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When William Faulkner Set the World Record for Writing the Longest Sentence in Literature: Read the 1,288-Word Sentence from Absalom, Absalom!

Image by Carl Van Vechten, via Wikimedia Commons “How did Faulkner pull it off?” is a question many a fledgling writer has asked themselves while struggling through a period of apprenticeship like that novelist John Barth describes in his 1999 talk "My Faulkner." Barth “reorchestrated” his literary heroes, he says, “in search of my writerly self... downloading my innumerable predecessors as only an insatiable green apprentice can.” Surely a great many writers can relate when Barth says, “it was...
Tags: Google, Europe, Books, Maryland, Writing, College, Washington, Literature, Guinness Book of World Records, Lincoln, Sherman, Jonathan Coe, Jones, William Styron, Facebook Twitter, Beckett


When William Faulkner Set the World Record for Writing the Longest Sentence in Literature: 1,288 Words from Absalom, Absalom!

Image by Carl Van Vechten, via Wikimedia Commons “How did Faulkner pull it off?” is a question many a fledgling writer has asked themselves while struggling through a period of apprenticeship like that novelist John Barth describes in his 1999 talk "My Faulkner." Barth “reorchestrated” his literary heroes, he says, “in search of my writerly self... downloading my innumerable predecessors as only an insatiable green apprentice can.” Surely a great many writers can relate when Barth says, “it was...
Tags: Google, Europe, Books, Maryland, Writing, College, Washington, Literature, Guinness Book of World Records, Lincoln, Sherman, Jonathan Coe, Jones, William Styron, Facebook Twitter, Beckett


William Faulkner’s Review of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (1952)

Images via Wikimedia Commons In the mid-20th century, the two big dogs in the American literary scene were William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. Both were internationally revered, both were masters of the novel and the short story, and both won Nobel Prizes. Born in Mississippi, Faulkner wrote allegorical histories of the South in a style that is both elliptical and challenging. His works were marked by uses of stream-of-consciousness and shifting points of view. He also favored titanically lo...
Tags: Google, Books, Mississippi, Yahoo, College, Washington, Time, Los Angeles, New York Times, Paris, Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway, Facebook Twitter, Hollywood Reporter, Lee University, FAULKNER


An Atlas of Literary Maps Created by Great Authors: J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island & More

Plot, setting, character… we learn to think of these as discrete elements in literary writing, comparable to the strategy, board, and pieces of a chess game. But what if this scheme doesn’t quite work? What about when the setting is a character? There are many literary works named and well-known for the unforgettable places they introduce: Walden, Wuthering Heights, Howards End…. There are invented domains that seem more real to readers than reality: Faulkner’s Yoknapatowpha, Thomas Hardy’s Wes...
Tags: Google, Books, Maps, College, Literature, Jack Kerouac, David Mitchell, Philip Pullman, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tolkien, Lewis, Robinson, Facebook Twitter, Wessex, Josh Jones, FAULKNER


Why You Should Read One Hundred Years of Solitude: An Animated Video Makes the Case

Maybe we read some celebrated literary works the way we eat kale or quinoa—you don’t exactly love it but they say it’s, like, a superfood. Not so Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. When I first started reading the novel, I couldn’t stop. Twelve hours and a couple pots of coffee later, I wanted to read it again right away. It’s a page-turner—not something one often says of literary fiction beloved by highbrow critics and academics—but I mean it as the highest possible...
Tags: Google, Books, College, Animation, Literature, Latin America, Macondo, Cervantes, Gabriel García Márquez, Pablo Neruda, Don Quixote, Facebook Twitter, Octavio Paz, Josh Jones, Marquez, FAULKNER


Virginia Woolf’s Personal Photo Album Digitized & Put Online by Harvard: See Candid Snapshots of Woolf, Her Family, and Friends from the Bloomsbury Group

Some writers are restless by nature, roaming like Ernest Hemingway or Henry Miller, settling nowhere and everywhere. Others are homebodies, like William Faulkner and Virginia Woolf. Their fiction reflects their desire to nest in place. Strolling the grounds of Faulkner’s Rowan Oak one sweltering summer, I swear I saw the author round a corner of the house, lost in thought and wearing riding clothes. Visitors to Virginia Woolf’s home in the village of Rodmell in East Sussex have surely had simil...
Tags: Google, Photography, College, Virginia, Harvard, House, Literature, Virginia Woolf, Yeats, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller, Facebook Twitter, John Maynard Keynes, East Sussex, Jacob, Leonard


Getting Stuff Written

John welcomes Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo and author of Pep Talks for Writers, to discuss the writing process and how to get out of your own way creatively. We explore the ubiquity of the Other Syndrome and the perils of envy. We also look at pen names, “throw-away writing,” and the advantages of being a beginner. Links: Grant Faulkner’s website and Wikipedia entry. Pep Talks for Writers by Grant Faulkner is available here. You can participate in NaNoWriMo, too! I’m You...
Tags: Books, Education, Wikipedia, Writing Process, Author, Challenge, John, John August, Words, Leonard Cohen, FAULKNER, Sylvie Simmons, Screenwriting, Scriptnotes, Max Tegmark, Rajesh Naroth


Hear a Rare Recording of Flannery O’Connor Reading “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (1959)

Flannery O'Connor was a Southern writer who, as Joyce Carol Oates once said, had less in common with Faulkner than with Kafka and Kierkegaard. Isolated by poor health and consumed by her fervent Catholic faith, O'Connor created works of moral fiction that, according to Oates, “were not refined New Yorker stories of the era in which nothing happens except inside the characters' minds, but stories in which something happens of irreversible magnitude, often death by violent means." In imagining th...
Tags: Google, Florida, College, Tennessee, Literature, Connor, Kafka, Joyce Carol Oates, Facebook Twitter, Vanderbilt University, Estelle Parsons, Bailey, FAULKNER, Oates, Flannery O Connor, Notre Dame University


Hunter S. Thompson Typed Out The Great Gatsby & A Farewell to Arms Word for Word: A Method for Learning How to Write Like the Masters

Image  via Wikimedia Commons The word quixotic derives, of course, from Miguel Cervantes’ irreverent early 17th century satire, Don Quixote. From the novel’s eponymous character it carries connotations of antiquated, extravagant chivalry. But in modern usage, quixotic usually means “foolishly impractical, marked by rash lofty romantic ideas.” Such designations apply in the case of Jorge Luis Borges’ story, “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” in which the titular academic writes his own Qui...
Tags: Google, Europe, Writing, College, Literature, Johnny Depp, Time Magazine, Las Vegas, Thompson, Cervantes, Hemingway, Hunter, Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Doonesbury, Facebook Twitter


Hear Robert Frost Read His Most Famous Poems: “The Road Not Taken,” “Mending Wall,” “Nothing Gold Can Stay” & More

Robert Frost has the dubious honor of being known the world over as the poet of a seize-the-day cliché. His poem “The Road Not Taken” (read by Frost above) appears on coffee mugs, autumnal motivational posters, upbeat email signatures, and in advertisements and television shows, all meant to inspire confident decision-making in uncertain times: unintentionally ironic, populist appeals to diverge from the herd. If this is Frost’s legacy in the wider culture, it’s a fate most poets wou...
Tags: Google, Spotify, Congress, College, Poetry, America, Jfk, Frost, Thomas Hardy, New England, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Orr, FAULKNER, Robert Frost, David Orr



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