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Tuesday
Jan292013

A State of Fiction

I wrote a piece on Barbara Browning's books (and fiction, and reality, and emotion, and death, and bathing) for the Emily Books blog:

It’s disturbing in a way to think of these very real characters as illusions. Browning herself talks about the difficulty of portraying real people in fiction. And as I said before, what good is an invented woman to a real one? But aren’t we illusions to other people? To ourselves? When we put on lipstick, when we play dress up, when we feign interest in a topic out of politeness? How much of our relationships with other people are things we invent entirely in our heads? Most of them? All?

How is the fiction of our reality any different from the reality of fiction? And why should our emotional reaction to one be any different from the other? Isn’t all of it the fantasy of perception? Or deception?

Read more here.

Tuesday
Jan222013

Sunday Zen

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© Zan McQuade. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jan222013

An Incomplete List Of Things I Learned From My Grandma

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1. The Bible is a book of stories from which we can learn valuable lessons, but none of which should be taken literally.

2. Heartburn can be temporarily assuaged with a slice of bread and a glass of sparkling water.

3. "Shit" is a very useful word, in Scrabble and in life.

4. Clothes are functional and should be comfortable enough for walks in the woods should you suddenly decide to take one.

5. "Old married folks have lots of fun--I can attest to that."

6. Being far from someone you love is hard, but it makes the togetherness that follows the distance all the more rewarding.

7. There's too much waste in the world. Don't be wasteful.

8. Language is playful and its games are many.

9. "Books are hardest to part with, but if their pages haven't been turned sometime in the last 50+ years, they need to be gone.  Besides there are always new ones to take their place.  Right?"

Wednesday
Jan092013

Unhinged and Lawless

I wrote something for The Daily Dot Opinion section about Internet nostalgia. 

What this nostalgia is now is actually a craving for something that today would be entirely unrecognizable: an approximation of what it felt like back in those early days, to be cruising on the information highway, the tarmac rolling out ahead of you into the horizon, the desert stretching in either direction. It was quieter, more spacious; you knew that if you threw a rock it would take a while to hit someone. Ping. This is what we are looking towards with our animated GIFs and white space: a yearning for the peaceful expanse of Internet 1.0: peaceful, and yet somehow more unhinged and lawless.

Read more here.

Monday
Jan072013

Amsterdam Zen

Amsterdam Zen.

© Zan McQuade. All rights reserved.