Skip to content Skip to navigation

features

Grumpy Old Men (On Richler and Sendak)

By Sarah Bernstein

At my Jewish high school in Montreal, Mordecai Richler, of course, was a bit of a hero. Whether or not he liked it, and even though he relentlessly lampooned the Jewish community, he was still one of ours. February at our school was public speaking month. So, every February, the teachers compiled and distributed a list of quotations to all of us groaning, gawky teenagers — possible speech topics from which we were to choose. . . .

Breathe, Just Breathe: Christina Cooke on Zadie Smith's White Teeth

By Christina Cooke

Commendations on the novel’s thematic triumphs need not be contrived by this humble author as institutions such as The New Yorker, Guardian and Financial Times have safely lionized this text as one of the most celebrated of the past two decades. But the most striking yet undervalued aspect of White Teeth, from my reading, is Smith’s awareness of the constrictions placed upon writing by those reading it — of the insistent and insufferable question demanded ad naseum, “but what does this mean?" . . .

In Praise of Memorization

By Madeline Bassnett

I’ve been thinking lately about Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” It fits the current Fredericton landscape perfectly: the snow lies two feet thick on the ground and I have to strap on snowshoes just to feed the backyard birds. But I think about this poem for another reason too: it’s an old friend, the first poem I fully memorized.

Revision

By Madeline Bassnett

My life is all about revision — and that’s not just a metaphorical statement. It seems I’ve ceased writing anything new: my only task is to complete and repair the old. As if I’ve suddenly entered the field of furniture restoration, sanding the scratches, oiling the bumps, replacing worn nails — a deceptively satisfying comparison. As if revision were simply a matter of priming and primping, of returning to some earlier and idealised state.

Train Your Brain to Create instead of Think (part 2)

By Matt Mott

Set small, specific goals like write a scene with a lamp, a dog, and blue sedan. Remember, education is about drills and jumping through hoops. Most of those hoops are going to be completely arbitrary, just like lifting a dumb-bell up and down is completely arbitrary, but arbitrary hoops provide practice, and you need to practice creativity to develop it as a skill. Editing comes later. Learn to just grow a story first. . . .

On Sunday Nights the DEAD WILL WALK ... on AMC

By Matt Mott

Just because the likelihood of something being good is very low doesn’t mean you should look down on it. Every once in a while something comes along that combines sharp, smart composition with more-leaning-towards-straight-up-fun content, the result being a piece of art that just plain rocks! Case in point, The Walking Dead — a weekly late night series that you can catch on AMC Sunday nights.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - features