The ultimate journey that any writer takes is an emotional one, and that is what informs the geographical and professional passages you undergo, the moral development you attempt, the intellectual maturity you reach for. Being a writer is exhilarating, demanding, fascinating; it is the most wonderful life, but it can be terribly lonely. In fact, I am still surprised each time by how singular and private the experience of writing is—how this big conversation the writer conducts, and this desire to gobble up the world comes down, finally, to a quiet moment alone.
Excerpts and curios from around the web:
Walt Whitman’s guide to health and better living, the grudge narratives of LIGO scientists, and Lord Byron’s apocalyptic poetry. Plus: Hulu adapts The Handmaid’s Tale for the small screen, and Catherine Nichols explores the character adaptability that makes a novel addictive: “The adaptation technique isn’t just an efficient way of telegraphing psychological depth; it hits the reader like rock n’ roll.”
Anne Carson writes that prose is a house and poetry is the man on fire running through it. I think we managed to convince ourselves that movies can be that house, when really it’s more of an Airbnb. Checking into an Airbnb for the weekend is not the same as living in a house. While you are physically inside of a home, it is temporary, it is free of obligation aside from the implicit agreement that you will effectively not be the man on fire running through it. But owning a home requires sustained and incremental effort: you need to pay the bills, you need to maintain your property. And with that dedication comes intimacy: it’s your house. It’s the place you return to again and again.
As Game of Thrones approaches the finale of its fifth season, the show faces an interesting dilemma. It has caught up with its inspiration, George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, and is set to outpace it in the upcoming sixth season, venturing into territory that the books have not yet explored. While Martin stated in an April 2015 interview that he hoped the sixth book in the series, The Winds of Winter, would be published before the series premiered in 2016, the likelihood that the seventh book, A Dream of Spring, will be written before the series exhausts the material of The Winds of Winter is close to impossible.
* Kaveh Bassiri *
In recent decades, Farid ud-Din Attar’s 12th-century Persian masterpiece, Manṭeq al-ṭayr, has been the source for three new and revised translations, three illustrated adaptations (two for children), two expensive art books, and a number of theater and film adaptations. These translations and adaptations point to the rising importance of Attar’s poem in the English language. They are in conversation with Attar’s poem, bringing fresh and multifarious interpretations while building new homes for it in English.