Dames of Literature & I Heart Philip Marchand

  • Kerri Conan blogs for Mark Bittman on his NYT blog, Bitten. Recently, she visited the former home of William Burroughs (beat-era author known for The Naked Lunch and Junky). Conan chose a non-liquid lunch when picnicking on the property.
  • Alice Munro gets kudos from The Guardian, who rightly ask us not to view her as a provincial lady-writer but the Master of Craft she is.
  • Speaking of Masters, Fay Weldon, an old school feminist writer along the lines of Doris Lessing deplores the state of feminism today (and fails to ask herself if whether she's the one out of step).
  • Canadian literary critic Philip Marchand is my home dog, mostly because he's not afraid to be contentious (but not in a bone headed way a la Maclean's Mark Steyn). I am feeling his latest column for the National Post: "In countless literary novels I have the feeling of being told what a character is about — characters who often have highly eccentric, even bizarre traits — and yet I never experience these characters coming to life." Yes Yes Yes. I feel that writers these days are panicked by the old adage "there aren't any new stories," try to wrestle with that hardcore and thus write insane, mangled garbage that reads like crap and feels traitorously false. I wish P.Marchand would print a List of Offenders in his next column. I task him with bringing down this literary trend single-handedly.

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