Writer Fight! Writer Fight! : William F. Buckley, Jr. v. Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer, that ever-so-macho author (The Armies of the Night, The Naked and the Dead) is almost as well-known for his physical fights as for his writing. He famously head-butted Gore Vidal in the green room before their mutual appearance on the Dick Cavett Show in 1971.  Once on set, the altercation turned menacingly verbal, with Cavett getting…

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Tacos with Pynchon, Burgers with Hemingway

In between drinking (Hemingway) and hiding (Pynchon), these two iconic writers were known to procrastinate in the way that many of us who write do: by chowing down.  While stuffing our faces may partially delay the pain of composing, it’s not all duck-and-cover.  Writing often requires mulling. As Umberto Eco notes, “Writing doesn’t mean necessarily…

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Don’t Have Any FOMO! The Complete List of New Words in the OED is Here

Don’t know what FOMO stands for? Yeah, me either. (Psst… old folks! It means, “Fear of Missing Out.”)  Good thing it is one of the sixty-five new entries in the venerable Oxford English Dictionary. As you will see, many of them are from the virtual world.  Among my favorites, which originated on Reddit, is TL;DR (Too long;…

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Positive Development in Negative Spaces: Anne Frank and Peter Schiff

Despite her own fears as well as the horrors going on outside the crowded annexe where Anne Frank and her family were hiding from the Nazis, Anne, like many girls her age, was mooning over a boy.  His name was Peter Schiff and Anne recalls a poignant dream about him in one of her candid…

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For Hemingway’s Birthday, A Gift to the World

JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY / AP (The birth certificate and family photograph of Ernest Hemingway from a scrapbook created by his mother, Grace Hall Hemingway.) Long before “scrapbooking” was a verb, mothers were collecting memories about their children and their achievements in volumes for posterity.  Fortunately for both fans and scholars of Ernest Hemingway,…

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