What Book Would You Read? — charles french words reading and writing

I love this post by Charles French and the comments and book choices offered by the commentators. Their book choices and comments brought to my mind many wonderful books, I read years ago, and I was delighted to see them loved once more.  Originally posted on, charles french words reading and writing: (https://pixabay.com) One of my best memories from summers when I was a child was of those days when I didn’t have to do anything. Work had not yet reared its head, chores were finished, and the weather was just right. It wasn’t too hot, and the…

via What Book Would You Read? — charles french words reading and writing

For Serious Contemplation

pizarnik-extracting (1)

For Serious Contemplation

Alejandra Pizarnik

Extracting the Stone of Madness: Poems 1962–1972

Trans. Yvett Siegert
New Directions, May

blogged from World Literature Today.com

Referencing an ancient medical practice, immortalized in a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, Alejandra Pizarnik’s collection of poems explores themes of depression, childhood, death, and the border between language and silence. Her poetry from the last ten years of her life, before her suicide at the age of thirty-six, is the first full collection translated into English and filled with a balance between frenzy and melancholia.

About Poems

Poems are often secret thoughts with embedded meanings that the author wishes to partially explore and reveal.  Sometimes, as in the case of Yvett Siegert, they are quite telling and she wanted us to know the inner world she lived.  She was insightful of her own fears, panic, and depression. Poems were her way of communicating to others with a hope that others would understand that her condition was not of her own making. In doing so, she gave us a view of what lurks  inside the mind of madness.  Psychiatrists have given us a clinical diagnostic representation of madness, but then in retrospect who is mad and who is sane? No one knows what really lurks in the mind of anyone else, which begs the question: Do we really know ourselves well enough to make judgement calls about ourselves or anyone else?

 

 

 

 

Written on the Body by Zsolt Láng translated by Erika Mihálycsa

red-planet-snow-fantasy-stars-night-stones-4k-moon-mountains-HD

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning with the Voyager space launch and moving through explorations of touch, Hungarian writer Zsolt Láng examines his relationships to music, books, and art.   Reblogged from World Literature Today.com

When the two Voyager space probes were launched in 1977, I was 170cm tall and weighed 68 kg. I was not planning to write books; in fact I never even scribbled in the margins of books. Having passed the successful entrance exam and nine months of compulsory military service, I was preparing for my first year at university. I was solving math problems as a pastime and wearing an A-shirt and cotton Y-fronts all the time, although underwear was a rarity then, just like pork.By now space probes have traveled farther than twelve times Earth’s distance from Pluto—their speed 20,000km/h (within two seconds they would complete an orbit of the Earth)—I am fifty-one years old, 171cm tall, and 74kg in weight, I scribble all over my books and wear no underwear, although after the fall of the Communist regime the shops are nearly choked with lingerie brands of every conceivable denomination.

One of the spacecrafts is headed toward the Centaurus constellation, the other toward Orion, and, if all goes well, in forty-five thousand years they may reach “inhabited planetary systems with intelligent life-forms.” For this eventuality they carry a message. The “letter” made of sounds and images of the Earth is engraved on a gold-plated copper disc 30cm in diameter; all in all there are 115 photos, 21 kinds of voices from the Earth, and 27 musical recordings on it, as well as greetings in 54 languages. The Hungarian-language greeting goes as follows: “We send greetings in the Hungarian language to all peace-loving beings at Universe” (in a sentence that happens to be patently wrong; if it were correct, there should be something called “Outer University”).

In my childhood I threw several sealed-up bottles into the Szamos with my name, address, and a short but carefully crafted letter inside. I kept waiting full of excitement and apprehension. I imagined the lonely wanderer floundering up and down on the river’s waves between unknown banks. I imagined myself in its place: the mere thought gave me goose bumps. I even experienced the solemn moment of the bottle’s opening but had my misgivings if that moment was indeed solemn. How will the unknown reader respond to my letter? What will he think of me? I was already looking at myself with foreign eyes: as if it was I whom they extracted from the dripping bottle and inspected to see if I was worth anything. I had to face the possibility that I would not please the bottle’s opener and that, disgusted, he would throw me back into the water.

