nicholson baker Archive
Of all the reasons to read a novel, plot tends to be the most compelling. Yet atmosphere, ideas, humor, the construction of a well-turned-out sentence--all these are also incentives to keep turning pages.
I write New Year’s resolutions every year, though I really ought to know better. Run every day, floss regularly, stop eating donuts: it’s the stuff of fantasy. In 2014 I spared myself the usual set-ups for failure in favor of a more exotic set-up for failure: I resolved to
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan, only fifty-four lines long, was never completed. The reason? According to Coleridge, he was interrupted by the Person from Porlock and subsequently lost his inspired creativity. “Though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision,” Coleridge