Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Engagement of Zelda Sayre to F. Scott Fitzgerald

(from an unpublished novel entitled “Ascent to Madness: Zelda Fitzgerald’s Gilded Cage.”) For those of you who are F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald fans, here is an extract from my novel about this extraordinary couple. It is fiction, based on … Continue reading

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Segregation As It Was

Here are some reminisces of the past before all of us who remember such things have shuffled out of sight and memory. I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the early ‘40’s where segregation supposedly did not exist. But racism … Continue reading

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Sex and the Single Guy

I presently have a novel circulating through the various publishing companies about the tumultuous life of Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of Scott Fitzgerald, largely through her eyes as a mentally ill person (she had bipolar disorder). Thus far I am … Continue reading

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The Meteoric Life of La Goulue

My previous web entry was about Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, the Moulin Rouge, and its star attraction, La Goulue. One of the better short stories I’ve ever written–in my opinion–is basically “faction,” and was published in the Open Road Review in 2013 … Continue reading

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Toulouse-Lautrec, the Moulin Rouge, and La Goulue

In 2005, a painting by Toulouse-Lautrec of a young laundress sold for 22 million dollars. Pretty impressive for a guy who spent a lot of time in dance halls and brothels during his brief life. Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec … Continue reading

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An Ernest Hemingway Primer–in Fiction

I have never been an Ernest Hemingway fan, believing his style and some of his novels are overrated. However, his life and personality are more intriguing, particularly when one delves beneath the image that he created and maintained throughout his … Continue reading

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Trolling the Treasures of Ancient Greece–Part 2

I was more interested in seeing mainland Greece on this trip (May, 2015) than the Greek Islands, since I’m something of a history buff, but four days touring a few islands turned out to be a pretty good deal. Everybody … Continue reading

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Trolling the Treasures of Ancient Greece

In the merry month of May (as in last month, precisely), I visited the ancient country of Greece. Despite my peripatetic nature, I have never before been to this land because a booking made twenty years ago was not fulfilled … Continue reading

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Catcher in the Rye and the Mystery of J. D. Salinger

Catcher in the Rye is the most overrated novel in the history of American literature. I first read it at age nineteen because everyone was raving about it, and remember thinking, what is the big deal? I re-read it at … Continue reading

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Literature, Writing, and More Rejection

Since this blog was begun with the idea of writing about the literary world and the constant rejection indigenous to it, it behooves me to bring the reading public up to date on the latest. I can confess now that … Continue reading

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The Ephemeral Fame of Somerset Maugham

In 1897, at the ripe young age of 23, W. Somerset Maugham, published his first novel, Lisa of Lambeth, which became an instant best seller. Though trained in medicine, Maugham abandoned the idea of being a doctor and embraced writing … Continue reading

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Wit, Quips, and Waggery: the Legacy of Dorothy Parker

It has been forty-eight years since the death Dorothy Parker in 1967 and she is probably best known for being a part of the Algonquin Club, and her wisecracks recorded therein. (When looking for a new apartment she said, “I … Continue reading

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Arthur Conan Doyle and his Creation: Sherlock Holmes

It is generally agreed that the most famous fictional detective in the world is Sherlock Holmes. Films, books, plays and various other artistic modalities have been utilized to feature this forerunner of the modern scientific method in detective sleuthing. He … Continue reading

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Dancing through Dante’s Inferno

Recently I have written blogs that were basically of the solemnity variety; it is time for levity.   The holidays are here It is time for cheer. (Happy face.)   I used to be a psychologist and I really enjoyed … Continue reading

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Three Pinnacles of Fame: The Life and Works of Irwin Shaw

A great writer died in 1984 and hardly anybody noticed. He was famous three different times during his career, lived life to the fullest, but was quickly forgotten. He wrote two short stories that will likely remain among America’s best, … Continue reading

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Frankenstein, Dracula, and Phantom of the Opera

I saw the Broadway musical “Phantom of the Opera” recently—a  new version that is probably not as good as its predecessor—and it dawned on me that three stories that have endured—and been borrowed upon—for many, many decades are Frankenstein, Dracula, … Continue reading

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Victor Hugo and “Les Miserables”

            If I were thrown against a wall and blindfolded before a firing squad and informed in no uncertain terms that my personage would be executed if I refused to divulge the single novel that I consider the greatest ever … Continue reading

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“Gone Girl” And Five Novels You Ought To Read

I don’t read modern fiction much nowadays and find “good” literature in the United States that wins awards to be high on style and low on content. Gone Girl, the marvelous best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, is a notable exception. … Continue reading

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Tribute to a Chow Chow: the Death of Fred the Wonder Dog

What can you say about a dog who died? Eric Segal posed that very same question forty-four years ago in his novel, Love Story—except it was about a twenty-five-year-old woman—and made a million dollars from it. But in this case … Continue reading

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“Little Demon in the City of Light” and Other Books You Ought To Read

I have always been fond  of rating things and particularly like to entertain such questions as “what is the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited” or “what are the five most enjoyable films I’ve ever watched” or “what ten books … Continue reading

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The Afganistan and Iraq Wars–a Retrospective

With chaos prevailing in the Middle East and the future of that region very much in question, it is time to take a retrospective on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The United States invaded Afghanistan following the 9-11 tragedy because … Continue reading

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The Implacable Egoism of Ayn Rand

When you ask a group of literary experts to list the top novels in the English language over the past century, they will generally include books such as Ulysses, Lolita, The Great Gatsby, and To Kill a Mockingbird in various … Continue reading

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Master of Perversion: the Marquis de Sade

Marquis de Sade practiced what he preached. However, if he had been as manifestly evil as his books, he would never have reached the ripe old age of 74. This promoter of the sexual macabre spent 32 years of his … Continue reading

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The Association of Writers and Writing Program’s Confence, Seattle, 2014 — a Perspective. Part Two.

