In Other News...
Beware the End of Art: The Millions Interviews Mark Slouka
"If you want to write, make reading your MFA. Find the writers who move you and try to figure out what they’re doing on the page. If I’m honest, my teaching at Columbia, and later at the University of Chicago, really just came down to disarticulating the written page... teaching students how to read like writers, showing them what their options are in terms of voice, silence, time, dialogue, and so on. How certain moves on the page—a period in the right place, to recall Isaak Babel—can break your heart. If it was up to me, I’d teach nothing but example-based craft seminars, which go straight to the issues writers encounter, then cut people loose to do their own work."
A Year in Reading: Mark Slouka
"When times get hard—and the news, I think it’s fair to say, has sucked of late—my reading, like everyone else’s, gets reactive. Which makes sense. When it’s a damp, drizzly November in your soul, when the Gomerts and Gosars are in the ascendant and two-star generals travel the land informing cheering crowds that the government is putting vaccines in their salad dressing, when cowardice and imbecility vie for the crown and cruelty is the judge, it’s only natural, like Ishmael, to want to either confront the world or escape it."
Covid Corner: The Wind In The Willows
"You can probably remember the pleasure of having somebody read to you, of just lying back and letting a voice – maybe your mother’s or father’s - take you away for a while. I’m hoping to bring a bit of that pleasure back. Under quarantine here in Prague, I’ve begun reading to anybody who wants to listen. So pour yourself a cup of tea (or a glass of bourbon), bring the kids if they feel like listening, and settle in for an hour away from the world." - Mark (March 2020)