What's not a great literary secret is that depending, as usual, on whether you're, say, a Robert Redford (1974 version) or Leonard DiCaprio (2013 version) fan, Hollywood has never yet done justice to The Great Gatsby.
There are many, many ways to play the fool, and Scott and Zelda tried more than a few of them. In the early 1920s life was all fun and games for the world's best known flapper and her writer husband -- and being famous, it often seemed, was nothing more than a lark.
There were so many terrific words and phrases in the '20s, why not use them? If you're claiming your novel strives for verisimilitude with the lives, and if you cite to the biographies and letters and critical studies, then make the language real, too.
It's an exercise in futility to try to hypothesize what effect antidepressants would have had on long-gone writers like Poe and Baudelaire. Whether you function or not is a more pertinent question than whether or not antidepressants or substance abuse "silences the soul."
This Saint Patrick's Day, on a holiday when everybody becomes Irish without worrying about the burdens, joys, and costs of being Irish in history, let's remember America's great Irish writer, Scott Fitzgerald.
In 1938, F. Scott Fitzgerald received a story from family friend Frances Turnball, who was looking for feedback on her writing. In response, Fitzgerald crafted a letter containing advice for young writers worthy of marble etching.
Any man who serves me Edna St. Vincent Millay with a shot of Jim White and dashing references to New Order, Robert Johnson, Astral Weeks, and The Cure, needn't bother with "hello." I surrender utterly.
Literature fans love "encounters" with living or dead authors. These might involve seeing novelists at book signings, listening to them give a talk, or visiting homes/museums connected with famous authors of the past.
In short, pithy essays, Celia Blue Johnson recounts how the simplest moments -- a trip, an odd job -- inspired some of the most beloved classics of Western literature. I talked with her to hear more about these fascinating accounts.
While our politics have become a shouting match of pander and slander, name-calling and talking points, celebrity media and instant misanalysis, C-SPAN shines as an exemplar of what a free press in a free nation should be.
Men leave women for younger women all the time. But because she tried to attack Newt at an obviously vulnerable and crucial moment for him, the tactic has backfired. The world -- or the world in South Carolina -- pities him.
A large segment of the letters -- the first written when he was not quite 8 -- are juvenilia and could be the sentiments of any young whippersnapper. Yet there are occasional hints at what would become the acclaimed Hemingway mode of between-hard-covers expression.
I once slept with a man because he gave me a copy of Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Before you judge me, read the book. It's lyrical and seductive and changes the way you think about reality, about life.