IRN + writing   10

The Symbolism Survey
"In 1963, a sixteen-year-old San Diego high school student named Bruce McAllister sent a four-question mimeographed survey to 150 well-known authors of literary, commercial, and science fiction. Did they consciously plant symbols in their work? he asked. Who noticed symbols appearing from their subconscious, and who saw them arrive in their text, unbidden, created in the minds of their readers? When this happened, did the authors mind?

McAllister had just published his first story, “The Faces Outside,” in both IF magazine and Simon and Schuster’s 1964 roundup of the best science fiction of the year. Confident, if not downright cocky, he thought the surveys could settle a conflict with his English teacher by proving that symbols weren’t lying beneath the texts they read like buried treasure awaiting discovery."
writing  symbolism  fiction  high  school  english  man  froth 
june 2012 by IRN
[The] screenwriting world is currently fucked.
EDIT: unSane is, according to Mefi, "John Brownlow" - "I dunno if I'm A-list, but I suppose I'm at least high B-list... The money (six figures) I lost due to the last strike will never be recouped" - see http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0003164/
economics  film  screen  writing  hollywood 
august 2010 by IRN
The Best Magazine Articles Ever
Kevin Kelly tries to nail down the best English language articles ever written.
journalism  literature  writing  list  culture 
august 2010 by IRN
Kevin Smith talks about Superman
20 minutes, but more entertaining than Kevin Smith's films.
video  movie  kevin  smith  writing  hollywood  insider  spider 
august 2010 by IRN
The quiet hell of 10 years of novel writing
"There are oodles of novels that took a decade or longer to write—including some famous examples, like Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Díaz spoke in interviews about his own decade of active non-accomplishment. He said that five years into the process, he decided to give up on the novel and start a graduate degree (in what, he didn't say). He said his life improved: no more torture, no more fights with his fiance. Oh, Junot, I thought when I read this, I understand! Still, something pulled him back, and another five years passed, and then he was finally done."
books  writing  novelist  writer  writers  block  eunuch  munich 
july 2010 by IRN
Shattered Glass
"For those two and a half years, the Stephen Glass show played to a captivated audience; then the curtain abruptly fell. He got away with his mind games because of the remarkable industry he applied to the production of the false backup materials which he methodically used to deceive legions of editors and fact checkers. Glass created fake letterheads, memos, faxes, and phone numbers; he presented fake handwritten notes, fake typed notes from imaginary events written with intentional misspellings, fake diagrams of who sat where at meetings that never transpired, fake voice mails from fake sources. He even inserted fake mistakes into his fake stories so fact checkers would catch them and feel as if they were doing their jobs. He wasn’t, obviously, too lazy to report. He apparently wanted to present something better, more colorful and provocative, than mere truth offered."
stephen  glass  fake  fraud  phony  liar  journalism  writing  writer 
july 2010 by IRN
"WHAT HAPPENS IF HER DON’T GET IT?" - David Mamet's Master Class Memo to the Writers of The Unit
"SO: WE, THE WRITERS, MUST ASK OURSELVES OF EVERY SCENE THESE THREE QUESTIONS.

1) WHO WANTS WHAT?
2) WHAT HAPPENS IF HER DON’T GET IT?
3) WHY NOW?"
writing  tv  television  story  movies  advice  mamet 
may 2010 by IRN
Matt Taibbi on Thomas Friedman
Forget the Cinnabon. Name me a herd animal that hunts. Name me one.

This would be a small thing were it not for the overall pattern. Thomas Friedman does not get these things right even by accident. It's not that he occasionally screws up and fails to make his metaphors and images agree. It's that he always screws it up. He has an anti-ear, and it's absolutely infallible; he is a Joyce or a Flaubert in reverse, incapable of rendering even the smallest details without genius. The difference between Friedman and an ordinary bad writer is that an ordinary bad writer will, say, call some businessman a shark and have him say some tired, uninspired piece of dialogue: Friedman will have him spout it. And that's guaranteed, every single time. He never misses.
writing  language  humour  criticism 
november 2009 by IRN

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