How To Write Better: Borrowing From Chemistry

How To Write Better: Borrowing From Chemistry by @DFriedmanAuthor #write #writer #chemistry

Better Writing Through Chemistry  In 1935, Dupont promised they’d bring us better living through chemistry. Today, the phrase is used ironically for movie and album titles and most especially to describe recreational drug use. Acknowledging that chemistry has improved our lives is bromidic. Less well known is that the chemical lexicon, demonstrably miscible with our…

Read More

Dawg blawg

Although I had tried to make The Writer’s Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers as comprehensive as possible, as I acknowledged in the preface, I knew that with new writer-artists appearing every day that it would be out of date as soon as it was published.  Omissions were partially rectified with two large exhibitions…

Read More

Writer-Artists

We’ve all had those head-thumping moments—coming up with the crushing argument when our adversary is long gone, remembering the ingredient left out of the casserole, the part that should have been done or installed before the part just finished with.  Many such omissions are fixable, even if at some cost or inconvenience.  But imagine writing…

Read More

HOW PETER SACKS JOINED THE GREATS

  “Paint seems more embedded in the cosmos than language.” The Poet Picked Up a Paintbrush You are about to witness a historic moment. A little more than twenty years ago, Peter Sacks, a successful poet and Harvard professor, decided to pick up a paintbrush for the first time. Today, hailed internationally, his work is…

Read More

Evan Hunter/Ed McBain, “there is no frame in writing.”

Evan Hunter

Among the very rare group of writers whose books have sold over 100 million copies, the inventor of the police procedural with his dozens of 87th Precinct novels, the author of The Blackboard Jungle, and the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” Evan Hunter as the boy Salvatore Lombino was art editor of his school…

Read More

Louise Glück, Nobel Poet and Sometime Painter.

“I couldn’t bear the endless forfeits [painting] involved.” In her youth, Glück painted which, in her essay “Education of the Poet,” she describes as “a small gift.” To this she adds, “Small but, like my other aptitudes, relentlessly developed. At some point in my late teens I realized I was at the end of what…

Read More

“Unorthodox”: A Fantasy Based on a Fiction

unorthodox netflix

We all know that when a movie opens with “based on” or “inspired by” true events that what we are about to see is only remotely connected with historic truth. But we want to believe we’re getting lived reality and not just writerly invention so we’re happy to accept the fiction that follows. “Unorthodox,” the…

Read More

Freeman Dyson, Brilliant and Wrongheaded

freeman dyson

Freeman Dyson, the legendary polymath of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, died a week and a half ago. He leaves behind prodigious contributions in mathematics and physics and, perhaps equally important, an iconoclastic philosophy and gadfly writings that challenged consensus thinking, particularly, and rather notoriously, in the sphere of climate change. He also promoted some…

Read More

“Parasite” is not what you’re being told it is. A review with spoilers.

parasite

“Parasite” (Bong Joon-Ho 2019) “Parasite” is not what you’re being told it is. A review with spoilers. The New York Times this morning joins other media commentators in describing this movie as a “class-struggle thriller” and, in the same post-Oscar article, as a “comedy-thriller.” These are misleading descriptives. Parasite is not about class struggle, although…

Read More

Amiri Baraka: “Politics is to protect truth and beauty”

Amiri Baraka

“Politics is to protect truth and beauty.” Amiri Baraka, famed leader of the Black Arts Movement, was a poet, playwright, jazz critic, and actor. He was also a notorious political revolutionary who did not cease protesting despite arrests and beatings by the Newark police and struggling to install an honest government that would respond to…

Read More

Enjoy the latest issue of INTERFACES

interfaces

Voilá, the latest issue of INTERFACES, internationally renowned journal of text and image. This issue focuses on images and memories, with fascinating discussions ranging from fiction that uses photographs with its text, to Ken Burns’ recontextualizing photojournalism in his Vietnam War documentary and, as an added treat, my on-camera interview with Jules Feiffer, the brilliant…

Read More

Susan Minot Paints Everything, Everywhere

Susan Minot

“I like to say ‘I write,’ or ‘I paint,’ and not ‘I am an anything.” The award-winning writer of novels, short stories, screenplays, and poems, Susan Minot says she grew up in a family in which everyone always had something before them to do with their hands. It is a habit that has stayed with…

Read More

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is turning 100!

Happy 100th Birthday Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Legendary poet, artist, publisher and social activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti will celebrate his 100th birthday on March 24. My on-camera interview with him in 2001 has been edited into a four minute homage by Michelle Memran, producer and director of last year’s critically lauded film “The Rest I Make Up.” After producing no fewer than 30…

Read More