Saturday, March 2, 2019

Fiction, Alternate Personalities, and Related Topics

I have recently stumbled across some interesting entries on the blog of Kenneth A. Nakdimen, M.D. The first (19 February 2019) asks, "Do Fiction Writers Have Alternate Personalities," and cites a study by Marjorie Taylor: The same site also has a five-part series (through 20 February 2019) on Aldous Huxley's "Personality and the Discontinuity of the Mind." 
On a related and not altogether dissimilar note, I have had dreams in iambic pentameter. Indeed, the entire story-line of my one-act version of Hamlet came to me in that manner, along with some of the verse. Perhaps more intriguing is the vast amount of musical material that his been similarly "dictated" to me during dreams. Of course, I do not believe this is a manifestation of multiple personality disorder. . . .

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Another Interview With Joshua Bell

Earlier this month, Stay Thirsty Magazine released "A Conversation with Joshua Bell about the Virtual Violin." Here is the url:

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Publish or Self-Publish: Another Perspective

Ros Barber offers a sobering, less optimistic view of publishing and self-publishing. She correctly notes that in order to self-publish successfully – i.e., work via Kindle, CreateSpace, et al. – one must devote far more time to promotion than writing. Indeed, she points to a potential 90:10 ratio. On the other hand, she is also one of the lucky few able to get contracts from UK publishers. Interesting reading: 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Recommended Fiction

I have recently read two wonderful works, Paul Beatty's The Sellout and Robert Coover's Huck Out West. I enjoyed both so much that I felt obliged to post brief five-star reviews on Amazon.

I sincerely hope Beatty's splendid effort does not slide into the "Black literature" category. It is truly wonderful "literature," above and beyond the ethnicity of the author and most of the characters. The author even mocks political correctness; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn becomes The Pejorative-Free Adventures and Intellectual and Spiritual Journeys of African-American Jim and His Young Protege, White Brother Huckleberry Finn, as They Go in Search of the Lost Black Family Unit, while the "N-word" morphs into "little black euphemism." Suffice it to say things only improve from there, and not before we are instructed by one more choice adage: "People eat the shit you shovel at them"!

Coover breathes new life into the saga of Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, and Becky Thatcher. We can almost hear him channeling Twain's voice through Huck's sympathetic portrayal of the plight of the Native American peoples. He also develops a new character twist, as Tom clearly succumbs to the notion of "manifest destiny," which Huck simply refuses to swallow. As I note in the Amazon review, there is an ugly irony in the timing of this book, since the Trump administration will clearly ignore the rights of the Lakota. Lovers of Twain will be delighted by Coover's opus, while those who have yet to discover that giant should feel motivated to read his greatest works.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Article on "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" Published -- and Accessible

"An Interpretation of Eliot's 'Prufrock'" has been published by Literary Arts Review.

Update, 1 January 2018: Originally a subscription publication, LAR is now free and online, and I am able to provide the hyperlink to my own copy:

Of course, this interpretation is non-scholarly and quite personal, but I feel it has definite validity. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Short Story Published!

My short story, "Bach's Last Composition:  A Fantasy," appeared in the September, 2016 issue of Literary Arts Review Magazine  (  The publishers also embedded the second movement of my Sonata for Violin and Clavier in D Minor, Op. 4.  My article on Eliot's "The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is slated for release next month.

Update, 1 January 2018: Literary Arts Review Magazine became a free publication, so I can post the following link to the story:

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Book (and Story) with "Movie" Potential!

I have recently completed (and very much enjoyed!) Goddess, Kelly Gardiner's novel based on the life of Julie d'Aubigny (aka La Maupin).  In her short life (1673-1707) she was a swashbuckling swordswoman, opera singer, duelist, and the lover of various prominent men and women in France.  Julie ran afoul of the law on numerous occasions, most notoriously for setting fire to a convent (for which she was tried in absentia and sentenced to the stake).

If we take a quick look at the core ingredients -- a powerful woman, brawls and duels, passionate affairs (heterosexual and lesbian), triumphs on stage, etc. -- the tale surely lends itself to film.  From what I have learned, the character did make her way to two cinematic ventures.  However, Julie, Chevalier de Maupin (2004) distorted the historical narrative almost beyond recognition, while Madamigella di Maupin (1966) strayed even farther afield.  I hope one day the actual life of this remarkable woman will catch the fancy of some director.

Of course, the cinematic rendition is one thing; the literary may be quite different.  I must commend Gardiner for a wonderfully understated and extremely sensitive presentation.  The narrative indeed unfolds in a manner consistent with its device:  a deathbed confession to a priest.  This is a beautiful novel with powerful writing, artistically strengthened by what is left unsaid.  Brava!