magic hours essays on creators and creation

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Magic Hours

Author : Tom Bissell
ISBN : 9781938073106
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 63. 89 MB
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In Magic Hours, award-winning essayist Tom Bissell explores the highs and lows of the creative process. He takes us from the set of The Big Bang Theory to the first novel of Ernest Hemingway to the final work of David Foster Wallace; from the films of Werner Herzog to the film of Tommy Wiseau to the editorial meeting in which Paula Fox's work was relaunched into the world. Originally published in magazines such as The Believer, The New Yorker, and Harper's, these essays represent ten years of Bissell's best writing on every aspect of creation—be it Iraq War documentaries or video-game character voices—and will provoke as much thought as they do laughter. What are sitcoms for exactly? Can art be both bad and genius? Why do some books survive and others vanish? Bissell's exploration of these questions make for gripping, unforgettable reading.

Getting To Grey Owl

Author : Kurt Caswell
ISBN : 1595342613
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 24. 94 MB
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Writer, teacher, and adventurer Kurt Caswell has spent his adult life canoeing, hiking, and pedaling his way toward a deeper understanding of our vast and varied world. Getting to Grey Owl: Journeys on Four Continents chronicles over twenty years of Caswell’s travels as he buys a rug in Morocco, rides a riverboat in China, attends a bullfight in Spain, climbs four mountains in the United Kingdom, and backpacks a challenging route through Iceland’s wild Hornstrandir Peninsula. Writing in the tradition of such visionary nomads as Hermann Hesse, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bruce Chatwin, Paul Theroux, Pico Iyer, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Wordsworth, Caswell travels through wild and urban landscapes, as well as philosophical and ideological vistas, championing the pleasures of a wandering life. Far from the trappings of the everyday, he explores a range of ideas: the meaning of roads and pathways, the story of Cain and Abel, nomadic life and the evolution of the human animal, the role of agriculture in the making of the modern world, and the fragility of love.

Another Great Day At Sea

Author : Geoff Dyer
ISBN : 9781925095388
Genre : Travel
File Size : 83. 1 MB
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As a child Geoff Dyer spent long hours making and blotchily painting model fighter planes. So the adult Dyer jumped at the chance of a residency aboard an aircraft carrier. Another Great Day at Sea chronicles Dyer's experiences on the USS George H.W. Bush as he navigates the routines and protocols of 'carrier-world', from the elaborate choreography of the flight deck through miles of walkways and hatches to kitchens serving meals for a crew of five thousand to the deafening complexity of catapult and arresting gear. Meeting the Captain, the F-18 pilots and the dentists, experiencing everything from a man-overboard alert to the Steel Beach Party, Dyer guides us through the most AIE (acronym intensive environment) imaginable. A lanky Englishman (could he really be both the tallest and the oldest person on the ship?) in a deeply American world, with its constant exhortations to improve, to do better, Dyer brilliantly records the daily life on board the ship, revealing it to be a prism for understanding a society where discipline and conformity, dedication and optimism, become forms of self-expression. In the process it becomes clear why Geoff Dyer has been widely praised as one of the most original - and funniest - voices in literature. Another Great Day at Sea is the definitive work of an author whose books defy definition. Geoff Dyer is the author of three previous novels, a critical study of John Berger and six other non-fiction books including But Beautiful, which was awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize, and Out of Sheer Rage, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Dyer lives in London and contributes to numerous publications including the Observer, Guardian and New Statesman. 'Geoff Dyer observes the privations and discipline of US warship life with a sharp eye...no writer has more fun with his own awkwardness, and in this respect you can't help feeling he has come to exactly the right place...' Observer 'Dyer fans will warm to his comic digressions on moustaches, deliriously sentimental reveries about what it might have been like to be a Battle of Britain pilot, semi-embarrassing stories about jokingly asking the carrier's gym boss where he might score steroids, and meditations on the similarities between writing and piloting a plane.' Financial Times 'Another Great Day at Sea is a perfect beach read, wherever your boots happen to be on the ground this summer.' Evening Standard 'Dyer succeeds in rendering a very vivid impression of what life is like on an aircraft carrier. He is more assiduous than he lets on, providing the reader with all the most astounding statistics from each department...quite unexpectedly from such a very teasing, very English writer, the book quickly transforms into a love-letter to the can-do optimism of America.' 5 stars Daily Mail 'One of the myriad joys of reading Dyer is his frankness about aspects of life that many writers don't share...The book is stuffed with wonderful anecdotes. And, of course, it wouldn't be Dyer if there wasn't the sharp self-awareness... A total delight.' Independent 'Written in Dyer's elegant, playful style...Another Great Day at Sea has... a thin membrane between life and art, a staging area for an investigation of self, an impish poetry of its own. If this is the new reality, I hunger for more.' Telegraph 'Another Great Day at Sea illustrates perfectly how a gifted writer functions as a barometer, not only for our shared humanity, but of his or her own inner reverberations.’ Los Angeles Review of Books ‘One of the funniest writers working today.’ Australian Book Review ‘[Dyer] excels at evoking life on ship, the smells and sounds and personalities.’ Age ‘A brilliant, funny, sober insightful, educational, pyrotechnic read.’ On MAS

