Litblog Roundup 2014-11-06

The weekly liblog roundup features the latest highlights from the world of literary blogs. I’m trying a variation of the format for this edition of the Litblog Roundup. Here are some interesting things, without much comment or categorization. These links are paired with excerpts from their posts. As one of these posts suggests, a writer should experiment for a reason. My reason for this experiment is frankly to save time. With the time I saved, I could add more to the roundup! Let me know what you think of this approach, in the comments.

The Integration Of Poetry And Life The integration of poetry and life may be the most important question of all. Interesting aspects of life, beautiful, useless glimpses of life—is this poetry? And the rest of it, life, as useful, as lived, or as the subject of philosophy or science, is this the life which is not poetry? Is this division valid? Or is poetry a sub-category of philosophy in the division above, poetry not a “glimpse” Via Scarriet

110 Writing Tools in a Single Post National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) launched over the weekend! During November, writers around the globe attempt to write a draft for a 50,000-word novel in a single month. To help GalleyCat readers who are taking this challenge, we will be offering advice throughout the month. Last year, 310,095 NaNoWriMo participants wrote a book in 30 days. Via GalleyCat

Art and the WW1 commemoration controversy I partly agree with Jonathan Jones’s criticism of the official spectacular and attractive poppy installation, but not with his assertion that a true work of art about World War 1 can only be ‘obscene’. In yesterday’s Guardian Jones approvingly illustrated for example an Otto Dix drawing of a worm-eaten skull. Via Oceanographer of O

E-Book Mingles Love and Product Placement Product placement in a novel might strike some as unseemly, but “Find Me I’m Yours” — an e-book that also makes room for sponsored content from companies — is not like most novels. Via NYT > Writing and Writers

NaNoGenMo 3000!!!! Er, sorry. I exaggerated a bit. It’s actually just NaNoGenMo 2014. But that’s still really cool. “Spend the month of November writing code that generates a novel of 50k+ words.” As is traditional, the event occurs on GitHub. Via Grand Text Auto

Consider the Chapter “What does the chapter’s beginnings reveal about the way our books and stories are still put together?” Nicholas Dames answers with an essay in The New Yorker. Via The Millions

Where Are Your Quotation Marks? Thoughts on Writing Experiments Why are you experimenting? It’s not “why the hell would you ever think that dropping quotation marks would be a good idea.” I’m asking what your purpose is. What you are trying to achieve by doing it this way. If you don’t have a reason why you are writing dialogue without quotation marks, then there’s no logical reason to do it that way. Everything we do as writers should have purpose. Do you pick your words for no reason? I didn’t think so. Via Juggling Writer

The Salinger Riddle From these accumulated grievances a portrait of Salinger in New Hampshire emerges: except to a handful of old army buddies and editors of the New Yorker, the writer was grumpy and self-absorbed, a hypocrite and misogynist. He was obsessed with purity, preaching detachment and spiritual fastidiousness while chasing women often less than half his age, blind to the destruction inflicted on his family by his own egomania and selfishness. Via Public Books

5 Punctuation Marks That Look Nothing Like They Used To From The Huffington Post: The comma is one of the oldest marks of punctuation. It was created over 2,300 years ago by a Greek scholar named Aristophanes, head of the fabled Library of Alexandra, in a punctuational big bang that also gave us the colon and the period. Ancient scrolls were written without punctuation of any kind (even word spaces were centuries away) Via The Passive Voice

This Philosopher Wants to Change How You Think About Doing Good Via Cafe

What’s A Book? At The Boston Globe, Alex Beam explains the distinction between a real book and a “book.“Related Posts:Cover Art Marginalizes Female AuthorsA Portrait of the Bombers as Young MenIn the Fox’s DenGlenn Beck, Novelist?More Holiday Excitement Via The Rumpus.net

An Intoxicated-Aesthetic Form of Consciousness: Georg Trakl’s Cocaine Use Next in a well-trod line of the literary drug-experimentalists who precede us: At The Public Domain Review, New Zealand-based scholar Richard Millington explores Georg Trakl’s cocaine use, as well as the cocaine symbolism in the Austrian poet’s whiteness and snow imagery, indicating that “certain images come to look distinctly like premonitions of the poet’s own fate.” But the piece, “Wild Heart Via Harriet: The Blog

To Err is Human If you are an American speaker, you probably pronounce the word err to rhyme with air. Although American, I went to school to nuns from Newfoundland; I learned to pronounce err to rhyme with fur, as in Pope’s verse, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” Literally, “to err” means “to wander or go astray from a marked path.” The noun error originally meant “the act of wandering.” Via Daily Writing Tips