To continue from Part one: Friday evening  (February 28) I attended the slam poetry competition. I enjoy this event every year because the participants are always young, unbridled, aggressive, and in-your-face. No subject seems off limits, but sex and race … Continue reading

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The Association of Writers and Writing Program’s Conference, Seattle, 2014 — a Perspective. Part One.

Seattle in the winter is supposed to be cold and drizzly. It did not disappoint. During the five days of the AWP conference from February 26 until March 2, there was one sunny day. And then the northeast got snowed … Continue reading

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The Macho World of Jack London

If you’re looking for a man’s man who is also a writer, the name that should appear before you is Jack London. He crammed a lifetime of activities into his abbreviated life, and died probably declaring that he hadn’t missed … Continue reading

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The Genius of Jorge Borges

When Jorge Borges  walked into a room, a reverential hush invariably fell over the area. It is not known if Borges (who was blind) knew that he was practically worshiped by all and sundry during the latter part of his … Continue reading

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“The Player” And Other Films You Ought to See

I have spent a lifetime being a critic of everything. Indeed, more than a few people have opined that I tend to be entirely too critical of too many things. So be it. I am eternally in search of excellence. … Continue reading

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Oscar Wilde and Living as an Art Form

Many years ago when the author Truman Capote appeared on a talk show, the host asked him what deceased person he would most like to spend an evening with, and he responded, “Oscar Wilde.” I have asked this same question … Continue reading

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Mental Illness, Psychotherapy, and Other Stuff

I was a psychologist for forty years (actually, I’m still a psychologist, but I don’t practice much) during which time I worked in numerous institutions (including a maximum security prison psychiatric unit) and treated every conceivable type of mental patient. … Continue reading

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STEPPENWOLF and the brilliant mysticism of Hermann Hesse

The problem with life’s progression and the number of books available to read is that certain authors and their works get inexorably pushed to the side. I think Jorge Borges will always be with us, but Thomas Wolfe is falling … Continue reading

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Literary Prizes and the Selection Processes

I was on vacation in Colorado recently where the weather was consistently hot. But I arrived home three days ahead of the record-breaking floods that took place, for which I am grateful. I have enough problems without death by drowning. … Continue reading

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Zola and Naturalism

Several years ago the Nobel Prize for Literature went to an author other than an American for the umpteenth time and there was some carping (yes, carping!) here in the United States about it. One of the members of the … Continue reading

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Ireland the Glorious

In my various travels (I would say “vast” but unfortunately I know too many people who have traveled more) I have been queried as to which country I have found the most beautiful or interesting. Well, it’s a tough choice … Continue reading

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William Kotzwinkle and the Fata Morganas

In the spring of 2011 the now-defunct online literary journal LITnIMAGE published my short story, HEMINGWAY’S QUESTION, after it had received 52 rejection slips, a subject which I mentioned previously in my blog “Editing and Managing your Migraines.”  This past … Continue reading

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Sex, Violence, and Antiquity

August 4, 2013. Since I am a writer, I will entertain everyone with an age-old tale: Once upon a time there was a great king who had a very beautiful wife. In fact, the king was so proud of his … Continue reading

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The Twisted World of Jerzy Kosinski

July 21, 2013. Most of us are readers, or at least most of the people reading this blog, are readers. Since the modern world is rife with new novels, I often worry that some of the more spectacular writers of … Continue reading

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The French and Swiss Alps (Part Three)

July 14, 2013. The  third and last edition of my trip to the French Alps in June . . . . We left the Samoen region reluctantly and drove toward Evian, a French resort area known for its spas and … Continue reading

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The French and Swiss Alps (Part two)

July 7, 2013. We had one more day scheduled in Chamonix and asked the hotel clerk what we should visit on our last day and she recommended the Swiss town of Martigny. I had never heard of the place but … Continue reading

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The French Alps–Beauty and Great Cuisine!

June 30, 2013. I know. I know. Up to this point I have been writing about writing and rejection slips. But I just returned from a trip to the French Alps and people insist that I talk a little about … Continue reading

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Editing and managing your migraines

June 23, 2013. Last week I talked about writing and amassing rejection slips. I have often thought I am setting new standards in this particular realm–the number of times I am rejected before being accepted– but it is difficult to … Continue reading

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The Trials and Tribulations of Writing

June 17, 2013. READ ON! This is the first post on my blog and I plan to focus on the writing world as I see it. I thought this was the perfect cartoon to depict what I and other writers … Continue reading

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