In Montaigne’s three-volume Essais, published between 1580 and 1588, there is only one piece dedicated to friendship. But the way he writes about the beloved friend, Étienne de la Boétie, allows us to surmise that all the pieces in the collection were written under the inspiration of this friendship. This is corroborated by the Latinpensée in the study among whose book-covered walls these works were written, dedicated to the most beloved, closest and dearest, the best, most accomplished, wisest and most perfect friend, the likes of whom could not be met in their century, to his never-ending remembrance. In Montaigne’s essay, friendship is a dialogue: to get lost, to lose oneself in the other, not to hold onto anything that is only one’s own or only of the other, but to share. Die-hard Montaigne scholars consider this statement completely foreign from the oeuvre and would be all too happy to uncover that it originates not in Montaigne himself, while another group of researchers would assign the same importance in the glaring light surrounding the oeuvre’s summits, to gestures of self-effacement, of relinquishing the “self,” as they would to intentions of delineating that “I.”

In the midst of the loudest triumphal march of the Nazis (this being still before Stalingrad) angels writhe on the cobblestones, their wings trampled underfoot by gangs of men swarming out of the pubs, who shake their fists at the sky as a sign of victory, and yet, and yet it is revealed that the tortuous convulsions of the defeated are more human than the drunken apogee.

By now space probes have traveled farther than twelve times Earth’s distance from Pluto—their speed 20,000km/h (within two seconds they would complete an orbit of the Earth)—I am fifty-one years old, 171cm tall, and 74kg in weight, I scribble all over my books and wear no underwear, although after the fall of the Communist regime the shops are nearly choked with lingerie brands of every conceivable denomination. One of the spacecrafts is headed toward the Centaurus constellation, the other toward Orion, and, if all goes well, in forty-five thousand years they may reach “inhabited planetary systems with intelligent life-forms.” For this eventuality they carry a message. The “letter” made of sounds and images of the Earth is engraved on a gold-plated copper disc 30cm in diameter; all in all there are 115 photos, 21 kinds of voices from the Earth, and 27 musical recordings on it, as well as greetings in 54 languages. The Hungarian-language greeting goes as follows: “We send greetings in the Hungarian language to all peace-loving beings at Universe” (in a sentence that happens to be patently wrong; if it were correct, there should be something called “Outer University”).

In my childhood I threw several sealed-up bottles into the Szamos with my name, address, and a short but carefully crafted letter inside. I kept waiting full of excitement and apprehension. I imagined the lonely wanderer floundering up and down on the river’s waves between unknown banks. I imagined myself in its place: the mere thought gave me goose bumps. I even experienced the solemn moment of the bottle’s opening but had my misgivings if that moment was indeed solemn. How will the unknown reader respond to my letter? What will he think of me? I was already looking at myself with foreign eyes: as if it was I whom they extracted from the dripping bottle and inspected to see if I was worth anything. I had to face the possibility that I would not please the bottle’s opener and that, disgusted, he would throw me back into the water.

In Montaigne’s three-volume Essais, published between 1580 and 1588, there is only one piece dedicated to friendship. But the way he writes about the beloved friend, Étienne de la Boétie, allows us to surmise that all the pieces in the collection were written under the inspiration of this friendship. This is corroborated by the Latinpensée in the study among whose book-covered walls these works were written, dedicated to the most beloved, closest and dearest, the best, most accomplished, wisest and perfect friend, the likes of whom could not be met in their century, to his never-ending remembrance. In Montaigne’s essay, friendship is a dialogue: to get lost, to lose oneself in the other, not to hold onto anything that is only one’s own or only of the other, but to share. Die-hard Montaigne scholars consider this statement completely foreign from the oeuvre and would be all too happy to uncover that it originates not in Montaigne himself, while another group of researchers would assign the same importance in the glaring light surrounding the oeuvre’s summits, to gestures of self-effacement, of relinquishing the “self,” as they would to intentions of delineating that “I.”

In the midst of the loudest triumphal march of the Nazis (this being still before Stalingrad) angels writhe on the cobblestones, their wings trampled underfoot by gangs of men swarming out of the pubs, who shake their fists at the sky as a sign of victory, and yet, and yet it is revealed that the tortuous convulsions of the defeated are more human than the drunken a

Go to http://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/2015/september/doppelganger-dipika-mukherjee to see the rest of the interesting article.

ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD

one-loveley-blogger

I have been nominated for this award by charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com

Thank you Professor French for this lovely honor by

nominating me for the Lovely Blog Award!

The Rules:

*Thank the person who nominated you, and give a link to his/her blog.

*List the rules.

*Display  the image of the award on your post.

*List seven facts about yourself.

*Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award, and notify them to let them know you have nominated them.

