Anomalous Now: Why it is the Present, not the Past, that is Weird

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Anomalous Now

The present is an anomaly. We only think it normal because we live in it and don’t know any better. But our failure to see the anomaly that is the present impairs our ability to read or understand history, or historical novels. Or, for that matter, to deal with politics and ideology generally. As a …

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Grand Tour 7: The Best Museum on Route 66 is About Barbed Wire

This entry is part 7 of 22 in the series Grand Tour

May 5, 2018 Oklahoma City to Amarillo Themes for the day: into the West, barbed wire, weak beer, parking meters, and killer slip roads. The landscape changes quickly west of Oklahoma City. Now you feel like you are in the West. Now you can imagine a dustbowl happening. (Later we see a map of the …

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Route 66 Interpretive Center

Grand Tour 6: Pride in Service is Not Militarism

This entry is part 6 of 22 in the series Grand Tour

May 4, 2018, Tulsa to Oklahoma City Today we continue westward through Oklahoma. The themes are not so different from yesterday in Missouri: pride in service, helpful locals, and frustrating navigation units. Also, a small transgression and some disappointing trees.

Women wearing masks.

Avatar, Friend, and Shrink – Three Modes of Reader Intimacy

Which point of view produces the greatest intimacy between the reader and the character? Watching this debate between two writing friends led me to ask what they meant by intimacy. I propose (invoking the liberty of blogging) that there are at least three modes of intimacy between reader and character: avatar, friend, and shrink. There …

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