William Landay's Blog, page 4

November 21, 2014

Creative Process


Creative Process” by Christoph Niemann

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Published on November 21, 2014 12:32 • 25 views

November 18, 2014

roth-inscription


A note by Philip Roth inscription in a first edition of Portnoy’s Complaint, which he recently reread after 45 years.

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Published on November 18, 2014 06:01 • 38 views

November 16, 2014

The plane screamed low down lower Fifth Avenue,

lifted at the Arch, someone said, shaking the dog walkers

in Washington Square Park, drove for the north tower,

struck with a heavy thud, releasing a huge bright gush

of blackened fire, and vanished, leaving a hole

the size and shape a cartoon plane might make

if it had passed harmlessly through and were flying away now,

on the far side, back into the realm of the imaginary.


“When the Towers Fell” by Galway Kinnell


Read the whole poem here.

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Published on November 16, 2014 05:00 • 34 views

November 14, 2014

hemingwrite-top


I’m intrigued by this new device, called the Hemingwrite. Currently under development, it is a sort of typewriter for the internet age, a simple plain-text word processor with wifi capability that allows it to sync documents with Google Docs and Evernote. That is a perfect combination. It lets jittery, easily distracted writers like me do the one thing we absolutely must — disconnect from the web — while still providing the benefits of cloud syncing and backup. I am not crazy about the over-the-top retro design, which feels self-conscious, but I hope the machine makes it into production, whatever its final design might be. I’d love to try one. For years I have used a variety of devices to shut myself off from the internet while writing: an old, pre-wifi ThinkPad, a simple keyboard device called an AlphaSmart Neo (now lamentably discontinued). This could be an elegant solution for a gadget-head like me whose gadgets, alas, tend to get in the way.


Read more about the Hemingwrite here and here.

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Published on November 14, 2014 13:39 • 59 views

October 24, 2014

Here is a quick Q&A I did with Nina Darnton, whose novel The Perfect Mother launches November 29. If you liked Defending Jacob…

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Published on October 24, 2014 07:52 • 88 views

October 13, 2014

[M]ost of the books I have written and those I intend to write originate from the thought that it will be impossible for me to write a book of that kind: when I have convinced myself that such a book is completely beyond my capacities of temperament or skill, I sit down and start writing it.


Italo Calvino

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Published on October 13, 2014 05:30 • 47 views

One starts off writing with a certain zest, but a time comes when the pen merely grates in dusty ink, and not a drop of life flows, and life is all outside, outside the window, outside oneself, and it seems that never more can one escape into a page one is writing, open out another world, leap the gap.


Italo Calvino

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Published on October 13, 2014 05:29 • 46 views

Instead of making myself write the book I ought to write, the novel that was expected of me, I conjured up the book I myself would have liked to read, the sort by an unknown writer, from another age and another country, discovered in an attic.


Italo Calvino

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Published on October 13, 2014 05:28 • 173 views

October 10, 2014

The ancient masters of Japanese art were allowed to change their name once in their lifetime. They had to be very selective about the moment in their career when they did so. They would stick with their given name until they felt they had become the artist they aspired to be; at that point, they were allowed to change their name. For the rest of their life, they could work under the new name at the height of their powers. The name change was a sign of artistic maturity.


Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

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Published on October 10, 2014 04:00 • 39 views

October 8, 2014

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Published on October 08, 2014 14:00 • 38 views