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Anything That Moves Me

In Praise of Boredom

A friend, one of those rare, almost mythical beings who reads fiction but has no desire to write it, once asked me if was true that a writer needs to have a boring life.

I said yes.


In the past couple of days there have been several articles in the NY Times that reminded  Read More 
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Fay Weldon's Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen

Letters to Alice on first reading Jane AustenLetters to Alice on first reading Jane Austen by Fay Weldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


"Alice" is a fictional character, the author, Fay Weldon, signs her letters to this nonexistent niece "your aunt Fay" and most of the book reads more like essays than a novel. Sounds ghastly, right? It probably is if you read it at the wrong moment.

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Rating Good Reads

I joined Goodreads recently, as preparation for publishing a series of e-books. The idea was to establish a presence in a popular online community of readers, make some friends and build anticipation for the upcoming releases.

But I was dismayed by the duty to write reviews. The members of Goodreads list the books they've read on "shelves" for others to see, post online reviews, and of course, rank the books using the familiar five-star system.
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Algorithms and Genres

People make fun of the Netflix algorithm, the computer program that recommends movies based on how you rate other movies. I’ve certainly laughed at it. Its worst recommendation for me was Jackass 2. And no, I didn’t give Jackass 1 five stars, or even watch it.

The reason Netflix suggested Jackass 2 was that I had given Monty Python’s Life of Brian five stars, as did, apparently, many jackasses.  Read More 
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The Aesthetics of Porn

In the recent movie The Kids Are All Right, an early joke is that the lesbian couple watches gay male porn. When their fifteen-year-old son discovers their stash and wants to know why they don’t watch movies about women, his biological mother, played by Julianne Moore, tries valiantly to come up with logical explanations.  Read More 
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Escape Artists

A couple of weeks ago I heard a talk by Francine Prose, author of Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. Like many writers of fiction, Ms. Prose uses the word “books” here to mean novels, and her talk was similar to the first part of Reading, a discussion of the reasons people read, or might want to. First on her list was: Escape.  Read More 
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Perception and Reality

Since my last post, (Seeing Blue) I've been thinking more and more about perception in a larger sense. By “perception,” I mean the way the act of seeing, or more precisely, reading, determines the way in which we understand a work of fiction.

“The camera doesn't lie,” we often hear, especially after being confronted with yet another candid snapshot of one's “self” looking like a star-nosed mole having a bad hair day.  Read More 
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Bette Davis Performs in North Carolina

No, this is not simply an excuse to say "What a dump," although I sure felt like saying it when I got back to my dusty apartment from my "mini-tour" of western North Carolina.

My reference to the movie star is about her persona, not any particular quotation.  Read More 
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