Burning down the house. Talking Heads 2019-11-19

Burning down the house Rating: 8,4/10 84 reviews

Talking Heads

burning down the house

Maybe we yearn for them more as life speeds forward? And then I gave his The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot to myself as a 20th birthday present. In this he is rather like James Wood a personal favorite pointing to the well-placed word or phrase or sentence and shouting: Look at this! There's just so much juicy stuff. Between their first album in 1977 and their last in 1988, Talking Heads became one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the '80s, while managing to earn several pop hits. I therefore conjured up an image of the mass murderer out killing everyone in the park, while the sun shines, the butterflies from flower to flower, and the birds sing. I could imagine a sentimental writer, dipping into his arsenal of scaled human emotions and taking out a pinch of cynicism, a touch of bitterness, a slice of of anger and a hint of gloom to portray a character suffering from depression. Baxter seems to have read--and usefully remembered--everything. Charles Baxter was born in Minneapolis and graduated from Macalester College, in Saint Paul.

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Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction by Charles Baxter

burning down the house

Baxter observes aspects of fiction -- protagonists, melodrama, places and objects, action -- and revealingly reads examples of them in works by such authors as Jane Smiley, Grace Paley, Chekhov, Sylvia Townsend Warner, F. Baxter is an astute observer of this culture, well read in literature, philosophy, and psychology, and able to apply all three to This is an excellent collection of essays, for both writers and readers of literary fiction. The following description of imagination is delicious and the author puts this concept in an interesting light I never considered before. Though it's by a fiction writer, this is not thank goodness another how-to. A series of academic essays on off-beat literary topics. In some essays, Baxter's premises seem to drift a little too much. Perhaps he falls into that category of Unconscious Artist, although I suspect he comes form the Sentimentalist school.

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Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction by Charles Baxter

burning down the house

The unspoken message of these essays is to forget everything you think a story is supposed to be, try to write from somewhere beyond those preconceptions. See for yourself if you agree with the ideas he puts forth in this collection, but I thought they were very valuable. I can't disagree with him here - read a newspaper these days - where does the truth lie? Most of the topics arose from questions that seemed to me both social and literary, both obvious and in some sense unanswerable. I love it, the dry humor, the self-deprecation—and, yeah, I learned stuff. I'd give it a higher rating, but some of the essays dragged and felt like complications of relatively straight-forward issues.

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Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction by Charles Baxter

burning down the house

Poets prophesy backward, returning in a circular fashion to the deja vu. This excerpt kind of drives me crazy, the moments when literature exists? Though it's by a fiction writer, this is not thank goodness another how-to. Although this book is aimed at writers, this book should also be required reading for editors of literary journals. The familiar gives way, not to the weird, but to the experience of a truth caught in midair. Illuminating and broad-ranging and somewhat intimidating , like James Wood, but here from the writer's side of the table. Baxter shows us new ways of looking at works we thought we knew well, and introduces us to features of works we know not at all. The following paragraph may give you a clue as to why: Cynicism and its spiritual second-cousin, irony, are regular combatants in Barthelme's stories, but there is something wrong with both of them; the stories work hard to disclose what it is.

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Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction by Charles Baxter

burning down the house

It is happy in its unhappy consciousness. I totally burned through this book--something spoke directly to me on every other page. Recently, a learned reviewer of Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 said he didn't really want to keep reading it past Book 1 because, he felt, there was not enough humanism in the book, that it portrayed evil as evil and didn't go beyond that. The criticism, when leveled at melodramatic works, doesn't quite work because for Murakami, evil is unknowable. Charles Baxter was born in Minneapolis and graduated from Macalester College, in Saint Paul. The essays return to the scene of writing as a location where some of these matters can be addressed, and where the pressure is greatest. His approach to the world gives me hope.

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Talking Heads

burning down the house

What has happened, in this century, to the way in which we think about inanimate objects? Baxter is the author of 4 novels, 4 collections of short stories, 3 collections of poems, a collection of essays on fiction and is the editor of other works. Authors often take a reductive path of explaining the art and it often turns into a di Charles Baxter's talents as a superb writer, especially of short fiction, are well known. We don't have characters any more who do bad things because they feel like doing them, because they give in to their baser instincts or because they have characteristics that make them do them, like jealousy, meanness, etc. Prose writers of fiction are by nature a sullen bunch. We understand our lives, or try to, by the stories we tell.

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Tom Jones, The Cardigans

burning down the house

They have arrived with a powerful, soul-altering force; and they have all been dead wrong. Skip to a couple of days ago, where I disbelievingly unearthed this book from a BookSale. Literature exists in moments like that. Cynicism's second cousin is irony. So much of writing is learned by example, but to have what's in the examples broken down very cruelly and clinically was eye-opening, challenging, and life-altering. Baxter's essays are less nuts-and-bolts craft oriented and more extended deep thoughts about literature and story and how they work.

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Burning Down the House

burning down the house

Scott Fitzgerald, Wright Morris, Marilynne Robinson, Donald Barthelme, and others. Mostly they center on problems in or with contemporary fiction, which is not as dour or negative as it sounds; rather, it presents the challenge and promise of rules and habits engrained in writers and writing culture. Prose writers are constantly observing every facet of you so that they can place you in their next fiction. This is a thoughtful, surprising, and quietly exciting set of linked essays on fiction. In an atmosphere of constant moral judgment, characters are not often permitted to make interesting and intelligent mistakes and then to acknowledge them. But Barthelme's stories—especially the early ones and the novel Snow White—typically struggle against institutional cynicism and the language employed in its cause. There are ways to improve your own writing by reading and thinking about this book, but they're more in the realm of philosophical ideas.

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Talking Heads

burning down the house

This has led to there being no real antagonists in fiction and has made fiction less and less profound. Why have we come to think that most of our important memories must be traumatic? Also, he wrote these essays originally to be delivered as lectures at Warren Wilson College. I would read only a few pages, and then my eyes would glaze over and then I would decide to do what I have always done: try to write fiction by reading and writing it. It took me months to get through this book, years if I count back to when I bo I admit in all my thirty or so years of fiction writing, I have never made it through a book about how to write fiction. I have enjoyed Charles Baxter's fiction, and his short book The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story which I might just have to reread , so I figured this book of eleven essays on various aspects of the craft of fictio I picked up this book because on July 1 I started participating in a six-month-long online writing workshop, and this month the directive is, simply, to read—and write, of course. What's the message you are conveying versus the message people get from what you write? And he can be adorable. Masks are interesting partly for themselves and partly for what they mask.

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