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International Bon Vivant and Raconteur

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April 20th, 2010

Other People's Writing [Apr. 20th, 2010|11:21 am]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
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Two interesting articles on the Web today.

The first, written by my friend Sabrina Weiss for Elle magazine, is called "Regretting Rhinoplasty," but it's about it's about a lot more than her nose. It's also a great article about sexual orientation, Judaism, concepts of beauty, and familial tensions.

I had spent my first postcollege year in San Francisco, but my father asked me to return to New York because of his waning health. Within a few weeks, I met a woman and one night accidentally fell asleep at her apartment, waking at 5 a.m. to discover 16 messages from my mother on my cell phone. I rushed home and tearfully came clean. My mother lambasted me for deceit and pronounced my sexuality a “phase.”

And in writing-and-Nick's-subway-line news:

'Resident Evil' director eyes Peter Brett's novels, written on BlackBerry during F train commute

So that's what I'm supposed to be doing on the subway instead of reading, drinking coffee or staring vacantly into the void!
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Author vs. Author Smackdown! [Apr. 20th, 2010|09:15 pm]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
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One of my favorite books on my shelf is Andre Bernard's Rotten Rejections, which collects numerous hilariously misguided and shortsighted rejections of now classic novels.

To whit, this from a rejection letter for Tony Hillerman's The Blessing Way, which launched a nationally bestselling series that ran nearly twenty books long:

"If you insist on rewriting this, get rid of all that Indian stuff."

OH SNAP!

And this one from a rejection of James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, which hasn't been out of print since its original publication in 1934 and was adapted into a major motion picture at least twice:

"I think it is only a matter of time before you reach out into more substantial efforts that will be capable of making some real money as books."

OH NO YOU DIDN'T!

I love that stuff. And I got the same thrill I usually do from Rotten Rejections by reading Michelle Kerns' article The 50 best author vs. author put-downs of all time. Check out these disses, playa:

"An enthusiasm for Poe is the mark of a decidedly primitive stage of reflection." - Henry James

ZING!

"For in point of style, or manner, or whatever, it is difficult to imagine anything much worse than the prose of Mr. [Ezra] Pound. It is ugliness and awkwardness incarnate. Did he always write so badly?" - Conrad Aiken

AAA-OOGA!

"Have you ever heard of anyone who drank while he worked? You're thinking of [William] Faulkner. He does sometimes -- and I can tell right in the middle of a page when he's had his first one." - Ernest Hemingway

CAN I GET A "WHAT WHAT"!

"I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read 'Pride and Prejudice,' I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone." - Mark Twain

BITCHSLAPPED!!!

It kind of makes you wish authors nowadays used more wit and style when laying down the intra-industry smackdowns on message boards and discussion lists, doesn't it?
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