Process

Finishing Move

I stumbled upon this earlier today. A student in one of my classes used Mortal Kombat as one of several examples of how shock sells, the others being 50 Shades of Grey and Miley Cyrus. The discussion began with a video clip of John Waters talking about his artistic principles, which he claims he arrived at… Continue reading Finishing Move

Process

Literary Resolutions

To move is to realize how quietly my wife and I accumulate things. A bedframe, a new book, a movie, clothes, chairs, mugs. Things pile up, and we thin them out, getting rid of what we think we no longer need. The rare person gets so disgusted with the objects she's attached herself to that she sells… Continue reading Literary Resolutions

Process

Necessary Halves

Observing the writing mind at work is sometimes humbling, often embarrassing.  My creative persona sits at his desk crafting sentences that will be quoted for decades, if not centuries, to come. At dinner parties, at the beginnings of great speeches, his words--the ones he's putting down right at that very moment--will be the measure of a man's learning, and… Continue reading Necessary Halves

Process

Adapting

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across a copy of Ranier Werner Fassbinder's "Despair" at my library. The cover caught my eye, and the jacket sold me: an adapted early Nabokov novel about a chocolatier who goes mad. All I knew of Fassbinder was the title of one of his movies ("Ali: Fear Eats the… Continue reading Adapting

Process

Ruminations

If you have ever meditated, you know that the whole idea is to let go of your thoughts. Our minds constantly grasp, using thought as a hold that usually just leads to other thoughts, an entire sticky web of them, and it can't be helped because thinking is what minds do. The advice, whether you're practicing… Continue reading Ruminations

Process

Processed Product: Top 5

What better way to celebrate the end of Processed Product's first year than with a best-of list? Besides being peak movie season, December is the month of lists, making it one of my favorite months of the year. I love lists. The succinct, easy-to-scan sum-ups make it easy to see what rose to the top, and… Continue reading Processed Product: Top 5

Process

Circling the Truth

Dante never read Homer, at least not in Greek. Neither have I, but scholarship in fourteenth century Italy was a bit more spotty than it is today. Translations of the Illiad were secondhand accounts of the Trojan war that figured Achilles as a pining lover rather than a super-powered hero; otherwise, the only references to… Continue reading Circling the Truth

Process

Unfinished

Emily Dickinson wrote thousands of poems, many of which were lost or destroyed, yet the nearly 1,800 posthumously published verses give us a luminous artistic record of a poet who is now, arguably, the most important of the 19th century. She painstakingly assembled thematically related fascicles, stitching each grouping of poems by hand (pastors similarly stitched the pages of their sermons). Unlike Kafka,… Continue reading Unfinished