In “Collateral Beauty” and “Passengers,” Two Tales of Gaslighting – The New Yorker

Fantasy, even when it’s rooted in practical details and doesn’t involve any metaphysical impossibilities, is the hardest genre to pull off, for the simple reason that life is interesting. A drama or a comedy that sticks close to experience has the intrinsic virtue of documentary—and, as with documentary itself, less is usually more.

In “Collateral Beauty” and “Passengers,” Two Tales of Gaslighting – The New Yorker

My Writing Education: A Time Line – The New Yorker

George Saunders is a gem.

There’s this theory that self-esteem has to do with getting confirmation from the outside world that our perceptions are fundamentally accurate. What Doug does at this meeting is increase my self-esteem by confirming that my perception of the work I’d been doing is fundamentally accurate. The work I’ve been doing is bad. Or, worse: it’s blah. This is uplifting–liberating, even—to have my unspoken opinion of my work confirmed. I don’t have to pretend bad is good. This frees me to leave it behind and move on and try to do something better.

My Writing Education: A Time Line – The New Yorker

Enlightenment on Your iPhone

To pluck some things from the list, while ignoring others, strikes many Buddhists as absurd. McMahan said, “It would be as if somebody went to the Catholic Church and said, ‘I don’t buy all this stuff about Jesus and God, but I really dig this Communion ritual. Would you just teach me how to do that bit? Oh, and I want to start a company marketing wafers.’

Enlightenment on Your iPhone

We make ourselves lists in order to know if we think what we think.

Sasha Frere-Jones.

There is no finality in a list, just a promise that we will argue about everything listed, adjust our thoughts, and watch our feelings change over time.

Serena Williams Is America’s Greatest Athlete

Serena Williams Is America’s Greatest Athlete

The U.S. Open’s Federer-less Final – The New Yorker

The U.S. Open’s Federer-less Final – The New Yorker

Structure

Almost always there is considerable tension between chronology and theme, and chronology traditionally wins. The narrative wants to move from point to point through time, while topics that have arisen now and again across someone’s life cry out to be collected.

Filed under: John McPhee.

Structure