Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

…you owe it to your readers to set yourself the most difficult challenge that you have some hope of being equal to. With every book, you have to dig as deep as possible and reach as far as possible. And if you do this, and you succeed in producing a reasonably good book, it means that the next time you try to write a book, you’re going to have to dig even deeper and reach even farther, or else, again, it won’t be worth writing.

Jonathan Franzen, from Farther Away

(and see James Santel’s excellent review of Farther Away)


Anis Shivani‘s “new rules for writers” is one big Fuck You to careerism, conformity, and any kind of literary  “success.” An excerpt:

The “system”–in all its manifestations–is in utter disrepair, decadence rather. The only way to conquer it is to humiliate it. This goes against everything you’ve heard, all the advice to play nice. But that gets you nowhere… Confound them. Bewilder them. Disrespect them. Mock them. “They” meaning all the authority figures in publishing…

Read more at:

Anis Shivani: New Rules For Writers: Ignore Publicity, Shun Crowds, Refuse Recognition And More.

(In other words, become this guy:

Abstract painted image

Take a look at this  comic-book version of Frank Chimero‘s idea’s of creativity. Especially good on what poet Jack Myers call associational logic or what Chimero would call jumping the lines on a mind map.

Worthy and recommended.

(And Jack, how we miss you.)

Many thanks to TeslaRadio for the Chimero  link.

Image: Alfonso Calafato

Cover of "Weary Blues"

Levi Bryant is fomenting General Goodness over on his blog, Larval Subjects.

If you are the writerly Bat Terrier type, see in particular his post, You Can’t Write Before You Write.


1. Yeah, writers are the hobos of academia.

2. And, yeah, what in the hell are we doing writing articles when we could be writing epistles?

3. “ Originality… occasionally takes place, but…(w)e only… know that originality has taken place retroactively…(I)t’s important to surrender the desire to anticipate originality so as to clear a space in which… originality might take place.”

And more. Bat Terrier says check him out.

How does artistic innovation happen? A good  guess is that it happens the way most innovation happens, from within what cognitive anthropologists Jean Lave and Etienne Wegner call “communities of practice.” That is, innovation may not be due to the isolated Rodinesque savant, but to changes in the concepts shared by the ad hoc, marginal, often fugitive groups to which the artist belongs. The group in effect shares a fantasy about how art works and then experiments on the basis of that fantasy. Power scoffs at these trivialities, of course, but in truth Art’s little riverings outlast Power’s monuments.