February 4, 2006

Bloglogo.jpgAuthors Speak about Writing
In an interview with The Guardian, Elsie Aidinoff discusses with Michelle Pauli how and why she reworked the story of Genesis and the sense of injustice her new version caused. Here’s the kicker. Aidinoff didn’t start her writing career until she turned 74.

In another Guardian story, writer Pankaj Mishra recounts how he boldly predicted in an essay written at the ripe age of 11 that Soviet Union “would modernize a backward and feudal country [Afghanistan], revolutionize its relations of production, and set it on the path of prosperity and peace.” Another prediction gone bad. Twenty-four years later, he traveled to the land he once thought that the Soviets would free. This is what he saw.

In the same issue, “Iain Sinclair describes the mysterious process of conveying the essence of a book by its jacket as he joins judges…to find new photographs for four Penguin classics.”

Talking with Rachel Donadio of the New York Times, best-selling New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell said, “People are experience rich and theory poor. People who are busy doing things–as opposed to people who are busy sitting around, like me, reading and having coffee in coffee shops–don’t have opportunities to kind of collect and organize their experiences and make sense of them.” In his book The Tipping Point, he claims that small actions spark social epidemics.

The Difference Between a Cartoon and a T-Shirt
“Minutes before the President of the United States would tell the Congress how much he appreciates ‘responsible
criticism and counsel,’ the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq was dragged from a gallery overlooking the House chamber where Bush would speak, handcuffed and arrested for the ‘crime’ of wearing a T-shirt that read: ‘2245 Dead. How many more?’” After Cindy Sheehan was removed from the chambers, the world of publishing cried out about the extreme Muslim reaction to a cartoon that depicted the prophet Muhammad. Yet there was not outcry for Sheehan. But John Nichols of The Nation makes a point. In the same publication, Jeff Chester notes that the freedom of expression may face even greater restrictions because “the nation’s largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and non-discriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.”

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