My first novel, The River in Winter, was published in 2009. I've just finished my second novel, The Wide Night Sky, and now I'm starting a third, 'cause I'm crazy like that. I live in South Carolina with my partner and our two dogs.
The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone.– Donna Tartt, author of The Secret History (via vintageanchorbooks)
Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times? As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells…and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower…both strange and familiar.– Cornelia Funke, Inkspell (via observando)
In the drafting of this book I explicitly told myself that it was OK to have fun. “Fun,” of course, being a relative term — I mean, when I’m writing what I’m doing actuality is spending hours at a time frowning at my computer, obsessively focused on a million little micro decisions — not really in the same category of fun as, say, spending a day playing video games.– Jeremy P. Bushnell, talking to Rachel Cantor about their mutual debut novels for Quietus. (via melvillehouse)
Real journalists are not for sale, not for insider access, a free lunch or the prospect of a future book contract. The best journalism is about truth-seeking and truth-telling; it’s meant to serve the public… the press is not supposed to be cozy with the powerful. Journalists are supposed to be a check on power, and that means not being afraid to be adversarial when needed: to dig out the truth when people don’t want us to, to state it clearly and let the chips fall where they may.– New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan, from Lodestars in a Murky Media World - NYTimes.com (via nickturse)
carina nebula, about 8000 light years away, 50 light years long in this false colour image. bright star in second panel is about 100-150 times the mass of the sun.
for those watching the broadcast premiere of cosmos: a spacetime odyssey, it’s worth remembering that ten years ago neil degrasse tyson hosted “origins" for pbs nova. also worth watching: wonders of the universe and wonders of the solar system with brian cox; fabric of the cosmos with brian greene; into the universe with stephen hawking (narrated by bendict cumberbatch); the cosmos: a beginners guide, the six seasons of the history channel’s “the universe”; nat geo’s extreme universe, journey to the edge of the universe and how the universe works
Writers have long celebrated music’s properties of transcendence and ambiguity. They envy its seeming ability to break free of the material world, even as it remains passionately linked to daily life. “All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music,” Walter Pater wrote. Schopenhauer called music “the most powerful of all the arts,” the one that directly embodies the human will. The shattering energies of Romantic music, especially the work of Beethoven and Wagner, prompted writers to seek new realms of feeling, setting the stage for modernism. Novelists of every generation have employed musical scenes to expose the longings of their characters, to decode the human heart. A virtuoso example appears in E. M. Forster’s Howards End, when Helen Schlegel and company attend a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Tibby Schlegel, Helen’s brother, savors contrapuntal niceties; Fräulein Mosebach identifies emblems of Germanness; Aunt Juley waits for something she can tap her foot to; Helen dreamily pictures “a goblin walking quietly over the universe, from end to end.” Beethoven is recomposed by Forster’s characters to the point where none hear the same music.– Alex Ross, The Rest Is Noise, Imaginary Concerts