Monday, November 01, 2010

November in Open Letters Monthly!

The first day of what promises to be a very chilly November in my bathroom brings nothing but jubilation here on the Internet, because it marks, as always, the debut of a new issue of Open Letters Monthly! No matter what you like to read or read about, you'll find something in this issue to satisfy you. We have a large selection of fiction-oriented pieces: on Emma Donoghue's attention-grabbing novel Room, on The Golden Mean, Annabel Lyon's attention-grabbing story of Aristotle and Alexander the Great, on cutie-patootie actor James Franco's attention-grabbing debut short story collection Palo Alto, on David Mitchell's new book, on J. R. Ackerley's attention-deserving novel We Think the World of You, on George R. R. Martin's attention-rewarding ongoing epic fantasy series, and much more! For those of you more nonfictionally inclined, we have a spattering of good history, from the imperialism of Theodore Roosevelt to the beguilements of Cleopatra to the bloody mess of the Somme. And we have the idiosyncratic too, from columns by Brad Jones (on jazz) and Irma Heldman (on mystery novels) to a chummy artist interview by John Cotter. So by all means, duck out of the chill breezes, warm up with our latest offering, and be sure to leave your comments behind like the mittens you invariably leave at a friend's house!


Mike said...

So, this is an unrelated and fairly random question, but I'm curious to know what critics, writers, historians, etc, you feel have influenced your writing, particularly here and at OLM.Not necessarily your favorite authors--we've certainly heard about those--but the men and women whose work you emulate or use as a standard of excellence. Honestly, I'm asking because I thought I saw F.R. Leavis' name up in your post and thought, "wow, what inspired them to right about him? I didn't think anyone read him anymore!" And somehow that set in motion the train of thought that led me to asking you that most hated of questions for writers (at least I didn't ask where you get your ideas...).

Steve Donoghue said...

This is a great question, but I'm bound to disappoint: the authors I try to emulate ARE my favorites (only a few of whom have been examined in detail here!), stylists as varied as C.S. Lewis, Frank Kermode, V.S. Pritchett, and Rebecca West - but presided over, certainly, by a Holy Trinity: Horace, Erasmus, and Dryden. And yes, I'm aware of how unhelpful that is!