Archive for 2011

  • Fifty-Six Of The Best (Or Worst) Similies Ever Written

    Fifty-Six Of The Best (Or Worst) Similies Ever Written

    December 30th, 2011 | Metaphor and Simile | journalpulp | 4 Comments

    The following list, which comes from two contests held by the Washington Post, is not new — in fact, it’s been making the internet rounds for a while now — but you’ll never get tired of reading it: 1. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center. 2. He […]

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  • The Truckdriver

    The Truckdriver

    December 26th, 2011 | Poetry | journalpulp | 8 Comments

    The trucker who lives next door is seldom home. He’s a long-haul trucker, he’s over-the-road. He earns good money and does not spend. There’s something ascetical about him, something well read and wise. He’s forty. His hair is long. He wears jeans and combat boots. Sallow and haggard, his face is handsome nevertheless. His willowy […]

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  • Christmas And Its Origins

    Christmas And Its Origins

    December 25th, 2011 | Christmas | journalpulp | No Comments

    Syncretism is a term that means the combining or reconciling of opposing practices and principles. It’s most commonly used in a religious or philosophical context, and as with Easter, Christmas too is syncretic in its origins: a pagan celebration whose provenance long predates Christ’s birth but which eventually made its way into the Christian mainstream. […]

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  • Literature As An Art Form

    Literature As An Art Form

    November 4th, 2011 | Literature | journalpulp | 12 Comments

    Literature is the art-form of language, and words are its tools. As a painter uses paint, as a musician uses musical instruments, as a sculptor uses stone-and-chisel, so a writer uses words. Words have a definite meaning. That is the first point every writer must address — though of course not every writer answers that […]

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  • The Goths and the Origins of Gothic Literature

    The Goths and the Origins of Gothic Literature

    October 31st, 2011 | Gothic Fiction | journalpulp | No Comments

    The Goths, as recounted by a Gothic historian named Jordanes (mid 6th Century AD), were a Teutonic-Germanic people whose original homeland was, according to this same Jordanes, in southern Sweden. At that time, this half-barbaric band was ruled by a king called Berig. It was King Berig who led his people south to the shores […]

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  • What Makes Literature Last?

    What Makes Literature Last?

    October 28th, 2011 | Literature | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    “One of the tests of a good writer,” said the poet Karl Shapiro, “is editorial acumen, the ability to turn down your work. It’s the amateur who falls in love with his own written words and holds them sacrosanct.” I think that that’s essentially true. I think also that anyone can learn to write formulaic […]

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  • David Lynch Or Quentin Tarantino?

    David Lynch Or Quentin Tarantino?

    October 14th, 2011 | Movies, Plot, Storytelling, Theme | journalpulp | 9 Comments

    A reader writes: Dear Ray Harvey: Well, it took me five months but I finally finished reading More and More unto the Perfect Day and I wish to compliment you! Though it is a challenging and not easy read, it is rewarding and gives much food for thought to say the least. Your story reminded […]

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  • Interview With Slagheap

    Interview With Slagheap

    October 6th, 2011 | More and More unto the Perfect Day | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    The following questions were submitted to me some time ago by Mr. Maxwell Hoaglund, of Slagheap magazine. I publish it here with Mr. Hoaglund’s full knowledge and permission. Q: If your finger isn’t typing, where is it? Ray Harvey: It’s on the pulse of the people. Q: Are you really a bartender? Ray Harvey: Yes. […]

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  • Writing Takes Place Inside The Head

    Writing Takes Place Inside The Head

    September 24th, 2011 | How to write a novel, Plotting | journalpulp | 5 Comments

    Humans spend the majority of their lives inside their own heads, to paraphrase John Milton. One of the primary reasons — and it’s a perfectly legitimate reason — that people give for not finishing a book or a writing project is that they don’t have the time to write. The good news is that at […]

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  • Lord Byron: One Of The Pulpiest

    Lord Byron: One Of The Pulpiest

    September 19th, 2011 | Lord Byron, Poetry | journalpulp | 6 Comments

    Lord Byron just turned 229 years old. Here is how he was regarded by some of his peers: “A man of genius whose heart is perverted,” William Wordsworth called Lord Bryon. “The most vulgar-minded genius that ever produced a great effect in literature,” George Eliot called Lord Byron. “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” Caroline […]

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  • Rules For Writing: Beware The Overly Proscriptive

    Rules For Writing: Beware The Overly Proscriptive

    September 15th, 2011 | How to write a novel | journalpulp | 8 Comments

    There is a formula (of sorts) to novel-writing, but that formula should always be framed in terms of principles, and not concretes. By concretes, I’m referring to these interminable lists of specifics we so often see that tell us what to do and what not to do but never give us the principle behind the […]

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  • What Is Poetry?

    What Is Poetry?

    September 10th, 2011 | Poetry | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    Poetry is a subset of literature, the art form of language, but it also legitimately belongs to another art: music. Poetry is rhyme and rhythm. It is cadence and count, meter and metric. Poetry is prosody. It is scansion. It is versification. And those are the elements of poetry that make it a part of […]

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  • Plot and Theme: A Complicated Relationship

    Plot and Theme: A Complicated Relationship

    September 6th, 2011 | Plot, Storytelling, The Situation, Theme, Universality | journalpulp | No Comments

    The Situation is the nucleus of your story: it contains the kernel of your conflict from which the rest of your storyline will grow. A real story cannot exist without some sort of conflict. If you have a specific message that you wish to get across (e.g. the destructiveness of superstition), it is that message […]

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  • What Is Beauty?

    What Is Beauty?

    August 27th, 2011 | Aesthetics, Art, Beauty, Esthetics | journalpulp | 9 Comments

    A reader writes: Dear Sir: Forget your politics. What is beauty? Is it anything? — Lily Alderman Dear Lily: It is everything. Beauty is the esthetically pleasing, it is the lovely. Aristotle wrote: “Beauty depends on size as well as symmetry” (ahem, ahem). But beauty is symmetry. Beauty is congruence. It is the bah-bah in […]

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  • How To Begin Your Story

    How To Begin Your Story

    August 17th, 2011 | Beginnings, Characterization, Plot | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Establish your setting early on. Give us The When, The Where, The Weather — the overall tone. Is your story happy, soft, somber? John Steinbeck does this so well in the beautiful opening of Of Mice and Men: A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and […]

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