words about why people would want to deal with writing and publishing in the first place. Pair her smart essay with our own Nick Ripatrazone's piece "Practical Art: On Teaching the Business of Creative Writing."
"Two writers guard an archive. One writes Fiction; the other writes Fact. To get past them, you have to figure out which is which." Recommended reading: The New Yoker's Jill Lepore attempts to trace the "long-lost story of the longest book ever written," Joe Gould's The Oral History of Our Time.