Category Archive for "Writing"

You might be a problem

English is one of the world’s most successful languages, a pigeon to be sure, but one whose population of speakers extend to all corners of the globe. It is the world’s first second language, and this this near-universal adoption has…

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The Logic of Institution – In the Heart of the Sea

Institution serves as one of the central mechanisms of social life, and writers, self-selecting themselves to stand outside and to observe, feel this somewhat instinctively. Our institutions, economic or otherwise, frame all manner of interactions, and writers do well to…

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Making Money

Recently I was recommended the late Terry Pratchett’s Making Money, the 36th Diskworld novel. The story centers on the character of Moist Von Lipwig, the protagonist of Going Postal. Lipwig is a confidence trickster, thief, and ne’er-do-well whom we last left as…

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Heroes and their Discontents

The heroes’ journey is probably one the most well-known ideas in critical theory. A casual survey that I conducted among random strangers left me finding about one person in five to be familiar with the broad outlines of the thing. Our…

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Umberto Eco—The Celebration of Folly

Humanism is a living intellectual tradition in the west; one that many of our greatest luminaries have abandoned in frustration. It is a natural project—the kind of thing that serious scholars tend to fall into once they realize that most…

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Home is Where the Heart Is

Perspective is essential in art and life. As I sit here this morning, pondering the various offerings that my friends have left for me on social media, I came across a cute photoshop of a country house surrounded by trees….

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Considering the Reader

At the heart of any creative endeavor, there is always a question about the audience. It’s one that really plagues starting writers, who often carry around a lot of doubt—often so much that they forget to start writing. But questions…

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Cliche-Dar

Cliches get stuck to most people’s writing like butter on toast, or maybe like shit on a stick (an expression with surprising origins). I’ve heard the accusation time and again: editors, writers, and critics are all very quick to point…

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