Posts Tagged ‘hope’


Friday, April 13th, 2012

Loyal readers! I have been greatly moved by the outpourings of support for my blog, and of execration for Twitter. I feel like a tiny bit like Arthur Conan Doyle after he killed off Sherlock Holmes.

“I have been much blamed for doing [Holmes] to death,” Conan Doyle said… “but I hold that it was not murder, but justifiable homicide in self-defense, since, if I had not killed him, he would certainly have killed me.”




Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Dear readers, hello! I am back in Istanbul, as a direct result of having spent several hours 30,000 feet in the air seated next to a grown man who watched the ENTIRE SMURF MOVIE from beginning to end. And when I got back to Koç, there was a dead bird on my doorstep! Truly, there is no place like home.

I am very happy to share with you today another installment of student writing from my Koç nonfiction class: “The Deep,” a photo essay by sophomore literature major Simay Yaylalı, complete with original emoticons.




Monday, May 23rd, 2011

In keeping with a recent resolution, this post is devoted to a writer who is still living… or should I say, already living?  I was delighted but bemused to receive the following request for career advice, on behalf of a family friend whose “youngest son has a liking to write”:

Enis apparently started writing a book (?) when he was 6 and after many redo’s has finalized the 300+ pages recently. It’s in English, he attends a British primary school in Ankara. He has written poetry which has been published in some sort of publication in England through his school. He is very outgoing, active in all theatrical plays & enjoys being the master of ceremony in events. He has contacted someone in the US to publish his book but the deal was so confusing he let go.

His family is seeking some sort of advice on the possibilities of publishing such a book, but more importantly on defining a path to develop his abilities. I thought you may be able to suggest a way or someone who could usher this young fellow.

Needless to say, despite various differences in our characters (I don’t care for being the master of ceremonies, myself), I felt a great sympathy for little Enis. How vividly one can picture the situation sketched in the 8 words: “the deal was so confusing he let go”! Alas, despite my status as the writer of the family, I have little if any idea how a 6-year-old would go about getting a 300-pp novel published in the US or anywhere else.

My response was that the most important thing for such a very young writer is the love and support of his parents; and also that one nice English-language publication venue for children under 13 is the literary magazine Stone Soup. Those interested in the latest American literary trends will find much of interest in the archive of “embryo lit” (if I may coin a term) on themes ranging from Holocaust to Native American.  Personally I recommend the Kafkaesque “They’re Pigs!”, by Adam Jacobs (age 11), and “A Girl With Red Hair Is Nice To Know!”, by Annika Thomas (also 11).

Thanks to the talented living writer Gideon Lewis-Kraus for this amazing image by Nat Farbman: Dutch billiards prodigy Renske Quax feeding cream to his cat.



Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

O readers, dear readers!  where does the time go?  There is so much I wanted to tell you, and the things to write keep on filling up the time to write them in.  My article on the Kafka papers controversy ran in Sunday’s New York Times magazine and, because of the many kind emails I received about the episode set in the heiress’s front yard, and in honor of the proliferation of alternate texts in the world of letters, I am posting a longer draft version of that scene, which includes more cats, more lawyers, more Kafka, more Brod, and more about Avi Steinberg’s hair.

Of the many incredible emails since Sunday (including the tale of Eva Hoffe’s erstwhile teenage cat-sitter, “a story for which,” as Dr. Watson would say, “the world is not yet prepared”), I would like to share two with you tonight.

1. Re: cats, from Jamie C.

My boyfriend, Itai, lives in Tel Aviv (a 10 minute drive from 23 Spinoza). I live in the United States. We meet via Skype during the long periods we aren’t together in the same time zone. During our Skype meet-ups, we find interesting articles to read aloud while simultaneously playing Scrabble. On Thursday of last week, your article was the featured read. Afterward, with your quotations in hand, my thoughtful and sweet Itai headed to Spinoza street to photograph the vignettes beautifully described in your article. I’m inserting the result here.



Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Dear readers!  I am still greatly chagrined about having to miss not only the Chicago reading but also the visit to Redlands University, where I had been enormously looking forward to meeting Alisa Slaughter, Joy Manesiotis (author of a very beautiful and apropos poem about lamenting women), and their students, whom I thank for their interest in The Possessed, and whom I very much hope to meet at some point in the future.

In the meantime, tolerant readers, you may or may not be filled with admiration to learn that I was able to spare a moment from my rigorous program of swamp-related activity in order to deliver a 200-word opinion on the future of evolutionary-psychological literary criticism, for which purpose I temporarily assumed the form of a miniscule talking head:


The original of that tiny photograph was taken by super-chef Musa Dağdeviren and, in its uncropped version, shows me holding a bunch of greens known in Turkish as “snake’s pillow” or “heathen’s beet.”