how to write like tolstoy a journey into the minds of our greatest writers

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How To Write Like Tolstoy

Author : Richard Cohen
ISBN : 9780812998313
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 37. 51 MB
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For anyone who has ever identified with a hero or heroine, been seduced by a strong opening sentence, or been powerfully moved by a story’s end, How to Write Like Tolstoy is a thought-provoking journey inside the minds of the world’s most accomplished storytellers, from Shakespeare to Stephen King. “I have tried, as far as possible using the words of the authors themselves, to explain their craft, aiming to take readers on a journey into the concerns, techniques, tricks, flaws, and, occasionally, obsessions of our most luminous writers.”—from the Preface Behind every acclaimed work of literature is a trove of heartfelt decisions. The best authors put painstaking—sometimes obsessive—effort into each element of their stories, from plot and character development to dialogue and point of view. What made Nabokov choose the name Lolita? Why did Fitzgerald use first-person narration in The Great Gatsby? How did Kerouac, who raged against revision, finally come to revise On the Road? Veteran editor and teacher Richard Cohen draws on his vast reservoir of a lifetime’s reading and his insight into what makes good prose soar. Here are Gabriel García Márquez’s thoughts on how to start a novel (“In the first paragraph you solve most of the problems with your book”); Virginia Woolf offering her definition of style (“It is all rhythm. Once you get that, you can’t use the wrong words”); and Vladimir Nabokov on the nature of fiction (“All great novels are great fairy tales”). Cohen has researched the published works and private utterances of our greatest authors to discover the elements that made their prose memorable. The result is a unique exploration of the act and art of writing that enriches our experience of reading both the classics and the best modern fiction. Evoking the marvelous, the famous, and the irreverent, he reveals the challenges that even the greatest writers faced—and shows us how they surmounted them. Praise for How to Write Like Tolstoy “The highest compliment one can pay How to Write Like Tolstoy is that it provokes an overwhelming urge to read and write, to be in dialogue or even doomed competition with the greatest creative minds . . . . That Mr. Cohen is an editor, that his love of literature comes in large part from awe in the presence of better writers than he, is no small matter. His love is infectious, and regardless of how well he ends up teaching us to write, that is miracle enough.”—Wall Street Journal “[A] perfect tasting menu . . . the homage of a passionate reader to the writers who have provided his ‘main pastime.’ ”—The Sunday Times (U.K.) “This book is a wry, critical friend to both writer and reader. It is filled with cogent examples and provoking statements. You will agree or quarrel with each page, and be a sharper writer and reader by the end.”—Hilary Mantel “These twelve essays are like twelve perfect university lectures on the craft of writing fiction. The professor—or, in this case, author—succeeds in being not only knowledgeable but also interesting, charming, and engaging.”—Library Journal (starred review) “Insightful . . . [Cohen] escorts his readers to Iris Murdoch for sage counsel on launching a novel, to Salman Rushdie for shrewd guidance on developing an unreliable narrator, to Rudyard Kipling for a cagey hint on creating memorable minor characters, and to Leo Tolstoy for a master’s help in transforming personal experience into fictional art.”—Booklist

How To Write Like Tolstoy

Author : Richard Cohen
ISBN : 9781786070227
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 90. 97 MB
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For anyone who has ever identified with a character from fiction, been seduced by a first sentence or been profoundly moved by a story’s end, How to Write Like Tolstoy is a wonderful and illuminating journey into the minds and imaginations of the world’s greatest writers. What made Nabokov choose the name Lolita? Why did Fitzgerald tell The Great Gatsby in the first person? How did Kerouac, who raged against revision, finally come to revise On the Road? Why did Martin Amis give up on writing about sex? Veteran editor Richard Cohen draws on a vast and eclectic reservoir of knowledge to reveal what makes good prose soar. From plot and character development to dialogue and point of view, the motivations, obsessions, tricks and talents of a host of great novelists are brought to the fore, their published works mined and private beliefs unearthed. There’s the nature of originality as plagiarism is discussed, and a weighing of the odds when trying to write about physical intimacies. And how to begin…Or end? From first page to last, How to Write Like Tolstoy is a unique exploration of the act and art of writing, one which enriches our experience of reading both the

Sweet Theft

Author : J.D. McClatchy
ISBN : 9781619027602
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 56. 68 MB
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Centuries ago, when books were rare, those who owned them would lend them to friends, who in turn would copy out passages they especially liked before returning the precious book to its owner. These anthologies came to be known as Commonplace Books, and modern writers as different as W. H. Auden and Alec Guinness have kept them as well, recording phrases or passages that struck them as wise or witty or quirky. The result is as much the self-portrait of a sensibility as it is a collection of miscellaneous delights. Renowned poet J. D. McClatchy has been keeping such a book for three decades now. This selection from it offers a unique look into what strange facts, what turns of mind or phrase, what glorious feats of language and nature can attract the attention of a poet. The great and the obscure are gathered around the same table, exchanging remarkable opinions. Henry James is speaking of Venice: “The deposed, the defeated, the disenchanted, the wounded, or even only the bored, have seemed to find there something that no other place could give.” At the other end of the table, Groucho Marx is playing drama critic: “I didn’t like the play, but then I saw it under adverse circumstances—the curtain was up.” Nietzsche and Flaubert, Dizzy Gillespie and Marianne Moore—dozens of unexpected and timeless aphorisms and anecdotes that pierce and provoke. Many of McClatchy’s own observations about the art and prowess of writing are included as well. This is a book meant to be sipped, not gulped; meant to be read at leisure and pondered on at length.

