Henry James

Literary Doppelgangers


There’s a Woody Allen joke where he and a woman mutually undress in a hotel room, until he, without his glasses on, realizes he’s standing before a mirror. That woman, if there ever were one, would be Joyce Carol Oates, also near-sighted and pensive, self-conscious with dour eyebrows. Of the life-size bronze statue of him in Oviedo, Spain (a town he featured in Vicky Cristina Barcelona), let us hope he doesn’t undress before it. He also said “Don’t knock masturbation, it’s sex with someone I love,” which Joyce read as a rejection that fateful night in that hotel room, leaving her with nothing but time, and that chest-sinking task of writing too many novels to count.


Web Hype / 29 Comments
September 16th, 2010 / 1:58 pm

Batter my heart, third-person omniscient god

Unicorn Mask print by Matty8080

What is your preferred point of view? Your go-to voice when you write, if you write, or the one you’re happiest to see when you open a new book? Can you use second-person without feeling like a wanker? Do you love “I” for its accessibility, its steadfastness, its immediacy–the narrative fuzzy bedroom slippers everĀ  at the foot of your crafty little bed? Because I can be “me” but “not-me,” whereas you is always only you, and third-person, well, forget it. That actually starts to feel like work.


Craft Notes & Vicarious MFA / 41 Comments
April 30th, 2010 / 2:03 am