"There is no secret ingredient for artistic success; no magic routine for producing art."
The myth of the artist’s creative routine.
On that ever-mysterious rubric, “literary fiction”: “It was clever marketing by publishers to set certain contemporary fiction apart and declare it Literature—and therefore Important, Art, and somehow better than other writing … Jane Austen’s works are described as literary fiction. This is nonsense … Austen never for a moment imagined she was writing Literature. Posterity decided that—not her, not John Murray, not even her contemporary readership. She wrote fiction, to entertain and to make money.”
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.
"People came to the Tambopata to see something—as I first wanted to see it—as pristine, virgin, untouched. The “real” Peru. But as I spent more time in the ensconced fantasy that the research center seemed to be, the real Peru was out there, through the television, in the streets, in the mines."
Amanda Giracca on ecotourism, Peru’s Interoceanic Highway, gold mining, and reality TV, in “Yo Soy Perú”:
In fiction, plenty do the job of conveying information, rousing suspense, painting characters, enabling them to speak. But only certain sentences breathe and shift about, like live matter in soil.
Vela and Lauren Quinn’s latest piece get a shout out in The New Yorker today!
As always, we’ve got your weekend reading: A lovely meditation on the meaning of home, and stunning, unsettling pieces on resegregation and fat shaming.
"The addiction story had been done, I told myself. It was tired, played-out and it wasn’t even my story. My story was something quieter, lamer, less tough and edgy. And who wants to read that?"
This week on Vela: Lauren Quinn’s The Ism And The Alcohol