Reading about writing

Karen blurs by

The Singapore Writers Festival is on, plus I need to close some my Firefox tabs, so here's a writing-related linkdump.

1. "When Writers Speak" by Arthur Krystal in the New York Times

... writers don’t have to be brilliant conversationalists; it’s not their job to be smart except, of course, when they write.
This is why I still love blogging and books, of course, while all around me people have moved on to Twitter, podcasts/vodcasts and exciting TV gigs.

2. "Reading Faust in Korean" by Anne Michaels in The Atlantic
(via Qian Xi on Facebook)

Do we belong to the place where we are born, or to the place where we are buried? When one is dispossessed of everything—home, country, landscape—what is left?
Interesting apropos of the debate earlier this week at the announcement of the new MAC Fiction Prize, about whether only Singapore citizens should be eligible for the prize or if Permanent Residents and/or other residents should be considered as well.

On a separate note, my favourite line in Michaels' essay is: "We are marinated in our childhoods ..."

3. "Writers, Visible and Invisible", a speech by Cynthia Ozick as part of the 2008 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony
(via Dave on Facebook)

Writers are what they genuinely are only when they are at work in the silent and instinctual cell of ghostly solitude, and never when they are out industriously chatting on the terrace.
See also my quoting of Anthony Lane last week.

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