21 November 2004

Potsherds

A potsherd is a shard of pottery with archaelogical value, and so I've settled on that word to title what will be, I hope, an occasional series of posts digging worthwhile bits and pieces out of the archives of weblogs that I read. The present-tense nature of blogs makes us tend to pay attention to what is most recent and most immediate, which may mean we miss gems from the past. I know that there are blogs I cherish but have not read the archives of, and so this is a chance to do so, or to draw attention to old posts that I still remember fondly.

So here are the first potsherds dug out of dusty yesterdays:
Jeff VanderMeer on being a census worker: "Oh, thought I, well maybe if I follow the chain, I'll find someone. So, like some kind of sun-drugged zombie, I followed the chain into the backyard...where it ended, predictably enough, attached to the collar of a Rottweiler."

Daniel Green on the stories of Gary Lutz and one reviewer of them: "If anything, experimental writers tend to be even more craftsmanlike in their approach, since what constitutes the 'craft' of writing fiction is uppermost in their minds to begin with. Too many 'well-made' stories or novels are not products of craft at all, but simple repetitions of formula."

The Little Professor answers the common question from students, "How come you see all those things and I don't?": "The emphasis on 'answers'--what the instructor 'sees'--distracts the student from the actual process involved in reaching those answers, which largely consists of asking oneself how the poem/short story/novel/film works."

Alex Ross on the hideous term "classical music": "I can’t rank my favorite music any more than I can rank my memories. Yet some discerning souls believe that the music should be marketed as a luxury good, one that supplants an inferior popular product."

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