clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Happy 100th birthday, Roald Dahl! Turns out he was a nightmare to work with.

Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

It’s September! The weather is getting crisper, the fancy prestige books are starting to come out, and the fancy prestige prizes are starting to make their choices. Below is a selection of the best the internet has to offer on books and related topics for the week of September 12, 2016.

In brief, and as unemotionally as I can state it: since the time when you decided that Bob Bernstein, I and the rest of us had dealt badly with you over your contract, you have behaved to us in a way I can honestly say is unmatched in my experience for overbearingness and utter lack of civility.

The article also explains that in Dahl’s first draft of The BFG, the title character was a pedophile, and I’m sorry, but if I have to know that, so do you.

During a debate about whether or not it was useful for ambitious, intellectual feminists to attempt to infiltrate and change what Gould called “elite cultural arbiter institutions,” Casey snorted. “Those institutions are already ours,” she said. “[Women] are all the people who work there. [Men] are just in charge.” The assistant crowd roared.

Write a lot. Maybe at the outset you’ll be like a toddler — the terrible twos are partly about being frustrated because you’re smarter than your motor skills or your mouth, you want to color the picture, ask for the toy, and you’re bumbling, incoherent and no one gets it, but it’s not only time that gets the kid onward to more sophistication and skill, it’s effort and practice. Write bad stuff because the road to good writing is made out of words and not all of them are well-arranged words.

  • And at the Guardian, Jeanette Winterson and a few others have more such advice:

Creativity is inexhaustible. Experiment, play, throw away. Above all be confident enough about creativity to throw stuff out. If it isn’t working, don’t cut and paste – scrap it and begin again.

Happy reading!