Friday, March 26, 2010

definition of a boring book

Musing on his craft, Jules Feiffer note that Hemingway's spare language "made sense to a cartoonist's imagination," as "the air between words was like the silent panel in an adventure strip: it told the story by not telling, by giving over to the reader the job of filling in the writer's gaps."

Reminds me of something a favorite publisher taught me. I was reading to children in schools from an early draft of Handbag Friends and, at one particular point in the story (when the poor Handbag Friends enter the Swamp-A-Stomp and the Place of Dangerful Terribleness) the children kept stopping me and asking me all these questions. So I reported back to my publisher and wondered if I should write more on that part. He said no, when they are asking questions, that's when you know it's working. Because you have captured their imagination.

Because the definition of a boring book: doing the job of the reader for them.

The importance of leaving room for the reader.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

skyline visitors

via NYT

Anthony Gormley's "Event Horizon" (He did the fourth plinth thing last year in Trafalgar square--more here

Last Friday through August 15th--31 naked men--rather sculptures of the same naked man (Mr Gormley himself)--will perch on rooftops and ledges. The point? Exploring, as he put it "Where does the human being fit into the scheme of things…"

Each are 6 feet 2 inches tall and the Empire State Building will be the "exclamation point of the show." (It's on the 26th floor, north east side, on the edge of the parapet.) Others appear on the former Metropolitan LIfe Tower and the Flatiron Building.

And as people look up, trying to spot the statues on the skyline… "The viewer in some sense becomes the viewed" Mr Gormley explained. "Like a statue, they become static sculptures themselves looking up." Now that is cool.

Reminds me a bit of that amazing Wenders film WINGS OF DESIRE where you saw angels perched on buildings watching over the city (Berlin).

Posted via email from s@lly l-j

Sunday, March 21, 2010

are you reading?

via NYT

Read this very cool article by Michael Winerip in his Generation B column this w/e about the power of reading and being read to: and an amazing Father-Daughter bond via books.

oh dear. sound dry? it isn't. the dad is a school librarian (for 38 years) and read to his daughter since she was tiny right up to (wait for it) college. OK so reading that back now sounds creepy but it isn't. really. it's very cool. but don't take my word for it, read it here.

Here's something the dad says:
"If you love to read, you'll probably go to college, maybe for free. You'll get a better job, get a higher income, live longer."

WOW. they are powerful these books!

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