Actually we DIDN’T Pay for this…

You can get “Stories from Austin: A Collection of Short Stories from the Austin Creative Fiction Writers Group” for free, a limited-time offer that expires on Monday. Click Away!

Eye Pouches

Graham Greene buried this great description in the middle of a paragraph in A Burnt-Out Case: “The pouches under his eyes were like purses that contained the smuggled memories of…

And We Paid For This?!?

And We Paid For This?!? is not, despite your deepest hopes, the name of a new self-deprecating alt band, with a pithy throwaway name that you grumble on your way…

Co-opting the Alternative

Pynchon may be documenting the end of a specific era in American life in Inherent Vice, but there is a universal resonance in his description in which the mainstream co-opts…

Turn the Survey Inward

Philip K. Dick’s story “Survey Team” was so prescient for its time that it has completed the cycle and now seems passé. He sees a future where we are stuck…

Thoughts like Fish

Many awesome passages percolate up from the thick tome that is Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives (Picador Edition). “…[S]trange ideas would come to my head. Ideas that were like dead…

Attention to the Next Generation

A great line from Evelyn Waugh, said by a doctor no less, Dr. Puttock: “Some people even think that a disproportionate attention is given to the next generation.” (The End…

A War on “Casual Violence”

Something about the phrase “casual violence” really tugs at my backbone. I think because it seems to exist in that first, early stage of literary writing, a buzz phrase from…

Moths and Snails and Slugs

I recently critiqued the writing style in Swamplandia!; however, there was at least one passage that had a lasting impact on me: “Outside our porch had become a cauldron of…

Inundated with Similes

Karen Russell makes excessive use of similes throughout her book Swamplandia!, at least in the first half I completed. Some are clever or insightful, such as “We were watching the…