DFW on Fiction & Nonfiction

This seems wise & articulates something I’ve been thinking for a long time now, so I thought I’d share it. Fiction’s abyss is silence, nada. Whereas nonfiction’s abyss is Total Noise, the seething static of every particular thing and experience, and one’s total freedom of infinite choice about what to choose to attend to and represent and connect, and how, and why, etc. That’s David … Continue reading DFW on Fiction & Nonfiction

proust questionnaire 2011

What is your idea of perfect happiness? I don’t have one. What is your greatest fear? Dying abruptly. Which living person do you most admire? My wife. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Salesmanship. What is your greatest extravagance? Custom-painted orange wheels on my white Audi station wagon. What is your favorite journey? Oman: Muscat and the Wahiba Sands. On what occasion … Continue reading proust questionnaire 2011

In the Way of Experience…

Yet five minutes after…I realized I had not actually seen the three plants in the little colony we had found. Despite all the identifying, measuring, photographing. I had managed to set the experience in a kind of present past, a having-looked, even as I was temporally and physically still looking. If I had the courage, I would have asked her to turn and drive back, … Continue reading In the Way of Experience…

poets versus fiction writers

My second year at Iowa, I lived with three poets in a farmhouse out on Taft Ave SE. Here’s a fake painting of it, complete with cut-and-paste signature. (It had been moved to that location some years before and so had no trees around it. Kind of creepy, huh?) It’s gone now, or moved. Apparently, the owner’s son liked it so much he moved it … Continue reading poets versus fiction writers


My friend Colin’s piece on migraines and the artwork of Renee French contains a reference to duck diving, along with a helpful link to this here blog. So for those of you who clicked on the link, and for the rest of you, too, duck diving is a technique surfers use to get their shortboards under a breaking (or more likely already broken) wave. (Longboarders … Continue reading Quackery