Where They Lived

Beat Generation Being A Writer Fiction Film Internet Culture Language Memes Poetry Religion Tributes Visual Art

1. Writers Houses! A new website showcasing literary residences, curated by A. N. Devers. Above: Thomas Wolfe's home in Asheville, North Carolina.

2. I've always been interested in the real-life stories behind great works of fiction, so this Jezebel gallery is up my alley. Most of these are familiar, but I didn't know that Humbert Humbert's road trip with Lolita Haze was based on a real news story.

3. Billy Collins, a former US Poet Laureate who we like, tries to read poetry on an e-reader device and is highly unimpressed. "Poetry is like a piece of sculpture and can easily break." He's probably right about current e-readers, though we hope our Action Poetry pages show one of many new and different ways that poetry can be shared and appreciated online.

4. "Punctuation can go viral. Syntax is a meme." A perceptive article by Conor J. Dillon about why Internet writers love the colon.

5. Who do you write like? I tried two text passages from this blog and found out I write like H. P. Lovecraft and Dan Brown. Not what I expected, but okay then.

6. But Allen Ginsberg's eyes weren't all squinty. James Franco as the Beatnik Bard in the upcoming film Howl, hitting theaters this fall. I'm eager to see the movie, still not sure what to expect.

7. Meanwhile, here's an intriguing trailer for The Social Network, a movie based on Ben Mezrich's book about the creation of Facebook, Accidental Billionaires.

8. Esteemed literary publisher Farrar Straus and Giroux is reaching out to readers with a new and happily content-rich newsletter/website called Work in Progress.

9. Pens With Cojones offers a neat idea to spark your writing: look at a fashion blog..

10. Charles Demuth's painting Figure 5 in Gold was based on a poem about a fire engine by William Carlos Williams.

11. The seven stages of grieving after purchasing a full-price hardcover book you later find to be awful.

12. Josh Harris of Pseudo.com fame doesn't give up. Here's his latest we-live-in-public proposal.

13. "The standard image of an angel as a man with wings and usually also a halo has endured from the fifth century to the present day." What Do Angels Look Like?

14. LitDrift tries to use meditation as a writing tool, with mixed results: "... writing gives me too much joy to give up. Any other life wouldn’t be the one I ordered. So I suck it up and order pizza and turn on the TV and push through the car wash of emotion for however long it lasts."

15. A couple more farewells to noble poet Tuli Kupferberg: Dan O'Connor (a sweet story) and Lenny Kaye (on Patti Smith's website).

9 Responses to "Where They Lived"

by TKG on

Hi Levi,

I like things like the who do you write like site.

I had to go and try it out. I grabbed two things I wrote more than 10 years ago now that were at a now defunct literary site on the web. I used the way back machine and put in almost 2000 words -- a full short short story that had been "published" on this web site.

It came back that I write like David Foster Wallace.

This result was returned at lightning fast speed. I tried another piece I'd done back in the day -- around 1300 words and this also returned David Foster Wallace.

It went so fast that I started to think maybe its a scam and it just randomly picks writers that it thinks will flatter whomever pastes something in.

So I figured I'd try another writer and see if it hit on Wallace again.

I randomly chose Where He Lived from Queensboro Ballads. I find that interesting that I randomly chose that without noticing the title of this entry, today.

Anyhow, it said you write like Douglas Adams for that story.

I guess the algorithm is real enough and can be fasts because it just parses word use -- its not too hard to count words.

I always think these things are fun.

by Sam Savage on

Intrigued by "Who do I write like," I tried out a few cases. Hemingway writes like Hemingway. Depending on the paragraph, I write like P. G. Wodehouse, William Gibson, or Chuck Palahniuk. Henry James writes like Oscar Wilde. So much for that.

by Milton on

I tried five samples of my writing -- three from fiction, two from nonfiction. It came up on Stephen King thrice, James Joyce twice. I really have no idea what to make of that.

I put in a randomly selected piece that I wrote for LitKicks, and it said I write like Arthur C. Clarke. I dropped in another random essay and it said I write like Vladimir Nabakov.

Neither Clarke nor Nabakov are writers that I have read extensively.

Don't know how it came up with those answers, but it was amusing, and, like TKG says, really fast.

by Mayowa on

Conor's article was spot on. I just looked through my feed reader and a whole lot of posts have colons in their titles.

I write like Stephen King too, and here I thought I was Nabokov come to back to life hehe.

Thanks for the links and for the mention Levi.

Wow, Franco does look like Ginsberg!

There is an app on Facebook called "Which Crazy Writer Are You?" It asks you a bunch of questions and then tells you if you are more like Hunter S. Thompson, Oscar Wilde, etc. I was pleasantly surprised when it called me Thomas Pynchon! Excellent.

by Dan on

TKG - I fed your post here into the "style grinder" and it says you write like Cory Doctorow! Go figure.

I write like Dan Brown (my non-fiction) and Mario Puzo (my fiction). I don't take it seriously, but it sure is fun!

by Steve on

I write like PG Wodehouse evidently. I've never read the author.

I thought for sure it would come up like Salinger.

by Shelley on

As a very young writer, I visited Thomas Wolfe's home, and I will never forget the impact on me of seeing his (really big) shoes sitting there in his closet.

I suddenly got it that writers were real people.

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