Creators On Creating

Author : Frank X. Barron
ISBN : 0874778549
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 28. 61 MB
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This collection of over three dozen essays ponders the essence of creativity. Includes selections from Henry Miller, Federico Fellini, Rainer Maria Rilke, Isadora Duncan, Frank Zappa, and Mary Shelley. A New Consciousness Reader.

Extra Lives

Author : Tom Bissell
ISBN : 9780307379283
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71. 3 MB
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Tom Bissell is a prizewinning writer who published three widely acclaimed books before the age of thirty-four. He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing titles such as Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, BioShock, and Oblivion for, literally, days. If you are reading this flap copy, the same thing can probably be said of you, or of someone you know. Until recently, Bissell was somewhat reluctant to admit to his passion for games. In this, he is not alone. Millions of adults spend hours every week playing video games, and the industry itself now reliably outearns Hollywood. But the wider culture seems to regard video games as, at best, well designed if mindless entertainment. Extra Lives is an impassioned defense of this assailed and misunderstood art form. Bissell argues that we are in a golden age of gaming—but he also believes games could be even better. He offers a fascinating and often hilarious critique of the ways video games dazzle and, just as often, frustrate. Along the way, we get firsthand portraits of some of the best minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at work in video game design today, as well as a shattering and deeply moving final chapter that describes, in searing detail, Bissell’s descent into the world of Grand Theft Auto IV, a game whose themes mirror his own increasingly self-destructive compulsions. Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is like no other book on the subject ever published. Whether you love video games, loathe video games, or are merely curious about why they are becoming the dominant popular art form of our time, Extra Lives is required reading. From the Hardcover edition.

Writing Magic

Author : Gail Carson Levine
ISBN : 9780062253552
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 78. 83 MB
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Bestselling author of Ella Enchanted and fairy-tale master Gail Carson Levine helps you make magic with your writing! In Writing Magic, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine shares her tricks of the trade. She shows how you can get terrific ideas for stories, invent great beginnings and endings, write sparkling dialogue, develop memorable characters—and much, much more. She advises you about what to do when you feel stuck—and how to use helpful criticism. Best of all, she offers writing exercises that will set your imagination on fire. With humor, honesty, and wisdom, Gail Carson Levine shows you that you, too, can make magic with your writing.

God Lives In St Petersburg

Author : Tom Bissell
ISBN : 9780307426031
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 27. 97 MB
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Young Americans abroad in Central Asia find themselves pushed to their limits in these acclaimed, prize-winning stories by one of our most exciting and talented new authors. Combining bleak humor, ironic insight, deep compassion, and unflinching moral and ethical inquiry, Tom Bissell gives us a gripping collection that is both timeless and profoundly relevant to today’s complex world. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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