Posted by dahosek

Beautiful Sentences: Jayson Greene

I glance up at her, and her heartbreak is so acute it is like the sun—I can’t look at it.

Jayson Greene, Once More We Saw Stars

Tagged

Writerly resolutions: November Status

November NewImagestarted strong but life interfered to slow things down dramatically in the second half of the month. Chapter 17 of the novel came together reasonably quickly, but I had trouble getting into chapter 18 (it’s finally beginning to flow, at least). Meanwhile in short story land, I’ve been working on a new story which is a reworking of an idea that I had as an undergrad in college but I lacked sufficient wisdom to write as anything more than an exercise in extended snark. With any luck the new version that is slowly extruding itself from my subconscious will be actual art. I do worry that, even though the concept is 33 years old, it might seem like it’s overly connected to the current zeitgeist.

Beautiful Sentences: Yiyun Li

What if life could be saved by clichés? What if life must be lived by clichés? Somewhere tomorrow and somewhere yesterday—never somewhere today but cliché-land.

Yiyun Li, Where Reasons End.

Tagged

Dewey Decimal Project: 621.3092 COO The Truth About Tesla: The Myth of the Lone Genius in the History of Innovation

ContinuingNewImage through technology, we reach engineering. Spotting a book about Tesla, everyone’s favorite wizard of science, I decided I’d see what Cooper has to say, especially given his provocative title.

Cooper is a lawyer and this reads in a lot of ways like a legal brief. Cooper writes the life of Tesla with an agenda, to argue that Tesla’s genius was not the singular thing that many claim it to be while also attacking the concept of the lone genius in general. To this end, Cooper takes a systematic approach to Tesla’s life and inventions, showing the precedents for many of his great creations, most notably the AC motor/generator which is at the heart of Tesla’s reputation (I discount the wireless electricity transmission claims as these are objectively spurious and only championed by the most deluded of Tesla partisans).

Cooper, like a good lawyer, lays out his case in a way to make his conclusion seem inevitable and this perhaps is my biggest complaint: His legalistic style tends to take much of the energy out of the story.

Tagged

Beautiful Sentences: Nafkote Tamirat

He hadn’t meant to create them. He simply spoke to them as he had to others before, looking directly into their eyes, giving utterance to what he believed to be right, unflinching, beautiful.

Nafkote Tamirat, The Parking Lot Attendant.

Tagged

Beautiful Sentences: R. O. Kwon

If I was sick of Christ, it was because I hadn’t been able to stop loving Him, this made-up ghost I still grived as though He’d been real.

R. O. Kwon, The Incendiaries.

Tagged

Writerly Resolutions: October Status

October was Graph of progress on the novel in Octoberthe month I (mostly) finished chapter 16 of the novel. I still have draft 3 edits to do and I’d like to get some feedback on that and do some more edits after that. It’s not as good as I’d hoped, but nothing ever is.

I’ve also ended up getting a bunch of older stories revised and into the submissions queues. Very little progress on new stories though. My new writing energy continues to be mostly directed at the novel.

Beautiful Sentences: Roberto Bolaño

Desde la ventana Amalfitano los observaba mordiéndose los labios, aunque ese gesto en él, y en ese preciso instante, no era un gesto de desesperación o de impotencia sino de prunda, inabarcable tristeza.

Roberto Bolaño, 2666.

Tagged

Beautiful Sentences: R. O. Kwon

I spilled time into the piano as I’d have put cash in a bank.

R. O. Kwon, The Incendiaries.

Tagged

Beautiful Sentences: Roberto Bolaño

Y luego Espinoza oyó que alguien, el mismo estudiante, susurraba Morini… Morini… Morini, con una voz que no parecía la suya sino más bien la voz de un mago, o más concretamente, la voz de una maga, una adivina de la época del Imperio Romano, una voz que llegaba como el goteo de una fuente de basalto pero que no tardaba en crecer y desbordarse con un ruido ensordecedor, el ruido de miles de voces, el estruendo de un gran río salido de cauce que contiene, cifrado, el destino de todas las voces.

Roberto Bolaño, 2666.

Tagged