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Reflections of a working writer, a university screenwriting professor, and the editor of Oregon Literary Review.

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Charles Deemer

Oregon Literary Review

MFA, Playwriting, University of Oregon

Writing faculty, Portland State University (part-time)

Retired playwright and screenwriter.
Active novelist, librettist and teacher.

Email: cdeemer(at)yahoo(dot)com

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Finalist, Oregon Book Award

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"Can We Talk About Me For A Change?"
Playwright Debra Neff Nathans

Debbie Ridpath Ohi, a weblog for writers (resources)

Silliman's Blog
Ron Silliman, contemporary poetry and poetics

Maud Newton
literary links, amusements, politics, rants

Darren Barefoot
Technical and creative writing, theatre, Dublin

Rob's Writing Pains
Journey of a struggling writer.

Mad, Mad World
Cara Swann, fiction writer, journalist, "reflections on humanity, random news & my life."

Random musings on a writer's life and times.

Barbara Flaska's compilation of the best online articles about music and culture.

Write Of Way
Samantha Blackmon's written musings on writing (composition and rhetoric).

Alexander b. Craghead: blog
Writing, photography, and watercolors.

Rodney's Painted Pen
Rodney Bohen's daily commentary "on the wondrous two legged beast we fondly refer to as mankind." His pen runneth over.

Frustrated Writer
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scribble, scribble, scribble
Journalist Dale Keiger teaches nonfiction scribbling to undergraduate and graduate students at Johns Hopkins University.

The Unofficial Dave Barry Blog
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The Hive
The official blog of science fiction / horror author Terence West.

William Gibson Blog
Famed author of Neuromancer and Johnny Mnemonic: The Screenplay.

The Word Foundry
Joe Clifford Faust's "blog of a working writer: tracking writing projects, musings on the creative process, occasional side trips into music, media, politics, religion, etc."

A Writer's Diary
By Cynthia Harrison, who has the good sense to quote Virginia Woolf: "The truth is that writing is the profound pleasure and being read the superficial."

Bow. James Bow.
The journal of James Bow and his writing.

Michael Montoure's weblog about writing, primarily horror and speculative fiction.

By David Henry, "a poet's weblog from Aberdeen, Scotland."

Modem Noise
By Adrian Bedford, a "fledgling Pro SF Writer, living in Perth, Australia."

"A wry writerly blog named in honour of a minor character in a minor Shirley Temple film."

Real Writers Bounce
Holly Lisle's blog, "a novelist's roadmap through the art and ordeal of finding the damned words."

2020 Hindsight
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downWrite creative
Phil Houtz's notes on the writing life.

Vivid: pieces from a writer's notebook
Blog of Canadian poet Erin Noteboom.

The Literary Saloon
The literary weblog at the complete review.

Rabbit Blog
The rabbit writes on popular culture.

This Girl's Calendar
Momoka writes short stories.

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Musings by writer Michael Gates.

Plays and Musicals -- A Writer's Introspective
A blog by John D. Nugent - Composer, Playwright, and Artistic Director of the Johnson City Independent Theatre Company

The American Sentimentalist
"Never has any people endured its own tragedy with so little sense of the tragic." Essays by Mark W. Anderson.

Screenwriting By Blog
David C. Daniel writes a screenplay online. "I've decided to publish the process as a way to push myself through it. From concept to completion, it'll be here."
Official site of occult fiction author Sean-Alonzo, exploring symbolism, alternative history, philosophy, secret societies and other areas of the esoteric tradition.

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'Plaint of the Playwright
Rob Matsushita, a playwright from Wisconsin, "whines a lot."

I Pity Da Fool!
Glenn's adventures in screenwriting.

Time In Tel-Aviv
Hebrew modern literature at its best, by Corinna Hasofferett.

Big Window
Robin Reagler's poetry blog.

John Baker's Blog
Author of the Sam Turner and Stone Lewis novels.

