Building The Perfect Beast

Reading, Writing, Wanderlust, and Commentary

Archive for the ‘Mark Barrett’ tag

Sticking a Shiv in Mark Twain –> @Ditchwalk

leave a comment

Excellent piece by Mark Barrett (Sticking a Shiv in Mark Twain) about the upcoming release of an expurgated version of Mark Twain’s Huck Finn, in which Twain’s use of the N-word is erased from the text.

Says Barrett:

Anyone over the age of twenty knows that you do not alter an author’s text to fit your world view. No matter how personally offensive you find an author’s words, no matter how society may have changed since a text was written, no matter how difficult open discussion of an author’s work might be, you do not, ever — ever — change an author’s text to make your life easier or better. You can write your own book, you can write volumes of criticism about the original text, but you’re not allowed to rewrite history for your own ends.

Excellent analysis with which I completely agree.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

January 4th, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Posted in Writing

Tagged with , , ,

@ditchwalk On Best Buy, Borders and Buying Books

leave a comment

Great piece by Mark Barrett on a recent visit he made to a Best Buy where, to his great surprise, he found books. Real live books for sale. But that’s not really what the article is about. It’s about the hard sell at the point of sale, a trip he made to Borders, and questions about what it is that Borders, Barnes and Noble and their ilk are really selling. Must every bookstore purchase end in a negotiation for more of my hard earned cash? “Sir, are you a super duper rewards member? Did you know that super duper rewards members can save 20% and more on their purchases? …”

It’s customary at this point to admit that the bean counters in any business are better positioned to know what works and what doesn’t, but having spent ten minutes in line I think the Borders bean counters don’t have a clue what they’re doing.

I wanted to buy books at Borders. Borders’ response was to make me wonder why I hadn’t just ordered what I wanted online, so I didn’t have to stand in line and wait my turn to be offered a rewards program I didn’t want.

Indeed. I wanted what I came for. If I wanted something else I would have asked. I DIDN’T want to build a moat around my purchase and prepare to do battle with the cash register clerk. (And I don’t think bean counters or HR people have a frigging clue.)

Please, just leave me alone.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

September 14th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

The Dysfunctional Writing Workshop

leave a comment

The Dysfunctional Workshop | via Ditchwalk

Great bit by Mark Barrett on writing workshops and how to figure out whether or not the one you’re in is going to kill your soul.

If you’re a writer (or not) and aren’t following Mark on Twitter you should be. That’s how you get chunky little tidbits like this:

Nothing that follows excuses authorial narcissism. Fiction writing requires an author to constantly debate their own weaknesses and biases, even if only for reasons of self-preservation. Because if you can’t police your own nonsense, others will be happy to do it for you.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

August 10th, 2010 at 2:20 pm