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09

May

Shelby Foote on Character and Plot

INTERVIEWER

Which comes first, character or plot?

SHELBY FOOTE

Character comes first. I separate the mass of novels into good and bad. A good book could be described as one about a man who, in a situation, does such and such. A bad book is about a situation in which a man does such and such. In other words, plot ought to grow out of character. You don’t have to make up a plot. You have to have a person and place him in a situation and a plot starts happening.

— The Paris Review

07

May

Falconer; Falconer

"Some of us are even Episcopalians."

Joan Didion! Dang. 

12

Feb

What’s weird here is that I started my own list of good short books this very morning, as inspiration for a writing project. Here’s what I came up with (there’s a slight overlap):

All My Friends Are Going to be Strangers, Larry McMurtry

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Moviegoer, Walker Percy

Play It As It Lays, Joan Didion

The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon

Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Speedboat, Renata Adler

Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson

picadorbookroom:

Lots of goodies in this BuzzFeed Books ”19 Short Novels for the Shortest Month of the Year" list, including Housekeeping and All the Living.

01

Nov

God bless you my dear Keats, don’t despair, collect incidents, study characters, read Shakespeare and trust in Providence.
Benjamin Haydon, found here

23

Oct

Paris Review – Signpost in a Strange Land, Will Di Novi

A Paris Review mashup featuring two great southerners: Walker Percy and Jimmy Carter.