Her next work is a collection of illustrated essays/nature writing entitled World of Wonder
The Atlantic Boston Globe
Professor Nigel Krauth is head of the writing program at Griffith University. He has published novels, stories, essays, articles and reviews. His research investigates creative writing processes and the teaching of creative writing. He is the General Editor of TEXT: Journal of writing and writing courses . His book Creative Writing and the Radical (MLM, Bristol) is due for publication in July 2016.
Markson’s amnesia is one of the happy accidents of the last decade of fiction writing. By eschewing a fetishistic, conventional interest in character, or a dutiful allegiance to moment creation, to occurrence itself, Markson accomplishes what a story, slogging through time and obedient to momentum, arguably could not: a commanding, obsessive portrait of single behaviors throughout history, a catalog of atrocity that overwhelms through relentless example. In truth, it’s a novel that can be read as an essay, but unlike most essays, it’s lyrically shrewd, poetry in the form of history, and it’s brave enough to provide creepy, gaping holes where we normally might encounter context (the burden of the conventional essayist).
The flagship practitioner of the lyric essay, who seems early on to have inspired D’Agata’s editorial imagination, is the Canadian poet Anne Carson. Under the banner of poetry, Carson has produced some of the most rigorously intelligent and beautiful writing of the last ten years: essays, stories, arguments, poems, most provocatively in her early collection, Plainwater. Her piece, “Short Talks,” which she describes as one-minute lectures, and which moves through the history of philosophy like a flip-book of civilization, offering stern commandments and graceful fall-aways, simultaneously qualifies as fiction, poetry, and essay, and is championed protectively by ambassadors from each genre.
Our Reading will proceed from narrative and lyric to essays, argumentand criticism, and the pupil will learn to try his own hand at writingthis kind of thing. Many lessons--on whatever subject--will take the formof debates; and the place of individual or choral recitation will be takenby dramatic performances, with special attention to plays in which an argumentis stated in dramatic form.
He is working on his first book, a collection of essays entitled Now for the Disappointing Part
Mark Beech is a senior editor at The Players' Tribune and was a writer and editor at Sports Illustrated for more than 18 years.
The loose criteria for the lyric essay seems to invoke a kind of nonfiction not burdened by research or fact, yet responsible (if necessary) to sense and poetry, shrewdly allegiant to no expectations of genre other than the demands of its own subject. If that sounds strangely like fiction, several of the writers included here, Harry Mathews, Carole Maso, and Lydia Davis among them, first published their pieces in that genre, and will no doubt continue to. Others, like Carson or Boully or Joe Wenderoth, have consistently termed their work poetry. Thalia Field has published her singular writing under the label of fiction, although it seems better read as poetry. Here, of course, it is an essay, as are works of autobiography. David Antin shows up with more of his astonishingly boring diaries, continuing his decades-long ruse of consequence. Thankfully he cannot single-handedly ruin an anthology. David Shields provides a Lishian catalog of clichés that accrue curious meanings and expose how revealing banal language can actually be. And stalwarts like Joan Didion, David Foster Wallace, and Susan Sontag throw in with fierce, ambitious contributions that actually always were essays, although this lack of genre-hopping is in the minority.
I Am Not Jackson Pollock contains some storylike moments, but it is primarily a new kind of fiction, one that, curiously, hardly seems interested in fiction at all (which is not to suggest that it reads autobiographically—the opposite is true, which makes a great case for secret-keeping). Haskell might be indebted to Borges, but not in the way most so-called imaginative writers are. There’s no obsession with infinity and worlds within worlds, no conceptual masterminding at work to showcase a stoner’s tripped-out, house-of-Escher mentality, not much that would qualify as being made up. Haskell is more interested in using modest, unassuming forms of nonfiction, as did Borges or Sterne (albeit Haskell does not perpetrate extravagant untruths): the essay, the report, the biographical sketch, the character analysis (this last is Haskell’s favorite, from real people like Glenn Gould and Jackson Pollock, to film characters like Anthony Perkins’s innkeeper in Psycho, to Topsy, the first elephant executed by electricity). Haskell does not write characters so much as he writes about them, and it is this willful instinct toward exposition that is so curiously distinctive and unusual in the story-driven world of most new fiction.
“I approached Carol to ask for help with the writing of my first book, an academic text, (2015). Carol is very alert to discrete and idiosyncratic concerns of individual writers. Her in-depth focused feedback demonstrates a combination of insight and feeling. The intellectual project crystallised during our meetings. It would be a delight to work with Carol on another essayistic project.” –Dr Thomas Bristol, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, University of Melbourne
“Carol’s feedback on my short stories was honest and thoughtful. Using her questions and comments, I rewrote one of the stories, which then won a FAW prize. I think her drawing out of one of the themes really made this story work, and I found the whole experience extremely helpful.” -Claire Aman Winner of the , EJ Brady and Hal Porter prizes “A light, a lap, a loving gaze, Carol has provided my manuscripts with all that. Her unconditional care and engagement with my writing, her insight into the characters, her critical dissection of the plot, while revealing to me, an unsuspecting writer, the subplots, made her an invaluable reader and added focus and depth to the story. When stuck, lost, needing some understanding, Carol unfailingly provided honest counsel and re-energised me with her love for writing, for story that needs telling and for writers.” -Loubna Haikal, writer, dramatist, essayist and author of
Wherever the matter for Dialectic is found, it is, of course, highlyimportant that attention should be focused upon the beauty and economyof a fine demonstration or a well-turned argument, lest veneration shouldwholly die. Criticism must not be merely destructive; though at the sametime both teacher and pupils must be ready to detect fallacy, slipshodreasoning, ambiguity, irrelevance, and redundancy, and to pounce upon themlike rats. This is the moment when precis-writing may be usefully undertaken;together with such exercises as the writing of an essay, and the reductionof it, when written, by 25 or 50 percent.