The Writing Life With Dorothy Thompson
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Barry's Personal Blog
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Writer's Blog.
By easywriter. "From the walls of caves to cyberspace."

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Man Bytes Hollywood
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Mad for the smell of paper
A writing journal.

The Writing Life
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It Beats Working 9-5
A screenwriting blog by a young Canadian screenwriter.

Stealing Heaven From The Lips Of God
Writer & Artist, Dee Rimbaud reflects upon politics, religion, art, poetry, the meaning of life, the nature of God and why toast always lands butter side down on carpets.

Robert Peake
Heart and Mind, Fully Engage ... a poet's website.

Sidestepping Real
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plagiarism blog

The Writing Life...
"An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's."
J.D. Salinger

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A friend over beer, Berkeley, winter, 1959

"And it came to pass that all the stars in the firmament had ceased to shine. But how was anyone to know?"
The Half-Life Conspiracy

After October 31, 2006,
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The Writing Life II

(Posts archived here are from 01/10/03 - 10/31/06)

Monday, April 25, 2005  
High art and low art
The tension between high art and low art has always existed. What has changed is there no longer is much balance between them, low art ruling the roost. Low art has always driven the marketplace, but in the past there was a conscious understanding that low art was low art -- and in the past, publishers considered it their duty, almost a kind of moral duty, to contribute to the culture by publishing high art, or what was called the literary novel, knowing full well this at best was a break-even financial endeavor. That kind of commitment to high art has been lost in the new corporate marketplace, where only the bottom line matters.

Hence Mailer's statement at his lecture Saturday night that "popular literature is second-rate readers enjoying the insights of second-rate writers." This is a terribly elitist statement. But I also believe it is true. The arts should be elitist, just as science is elitist. You don't decide which mathematical proof is correct by a popularity contest. (However, grant funding for specific areas of research may well be a kind of popularity contest, driven by corporate needs.) Melville, a very popular author, writes a literary masterpiece, Moby Dick, which is an extraordinary failure, selling less than 500 copies in its first twenty years of existence, and Melville practically goes mad as a result. This is the tension between high art and low art. It's always been there.

The Internet is a logical place in which to store high art, which is already happening, but it's very difficult to find your place given the explosion of material online. Just as blogs have changed journalism, artsites, literary or visual or musical, are changing the art/literary landscape. Most writers still aspire to financial reward and therefore enter the traditional marketplace. But if high art now has been squeezed out of this traditional marketplace by the new corporate hard line policy about profits, it needs a place to go. To this end, I'm halfway thinking of founding an online literary magazine myself, just to bring together the kinds of high art that appeals to me personally. A lot of this is already being done, of course. Something I'm going to think about.

4/25/2005 11:56:00 AM | 2 comments

I have to say that this is quite an interesting post--I also enjoyed reading your mission statement; it is well thought out and apt.

I, like you, have strong opinions about literature and what is and isn't literature. So strong in fact that I have recently entered a career as a school teacher owning up to the job of teaching it. In the meantime, I have had my opinions shook up a bit as I realized that my students will choose literature like they will choose asparagus. Instead, they read pop fiction, horror, and worse, books written about video games.

In response to this, I have almost resigned myself to being happy that they are reading at all.

When I read people expounding on high art and literature, I nod my head in agreement...I subscribe to the New Yorker, after all. However, as a writer, I also find such discourse to be threatening to my creativity as a writer. What about places like my blog, which are dedicated to literary experimentation, improvisation and half-finished literature. I, personally, love the process, and think this should be celebrated more often.

Just as we report that the net is filled with bad poetry, there are thousands of other intellectuals writing the same thing (I myself am often filled with this sentiment). It, like blogger's bad poetry, is everywhere.

Sometimes I wonder what, exactly, us literature lovers are looking to accomplish. Kudos again on the great site and I wish you the best of luck with the magazine.
Thanks so much for adding such thoughtful comments.
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