This Week in Words – September 1

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

Sending up a shout-out for our “mother goose” Johannes Lichtman. He’s started a blog that is mostly about books, which I’ve read and genuinely enjoyed. Nepotism be damned, I wouldn’t promote him if I thought it was subpar (after all, I don’t even promote my own blog). His latest post is about the overabundance of ellipses. (Sorry Johannes, but I happen to love ellipses and often use them in ways other than those two you prescribed. To be fair, I try to keep them out of my academic and fiction work.) In any case, this post and the others I read made me laugh out loud – not LOL. That might be because I could hear his tone in my head, but probably it’s just because he’s funny.

Okay, enough of that. Decidedly not funny, but overwhelmingly powerful is Lidia Yuknavitch’s essay Explicit Violence over at The Rumpus. It’s a painful and heartbreaking read, so consider yourself warned, but it’s one of those things, in my opinion, that just has to be disseminated to as many people as possible.

Also at The Rumpus is an essay about reading like a writer from Benjamin Percy. I particularly like this one because I tend to write under the influence of who I’m reading, because I’m still (always?) learning. Benjamin Percy says it’s okay, so I’m going to keep doing it in the search for my own voice.

Richard Brody has a piece in The New Yorker’s Page Turner blog about negative criticism called How to Be a Critic. So check that out.

Just for fun: Stylist’s choices for the “50 Funniest Lines in Literature.” It includes nominees of every variety, from Dickens to Stephanie Meyer, James Joyce to the Bible. One of my favorites is from The Importance of Being Earnest: “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

Happy Labor Day weekend! Don’t work too hard…