Good weekend for articles on writing

From the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-neuroscience-of-your-brain-on-fiction.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ref=opinion

“Reading great literature, it has long been averred, enlarges and improves us as human beings. Brain science shows this claim is truer than we imagined.”

Flipping it around, there are some hints here for writers on how to make words more evocative, how to stimulate a stronger response in readers.

And,

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/my-lifes-sentences/

I haven’t (yet) read any of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novels – probably a gross omission on my part! – but I have read and enjoyed several of her shorter pieces, mainly about food as I recall.  This one’s about writing, about writing sentences in particular.  I particularly like:

“The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace.”

“… [sentences] need to contain a charge.  A live current, which shocks and illuminates.”

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