The Author of the Quixote: On Pierre Menard, Miguel de Cervantes and Jorge Luis Borges

The Author of the Quixote: On Pierre Menard, Miguel de Cervantes and Jorge Luis Borges

In his short story “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” Jorge Luis Borges—that miraculous, mind-fucking Argentinian—proposes an unusual premise. The titular Menard is shown to be obsessed with unusual literary feats and, as such, he decides to take it upon himself to rewrite Cervantes' classic, Don Quixote. He's not planning to translate the book or [...]

Writing Young

Writing Young

A decade ago I sat in a collegiate music composition class and listened to a professor explain how, in order to write a truly great song, it was necessary to hone an idea over and over, fully exploring it and discovering the best way to implement it. Young people, he posited, struggled with this because [...]

We Are the Library: Borges and the Search for Meaning

We Are the Library: Borges and the Search for Meaning

This much is already known: for every sensible line of straightforward statement, there are leagues of senseless cacophonies, verbal jumbles and incoherences. - Jorge Luis Borges, “The Library of Babel” In one of his most famous stories, Argentine metaphysical author Jorge Luis Borges positions his narrator in the fictitious and eponymous Library of Babel, wherein [...]

NaNoWriMo Wrap Up

It's over. Finished. Done. National Novel Writing Month has finally ended. [sigh of relief] It's a weird experience, NaNoWriMo, not least of all because it forces you to think about writing as work, an obligation. Maybe that's not the intent of the event, and it's certainly possible that other participants don't feel this way, but [...]

So Much Writing

Here's the thing about NaNo. Well, not the thing, since I already talked about that, but another thing. Oh, I did that already, too? How about another another thing? Alright, then. Another another thing it is. See, as that last paragraph indicates, NaNo makes you kind of crazy. Which I think is counterintuitive. Most people would, [...]

Halfway Home

In my experience, the hardest part of NaNoWriMo - and all writing in general, really - is getting past the endless mental hurdles and simply starting to write, every day. That's it. It's very, very easy to get caught up in all the reasons not to sit down and create new sentences on any given day. And [...]

NaNoWriMo 2014

Last year was the first year that I participated in National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. For the uninitiated, the goal of NaNoWriMo is to pound out a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November, forgoing all editing and simply striving to create. It's an admirable goal, writing a novel in [...]

The Hobbit Begins

I've read The Lord of the Rings a number of times. As a result of all that repetition, I've internalized most of the story's primary aspects and plot points. And though I've not read it with the same frequency, I've also read The Hobbit a not-insignificant number of times. So I was surprised to find, [...]

So Close

Over the past few weeks I've been going back through a lot of the story snippets that I generated during my 750 Words blitz, trying to see if there are any nuggets in there that are worth expanding and maybe even finishing up. The story that I've been focusing on most closely in last few [...]