Author Archives: hereticnyc

Blow for grammar sanity from BBC News Katty Kay

In an extraordinary grammatical development, blonde beauty and BBC presenter in Washington Katty Kay spoke the following words quite clearly today when commenting on the fact that Hillary Clinton has managed to breast the finishing tape today and rack up … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dwight Garner Suggests Jim Harrison Is An Interesting Writer

Here is a fairly convincing write up of the recently departed Jim Harrison showing with excerpts that he was an interesting writer, though the poetry except seems rather prosaic, ending with a rather good anecdote. Note the change in headline … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reviewer Kakutani Writes As Well About Hope Jahren As Hope Does About Plants, Love and Science

A really good book, well written, in fact superbly written, it is clear, inspired Michiko Kakutani to write as well as the author she is praising.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Essence of Good Writing is Form, Not Content: Italian Novelist Offers Home Truth

A remarkable excerpt from the Paris Review of Spring 2015 expresses this truth, usually hidden from the media, that words are the essence of good writing, not simply their application to conveying information, however accurately. And certainly not what the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Advice to Ponder from Anton Chekhov

The man of talent is fastidious, abjures advertisement Elevates the base appetites, works hard Kindness is not enough A letter written by Anton Chekhov at 26 to his older brother Nikolai, 28, advises him on the traits of the man … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is This The Finest Biography Ever Written?

Secret sauce keeps you reading every line – but what is it? Constance, wife of Wilde, keeps even keel amid ruin Beguiled by infamous passions, Wilde lost his first love Beautifully written, beautifully paced, the new biography of Oscar Wilde’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fierce Pajamas: Sparks of Comic Genius

New Yorker Humor Collection is Exemplary, Mostly Hilarious Gem after Gem in Diadem of Good Writing Proof that Wit Rules, Shallow or Not The New Yorker still manages to print some of the finest journalism in the English speaking world, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

George Saunders’ Dream Story

Style and substance achieve peak of accomplishment Semplica-Girls Diaries is sharp, humorous satire Understated comedy more telling than any tragedy Its famous cartoons aside, there is humor elsewhere in the New Yorker, even in the fiction department, where it can … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Frederic Raphael Wrote Diamond Faceted “Glittering Prizes”

1976 novel glitters with his unique genius for loaded remarks Hyperaware Cambridge striver maps group’s life progress Saying much more with very much less In Manhattan sometimes it seems the less you pay the more you get. This is certainly … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Editor Who Writes Like an Angel

Yale teacher gracefully edited American Scholar in early 2000s Extraordinary purity of literary illumination A lesson from the Hmong Today we happened to pick up a copy of the American Scholar from Spring 2001, when we were lucky enough to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Yorker excels at intelligent, pithy copy

Jul 2 issue reaches peak with McPhee, Finnegan, Lahr, Denby Is there a new editor responsible? Have New Yorker writers found new inspiration with the arrival of some new editor, or is there some other explanation for its current burst … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

New Yorker Piece on American as Cuban Revolutionary

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Observer sports two fine pieces

Very smart and slick – that’s the way the typical Observer piece comes off. There are two in this week edition worth noting… but Alas, they are now buried in the past and I am having trouble even recalling their … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

John Lanchaster Writes Perfect Short Story

Expectations, story in current New Yorker, dazzles Brilliant author is steady New Yorker contributor Story will delight all urbans married for decades There is nothing overtly “literary” about the delicious short story in this week’s New Yorker, a straightforward tale … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to lose friends with bad writing: Dale Carnegie updated

New edition of Dale Carnegie’s little masterpiece is rewritten Result is appalling, as Times scribe notices General trend of German replacing Anglo Saxon? Simplicity and clarity is the sign of good writing, and of a good mind. But the publishers, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Jesse McKinley’s Tour de Force: Bang For The Buck

Times piece on $1 Stores lively and informative Trivial topic transformed by adjectival commentary If there is a more trivial topic ever assigned by the editors of the New York Times, what you can buy at Dollar Stores to outfit … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hitchens Was Not Kindness Itself

Just how bad was the famous curmudgeon? Kind acts, but hard words socially Luckily, as in public, the wit sweetened the poison Can there be better evidence of just how sour an experience it was below the surface to deal … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

John Cheever On Editors

How Cheever reacted when Harold Ross cut off an ending His idea of the best possible editor High jinks at the writer’s workshop If you want to know what kind of editor is best, ask a very prominent writer who … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Short and Perfect: Keret’s “Creative Writing”

New Yorker surprise Christmas present for all Who is Etgar Keret? The polished turn of “Creative Writing” a short story on p67 of the New Yorker January 2 2012 issue, out just before Christmas, deserves celebration of an unrestrained, New … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Observer writer manages worldly with actual feeling

David Saracino balances urban restraint with touch of humanity in sketch of gym adventure Exercises both body and heart, a little Go to Body by Rikers: Getting to Know My Trainer, The Ex- and Future Con -‘I’m going to make … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Department of preciousness, New Yorker style

There was as we recall a satirical takeoff of the New Yorker a decade or two ago, and the sheer ineffable authority the magazine gains from its pose of gentlemanly, raised-monocle distance from its topics can sometimes make its columns … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Purity of the spoken word from Vietnam – or a lie?

A truly remarkable book on Vietnam, Everything We Had by Al Santoli, is a group of interviews with those who served and survived that purposeless mess – subtitle “An Oral History of the Vietnam War By Thirty-Three American Soldiers Who … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Patricia Pearson a comet across literary sky

Well, judging from her lovely Shouts and Murmurs in the New Yorker this week, at least. See HISTORY: THE CUSTOMER REVIEWS Humorists who appear in this delectable column often write prose more perfectly calibrated than any factual piece, but this … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sam Menashe’s poetic diamonds

Sam Menashe has died. Poet minimalist, he fashioned jewel-like verse as small as four brief lines, rhyme and sense interlocking like a Chinese box. He lived like a poet, also. Amid a society where poets find refuge and succour in … Continue reading

Posted in Menashe, Poet, Poetry, Prizes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Drew Westen pinpoints key human need – tell stories, Obama!

Look at this cliche ridden piece by a psychology professor at Emory for a passable statement of why Presidents (and everybody else in dealing with others) should tell stories, What Happened to Obama?, which appeared on Sunday Aug 7 (that’s yesterday). … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to write poetry, by a 17th Century Frenchman, via Dryden

Boileau’s lengthy verse rephrased by John Dryden tells tips Are they mostly obvious, or obsolete, or still apt? Maybe you will find this long piece of wisdom worth quoting at friends climbing the mountain of poetic achievement.  Or maybe not. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rex Reed writes two perfect bad movie reviews

The one time puff ball reviewer skewers kindly but fatally With perfect poise, he makes No thanks an entertainment in itself Are Super 8 and Trollhunter so bad they’re good? A good bad review is an art, though not bad … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The strange case of Jill Abramson

Today we learn from the front page left bottom that Jill Abramson will replace Bill Keller for unknown reasons immediately at the helm of the Times.  Abramson Named Executive Editor at The Times By Jeremy Peters What could have triggered … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hitchens on WWI: Mortal Debate

Acute review of To End All Wars points up ghastly human sacrifice General Sir Henry complained his own casualties were too low Why US intervention may have caused turmoil for the rest of the century Christopher Hitchens, himself under a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Paul Rudnick is Hilarious

Shouts and Murmurs in the New Yorker this week features another delicious bit of foolery by Paul Rudnick guying Mahatma Gandhi’s known predilection for using young nymphs as hot water bottles late in life, two at a time, without, we … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment