Sunday, January 1, 2012

Internet Favorites, ctd.

Continuing the festival of good writing and interesting thoughts:

I knew Casey at One-Way Ticket Back when I was at the University of Houston. I was mastering English Lit, she was in the Creative Writing Program.

I've actually researched Tex-Mex food (fajitas, nachos) for an encyclopedia that's coming out this summer. So I'm a bonafide expert on this subject. Seriously, it's on my CV. And I approve of this post.

Who is this Emma Straub? She can write. I also liked "My Rayannes."

This is an embarrassing confession: I haven't read any of David Foster Wallace's fiction. And I work about 100 yards from his whole archive, which I've never visited. Anyway, this made me want to dig into both. Because I also have a weakness for slightly embarrassing self-help writing.

Case in point:

Okay, the whole manliness angle is cheesy--physicality is important for men and women--but I really, really liked this essay.

Finally, two football posts, related to the Texas - Texas A&M bust-up. First, a contemplative one from an outsider:

And, to conclude, Barking Carnival's take on the rift between the Texas and A&M athletic departments: When the Lone Star Network All Came Apart.

Happy new year, readers!

Internet Favorites

To start 2012, I thought I'd share a few things I loved reading in 2011. First up:

in February, the Paris Review's blog ran this note on Patricia Highsmith and the mysteries of biography--why does a writer choose to dedicate a big chunk of her life and energy to writing about another writer?

Here's Schenkar's conclusion:

For at some point during my long, excruciating, rivetingly interesting relationship with this dead writer, we had somehow agreed to collaborate in rendering the trespasses of her life and the extremities of her work. By now, enough of her identity has leaked through the porous borders of her writing to perfuse my own, and I’ve been issued a passport to Highsmith Country that can never be revoked.

You might say—she would certainly say it—that Patricia Highsmith and I have become partners in crime.

I don't do biography, but what I do is so focused on three authors--Alejo Carpentier, James Weldon Johnson, and James Joyce--that I understood the feeling. And so I scoured the PCL for both Schenkar's book and Highsmith's fiction. But then I didn't get time to read any of it. Still, this post was great.