Author Archives: Paul Vitols

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger: then and now

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger My rating: 5 of 5 stars I was younger than Holden Caulfield when I first read this book; now I’m several multiples of his age. It’s still a brilliant and thought-provoking work, … Continue reading

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Cosmos, Chaos and the Word to Come by Norman Cohn: the cosmic carrot on the stick

Cosmos, Chaos and the World to Come: The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith by Norman Cohn My rating: 5 of 5 stars A dense, authoritative survey of the development of the myth of the millennium and a future paradise. Awaiters … Continue reading

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isn’t it Romantic?

What do writers think about when they read? I can’t speak for others, but for my part I like to get involved with a book. But what form does that involvement take? To some extent, it depends on the book. … Continue reading

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developing a story

Once you’ve worked out what story is, it’s time to figure out how to write one. This part-developing a story-isn’t easy; for some of us, it can take longer than the natural human lifespan. But now, more than ever before, … Continue reading

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what does story mean, anyway?

Storytelling became something of a dirty word in the 20th century, at least among writers of serious fiction. It was seen as the concern of lesser, commercial writers. I’m not sure things are changing even now, but in this serious writer’s … Continue reading

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lovers die; long live love letters!

I’ve often read or heard other bloggers complain of not knowing what to post about: “What can I put in this week’s blog post?” Heck, I have said the same myself. But in reality I think my problem is the … Continue reading

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not only public libraries have stacks

Ever since late adolescence I have maintained a reading stack: a stack of books that are all more or less on the go at the same time. When I was in my early 20s, my two roommates, semifacetiously, made a … Continue reading

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reviewing the reviewers

I don’t like reading reviews of my work—not even positive ones. And I can recall reading about other artists, even prominent and great ones, who feel the same way, and who never read reviews of their own work. I can … Continue reading

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researching virtue and vice

If I have a sudden desire to investigate or study something, I try to act on it. I trust that the desire is coming from a good place, even if I don’t know exactly where that is or why it … Continue reading

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of Grinches and artists

I just watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas last night for the umpteenth time. Was I tired of it? No! I found it funnier and more delightful than ever, still a serious contender for “best half-hour of TV ever produced.” … Continue reading

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