Archive for Creative Writing Workshop

Creative Writing Workshop (35): The Reading Life

Alienation (II) The reading life expresses a pre-existing world, organizing it temporarily into language, bringing its contours and challenges to conscious shape. Take a listen to Robert Stone, from “Dog Soldiers” (1974): “In the course of being fragmentation-bombed by the South Vietnamese Air Force, Converse…

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Creative Writing Workshop (34): The Reading Life

Alienation (I) alienate (al’yen-at’, a’li-en-at), v.t. 1. to transfer the ownership of (property) to another, 2. to estrange; make unfriendly; as, his behavior alienated his friends. 3. to cause a transference of (affection). alienation (al’yen-a’shen, a’li-en-en-shen). n. (M.E., OFr.; L. alienation, separation, aversion, aberration (of…

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Creative Writing Workshop (33): The Reading Life

Fate and destiny run on invisible parallels towards the Western horizon, beyond which is the abyss of death. Fate, exhaling its foul breath of chance, is, well- represented in literature, poetry, and drama—and, in popular melodrama, tediously over-represented; destiny, which has as its subject the…

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Creative Writing Workshop (32): Signpost

(The bookstore as a forest…the bookstore as battlefield…with a nod to death) From: If on a winter’s night a traveler… by Italo Calvino Following this visual trail, you have forced your way through the shop past the thick barricade of Books You Haven’t Read, which…

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Creative Writing Workshop (31): The Reading Life

Fate awaits us at the crossroads in the form of a drunken driver, a mutant gene, or a cortical flub. Destiny, on the other hand, is visible only up close and is never a surprise.  Fate is your father disappearing into the dictator’s prison. Fate…

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Creative Writing Workshop (30): The Reading Life

Fated by their enthusiasms, admirations, wonderments and assorted devotional attitudes towards “great writers”, seeing books as spiritual beacons, rallying cries or, worse yet, jelly doughnuts of wisdom, youthful readers full of ardent focus, often forget that the mistral of a real Fate is right behind…

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Creative Writing Workshop (29)

Just as the reading life launches us toward the eventual battlefields of marriage and romantic love, even as it forces us to acknowledge that cancer wards and mental hospitals abut our future, as it thwarts our youthful expectations of happiness, lending us its violent nightmares,…

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Creative Writing Workshop (28): The Reading Life

  “He was a weakling, a trembling mouse of a boy, with dirty hands and greasy locks, and pus trickling out of his ear. He gorged himself with sticky sweets. His schoolmates avoided touching the books he had been using.” Thus is a young Nikolai…

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Creative Writing Workshop (27): Signpost

  What does the story of our species tell us? By this I mean the narrative made visible by science, not the archaic version soaked in religion and ideology. I believe the evidence is massive enough to tell us this much: We were created not…

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Creative Writing Workshop (26): The Reading Life

  rebellion (re-bel’yen), n. 1. an act or state of armed open resistance to authority, government, etc. 2. a defiance of or opposition to any control. 3. a rebelling. SYN.—revolt stresses a casting off of allegiance or refusal to submit to established authority (the revolt…

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