Ravi Mangla's Blog

August 2, 2015

“Perhaps the very diversity of India is what makes the publishing of diverse Indian perspectives in America so difficult. It is assumed that a writer’s own ethnic group will constitute some part of his or her readership in America—that readers want to see themselves. But that means that substantially less than 1% of Americans are even available to “relate” to a particular Indian American work solely because of ethnic identification.

The metric for whether our fiction should be published must not be whether there are enough people to “see” themselves in our work. Rather, the standard should be whether it enables us to see each other, and whether it does so in an artistic and inventive way.”

- “The Stories We Tell” by Anita Felicelli in India Currents

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Published on August 02, 2015 07:05

July 30, 2015

“I love the novella; I love short form. I love the work of Penelope Fitzgerald. There’s a kind of a book—Julian Barnes writes them, Hilary Mantel when she writes short, Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams—that’s just so elegant in its construction. I’m drawn to things that feel very honed. I love economy of form. If I were a filmmaker, I would be making shorts.

I would love to write something that felt perfectly constructed, perfectly constrained, and yet somehow held everything—like when you look at a drop of water through a microscope and see the world. That’s my goal.”

- Kate Walbert (interviewed at The Rumpus)

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Published on July 30, 2015 18:34 • 6 views

July 19, 2015

Eleanor Antin, 100 Boots at the Bank (from the 100 Boots series), 1971

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Published on July 19, 2015 17:52 • 3 views

July 10, 2015

I was interviewed about my story “Face” at The Collagist. (Thanks to Dana Diehl for the great questions.)

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Published on July 10, 2015 06:04 • 1 view

July 9, 2015

This story was originally published in Dark Sky Magazine back in 2010 (a year or two before the journal went under). The good folks at Corium Magazine were kind enough to reprint it in their latest issue. It’s only a few hundred words, so I’m not bothering with an excerpt. Oh, fine…

There are three ways we can do this, he says to me. I elect for the second way, immediately, before he’s had time to explain any of the ways. Are you sure? he asks. I tell him I am sure. He says I ought to have selected the third way. I tell him I am quite smitten with the second way, thank you very much, and it would be difficult to change my mind at this point in time.

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Published on July 09, 2015 17:49 • 1 view

June 30, 2015

A cover of Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” performed by Father John Misty

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Published on June 30, 2015 18:55

June 29, 2015

David Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Mistress was rejected fifty-four times before it was finally accepted by Dalkey Archive Press. (Knopf apparently rejected the manuscript on three separate occasions.)

“I suspect it set a record. For years, the highest number of turndowns I’d ever heard of was thirty-six, on The Ginger Man. Then I read in the Deirdre Bair biography that Murphy had about forty two. Ironweed had a dozen, as I recall, and I once jokingly told Bill Kennedy while Wittgenstein was going around that if rejections were any sign of quality, then mine was already twice as good as his. But then I left Donleavy and Beckett in the dust also.”

- David Markson in conversation with Joseph Tabbi

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Published on June 29, 2015 07:42 • 13 views

June 19, 2015

“Certain things I remember exactly as they were. They are merely discolored a bit by time, like coins in the pocket of a forgotten suit. Most of the details, though, have long since been transformed or rearranged to bring others of them forward. Some, in fact, are obviously counterfeit; they are no less important. One alters the past to form the future.”

- James Salter, A Sport and a Pastime

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Published on June 19, 2015 20:30 • 6 views

June 16, 2015

“Here’s what I think is wrong with boring people to no purpose. It’s not just that it corrupts their attention, makes them less capable, in other words, of being patient with important things that require a tolerance, to some greater purpose, of some boring time. The real danger lies, I think, in this: that boredom has intimately to do with power. One has only to think of hypnosis, of being mesmerized. Monotony, as a literal method of enthrallment. So this claim to find art in boredom, for its own sake or as one of the modes of alienation, is not simply a harmless misunderstanding, which finds it avant garde to stupefy. Deliberate, pointless boredom is a kind of menace, and a disturbing exercise of power.”

- Renata Adler from Pitch Dark

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Published on June 16, 2015 19:34 • 15 views

June 11, 2015

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Published on June 11, 2015 08:44 • 5 views