commented on Authors Should Not Know That Much About Their Readers
This reminds me of Komar and Melamid's "Most Wanted Painting" project. Writers learn about what their readers want by being readers themselves and reading a lot. I don't think it's "unliterary" to care about the reader's experience, and in fact that's what writing is, really. The reader you're satisfying first is yourself. You're writing the book you want to be reading. And your taste arises from everything you've ever read.
Dec 7, 2012
commented on "How Freakin Dare You?????"
I kind of thought the goat cover was equivalent to Garfunkel and Oates's "Sex with Ducks" song. It requires one to negate a trope by ironically appropriating it. I saw it, chuckled, and forgot about it. Meanwhile the photos of same sex couples getting their licenses linger with me in a warm and fuzzy way. If I had to make a choice between looking at pictures of loving couples basking in a civil rights victory or a visual joke like the Stranger cover, I'd go with the loving couples.
Dec 6, 2012
commented on The Stranger Reviews "Books"
I would have assumed that "Stoner with a Boner" would be fairly succinct. Thoughtfully, the subtitle provides fair warning about the length of the tale.
Dec 4, 2012
commented on Schools Are Teaching Less Fiction Because Fiction Isn't Helpful for Shitty Business Jobs
While I basically agree with the argument that fiction helps us imagine ourselves in other peoples' shoes, I'd go a step further. Fiction is about problems and how people solve them. One of the ways that people get better at solving problems is by imagining the points of view of people with competing interests. Fiction trains us how to think about problems multi-dimensionally. An exec sitting among a dozen people with conflicting agendas in a board room is going to be more effective if he or she is capable of seeing a problem from their various perspectives. And anyone who smirks at the value of emotional intelligence in a workplace is at a severe disadvantage. Work environments are roiling with emotions and those who can understand them can become really successful.