Tag Archives: David Foster Wallace

Interview with a good old-fashioned troublemaker

Initially I encountered X through a random assignment via the automated system on a writers’ site. Unlike most of the thousand or so other site users whose work I’d critiqued, he was breaking the rules of how to write publisher-friendly … Continue reading

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Plan A or: Does a caterpillar dream of becoming a butterfly?

For a change, I’d like to dedicate this post to a friend, who in a recent email dared me to write ‘the definitive statement’ of what it is to be a writer (irrespective of, if presumably not unaffected by, whether … Continue reading

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Soul Trading: how dirty words like entrepreneur are undergoing a digital-age makeover

Is it possible, in the second decade of the 21st century, to establish oneself as an author without also being an entrepreneur? NB: I use the word author rather than writer, the Latin root of the former meaning originator and … Continue reading

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What’s Not to Like? – musings upon musings on Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad

When I saw a copy of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad in one of the last surviving used bookstores I can visit on foot, all I remembered were references to its doubling as short story showcase and … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Creative Writing MA, Part 4

Maybe because Short Fiction was an elective (my first), or because the tutor’s enthusiasm exceeded the call of duty (we received extra handouts of stories and reviews), the high standard of work + attendance made this class unusual. And a … Continue reading

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From the Sublime to the Ridiculous: the minefield of peer criticism

(Readers please note: For the purpose of this exploration, ‘reader’ should be taken to refer to a more or less literate human being, not a technological device.) For the last four years, I’ve been conducting a psychological study. It began … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Creative Writing MA, Part 1

Can creative writing be taught? This question gets asked regularly. The answer depends on what you’re selling. Yet it’s a valid response to the booming profusion, here in Oz, of how-to books, workshops, courses, degrees, writers’ festivals etc. If I … Continue reading

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