From The Paris Review:
In 1963, a sixteen-year-old San Diego high school student named Bruce McAllister sent a four-question mimeographed survey to 150 well-known authors of literary, commercial, and science fiction. Did they consciously plant symbols in their work? he asked. Who noticed symbols appearing from their subconscious, and who saw them arrive in their text, unbidden, created in the minds of their readers? When this happened, did the authors mind?
"If your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything." - David Foster Wallace
Here's an interview with David Foster Wallace by Leonard Lopate recorded on March 4, 1996. In it, Wallace discusses perfectionism, receiving (and neglecting) constructive lessons, and ambition.
This has been a busy year. Life is like that: you can’t schedule the unforeseeable. Bathrooms will flood, new bosses will pop up, people will die, and loved ones will need help.
It's easy to feel delegitimized after your manuscript gets declined by a publisher. There are, however, innumerable factors that go in to a publisher's decision on what to print and what to deny. To put it into perspective, here's a list of famous titles, compiled from Michael Larsen's book Literary Agents, that went on to exceed the foresight of a publishing house's expectations.
In this new RSA Animate, renowned experimental psychologist Steven Pinker shows us how the mind turns the finite building blocks of language into infinite meanings. Taken from the RSA's free public events programme www.thersa.org/events.