Blog Archives

The Scream

There was a time I literally screamed in my own dining room, about something that didn’t warrant such a scream… It was so — to use a word I use a lot in my first book — *inappropriate*. There were … Continue reading

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Meatballs and Mothers

Quotation of the Day “There were a lot of things being said about my mother that day, a lot of it bad stuff and depressing. But the best one was ‘Hey, Canha, your mother’s meatballs aren’t that good.’ ” — Mark … Continue reading

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Fiction’s Mission

[Quotation from a 1993 interview of David Foster Wallace, one of several that Michael Schur, creator of sitcom “The Good Place,” keeps in his office.] Look, man, we’d probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid … Continue reading

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The Proof

The proof that we live in a plutocracy is not that the wealthy get most of the prizes in our society, but that majorities think that is how it should be. (Gary Wills) [Copyright (c) 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All … Continue reading

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Gun Jumping

“In technology, people are very, very fast to declare something a winner or loser, like, ‘That’ll never work,’ or ‘That’ll take over the world.’ The truth is always somewhere in between.” (Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest, quoted by Erin Griffith, … Continue reading

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“Swimming in Words”

“The most we can do is to write — intelligently, creatively, critically, evocatively — about what it is like living in the world at this time.” (Oliver Sacks, quoted by Bill Hayes, “Swimming in Words With Oliver Sacks,” NYTimes, 8-30-18) … Continue reading

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Proportion

The most important word in art is “proportion.” How much? How long is this joke going to be? How many words? How many minutes? And getting that right is what makes it art or what makes it mediocre. (Jerry Seinfeld, … Continue reading

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It seems as if…

It seems as if I had to divest myself of my own library before I could start reading any of it. The sheer weight of unread books can neutralize a person. I don’t know if I ever told you the … Continue reading

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Jonathan Gold

“I’m not a cultural anthropologist,” he once said. “I write about taco stands and fancy French restaurants to try to get people less afraid of their neighbors and to live in their entire city instead of sticking to their one … Continue reading

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Dear Mother… I missed my last

I missed my last weekend’s letter because of Andrew’s illness. It was not serious, but required that he be in the hospital for four days. A virus that produces nausea, diarrhea and fever has hit the little ones hard in … Continue reading

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