Monthly Archives: January 2012

Beside the Point?

A couple weeks ago (OK, three, which is ancient history in social media time), an essay appeared in the New York Times Book Review called “Why Authors Tweet.”  In it, Anne Trubek seems to poke fun at Jeffrey Eugenides as well as other social-media-shy writers for opting out of Twitter, Facebook, and the like. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” the great and powerful Oz says, but that’s of course exactly where we want to look.  Toto pulls back the curtain, and the mysterious and powerful is rendered quotidian, ordinary—a little traveling showman with his smoke-and-mirrors machine. … Continue reading

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Retreat

I just got home from the convent. A writer’s retreat, actually:  three nights in a small room (bed, desk, chair, sink, icon) at a spiritual center run by Dominican Sisters, a thirty-minute drive north.  Outside the door to my room, a long hallway that reminded me of the hotel in The Shining.  But no REDRUM on the walls, no boy pedaling his tricycle.  Just a long series of rooms identical to mine, uninhabited.  (The retreat center was expecting an arrival today, of some seventy-five people from a Presbyterian church, but during the week, my friend and fellow writer Audrey were … Continue reading

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Let It Shine

There will be no post next week, January 13.  I’ll be back January 20. Epiphany.  That’s what today is, on the church calendar:  the Feast of the Epiphany.  Twelfth night.  The magi—three wise men—showed up to pay homage to the babe in the manger and, the story goes, recognized him as the son of God.  That’s what, to practicing Christians, “epiphany” marks:  the manifestation of the divine. James Joyce used the word to refer to a literary technique, most famously in Dubliners (“a series of fifteen epiphanies,” he called the stories). Joyce’s epiphanies mark those moments where a story transcends … Continue reading

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