Erin Lyndal Martin: Elizabeth Bishop’s “Insomnia”

Excerpt from The Rumpus:

I decided to memorize the poem in case I was ever without it. I pored over it there in the library until it was a second tongue. I recited it over and over in my head, then went to the coffee shop and wrote it down in my journal in silvery ink.

I have always relied on memory.

When driving late at night, there’s nothing better to keep oneself awake than reciting poetry from years past, seeing what you can recall and what has fallen by the wayside.

Read here for the full.

Jorge Luis Borges: “I can’t get along without writing”

Interview excerpted from The Paris Review:

I think nowadays, while literary men seem to have neglected their epic duties, the epic has been saved for us, strangely enough, by the Westerns.

***

I know that I can’t get along without writing. If I don’t write, I feel, well, a kind of remorse, no? Then I thought I would try my hand at writing an article or a poem. But I thought, “I have written hundreds of articles and poems. If I can’t do it, then I’ll know at once that I am done for, that everything is over with me.” So I thought I’d try my hand at something I hadn’t done: If I couldn’t do it, there would be nothing strange about it because why should I write short stories? It would prepare me for the final overwhelming blow: knowing that I was at the end of my tether.

Read the full here.

Steven Price: “a pleasure beyond language”

Interview excerpt from Lemon Hound:

I haven’t much interest in the idealized world, and don’t find myself responding to it in poetry, or in any other sphere. In poetry, I do find myself responding to language that stands at a very low level, at an almost physical level, the level of the flesh. For me a very large part of this lies in the way language fills the mouth.

***

I do believe beauty, whatever it is, is a kind of pleasure beyond language.

Read the full here.

Henry Miller: “I said that writer was a man who had antennnae”

Interview excerpt from The Paris Review:

A writer after all is a man, a man like other men; he may be neurotic or he may not. I mean his neurosis, or whatever it is that they say makes his personality, doesn’t account for his writing. I think it’s a much more mysterious thing than that and I wouldn’t even try to put my finger on it. I said that a writer was a man who had antennae; if he really knew what he was, he would be very humble. He would recognize himself as a man who was possessed of a certain faculty which he was destined to use for the service of others. He has nothing to be proud of, his name means nothing, his ego is nil, he’s only an instrument in a long procession.

For the full, read here.

Amrita Dutta: Revisiting Pride and Prejudice in India

Excerpt from Indian Express:

While the most sensitive of her students realise that it is not a straightforward romance, a superficial reading can, ironically, reinforce the necessity of marriage.

Of her book, Austen complained that “it was too light and bright, and sparkling; it wants shade; it wants to be stretched out here and there with a long chapter of sense.” She seemed to anticipate its appropriation by pop culture into a romance between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, a pastel-pink teddy bear wrapped with a red bow.

Read the full here.

Porochista Khakpour: “I’m an artist too, and I’ve done more than live.”

Interview excerpt from the Los Angeles Review of Books:

I remember almost resenting the one or two other Iranian families in our tiny city, because it felt like we were obligated to be their friends. I wanted to write about that specific world of mine instead of writing about immigrants in a fairly homogenous immigrant enclave, which is what you always expect when reading about any immigrant or ethnic group. Well, I wanted to write about what was interesting to me about suburban lower-middle-class Los Angeles — that mixing of ethnic groups and eclectic immigrant identities where everyone who was “other” just kind of stuck together.

***

There is a way in which the book is stylized and that was part of that — I wanted realism of course, but I also wanted it to operate a bit outside of real life, on a sort of stage where my characters get to play actor-versions of themselves, if that makes any sense.

Read the full here.