Thursday, January 28, 2010

Louis Auchincloss 1917-2010

I've read many of Auchincloss's novels, but not all. During his long writing career he turned out over sixty books, including novels, literary criticism, and collections of short stories. Yes, he wrote about the upper class, that's what he knew. No, his work is not snobby. Yes, he was an acute observer of human behaviour, and he had a lovely dry sense of humor.

from the NYT article:

"“Class prejudice” was Mr. Auchincloss’s response to his critics. “That business of objecting to the subject material or the people that an author writes about is purely class prejudice,” he said in an interview in 1997, “and you will note that it always disappears with an author’s death. Nobody holds it against Henry James or Edith Wharton or Thackeray or Marcel Proust.”"

In fact, his work most resembles Edith Wharton, another member of privilege who spared them not in her work.

And, of course, RIP J.D. Salinger. But which one would I prefer to sit next to at a dinner party? Easy peasy, Louis of course.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cheap Beer & Prose at Hugo House Thursday, 7pm

This sounds like fun. The readers will be Midge Raymond, Maria Semple, Matthew Simmons, and Rory Douglas.
For more information, see Hugo House.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

winter quarter class, Feb 22- March 15

My winter quarter class through the UW Women's Center runs from February 22 - March 15, 2010, four Mondays, 7-8:30 pm, $45.

You can register online here,
or call the Women's Center at 206.685.1090.

Writing Your Story, Finding Your Voice
Every woman has a story to tell, in her own voice. In this four-week session we will release our stories, silence our inner critics, and have a good time! Come prepared with pen and paper, your imagination, your fears and joys, your secret expectations. We will focus on short pieces of prose and poetry, using lively free-writing exercises. For those new to writing, and those who want to revisit the freedom of the beginner.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

writing is not therapy

"...writing isn't therapy; on the contrary, it twists and distorts the psyche. If the experience has lost its power to hurt you, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're a better person. The hurtful experience is what is best for the novel, what makes it authentic and alive and not mere fabrication."

-John Braine, How to Write a Novel.

Mr. Braine wrote Room at the Top, The Crying Game, and eleven other novels.


Monday, January 11, 2010

RIP Eric Rohmer 1920-2010

My favorite Eric Rohmer movie? Probably Claire's Knee (1970) but I've liked all that I've seen, and I really can't say that about any other director, not even John Sayles, or Billy Wilder.

M. Rohmer died today at the age of 89. Details here.

From the above article: "Creating fables both buoyant and grave, Rohmer had a movie personality hard to describe and harder to forget. Like subtle wines, lingering perfumes, his best films — Maud, Claire, Chloe, the 1994 Rendezvous in Paris — are essences all worth bottling."

Yes, I'd have to agree. Watching a Rohmer film is a bit like drinking very good French champagne. I feel witty just raising the glass, and there's nothing to regret the next morning.


Monday, January 04, 2010

New Yorker Commas

Mmm, a delicious new litblog has appeared on the horizon. Okay, it's undoubtedly been there for a while, but it's new on my horizon.

New Yorker Commas is the name, and lit gossip is the game. Er, okay, I'll tone it down. A little dish, a little dat. Fine. Fine. You don't believe me, go take a look.