“Books want to be born: I never make them. They come to me and insist on being written, and on being such and such.”

Samuel Butler



Matter Notes: A lawyer's private notes on a legal matter; considered inviolate and nondisclosable. By metaphor and game, my occasional blog posts on literary matters. In both cases, a form of work product.

Recommended Article: Scott Samuelson’s “Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers”

Recommended:  Scott Samuelson’s recent piece in The Atlantic, “Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers”  (Thanks to fellow writer Matthew Graybosch for sending me the link.) The humanities do matter to real people.  Profoundly.  Samuelson writes about teaching philosophy to students experiencing personal tragedy:  A mother who’d authorized for her crippled son a risky surgery that led

Manhattan is Losing its Bookstores, But Not its Sense of Delusion

I haven’t posted in a while, but the current hysteria in the New York Times about the loss of brick and mortar bookstores in Manhattan is so unintentionally comical and just plain awkward that I had to comment.  The article, “Literary City, Bookstore Desert,” by Julie Bosman, illustrates almost everything that has gone wrong with

Mainstream Publishing Industry “Products” Are About to Get Even More Awful

But first, as to validation.  (See previous post.) I was stunned to see that there is at least one literary agent, Andrew Wylie, who gets it.  Mr. Wylie said in a recent interview for New Republic what I’ve been saying here in my quiet corner of the Internet for a long time.  That the publishing

Yes, of course writers should be paid for their work. Here’s why that’s not going to happen.

A few months back, I wrote a piece on whether writing is a dying profession.   My take was that, given the sorry state of traditional book publishers, there’s no longer any incentive for writers to honor the antiquated model of hiding their work in a drawer for years until an acquisitions editor taps it with