Posts from the ‘Writers’ Category

  • Spring: Babbling Like An Idiot and Strewing Flowers

    March 28th, 2015 | Writers | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) — nom-de-guerre Nancy Boyd — American poetess and playwright, who at age thirty won the Pulitzer Prize, then only the third woman ever to do so, was catapulted into fame at nineteen, when her mother encouraged her to enter a poem called “Renascence” in a contest for The Lyric Year […]

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  • Brave New World And 1984

    Brave New World And 1984

    March 19th, 2015 | Writers | journalpulp | 9 Comments

    Not long after the publication of George Orwell’s wildly famous novel 1984, Orwell received a brief missive from his former teacher Aldous Huxley. Seventeen years before that, Huxley’s semi-similar novel Brave New World electrified the world. The letter is a fascinating read, and that is why I reprint it here in full: Wrightwood. Cal. 21 […]

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  • Literary Pulp

    February 13th, 2015 | Writers | journalpulp | 4 Comments

    Truman Streckfus Persons was Truman Capote’s real name. The title Finnegans Wake contains no apostrophe in the word Finnegans. Thus Finnegans is a plural and Wake is a verb. Issac Newtons’s father was illiterate. Walt Whitman’s mother was illiterate. Roald Dahl was an anti-semite. Djuna Barnes had no formal education at all. Edmund Wilson once […]

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  • The Rituals And Routines of Famous Writers

    The Rituals And Routines of Famous Writers

    December 4th, 2014 | Writers | journalpulp | No Comments

    Writers, as you know, are a strange and superstitious lot. Here’s Jack Kerouac: I had a ritual once of lighting a candle and writing by its light and blowing it out when I was done for the night … also kneeling and praying before starting (I got that from a French movie about George Frideric […]

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  • Bucket of Black Snakes

    Bucket of Black Snakes

    May 21st, 2014 | Writers | journalpulp | 4 Comments

    The extraordinarily prolific and witty French writer-and-philosopher Voltaire — whose real name was François-Marie Arouet — drank up to 100 cups of coffee a day! Voltaire called coffee “the bucket of black snakes” and said it was the closest thing he had to a religion. He did most of his imbibing at the Café de […]

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  • The Subtle but Significant Difference Between Confidence and Determination

    The Subtle but Significant Difference Between Confidence and Determination

    May 1st, 2014 | Writers | journalpulp | 8 Comments

    “Confidence is a static state. Determination is active. Determination allows for doubt and for humility — both of which are critical in the world today. There is so much that we don’t know, and so much that we know we don’t know. To be overly confident or without doubt seems silly to me. Determination, on […]

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  • Charlotte’s Web: an Unforgettable Story that Looks Life and Death Square in the Eye

    Charlotte’s Web: an Unforgettable Story that Looks Life and Death Square in the Eye

    March 8th, 2014 | Writers | journalpulp | 5 Comments

    The best measure for children’s literature is how well that literature holds up when you’re an adult. By this measure Charlotte’s Web is among the very best children’s books written in English. Engrossing, with characters utterly convincing — so utterly human, those animals — Charlotte’s Web towers above most children’s books as a profound explication […]

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  • Top Seven Sexiest Author Photos

    January 8th, 2014 | Writers | journalpulp | No Comments

    Everyone knows that among artists writers are the most intellectual — but many people don’t realize that they are also among the sexiest. Don’t believe it? We have pictures that prove it:

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  • Philip K Dick

    Philip K Dick

    May 11th, 2013 | Writers | journalpulp | No Comments

    He was one strange cat. I don’t always love his literature, but I love his individuality, his originality, his inexhaustible inventiveness, his arrant hatred of authoritarianism, his mad genius: Philip Kindred Dick (nom-de-guerres Richard Phillipps and Jack Dowland), philosophical novelist who bridged the science-fictional and the historical, drug-user, drug-abuser, paranoiac, self-described “acosmic panentheist,” twin brother […]

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  • “Curiously Dull, Furiously Commonplace, Often Meaningless” (And Other Literary Virtues)

    October 10th, 2012 | Writers | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    “Rat-eyed” Virginia Woolf described Somerset Maugham as. “No man ever put more of his heart and soul into the written word,” said Eudora Welty of William Faulkner. “Curiously dull, furiously commonplace, and often meaningless,” Alfred Kazin said of William Faulkner. “Hemingway never climbed out on a limb and never used a word where the reader […]

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  • The Individualistic, The Eccentric, The Cool, The Anachronistic

    September 30th, 2012 | Writers | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    Jean Jacques Rousseau, who categorically believed in the existence of vampires. Persistent legend that the young Leonardo De Vinci was so strong he could — and frequently did — straighten horseshoes with his bare hands. Charles Dickens, a hyper-manic walker who sometimes went twenty-five miles at a headlong pace. A walk? What on earth for? […]

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  • George Orwell: On Writing, On Clarity Of Thought

    George Orwell: On Writing, On Clarity Of Thought

    September 3rd, 2012 | Writers | journalpulp | No Comments

    “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity,” wrote George Orwell, “and when there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.” I confess I myself sometimes feel like that cuttlefish spurting out ink, but […]

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  • John Steinbeck In A Funk

    August 28th, 2012 | John Steinbeck, Writers | journalpulp | 8 Comments

    In 1948, after divorcing his second wife Gwyn, John Steinbeck fell into a funk during which he was able to write almost nothing, except a series of exceptional letters to his editor Pascal (“Pat”) Covici. Here’s a small sampling which I hope you find as life-affirming as I do: September 19, 1948 Dear Pat: You […]

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  • Habits Of Highly Effective Writers: Balzac

    Habits Of Highly Effective Writers: Balzac

    August 7th, 2012 | Writers | journalpulp | 8 Comments

    Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) wrote eighty-five novels in twenty years and made innumerable corrections and revisions in the proof sheets of each. This opus he called La Comedie Humaine — or The Human Comedy. Concerning his countless revisions, his first publisher — one Henri Latouche — said, none too politely: “What the devil has gotten […]

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  • The Curious Lives — And Deaths — Of Writers And Artists

    The Curious Lives — And Deaths — Of Writers And Artists

    February 24th, 2012 | Writers | journalpulp | 6 Comments

    Under threat of arrest during the Reign of Terror, the French writer Nicolas Chamfort (1741 — 1794) shot himself in the head and slit his own throat. Then died of pneumonia while recovering in his bed. Whereas Lavoisier was guillotined in the Reign of Terror. “A good book is twice as good if it’s short.” Said […]

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