The Artful Life – Fragments Against Ruin http://tonywoodlief.com Sat, 07 Apr 2018 17:41:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Reading round-up http://tonywoodlief.com/2018/03/30/reading-round-up/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2018/03/30/reading-round-up/#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2018 15:44:40 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5591 Now that Spring has sprung in my neck of the woods, I’m pondering what I might cut down, burn, plant, fix, and build, which—because I am more reader than farmer or carpenter—turns my mind to books. So here’s a few books, essays, and stories I’ve enjoyed during my winter hibernation that I think might interest …

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Ten stories you can read if you don’t like men with hairy bellies and cats http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/12/12/ten-stories-can-read-dont-like-men-hairy-bellies-cats/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/12/12/ten-stories-can-read-dont-like-men-hairy-bellies-cats/#comments Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:04:01 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5519 A lot of people are talking about a short story in The New Yorker right now. A short story. If you care at all about writing and literature and the seemingly inexorable Western slide into voluntary aliteracy, this seems like a good thing. But so maybe “Cat Person” isn’t for you. Some people want to read …

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Finding friends between the covers http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/05/04/finding-friends-covers/ Thu, 04 May 2017 22:46:25 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5471 So institutions are crumbling, right? The fabric of shared culture is threadbare, and our intellectual class is what you’d expect were you to put the sheep in Orwell’s Animal Farm in charge of administering doctoral dissertations. It almost makes one thankful the average American attention span is that of a moth who can’t afford his Ritalin refill—our …

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What’s Not on Your Reading List? http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/04/18/whats-not-reading-list/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 21:55:19 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5441 So I’m eating pineapple and considering this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners and these are not unrelated, because both activities aim at healthfulness. The truth is I’d rather be eating Krispy Kreme and reading Neuromancer, but my cholesterol has taken a slight uptick. It puts me in mind of my mortality, yet even as I approach …

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Yes, you’ve come to the right place http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/03/30/yes-youve-come-right-place/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/03/30/yes-youve-come-right-place/#comments Thu, 30 Mar 2017 18:38:23 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5416 Redesigning my blog was not a rational decision. I mean, consider the facts. Fact One: Nobody reads any more. The data are pretty conclusive. We’re all eye-glued to our apps, or gaming, or enjoying the golden age of television. Sometimes all three at once. Nobody wastes time on long sentences stacked like shelves in a musty …

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Hammering art http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/02/10/hammering-art/ Fri, 10 Feb 2017 15:21:33 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4750 They say all great men have a morning routine, so I figured I ought to rush right out and get me one of those. I’ll belabor the elements of that routine while subtly flattering myself for it some other time; the point today is that it often includes listening to Writer’s Almanac while I make …

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It doesn’t come with a parking spot, but it’s still pretty darn nice http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/05/it-doesnt-come-with-a-parking-spot-but-its-still-pretty-darn-nice/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/05/it-doesnt-come-with-a-parking-spot-but-its-still-pretty-darn-nice/#comments Thu, 05 Dec 2013 13:12:59 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3735 The good people at Image Journal have named me their artist of the month. I like being reminded that writers are artists, and I’m honored to be included among the many fine artists—of all stripes—who have been similarly recognized by Image in the past. Here’s an excerpt from the kind things they say about me: …

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Against being against epiphanies http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/07/16/against-being-against-epiphanies/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/07/16/against-being-against-epiphanies/#comments Wed, 17 Jul 2013 02:05:20 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3691 Some of you may like my latest essay on the Good Letters channel at Patheos. It covers everything from Oliver Stone to a young Whittaker Chambers, with a slight dose of literary criticism mixed in. Here’s an excerpt: I’ve been reading recently published short fiction—in journals, in anthologies. It seems that everyone took Baxter to …

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Uninterested http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/06/05/uninterested/ Thu, 06 Jun 2013 01:29:47 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3684 Finally, fiction from me that doesn’t involve death or melancholy or predestination or anything else likely to induce heavy drinking. It’s all dialogue, and I wrote it years ago whilst sitting utterly uninspired and bored in a large corporate bureaucracy. And the good people at Work Literary Magazine saw fit to publish it. Here’s an excerpt: …

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Everybody dance now http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/04/18/everybody-dance-now/ Thu, 18 Apr 2013 22:05:16 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3673 Some of you may like my latest essay, “Art as a Common Gift.” Here’s an excerpt: Imagine that. Millions of people, many of them knowing not the first words of orthodox praise, harboring scant knowledge of theology, yet all of them whispering back to the whisper within their spirits, imitating the God they may only …

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