The Truth About Great Literature

In the most recent issue of Poets & Writers, Steve Almond writes about some interesting issues in his article, "The Problem of Entitlement: A Question of Respect." In it, he attempted an amateur psychoanalysis of his students' skepticism towards the actual greatness of the stories anthologised in Best American Short Stories. To this extent, I…

Proper Nouns and Their Distancing Effect In Writing

I believe that the use of proper nouns should be limited if one wishes to create approachable and readable fiction. Like I have already said in a previous article, I find that the use of unfamiliar proper nouns can have a detrimental effect on the reading experience. For instance, in Tobias Wolff's Old School, the…

A Writer’s Cure For Derivative Works

There is nothing new under the sun in the literary world. Most nearly everything has been done, and done quite well. In this day and age, the world of creative media is supersaturated. Anything we hope to create is undoubtedly influenced by any number of existing works. How, then, do we avoid the trap of…