Author Archives: Paul Vitols

Pursued by Furies by Gordon Bowker: portrait of the artist as a drunk

Pursued by Furies: A Life of Malcolm Lowry by Gordon Bowker My rating: 4 of 5 stars This biography contains a wealth of detail—but is it worth it? I first heard the name “Malcolm Lowry” in about 1968, when I … Continue reading

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meddling—but in a good way

Do you like book reviews? As a reader, I’m sometimes ambivalent about them, especially for fiction. I don’t want my impression of a work to be polluted by the thoughts of someone else who has already read it. Reading is … Continue reading

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the writer-publisher on the flying trapeze

I’m reading a biography right now: Pursued by Furies: A Life of Malcolm Lowry by Gordon Bowker. I’m learning a lot about this troubled, alcoholic genius, who spent the best years of his life, by his own reckoning, living in … Continue reading

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Smashwords SSR?

I’m in the process of publishing my short story A Tourist Visa as an e-book. It has been successfully published to Amazon, and can be seen and bought in any Amazon store. Yippee! That was easy. For publishing to non-Amazon … Continue reading

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the thrice-born story

When my father arrived, at age 14, with his mother in Halifax in 1948 as a refugee from Germany, it had been 4 years since he had last seen his father, Alexander. Alexander had waved goodbye to them from the … Continue reading

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“I Have No Mouth . . .”

I was a breech birth. Since then, I’ve done everything in life bass ackwards. A recent and relevant example of this is my education as a writer. Instead of first learning the craft of writing, and then studying up on … Continue reading

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slow learners

I’m back. Why the long absence since my last post? It’s not easy to explain. I suppose I could say that I’ve been going through a period of slow-burning crisis. What sort of crisis, you ask? It’s a crisis with … Continue reading

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Justine by the Marquis de Sade: birth of the philosopher-pornographer

Justine by Marquis de Sade My rating: 3 of 5 stars The struggle between virtue and vice is portrayed in the starkest possible way. I was reminded of this book when I read The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell … Continue reading

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Watership Down by Richard Adams: the rabbit Aeneid

Watership Down by Richard Adams My rating: 5 of 5 stars Two square miles of English countryside become a zone of adventure, combat, and statecraft for a band of refugee rabbits. My path to this book was via The Seven … Continue reading

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The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker: the templates for personal growth

The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories by Christopher Booker My rating: 4 of 5 stars This massive, in-depth work presents a unified theory of the art of storytelling based on Jungian psychology. As I recall, this was another … Continue reading

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