Monday, March 19, 2012
Story number one: Draft. This is the new Times Opinionator feature that promises "essays by grammarians, historians, linguists, journalists, novelists and others on the art of writing—from the comma to the tweet to the novel—and why a well-crafted sentence matters more than ever in the digital age." Jhumpa Lahiri's gorgeous piece "My Life's Sentences" recalled, for the ever-lovely Melissa Sarno, a piece I had written here, about my obsession with the construct. (Thank you, Melissa, for making me famous today.)
Story number two: Your Brain on Fiction. This Annie Murphy Paul essay on reading and the effects it has on our brains reinforces what those of us who have defended lies and lie telling (well, we have defended novels) have been saying all along: "Reading great literature...enlarges and improves us as human beings."
I personally think the "great" matters in that Annie Murphy Paul essay. Which takes me straight back to my obsession with crafting fine sentences. Not easy sentences. Not obvious ones. Not the ones you've seen plenty of times before. But the ones that make us think.
Thank you, Melissa, Mandy, Paul, and Bonnie for making sure I see the good stuff. Thank you, Melissa, for pairing me with Jhumpa herself.