October/November 2003 Cover Image

An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin

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Ramola D
In my own experience, I did not plan either book as such: they accreted themselves, as my imagination kept returning to the place and the people, seeing them from a new angle.

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Letter to a Prospective Writing Student

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Tracy Daugherty
Samuel Beckett once taped to the wall above his desk in Paris a slip of paper with an appeal on it to help him through his writing days. It said, "Fail. Fail again. Fail better."
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What We Talk About When We Talk About Flow

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David Jauss
We all have our pet peeves. One of mine is the word flow. In my nearly three decades as a fiction writing teacher, I've heard it literally thousands of times. It's a rare class in which I don't hear "It flows" or "It doesn't flow" offered as an explanation of what's good or bad about a story we're discussing.
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Truth in Art

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Ronald Goldfarb
Is there truth in art? Two recent articles offered interesting reflections on this idea, one in the context of photography and the other in literature.
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The Winnowing of Wildness: On First Book Contests and Style

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Beth Ann Fennelly
Fusion Cuisine chef Sottha Kuhn was profiled in The New Yorker, July 23, 2001, by Molly O'Neill, who begins with background on the culinary arts. "It takes about ten years to become a chef," she explains, "to master the ways of the knife, the inner life of ingredients, and the vicissitudes of heat, and then to hone the knowledge until it lives in the hands."
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An Interview with Larry Levis

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Michael White
Which implies that the poetry is Me. Which is what I prefer to believe, but who can know which is which? Which one is Me? Or whether Mr. Both and Cousin Neither compose it all.
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The Treasure Trove of Metaphor: More on Poetry Anthologies

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Rachel Hadas
Nineteenth-century poetry anthologists often use the front matter of their books to evoke the beauties and moral benefits of poetry. Twentieth-century prefaces and introductions vary from the understated to the apologetic, irascible, or confessional. But whatever the flavor and tone of an anthology's front matter, chances are it has something to say to us. And a striking amount of what's said is expressed metaphorically.

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The Pleasures & Peculiar Status of the Historical Novel: The Voyages of Patrick O'Brian

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D.W. Fenza
Perhaps only the Harry Potter books and The Lord of the Rings have inspired literary cults with more zealots and accessories than the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian.
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