A Study of Human Nature

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A few passages in recent Amazon reviews of the March novels jumped out at me. First, here's one from a reader with law enforcement experience writing about Back…

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“The devil has been the unwilling instrument of grace…”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More from Flannery O'Connor. This is from the tail end of "On Her Own Work" in Mystery and Manners: From my own experience in trying to make stories…

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“Nothing produces silence like experience…”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Apropos of this, some thoughts from Flannery O'Connor: "I have very little to say about short story writing. It's one thing to write short stories and another thing…

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Theology and Noir

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
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Writers disagree on whether it’s a good idea to read reviews of your own work. I still do, mainly to gauge whether or not my deeper effects are…

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Clash of the Titans: Gardner vs. Percy

Monday, September 19, 2011
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After mentioning Walker Percy and John Gardner back to back, I’d be remiss in not pointing out that Gardner’s review of Percy’s Lancelot, a book I happen to…

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More Flipbacks

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The mailman brought treats from across the sea today, a couple of new flipbacks to sate my newfound passion for the quirky little format. Thanks to the novelty…

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Deconstructing Postmodern Mysteries

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
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Ted Gioia has devoted a site to what he calls the “postmodern mystery,” complete with a list of essential works in the sub-genre, which has led Linda Richards…

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The Savage Nights of Jim Thompson

Sunday, September 11, 2011
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Something surprising happened when my new bookshelves inpired me to re-organize my hopelessly scattered library. As I picked out novels here and there, consolidating each author’s work on…

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Truth As a Goal, Not a Point of Departure

Friday, September 9, 2011

In The Art of Fiction, which possesses that virtue, rare for books on writing, of actually being worth reading (though it is typically assigned to those who aren't…

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“Small disconnected facts, if you take note of them, have a way of becoming connected.”

Thursday, September 8, 2011

When they were both young, Walker Percy and Shelby Foote took a road trip to William Faulkner's house in Oxford, Mississippi, intending to introduce themselves to the great…

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