Now that I've read it after reading this update about the origin of McSweeney's, Dave Egger's baby, I wonder how does one distinguish between the traditional and the unconventional.
In the years I've attempted to write and have written, I've attended one weekend long workshop, and one ongoing workshop in Boston for about six months. I also participated in a series of Poetry Workshops funded by Poets & Writers.
I am no expert, but I am a voracious reader, or was one until recently, and have my opinions about good writing. I also have some experience as an editor of medical essays and a book on schizophrenia.
What is good writing? What engages the reader regardless of topic?
Here's a piece I read in the New York Review of Books that I rank as "sterling." Written by Michael Kimmelman, "The Art Hitler Hated," the author not only addresses the subject but provides a path to understanding a historical perspective that is both enthralling and fun to boot. Yes, I am personally interested in art, and the holocaust, but Mr. Kimmelman gave me a fresh look at both and introduced me to some of those most affected by this period in art history.
|Caste system (partial) India|
Today I read an article about India's Feudal Rapists. I believed I would learn something new about the increase in rapes in this country, and also more about India itself. I struggled through the article for the opposite reasons I enjoyed Kimmelman's. The author's claim is that the caste system is responsible for many of the rapes, yet nowhere in the piece are the castes explained. Even after I searched around the web for a more thorough understanding of the castes referenced in this article, I was left unfulfilled.
Certainly the writer,
Good writing clearly extends far beyond an interesting subject; it has to both engage and provide the information necessary for a rewarding read.