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Authorship

Regarding the Pen of Others

By Benjamin Moser, from Sontag: Her Life and Work, which will be published by Ecco this month. “In the Freudian conception,” wrote one author, “as it gradually emerged through these…

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Whisperings

Once, in an exuberant state, feeling filled with the muse, I told another writer: When I write, I know everything. Everything about the characters? she asked. No, I said, everything…

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Good Plain English

Discussed in this essay: Do I Make Myself Clear? Why Writing Well Matters, by Harold Evans. Little, Brown. 416 pages. $27. Writing Without Bullshit: Boost Your Career by Saying What…

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I Began the Day

By Renee Gladman, from Calamities, a collection of linked essays that was published this month by Wave Books. Gladman is the author of eight works of prose, including the novel…

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No-Name Calling

By J. D. McClatchy, from Sweet Theft, which was published in April by Counterpoint Press. The book collects notes and quotations compiled by the poet over three decades. McClatchy is…

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The Grand Shattering

I never wanted to be a mother. I wanted to be a person. My identity crisis began at age three, when I wanted to be Popeye but realized that I…

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The Torment and the Engine

From an interview in the Spring 2015 issue of The Paris Review. Elena Ferrante is the pseudonym of an Italian novelist whose books include The Days of Abandonment, My Brilliant…

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Ways of Being Silent

from the archive 50 years ago in Harper’s Magazine Literary history and the present are dark with silences: the years-long silences of acknowledged greats; the ceasing to publish after one…

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Keeping Time

By Sarah Manguso, from Ongoingness: The End of a Diary, out in March from Graywolf Press. Manguso is the author of several books, including The Guardians and The Two Kinds…

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December 2014