Seven Facts About Me:

*I am a writer of fantasy fiction and poetry.  I have written two published fantasy fiction novels, Delphi Altair – Strange Beginnings and Garrett’s Bones with a third novel, The Witch of His Dreams, to be published in November 2016.

*I am an identical twin

*I am an RN medical clinical researcher

* I have had years of Ballet, Jazz, Swing, Latin, and contemporary dance training. I love to dance more than almost anything, except writing.

* I have directed fashion shows in England and USA

*I love coffee and oatmeal raisin cookies, daily

*I was an ocean life guard in college and I love to swim, snow ski, and taking long walks in the countryside as well as traveling by train.

*I have been a volunteer with the American Red Cross in the Republic of China in orphanages and hospitals.

My Nominees:

https://roxistclair.com/

http://learningfromdogs.com/

http://sofiakioroglou.wordpress.com/

http://soburinmuhandae.wordpress.com/

https://cassiellensecretstory.wordpress.com/

https://anotsojadedlife.wordpress.com/

http://yesterdayafter.com/

http://aviewtoabook.com/

http://neverlessthan.com/

https://waywardspirit.wordpress.com/

https://lisalancaster.wordpress.com/

https://amirhoseinghazi.wordpress.com/

https://ireadnovels.wordpress.com/

 

THE MOON AT NOON

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THE MOON AT NOON

Have you seen

The moon at noon,

As a pale reflection,

A mere cartoon?

Does it make,

You wonder why,

While stealthy gazing,

at the sky?

Why the moon,

Does seem follow,

The yellow sun,

Like a silver shadow?

With a secret smile,

Upon its face,

Does it mean

To take its place?

Could you contend

With a silver moon,

When the dawn breaks

At daylight?

Could you see,

The stars so bright,

Through a yellow sun,

At midnight?

Alas, whom among us,

Would then wish to croon,

Amidst so much confusion,

A tune to the moon?

So, when you gaze

Upon the moon at noon,

Say a silent pray,

Not to make it soon!

Copyright 2000 K D Dowdall

 

A Poem From the Novel, “InHabited”

Beautiful-Winter-Dreams-For-You-Princess-3-daydreaming-27746368-395-400THE FORTUNES OF TIME 

Forget you, how could I?

Does the sun fall from the sky?

Does the rain no longer pour,

On the wasteland of my heart?

Should the wind no longer blow,

Across the sea of my emotions?

Never, never,

For you are always with me,

With every sigh,

With every tear,

That falls and drowns

The sorrow of our parting,

Until, until,

Through the epochs of time,

We shall meet again,

To love once more.

 

…. From the novel, by K D Dowdall, “InHabited”

Copyright @ K D Dowdall, 2016

 

 

Beneath a Satin Moon

 

0e6913df55efc7fef9bd50bcf02da0ffBENEATH A SATIN MOON

In a golden wood

Beneath a painted sky,

A paper house is standing

Beneath a satin moon,

And in the garden growing,

Pastel flowers flourish,

And never lose their bloom,

Winter, summer, spring or fall,

As lovely as they are,

They never see a raindrop fall.

And Tiger lilies, made of silk,

Slink around a lily pond,

Of which they are, you know,

Quite fond,

As gilded Goldfish swim

Amidst the frilly lilies,

They gaze upon the heavens

Reflecting all they see,

In nature’s perfect harmony,

All this of course,

Is nothing more

Than pure imagery,

Yet, none the less,

it interests me!

Copyright @ 2013 Karen DeMers Dowdall

 

 

WHAT MAKES BAD WRITING BAD

virginia-woolf

 

Virginia Woolf: “The psychic risk of a novel such as Woolf’s The Waves is vast – particularly for someone for whom psychic risk was so potentially debilitating.”  Written by Toby Litt who is a London-based writer. Hospital, his latest novel, is published by Hamish Hamilton. 

Bad writing is mainly boring writing. It can be boring because it is too confused or too logical, or boring because it is hysterical or lethargic, or boring because nothing really happens. If I give you a 400 page manuscript of an unpublished novel – something that I consider to be badly written – you may read it to the end, but you will suffer as you do.

It’s possible that you’ve never had to read 80,000 words of bad writing. The friend of a friend’s novel. I have. On numerous occasions. If you ask around, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a really bad novel easily enough. I mean a novel by someone who has spent isolated years writing a book they are convinced is a great work of literature. And when you’re reading it you’ll know it’s bad, and you’ll know what bad truly is.

