Jennifer Belle didn't want to market her book the same old way. So she took the Boalian, theatrical route and hired actors to read her book in public and laugh uproariously. (Do people ever do anything uproariously besides laughing?)
Many years ago, I read an article about professional funeral wailers in China. In China, and in many countries, when a loved one died, you hired people to sit in the back and cry—sob, weep, bellow, really, really grieve the way only a stranger or someone who is being paid can—or it just wasn’t considered a good funeral. And it didn’t mean you weren’t sad yourself, it was just for reinforcement. So for years I joked with my writer friends that one day, if I got desperate enough, I would hire people to read my book on the subway and laugh.
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After reading the 138 novels on this year's Booker longlist, one of the judges has come to the conclusion that British writers are afraid to write about sex.
I have noticed a fair amount of discussion among romance readers of how terribly non-genre writers treat sex scenes in their prose. Admittedly, there is a fair amount of bad (or cliched or silly) sex in romance as well, but the best authors make poetry out of it, defamiliarizing all the old conventions of talking about both desire and the human body. It strikes me that there is something about sexuality that serves as a foil to pretension, setting off language's literariness for both good and ill. Thoughts?Philip Larkin pinpointed the emergence of sexual intercourse to 1963. Is his biographer, Motion, right in dating its demise, in literary terms, to the emergence of the Bad Sex Award in 1993?
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"Writing a play," says Justin Tanner, " is like trying to fold a parachute so that it fits in an Altoids container."
So, naturally, Matthew Freeman forges some similes of his own, by way of reply.
Some of my favorites:
- "Writing a play bruises people with that one weird condition that makes you bruise easily."
- "Writing a play is like discovering penmanship late in life."
- "Writing a play impresses your Dad and lets him down at the same time."
- "Writing a play is like texting with ghosts."
- "Writing a play is, it turns out, entirely unlike sports."