Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more...– Louisa May Alcott (born today in 1832)
The Ten Commandments of Writing About Writing
1. Position the author, say who she/he is and what the book represents in relation to her/his work. 2. Situate the book and judge it from the perspective of a long literary tradition. 3. Give reasoned arguments, with examples, so that the reader can understand and evaluate. 4. Inform, educate and entertain. 5. Little synopsis and plot. 6. Be informative about the style, the meaning and the...
How to Discuss Books You've Never Read
By Gary Shteyngart The first thing to do is bring up your nightstand. “Ah, yes, of course. He’s on my nightstand.” The second is to invent your own writer: “I haven’t read the new Murakami, but have you read the latest Kobayashi Maru?” Then pray your interlocutor hasn’t seen “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” As relayed to Spencer Bailey via
The Pathology of Plagiarism
“It’s so difficult to think about plagiarism for several reasons. First, all writers, especially good writers, borrow and imitate. That’s how we learn. We are constantly influenced unconsciously by things we read. And it can be hard to distinguish an homage from an imitation from a borrowing from a bank robbery. “Writers are uncertain about plagiarism because none of...