By William-Adolphe Bouguereau - Unknown, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59288
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A brief Burn Pile this week,
front-loaded with important reminders:
CutBank's Genre Contests CLOSE January 15. Polish up your best works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry. Polish them some more, and submit, before it's too late!
Our annual chapbook contest is on! Submissions run January 1- March 31.
$1,000 prize, plus publication. Details here.
General submissions close soon, too. Submit for our print edition until February 1.
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Atwood, O'Hagan, and their chat with John Freeman at the 2017 Vancouver Writers Festival.
Parts 1 and 2 on LitHub.
AO: "I’m not on Twitter, I’m not on Facebook. I don’t think writers should be, necessarily. I think you’ve only got so many sentences available to you as a writer. You shouldn’t be giving them away for free on Twitter. But when it comes to children, I’ve got a 14-year-old and she … I see that she and her friends don’t just live their lives, they produce and star in their lives in a way that wasn’t at all available to us."
...and a bit from MA:
JF: How much of that election do you think came down to misogyny?
MA: Oh, quite a bit. Yeah, in fact I’ll quote myself and say that not since the 17th century have we seen such a large amount of overt misogyny.
MA: One of Tim Snyder’s points is that post-truth is pre-fascism, and if you really want to do one thing, you reader-citizen, one thing you can do is support legitimate news outlets.
AO: Absolutely. That’s where the fight starts.
MA: And they’re legitimate because they can be held responsible if they tell a lie. Whereas some of these others, you’ll never sue them. They just keep changing their website name. You can never pin them down.
AO: History bears you out. In every situation where there’s been an impending threat of fascism, the first thing they did was to disappear the truth-tellers, which usually meant the journalists. And that’s happening again, and it’s happening at an alarming rate.
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More O'Hagan on LitHub, by way of FS&G:
"THE INTERNET OFFERS A SECRET LIFE TO EVERYBODY"
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From The Paris Review:
Two writers discuss false binaries, litmus tests for dating, and a lack of nuance on the Internet.
One thing that I did not expect to happen with my book There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyonce is a lot of people thinking my title is me saying that Beyoncé is not beautiful—which is something that I, having a firm handle on the English language, did not expect to come across. However, there are many people on the Internet who are mad at me.
- Morgan Parker -
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The David Bowie Book Club Gets Launched by His Son:
Read One of Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books Every Month
"My dad was a beast of a reader," Bowie's son Duncan Jones, an avid Twitter user, tweeted last week. "One of his true loves was Peter Ackroyd’s sojourns into the history of Britain & its cities. I’ve been feeling a building sense of duty to go on the same literary marathon in tribute to dad." And so Jones' informal David Bowie book club begins with Ackroyd's 1985 postmodern novel Hawksmoor, which tells the parallel stories of an early 18th-century London architect and a late 20th-century London detective and which Joyce Carol Oates called "a witty and macabre work of the imagination, intricately plotted, obsessive in its much-reiterated concerns with mankind's fallen nature."
Despite "mankind's fallen nature," perhaps "Heroes" still applies?
Pre-song banter between Bowie, the crowd, band, and bassist Gail Ann Dorsey goes something like this:
Bowie, to various bandmates: “How you doing? You doing okay?”
To Dorsey: “How ‘bout you, my baby? How you doing, girl?”
Dorsey: Thumbs up, smiling, laughing.
Bowie: “Big smile, smile for Dad-eeee.”
Laughter from the stage ... head shaking from Dorsey, to which Bowie responds:
“Isn’t that like the grossest thing that people say?" He continues in a deep, "Love Master" voice, "‘Oh, come to your daddy, baby.’ What is it with this Daddy shit?”
Then, speaking through laughter, “Sorry, I’ve been watching too much … too much television. Fuggedaboudit.”
Dorsey reflects on life, music, and playing in Bowie's band at pleasekillme.com:
...suddenly all I knew was that I had the job and I had to make it work because I didn’t know if I was good enough. I thought, ‘God, I don’t know why he’s called me, but I hope I can do what’s asked of me.’ In my eyes, I wasn’t Earl Slick or Carlos Alomar. I don’t have any training in music, I can’t read music, I don’t know theory, I don’t know scales, I don’t know any of that. I just hear a song and I figure it out and I play it.
(Is it me, or is this a lot like what goes on in the average writer-head?)
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And to douse the day's fire, here's another one started at Hazlitt.net:
BY HALEY MLOTEK
Did these women hate themselves, or did they write about a world that hated them?
"Spend enough time in a conversation where no one believes what you say, and all your words feel like fiction."