Skip to content

Tag Archives: writing

Brief lives: Samuel Derrick

Samuel Derrick (1724-69), was an Irish writer, friend of Dr Johnson, Boswell, and Tobias Smollett, and master of the ceremonies at both Bath and Tunbridge Wells. He published, among other works: The Dramatic Censor, No. 1; Sylla, a dramatic entertainment, from the French of Frederick II of Prussia; A Voyage from the Moon, from the [...]

Freelance Writers’ Regiment

Who Dares Whinge

My literary career thus far – as narrated by the Shipping Forecast

Good, becoming moderate. Occasionally very poor.

Translator’s Note (after Khemiri, after Heti, after Valtat, after Coetzee, after Nooteboom, after Martin, after Kierkegaard)

What I would like to say by way of introduction to my essays on the art of writing, by A.B.C.D.E.F. Godthaab* (* Bear with me, please, while I endeavour to explain what is going on here.) . Twelve years ago, I wrote, with considerable emotional anguish, a long novel about a war against the languages. [...]

Eight debut novels

Currently sitting at 12 to 1 for this year’s Booker Prize, first-time novelist Paul Kingsnorth has set the cat among the pigeons through the disarmingly original expedient of submitting his offering in a fictional language. Composed in what Kingsnorth calls the ‘shadow tongue’ of ‘eald anglisc’, The Wake (Unbound 365pp £16.99) explores one angle of [...]

Dicovery/Go Figure

My legs don’t get stiff when I go for a run. They get stiff when I sit down and write about it.

On the 27th draft translation of Basho’s ‘Sound of Water’

Master, due respect: No-one cares about the pond. Or the frog. ……………(Plop.) ……………………(Splash!)

A poet’s room (after Oppen)

A poet’s room, these days, is probably his girlfriend’s, or an upstairs corner of his mother’s house – unless, with luck, he’s made it big, or, being smart, just married into money.

Why Peter Ackroyd publishes more than me

Her argument Peter Ackroyd is a genius. Peter Ackroyd is a workaholic. Peter Ackroyd is a Brilliant Man. My argument Peter Ackroyd doesn’t have a girlfriend.

Nicholson Baker confesses

‘Sometimes, when I finish typing a sentence I like, I flick my hand up from the keyboard like a pianist at the end of a piece. But this was not one of those times.’