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links for 2008-12-13

13 Dec
  • Five years ago, we named “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” by Gay Talese, the greatest story Esquire ever published. Here, as we close out our 75th anniversary celebration, are the top seven, with several republished online in their entirety for the first time ever.
  • 2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay.
    —In the same way that hanging with/around tall people will make you tall.

    3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior.

    —People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract. Lamps are next.

  • the big macro change now is, employers are a lot nicer when the economy is strong, because they know you have choices and can go elsewhere if they don't keep you happy. When times are bad, the gloves come off and employers are less nice. People become disposable.
  • When the Styrons settled in their Connecticut farmhouse and began a family, his life became the ideal of any aspiring writer: productive yet relaxed, sociable yet protected. On the door frame outside his workroom, he tacked a piece of cardboard with a quotation from Flaubert written on it: ''Be regular and orderly in your life, like a good bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.''
  • Ten years ago I found a flat overlooking the Bosporus with a view of the old city. It has, perhaps, one of the best views of Istanbul. It is a twenty-five minute walk from where I live. It is full of books and my desk looks out onto the view. Every day I spend, on average, some ten hours there…
    I’m a hard worker. I enjoy it. People say I’m ambitious, and maybe there’s truth in that too. But I’m in love with what I do. I enjoy sitting at my desk like a child playing with his toys. It’s work, essentially, but it’s fun and games also.
  • When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4:00 am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for 1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 pm. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for so long — six months to a year — requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.
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Posted by on December 13, 2008 in Links

 

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