The friend of a friend’s novel may have some redeeming features – the odd nicely shaped sentence, the stray brilliant image. But it is still an agony to force oneself to keep going. It is still telling you nothing you didn’t already know.

Bad writers continue to write badly because they have many reasons – in their view very good reasons – for writing in the way they do. Writers are bad because they cleave to the causes of writing badly.

Bad writing is almost always a love poem addressed by the self to the self. The person who will admire it first and last and most is the writer herself.

When Updike began writing Rabbit, Run it was either going to be a great technical feat or a humiliating misjudgment

While bad writers may read a great many diverse works of fiction, they are unable or unwilling to perceive the things these works do which their own writing fails to do. So the most dangerous kind of writers for bad writers to read are what I call excuse writers – writers of the sort who seem to grant permission to others to borrow or imitate their failings.

I’ll give you some examples: Jack Kerouac, John Updike, David Foster Wallace, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou. Bad writers bulwark themselves against a confrontation with their own badness by reference to other writers with whom they feel they share certain defence-worthy characteristics. They form defensive admirations: “If Updike can get away with these kind of half-page descriptions of women’s breasts, I can too” or “If Virginia Woolf is a bit woozy on spatiality, on putting things down concretely, I’ll just let things float free”. If another writer’s work survives on charm, you will never be able to steal it, only imitate it in an embarrassingly obvious way.

Bad writing is written defensively; good writing is a way of making the self as vulnerable as possible. The psychic risk of a novel such as Woolf’s The Wavesis vast – particularly for someone for whom psychic risk was so potentially debilitating. When Updike began writing Rabbit, Run all in the present tense, it was either going to be a great technical feat or a humiliating aesthetic misjudgment. (Excuse writers aren’t, in themselves, bad writers; not at all.)

Often, the bad writer will feel that they have a particular story they want to tell. It may be a story passed on to them by their grandmother or it may be something that happened to them when they were younger. Until they’ve told this particular story, they feel they can’t move on. But because the material is so close to them they can’t mess around with it enough to learn how writing works. And, ultimately, they lack the will to betray the material sufficiently to make it true.

Bad writers often want to rewrite a book by another writer that was written in a different time period, under completely different social conditions. Because it’s a good book, they see no reason why they can’t simply do the same kind of thing again. They don’t understand that even historical novels or science fiction novels are a response to a particular moment. And pretending that the world isn’t as it is – or that the world should still be as it once was – is disastrous for any serious fiction.

Any attempt to write fiction in order to make the world a better, fairer place is almost certain to fail

Conversely, bad writers often write in order to forward a cause or enlarge other people’s understanding of a contemporary social issue. Any attempt to write fiction in order to make the world a better, fairer place is almost certain to fail. Holding any value as more important than learning to be a good writer is dangerous. Put very simply, your characters must be alive before they seek justice.

Bad writers often believe they have very little left to learn, and that it is the literary world’s fault that they have not yet been recognised, published, lauded and laurelled. It is a very destructive thing to believe that you are very close to being a good writer, and that all you need to do is keep going as you are rather than completely reinvent what you are doing. Bad writers think: “I want to write this.” Good writers think: “This is being written.”

To go from being a competent writer to being a great writer, I think you have to risk being – or risk being seen as – a bad writer. Competence is deadly because it prevents the writer risking the humiliation that they will need to risk before they pass beyond competence. To write competently is to do a few magic tricks for friends and family; to write well is to run away to join the circus.

Your friends and family will love your tricks, because they love you. But try busking those tricks on the street. Try busking them alongside a magician who has been doing it for 10 years, earning their living. When they are watching a magician, people don’t want to say, “Well done.” They want to say, “Wow.”

At worst, on a creative writing course, the tutor will be able to show you how to do some magic tricks; at best, they will teach you how to be a good magician; beyond that, though, is doing magic – and that you will have to learn for yourself. For what a tutor can’t show you is how to do things you shouldn’t be able to do.

Toby Litt is a London-based writer. Hospital, his latest novel, is published by Hamish Hamilton.

A PROMISE TO RETURN

 

the_moon_goddess_by_ldragomir593-d683kimSometimes, I wish upon a star

To bring me where you are,

And there I would stay forever,

Yet, sadness does not grow

As a weed within my heart,

For I know a secret place,

Kept deep within my soul,

Of our promise to return,

A map to the stars!”

 

 

Copyright 2016 Karen Dowdall