I find for myself that my first thought is never my best thought. My first thought is always someone else’s; it’s always what I’ve already heard about the subject, always the conventional wisdom. It’s only by concentrating, sticking to the question, being patient, letting all the parts of my mind come into play, that I arrive at an original idea. By giving my brain a chance to make associations, draw connections, take me by surprise. And often even that idea doesn’t turn out to be very good. I need time to think about it, too, to make mistakes and recognize them, to make false starts and correct them, to outlast my impulses, to defeat my desire to declare the job done and move on to the next thing.
I used to have students who bragged to me about how fast they wrote their papers. I would tell them that the great German novelist Thomas Mann said that a writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. The best writers write much more slowly than everyone else, and the better they are, the slower they write. James Joyce wrote Ulysses, the greatest novel of the 20th century, at the rate of about a hundred words a day—half the length of the selection I read you earlier from Heart of Darkness—for seven years. T. S. Eliot, one of the greatest poets our country has ever produced, wrote about 150 pages of poetry over the course of his entire 25-year career. That’s half a page a month. So it is with any other form of thought. You do your best thinking by slowing down and concentrating.
from William Deresiewicz
This quote is so important to me. So. Important. Because it’s exactly how I write a novel – my first thought is never my best, and there’s no shame in taking my time. I used to think there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t produce a finished novel quickly, but that’s bull shit.
Angie Thomas: the debut novelist who turned racism and police violence into a bestseller
“Yet among the lines of young readers at the North Texas Teen Book Festival,
their arms cradling impractical numbers of books, and the row of
authors signing on an industrial scale, one woman stands out. Angie
Thomas, one of the youngest writers in the place, is one black face in a
sea of white. She’s upbeat, her hair tied with a perky bow, and when a
fan says she looks ‘so pretty’ in a top that combines a hood with sheer
lace panels, she laughs and says ‘thank you’ in a Mississippi accent
whose vowels are so many notes, it’s a beguiling song. She fingers the
garment. ’My friend called it Thug Life with a feminine twist.’“
People of Germany: Thomas Mann (1875-1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. His highly symbolic and ironic epic novels are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized German and biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer. He was a member of the Hanseatic Mann family and portrayed his family & class in his first novel, Buddenbrooks. His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann. 3 of his 6 children, Erika, Klaus, and Golo, also became important writers.
Thomas Mann was born to a bourgeois family in Lübeck, 2nd son of a senator and grain merchant and his wife Júlia da Silva Bruhns (a Brazilian of German and Portuguese ancestry who came to Germany at age 7). His mother was Roman Catholic but Mann was baptized into his father’s Lutheran religion. His father died in 1891, the firm was liquidated, and the family moved to Munich. Mann attended the science division of a Lübeck school, then spent time at the Ludwig Maximillians University and the Technical University of Munich where, in preparation for a journalism career, he studied history, economics, art history, and literature. He lived in Munich from 1891-1933 and spent a year in Italy. In 1905, he married Katia Pringsheim, daughter of a wealthy, secular Jewish industrialist family. She later joined the Lutheran church. The couple had 6 children.
sorry, can’t hear you over the awesomeness of my gemini squad
Margaret Fuller (American journalist, critic, and women’s rights advocate)
Diego Velasquez (Spanish painter who was one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age)
Paul Gauguin (His work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse)
Gustave Courbet (French painter who led the Realist movement, he rejected academic convention and the Romanticism of the previous generation of visual artists)
Daniel Fahrenheit (German physicist best known for inventing the mercury-in-glass thermometer and for developing atemperature scale now named after him.)
Rachel Carson (American marine biologist and conservationist
credited with advancing the global environmental movement.)
Mary Anning (British paleontologist with findings that contributed to important changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the histpry of earth)
Francis Crick (British molecular biologist, biophysicist, andneuroscientist, most noted for being a co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule)
James Maxwell (Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics. His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation)
Carl Linnaeus (Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern biological naming scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology.)
Barbara McClintock (American scientist and cytogeneticist who demonstrated
the notion of genetic recombination by crossing-over and
produced the first genetic map for maize, linking regions of the chromosome to physical traits.)
Peter Higgs (
British theoretical physicist, invented the Higgs mechanism, which predicts the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson, the detection of which became one of the great goals of physics.)
Robert Mullikan (
American physicist and chemist, primarily responsible for the early development of molecular orbital theory)
Marilyn Monroe do i
Angelina Jolie even
Chris Evans need
Chris Pratt to?
Queen Victoria (Her reign is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire)
Jurgen Habermas (German sociologist and philosopher
widely recognized as one of the world’s leading intellectuals.)
Jane grant (American journalist and co-founder of The New Yorker who was also the first full-fledged reporter at The New York Times.)
Aloysius Alzheimer (Alzheimer is credited with identifying the first published case of “presenile dementia”, also called Alzheimer’s disease.)
Virginia apgar (American obstetrical anesthesiologist, she introduced
obstetrical considerations to the established field of neonatology and invented the Apgar Score)
Nathaniel chapman (American physician, he was the founding president of the American Medical Association)
Joseph guillotin (French physician and freemason who proposed the use of a device to carry out death penalties in France, as a less painful method of execution. The device was later named the guillotine)
Anne frank (She is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her diary
documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.)
Walt whitman (Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time. “Oh Captain! My Captain!”)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Scottish writer and physician, most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction.)
Ian Fleming (English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer, best known for his James Bond series of spy novels.)
Thomas Mann (German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate.)
I guess a lot of people know this…..the gravestones had to be moved to make room for the adjacent railway and this is what they did with them. This was done in the 1860’s by Thomas Hardy (yes the novelist) hence the name.
Oops just edited this as originally a century out!!.
Henry Giardina on the novelist Thomas Berger, who died last week at the age of eighty-nine: http://nyr.kr/1n7EZeZ
“Many writers begin by mimicking their influences, and their ventriloquism eventually gives way to a distinct identity. Berger’s identity, in contrast, lay in his ability to mimic other styles, but the result was never the sort of pure pastiche you might expect. Berger declared that he wrote out of an almost childish love, a love without mockery.”
Above: Thomas Berger, 1987. Credit Photograph by William Sauro/The New York Times/Redux.