100 Years Wisdom From Famous Writers On Every Year Of Your Life

Author : Joshua Prager
ISBN : 9780393285710
Genre : Reference
File Size : 85. 6 MB
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An extraordinary literary journey, 100 Years celebrates every age from birth to 100 with quotations from the world’s greatest writers. This literary tapestry of the human experience will delight readers of all backgrounds. Moving year by year through the words of our most beloved authors, the great sequence of life reveals itself—the wonders and confinements of childhood, the emancipations and frustrations of adolescence, the empowerments and millstones of adulthood, the recognitions and resignations of old age. This trove of wisdom—featuring immortal passages from Arthur Rimbaud, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, David Foster Wallace, William Shakespeare, Herman Melville, Jane Austen, and Maya Angelou, among many others—reminds us that the patterns of life transcend continents, cultures, and generations. As Thomas Mann wrote of our most shared human experience: "It will happen to me as to them." Designed by the legendary Milton Glaser, who created the I ♥ NY logo, 100 Years brings together color, type, and text to illuminate the ebb and flow of an entire life.

The Jane Austen Writers Club

Author : Rebecca Smith
ISBN : 1632865882
Genre : Reference
File Size : 57. 85 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Pretty much anything anyone needs to know about writing can be learned from Jane Austen. While creative writing manuals tend to use examples from twentieth- and twenty-first-century writers, The Jane Austen Writers' Club is the first to look at the methods and devices used by the world's most beloved novelist. Austen was a creator of immortal characters and a pioneer in her use of language and point of view; her advice continues to be relevant two centuries after her death. Here Rebecca Smith examines the major aspects of writing fiction--plotting, characterization, openings and endings, dialogue, settings, and writing methods--sharing the advice Austen gave in letters to her aspiring novelist nieces and nephew, and providing many and varied exercises for writers to try, using examples from Austen's work. Exercises include: *Show your character doing the thing he or she most loves doing. In the opening scene of Persuasion, Sir Walter Elliot looks himself up in the Baronetage, which is the Regency equivalent of Googling oneself. That single scene gives us a clear understanding of the kind of man he is and sets up the plot. * Use Jane Austen's first attempts at stories to get yourself started. Write a very short story inspired by "The Beautifull Cassandra," a work of eighteenth-century flash fiction. The Jane Austen Writers' Club is a fresh primer on writing that features utterly timeless advice.

Why Write

Author : Mark Edmundson
ISBN : 9781632863065
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 57. 38 MB
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Why write? Why write when it sometimes feels that so few people really read--read as if their lives might be changed by what they're reading? Why write, when the world wants to be informed, not enlightened; to be entertained, not inspired? Writing is backbreaking, mindbreaking, lonely work. So why? Because writing, as celebrated professor Mark Edmundson explains, is one of the greatest human goods. Real writing can do what critic R. P. Blackmur said it could: add to the stock of available reality. Writing teaches us to think; it can bring our minds to birth. And once we're at home with words, there are few more pleasurable human activities than writing. Because this is something he believes everyone ought to know, Edmundson offers us Why Write?, essential reading--both practical and inspiring--for anyone who yearns to be a writer, anyone who simply needs to know how to get an idea across, and anyone in between--in short, everyone.

Odd Type Writers

Author : Celia Blue Johnson
ISBN : 9781101623985
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 22. 13 MB
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Every great writer has a unique way of setting a story to paper. And, it turns out, many of these writers used methods that were just as inventive as the works they produced. Odd Type Writers explores the quirky writing habits of renowned authors, including Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, and Alexandre Dumas, among many others. * To meet his deadline for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo placed himself under strict house arrest, locking up all of his clothes and wearing nothing but a large gray shawl until he finished the book. * Virginia Woolf used purple ink for love letters, diary entries, and to pen her acclaimed novel Mrs. Dalloway. Also, in her twenties, she preferred to write while standing up. * Friedrich Schiller kept a drawer full of rotten apples in his study. According to his wife, he couldn’t work without that pungent odor wafting into his nose. * Eudora Welty evaluated her work with scissors handy. If anything needed to be moved, she cut it right out of the page. Then she’d use pins to put the section in its new place. In Odd Type Writers, you’ll find out why James Joyce wrote in crayon, what Edgar Allan Poe’s cat was doing on his shoulder, why Vladimir Nabokov had to keep his feet wet, and the other peculiar tools and eccentric methods used to compose some of the greatest works of all time.

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