Discover more from Austin Kleon
Are you helping?
10 things worth sharing: my interview with Tim Kreider, the case for writing longhand, deep listening, and more...
Here are 10 things I thought were sharing this week:
“Are you really helping here? That’s what you ought to be doing if you’re a writer. Or any kind of artist. Helping. Some. And it doesn’t mean cheerful or Pollyanna-ish. Francis Bacon, the painter, was helping. William S. Burroughs helps. We all help in different ways.” Watch my chat with the brilliant Tim Kreider.
Last weekend I did something I’ve never done before, believe it or not: I read a novel in the bathtub. Highly recommended! (The practice, and the novel: Station Eleven.) I’m still plowing through William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience, but I also started a review copy of Maud Newton’s long-awaited first book, Ancestor Trouble, and it’s really good.
Deep listening: I asked writer and filmmaker Kevin Smokler (of Vinyl Nation) to write about his project of “listening through” a favorite musician’s discography. (I’m going to do this with Cocteau Twins soon.) It’s always worthwhile to “study something you love in depth.”
Sam Anderson and A.O. Scott make a case for writing longhand. (Last year I had a chat with Sam about writing and drawing.) Clive Thompson gave one of my favorite talks on the subject of when you should write by hand and when you should type. And because people ask me all the time: here’s how to improve your handwriting.
A school board in Tennessee has banned Art Spielman’s Maus, one of the greatest comic books ever written. When asked for comment, Spiegelman dropped this bookmark and took a hit off his vape pen. Legend! I’ve been lucky enough to draw him twice here in Austin — once with R. Crumb and Francois Mouly and once for an excellent solo lecture at Bookpeople.
RIP Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn. I think often of bell hooks’ story about when she met him for the first time and all she could blurt out was, “I’m so angry!” And he looked at her and said it was okay, “Hold on to your anger and use it as compost for your your garden.”
Take it easy and give yourself a break this weekend!
See you next week.
PS. I am so excited that this is coming out in hardcover: