Writer’s Friday: Advice from Great Modern Writers

What sleep and plagiarism have to do with the poetry of experience and the experience of poetry.

Source: Advice on Writing from Modernity’s Greatest Writers – Brain Pickings

It looks like I will get a little time to sit down and write this weekend, so I am getting my head into the game with a little advice from the greats, courtesy of Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings.

I’m ordering the books she is excerpting heavily here. I am not at the stage wherein I need inspiration to write, but I am almost always in need of direction, and these aphorisms are each a finger pointing down the right road.

Have a great weekend!

A Moment for Mr. Chavez

Today is the birthday of an icon in California, Cesar Chavez.

Eight years ago, I posted a link to an article in The Atlantic by Caitlin Flanigan reviewing Miriam Pawel’s exhaustive and thorough biography, The Crusades of Cesar Chavez. Pawel’s effort to tell the full story of Chavez’s life and work was rigorous, clear-eyed, and ultimately iconoclastic. The portrait that emerges challenges three generations of hagiography so utterly as to serve as a much more fundamental warning. Making idols of men threatens to cast the burden of their flaws upon the legitimacy of the causes for which they fought.

So let us no longer carve Chavez into an idol, but let us instead honor the cause for which he fought, however imperfectly. Rather than celebrate the life of Chavez, I will instead spend time on this day of global sequestration reflecting upon the nature of his cause, which to me is this:

No civilization can long stand that treats as a commodity any people, but especially those who harvest its food, teach its children, or heal its wounds. 

Building a pantheon of white-washed heroes does not advance that or any cause worthy of our better instincts. Truly supporting our farmworkers, our teachers, and our medical professionals demands more thought, more care, and some degree of sacrifice to make it meaningful. Let us resolve not to shirk from that responsibility.

Los Angeles Review of Books Moves to a New Site

Los Angeles Review of Books –.

Just as we have, the Los Angeles Review of Books has grown beyond its origins on Tumblr, and has now built a fantastic website at the above link. If you have not yet found LARB, you are in for a true delight.

Congratulations, LARB!