“It’s called forgetting,” the girl said,
while the clerk
watched me and I blushed. “Until there’s nothing left.”
And a breeze entered
through the hole in the window.
“And then you’re out of time,” she said,
Some of the cards were face up on the floor:
climbing a craggy slope,
the Grand Canyon like a mouth
carved in the earth, a night-lit tower like a needle.
I was sweating now,
but I couldn’t speak.
And then I was running from the shop,
past the fountain and the check-in desk,
down the tiled hall to the pool,
where my father lay on a plastic beach chair,
reading a book about churches.
Sunlight flecked his chest.
His hair was wet from swimming.
“What’s the trouble?” he asked.
—Kevin Prufer, from “Churches.”
Art credit Christopher Orr.
2:00 pm • 26 February 2014 • 201 notes
1) It must be credibly motivated, both as to the original situation and the dénouement.
2) It must be technically sound as to the methods of murder and detection.
3) It must be realistic in character, setting and atmosphere. It must be about real people in a real world.
4) It must have a sound story value apart from the mystery element: i.e., the investigation itself must be an adventure worth reading.
5) It must have enough essential simplicity to be explained easily when the time comes.
6) It must baffle a reasonably intelligent reader.
7) The solution must seem inevitable once revealed.
8) It must not try to do everything at once. If it is a puzzle story operating in a rather cool, reasonable atmosphere, it cannot also be a violent adventure or a passionate romance.
9) It must punish the criminal in one way or another, not necessarily by operation of the law…. If the detective fails to resolve the consequences of the crime, the story is an unresolved chord and leaves irritation behind it.
10) It must be honest with the reader.
Raymond Chandler’s ten commandments for writing a detective novel.
1:00 pm • 26 February 2014 • 284 notes
Self-portrait by Jerzy Kosinski. “You cannot help seeing the curtain as you peek into the intimate rooms behind.”
11:00 am • 26 February 2014 • 55 notes
The first entry in an A to Z of forgotten books: “When it appeared in 1923, André Maurois’s Ariel was one of a new breed of what reviewers of the time took to calling ‘romance biographies.’”
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.
10:13 am • 26 February 2014 • 85 notes
“Conjunctions ruined my sleep. I wanted no needless sound in my sentences.”
— Leonard Michaels
4:45 pm • 25 February 2014 • 287 notes
29. Shots throughout the house. Pulling away… room by darkened room. The dawn light comes in through the windows… pulling away. A shot of the swimming pool where the Limping Man lies at the bottom covered with leaves, the water having mysteriously drained out. Whistles are calling to the Poet-Consort. Rustling tree sounds. He hesitates, looks about. He is all alone on the lawn. The abandoned house looms behind him. Very consciously, making a choice apparently, he hits his own ball exactly as the sun rises. It flies into the woods and he follows it. The sun comes up.
An excerpt from a movie-picture outline by James Ivory, Michael O’Donoghue, and George Trow.
3:00 pm • 25 February 2014 • 67 notes