Notes from Ben Marcus at Chicago Humanities Festival

Richard ford 

Ann Beatty 


Militarism bw realism n experimentalism


The Age of Wire and String

Authoritative voice, seductive, gives impression of being true (believability)

Rewriting encyclopedia entries

Imaginatively 'reading' - read first few words write-read the rest 

Words change their (symbolic) meaning over time to become...paradoxical 




Provoked hostility


Make words unstable - wary of being too word-gamey


Stream of consciousness of psychosis says ny times


Make English a foreign language


Slang in a hundred years


Things couldn't just exist, they had to be sourced (harvesting tree -> door). Concern w materiality. 


Taught since age 21


What is the end of the bible 


Make more drama by leaving things out 


Writing back at what ur reading 


Choosing most disagreeable, least interesting genre/form and working in that


Character thinking thru all his responsibilities 

Lydia Davis - documents of thot


Francis Ponge - "we can only write what we've already read" 

Read nonliterary txts


Anxiety is entertaining, relatable, a natural mode of writing, concentrate it to pt of unbearability 


Cognitive surveillance - the kinds of criminals we'd be 


All possible permutations of punctuation for the same txt 


John Hawkes n Robert Coover dinner parties (faculty at Brown)