Writing in a “Phrensy”

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Guest post by Greg Schutz In Book II of his De Oratore, Cicero stages a dialogue between Marcus Antonius, Caius Julius Caesar, and several other figures, one of whose subjects is the evocation of emotion in the audience and the consequences of emotional speechmaking on the orator. According to

The Great Indoors

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Guest post by Greg Schutz I read my friend Sara Schaff’s story “Our Lady of Guazá” in the latest issue of Inkwell with rapt attention, to say the least. This is not simply because the story, about the relationship between two half-sisters in Bogotá in the wake of their

A Powerful Movie: Blind Mountain

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Guest post by Fan Wu When you tell people you are a writer, they often say that they’d love to read your books but just cannot find the time. “But,” they continue, “If they’re made into movies someday, I’ll check them out.” Maybe it’s just a polite way to

Playing Favorites

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Or, My Zealous Adoration of Faulkner’s “The Bear” “The Bear’ is at once so simple and so complex that it surrenders its meaning to the conscious mind only after repeated readings and much brooding,” Daniel Hoffman, Faulkner’s Country Matters, 1989 Guest post by Megan Mayhew BergmanYou’ve read it, too–the

Call and Response

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Guest post by Greg Schutz As a reader, I’m fascinated by those moments when literary influence–which usually has a way of creeping up on an author, sneaking into her writing through some backdoor of the subconscious–moves out of the shadows and into the open, when an author acknowledges her

Anger Management

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Guest post by Megan Mayhew Bergman I’ve never worn anger well, especially the self-righteous kind. Last year I was in a park outside Raleigh, where a beautiful plot of farmland was being developed and new McMansion owners were shooing hikers away from parking on the street. I saw a

Why the Short Story Doesn’t Matter and Why You Shouldn’t Care

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The Lonely Reader, Part Four Guest post by Greg Schutz Three weeks ago, I began this series of posts with a simple question that’s been batted around a lot lately. To paraphrase: “Why, given the novel’s continuing viability and the increasing hustle and bustle of our society, is the

Staying With the Tension

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Guest post by Megan Mayhew Bergman When we were in elementary school, my sister and I would always cut our viewing of The Sound of Music short because: A) it was a seriously long movie, and B) I couldn’t stand to watch Rolf crouch down in his jodhpurs and

The Lonely Reader (Part Three)

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Guest post by Greg Schutz. Part one of this post appears here. Part two, here. Elle magazine’s review of Julie Orringer’s 2003 story collection How to Breathe Underwater contains the following preposterous, but sadly typical, statement: “Each story delivers the satisfying details and emotional heft of a novel.” The

This Is Not a Breakup Letter

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Guest post by Megan Mayhew Bergman Dear Djuna, Look. It’s nothing personal, but every time I start reading Nightwood, I get four pages in and quit.   Even T.S. Eliot writes, in his introduction to the novel, “When I first read the book I found the opening movement rather