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18 posts tagged with essays and writing. (View popular tags)
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"I'm yours again. I always enjoy seeing what happens to me."

After years of silence, enigmatic programmer/musician/surrealist why the lucky stiff is publishing to the web again (temporarily). Five days ago he released a number of short collages; today, his site is outputting a number of stories and essays, which are being collected in several Scribd repositories. _why writes about a strange old Oprah show starring guests who've removed themselves from society [parts 2 3 4 5 6], discussing M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening with a friend [2 3 4 5 6], and suffering a personal crisis after reading the complete works of Kafka [2 3 4 5 6 7]. (One final story, "Dentist", has been uploaded to a public Dropbox account [2 3 4 5 6 7 8].) There's also this somewhat ominous web site. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Apr 18, 2013 - 25 comments

How amazing is my thought!

Lewis Thomas (1913-1993) was a physician and essayist, writing gracefully on topics as varied as language, nuclear war, and our excellent health and deplorable health-care system (PDF). He believed that the existence of Bach vindicates humanity, that "ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment", and that the Earth is perhaps best thought of as a cell. A three-time winner of the National Book Award, Thomas authored Lives of a Cell, which was voted the 11th-best nonfiction work of the 20th century by the Modern Library.
posted by seemoreglass on Apr 8, 2013 - 15 comments

High Times

Lapham's Quarterly, Winter 2013 - Intoxication - essays and notes on drug-taking, from across eras.
posted by daksya on Dec 17, 2012 - 9 comments

A sea of words

Six years ago, New Dorp High School on Staten Island, NY, had a 40% dropout rate, and more than 80% of freshmen were reading below grade level. In spring 2013, the school expects an 80% graduation rate. What happened? New Dorp decided to teach its students how to write. [more inside]
posted by catlet on Sep 30, 2012 - 83 comments

John Thorne

Food writing’s shameful secret, wrote John Thorne his seminal essay, “Cuisine Mécanique”, is its intellectual poverty. John himself is a notable exception. He is one of those rare authors who have the gift of transporting us into a world of their own creation which we are happy to occupy for a while in preference to any other. They are Virgils to our Dante, showing us around the territory and introducing us to the natives. In these magic realms, strangers speak to us immediately as old friends; arriving unexpectedly at dinner time, we find a place already set for us. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 11, 2012 - 26 comments

"...though we may have our differences, we are one people, and we are one nation, united by a common creed."

Founded in 1857, The Atlantic is one of the oldest publications still being produced in the US. They have created a commemorative issue for the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War that includes articles published in the magazine over a century ago, an extensive gallery of images, as well as a few essays and analyses by modern writers, including President Obama. Editor's note. (Via: James Fallows' Reddit AMA) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 8, 2012 - 22 comments

Writers are always selling somebody out.

"To really love Joan Didion—to have been blown over by things like the smell of jasmine and the packing list she kept by her suitcase—you have to be female. … Women who encountered Joan Didion when they were young received from her a way of being female and being writers that no one else could give them. She was our Hunter Thompson, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem was our Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He gave the boys twisted pig-fuckers and quarts of tequila; she gave us quiet days in Malibu and flowers in our hair. … Ultimately Joan Didion’s crime—artistic and personal—is the one of which all of us will eventually be convicted: she got old. Her writing got old, her perspective got old, her bag of tricks didn’t work anymore."
posted by Houyhnhnm on Jan 11, 2012 - 45 comments

JJS the new DFW

John Jeremiah Sullivan is the working writer most frequently compared to David Foster Wallace (he's also sometimes compared to a young Tom Wolfe). He has a new essay collection out, and many of its pieces are available online (see inside). [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Dec 11, 2011 - 35 comments

"Science writing tackles big ideas, important issues. It’s ambitious, creative, hard to do—yet utterly compelling."

SCOPE is the all-online student publication for MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing. [more inside]
posted by kagredon on Dec 3, 2011 - 4 comments

Anatomy of Norbiton

There is no paradigm for this kind of place. Accidental Norbiton is contingent, marginal, superfluous, an ugly necessity; it is like the wires coiled under your desk, behind your bookcases; it is like the suitcases gathering dust under your bed, on top of your wardrobe; an adjunct to living, part of the logistics, the bureaucracy, never what you might call life itself, the movement and centre and focus of which seem to prevail elsewhere. Perfect, then, for a life of accidental failure. Welcome to Norbiton. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jul 23, 2011 - 16 comments

Life

Salon.com's "Real Families" section features personal essays about modern family life submitted by their readers. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 23, 2011 - 15 comments

The Best American Essays 2010

The Best American Essays, 2010, edited by Christopher Hitchens. Many of the essays can be found online: [more inside]
posted by craniac on Oct 13, 2010 - 36 comments

Calvin Trillin's food writing

Calvin Trillin has attempted to compile a short history of the buffalo wing, stalked the barbecued mutton, and reported on crawfish eating contests in Louisiana.   [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 3, 2010 - 45 comments

I checked, but oh man, I am hoping this isn't a double post...

Below Code. Comatonse Records has been around for a little over 10 years, and to celebrate, the owner, Terre Thaemlitz, put out a free best-of CD. The physical copies are all long-gone, but it's available for download (along with a bonus track that didn't fit on the original disc). Most of the stuff is relatively noisy (and some found sound stuff), but there's some cool electronic type pieces, rock and pop songs and solo piano pieces as well. Also of note is his own personal site, which has links to a lot of cool essays, typically about gender issues and music. (There's also links to images of graphical scores to some of his music.) [Poking around these sites are pretty much NSFW -- the only explicitly NSFW links are on "his own personal site" and "music", but there's quite a few naked people and suchlike around, including on one of the postcards that make up the main link, so, yeah -- take care!]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Aug 1, 2005 - 4 comments

Dillard's How-To

Do you want to be a writer? "Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon?... Every book has an intrinsic impossibility, which its writer discovers as soon as his first excitement dwindles. The problem is structural; it is insoluble; it is why no one can ever write this book. Complex stories, essays and poems have this problem, too -- the prohibitive structural defect the writer wishes he had never noticed. He writes it in spite of that." Luminous and wise writing advice from Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, one of the most beautiful books written in the last hundred years (published when Dillard was 29). As a writer myself, I am often asked by younger folk how to become one. Dillard says best what I would tell them.
posted by digaman on Jan 10, 2005 - 67 comments

Critique Magazine's On Writing III

Critique Magazine's On Writing III - Each year, Critique Magazine's staff compiles essays by and interviews with writers, teachers, and translators of merit for inclusion in the special anniversary edition "On Writing".

Basically, a shitload of authors provide thoughts on, ahem, writing. {Both sites are worth a look, imo.}
posted by dobbs on Sep 15, 2004 - 18 comments

What Makes A Writer A Writer?

So You Think You Might Be A Writer? Just because you write? An astute essay by Joseph Epstein poses the uncomfortable question: are you weird enough? There's something very unnatural and unhealthy about writing (as opposed to reading, for instance) - but what is it? [Via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 19, 2004 - 51 comments

Is McSweeney's Sounding More And More Like Random House?

Is McSweeney's Sounding More And More Like Random House? Or is it just me? As a lifetime subscriber and fan of David Eggers, I'm sickened by the glib, shameless commercialism that now contaminates what was once an interesting website for new writers. What in the hell has happened? Or is the new book-peddling climate just another tiresome take on post-post-post modernism or, more likely, just blatant PR? (Latest example inside)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 29, 2001 - 19 comments

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