"I am of the cohort which lived inside a gilded bubble when young, and made a proper song and dance about it. Now that group is clearly beginning to think of itself as old, and you can be sure this won’t happen quietly." —Jenny Diski on aging is just as good as Jenny Diski on anything else, which is to say you should be reading it right now, what are you even waiting for, seriously go ahead and click already.
"If you think you’ve got writers’ block after 45 seconds of not writing, you don’t need an app, you need someone gently to tell you that you should consider the possibility that writing is not just about writing, it’s also (and maybe mainly) about the space in between the writing, when nothing seems to be happening, or random stuff is having an incoherent party inside your head. Almost always, you do eventually start to write, and it seems that you’ve been considering after all."
You don't have to know that Liz Jones is a hateful troll to appreciate what Jenny Diski does here in her review of Jones' Girl Least Likely To. Take note, anyone who has to write a Slate-type "here's why this thing that is undeniably terrible is actually good" piece: this is how it's done. Also, I don't say this enough, but we are all very lucky to be readers in an age in which Jenny Diski writes.
Jenny Diski's latest Diary column for the London Review of Books is something you should probably read.
"People who do not belong to certain groups are asked to defer in their use of certain words to those who do (the practice is known in some quarters as ‘privilege-checking’). Words and phrases are ring-fenced in order to strip them of their ‘stereotypical’ and ‘clichéd’ implications. Recently the use of such terms as ‘mental’ or ‘Brazilian transsexuals’ was said to feed into a stereotype. Of course it does: language is a work in progress and an accumulation of conscious and unconscious usage. It’s not surprising that metaphors and analogies tend towards stereotypes; clichés are ways of using language that have proved useful over time. The words we use every [...]