5 Small Publishers Who Are Changing the Face of the Industry The publishing industry is changing (and fast). But while many of us gawk at the shadow deals and vicious feuds between Amazon and the Big Five publishers — events that really seem to drive publishing into an unpredictable future — these small publishers and outlets are slyly changing the industry for the better. Not content with simply publishing great writing, these innovators challenge… Flavorwire » Books

Billy Collins on Craft Collins began his talk with some thoughts about what poetry is. Via Blogalicious

In Praise of Literary Failure I’ll be honest: I’m baffled by the contemporary mania for the slogan “fail better.” Sure, in context, I appreciate Samuel Beckett’s famous line, but I can’t shake the notion that it comes from a piece called Worstward Ho. “Ever tried,” he writes, “Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” The way it’s often used today, “fail better” implies that we’re lurching and stumbling… Via Flavorwire » Books

At BOMB: John Ashbery Joins Adam Fitzgerald for Conversation John Ashbery joins Adam Fitzgerald for a conversation published at BOMB that focuses on Ashbery’s time in Paris. Beginning with the foundation of Art and Literature their conversation moves between Ashbery’s Fulbright in Montpellier, life with James Schuyler in a sixth floor walk-up on 49th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, and translating his diary into English so his mom wouldn’t be able to r Via Harriet: The Blog

How to autograph an e-book I went to see To Be Takei last night, and George himself was there for an interview afterwards. It occurred to me that I’d like him to autograph his book Oh Myyy, but I only have a copy on my Kindle. So, here’s a proposal for the Kindle, the Nook, and for any other DRM-ed ebook reader: Allow us to embed one and only one photo into our copy of an ebook. That photo can never be replaced. Via Joho the Blog

The Chapter: A History On a late May morning in 735 in the Northumbrian monastery known as Jarrow, England’s preëminent historian and scriptural scholar lay dying while still hard at work. As a famous letter written by his disciple Cuthbert tells it, the Venerable Bede lay surrounded by colleagues, who took their leave in order to attend the morning’s Ascension Day service. One, however, remained by his side, a young sc Via Page-Turner

Done Deals Longtime writers know how hard it can be to tell when a piece is finished. Tolstoy famously tried to revise War and Peace right up to the book’s publication. At the Ploughshares blog, Amy Jo Burns offers tips for evaluating a piece before deciding to give it to someone else. Via The Millions

Summer Camp for Book Nerds For the burgeoning field of Critical Bibliography, “the study of the physical characteristics of books and the process of bookmaking,” Rare Book School is the highlight of the year. The Paris Review’s Benjamin Breen reports from the annual conference out of UVA, where old-school book enthusiasts gather to share in the examination of woodcuts, medieval manuscripts, and specimens like a gold-edged c Via The Rumpus.net

Alone, Together While I was riding on a bus across the campus of Stanford University one afternoon, I noticed that almost everybody I saw was staring into his or her iPhone or talking on it. Long a familiar sight, this struck me not only as the spirit of Silicon Valley but also as the Zeitgeist of the contemporary world. Driven by the widening gyre of digital connectivity… Via berfrois

Poetry and Cocktails 3 THINGS TO HELP YOU MAKE YOUR OPEN MIC A SUCCESS: (1) Never allow anyone to say “Let’s give it up again for _______” It’s a waste of time, annoying, and inconsiderate to your audience and other performers. (2) If someone goes over whatever time you’ve allotted them, have the courage to cut them off. If you told someone you would give them 3 dollars, and they grabbed 5, you’d be pissed. Time is precious. (3) If a performer isn’t there when their name is called, too bad. They’re off the roster. Via Drinks with Jack

Words and phrases that bother NPR staffers NPR standards and practices senior editor Mark Memmott writes in his Tuesday blog post: “Words and phrases matter, of course, because we’re in the business of writing and telling stories that are compelling and clear.” Getting them wrong and relying on “cliches and shopworn phrases” gets in the way of NPR’s mission, he notes. These words and phrases annoy NPR staffers. Via JIMROMENESKO.COM

Save the Book Publisher From Bloomberg View: Last week, Matt Yglesias wrote a piece with the headline, “Amazon is doing the world a favor by crushing book publishers.” He thinks that “publishers are superfluous,” they’re “terrible at marketing,” and also something about advances. Let’s think about what publishers are, what they have to offer authors who would otherwise self-publish and what alternatives to them exist. Via The Passive Voice

Why Writers Need to Learn to Read as Well as They Write I’ve come to the conclusion that most writers don’t read as well as they write. Every time I send an email, I get back several responses asking questions that were answered in the message. For example, I’ll say, “The call is at 5 pm Eastern time,” and a few people will respond, “What time zone is the call in?” Via The Renegade Writer Blog