What Makes People Resort to Physical Violence?

What makes people resort to physical violence?

What Goes Into the Creative Act? Can Therapy Be Creative?

Is there any overlap between therapy and the creative act?

Why do women feel ashamed after sexual assault?

Like so many women, I have experienced sexual assault, and unlike many have written about it, sometimes even naming the responsible party, but so many years later.

What Do We Remember of Our Pasts?

How much do we falsify our own past to suit our present needs and desires?

How Much Can We Borrow from One Another?

Isaac Newton reportedly said back in 1676: "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

How to Face Death With Equanimity

Of all my seven grandchildren, Masha is the only one at whose birth I assisted. It was a privileged moment in my life. Yet I was anxious.

Six Secrets of Success in Love and Work

It is often from suffering that we learn best how to live.

Three Ways to Transform Your Life

For it is often in our pasts that we find the solution to the present situation.

How to Acquire Authority

Kent: "You have in your countenance that which I would fain call master. Lear: "What is that?" Kent: "Authority"

What Lies at the Heart of the Criminal Act ?

What interests me here is the motivation of the killer, why and how such an evil act could be performed. It is Ivan Karamazov’s old question: the reason for the existence of evil in the world.

How to Change Your Life

So often in life one feels a victim, forced by circumstances, personality, or even up-bringing to suffer in silence or "to grin and bear it." Many of us were brought up in the English tradition where one is expected not to explain or complain but to carry on cheerfully regardless.

How Important Are Good Manners?

The French have a saying: "Hypocrisy is the bow that vice makes to virtue."

Where Do Our Fantasies Come From?

But from this reality, Oates takes a few small steps ( did Henry James really faint at his first visit overcome by the sights and sounds around him?) and eventually some imaginative leaps which seem to come only from her own imagination and perhaps her own fantasies. Are they also ours?

What Happens in the Creative Act?

One of the best ways to answer this fascinating question is to read great writers writing about other great writers and thus describing the creative act. In the historical novel, written about a great writer, we have two writers engaged in the creative act: the writer who is the subject of the study and the author him or herself.

How To Write the Historical Novel

It is interesting to look at three excellent examples of the historical novel and see how the authors tackle their task one which Henry James, himself, deemed doomed to failure. He wrote of the historical novel "as tainted by a fatal cheapness.”

Why Has Our Attitude to Homosexuality Changed?

What has changed our attitudes to homosexuality?

Should We Choose Someone Similar or Different as a Mate?

Should we choose someone very different or similar to us as a partner?

Why Do We Choose Unsuitable Partners?

Having lost a father when we were very young ( I was seven and my sister nine) my sister and I may have felt that men were fragile, that they might easily desert us, disappear, leave not a rack behind. Perhaps we feared that without our help, without us to prop them up, bolster their self-esteem, keep them safe, they would crumble into dust.

How to Avoid Thinking of Oneself as a Victim

When my older sister was killed by her husband after a history of battering, I was in a rage. I sat down and wrote a novel in three months. I wrote out of anger and the sense that my sister had been a victim, an innocent, martyred woman, the mother of six small children, whose husband had killed her by driving a car off the road on a dry night with no other car in sight.

How to Cope With the Envy of Others

My mother was one of four children, three girls and a boy. They came from a modest home. She was the only one of the three girls to marry a wealthy man, twenty years older than she. He lived in a splendid house with fourteen acres of garden, a pool, tennis court, and even a nine hole golf course all kept up by an army of servants.

Does travel truly broaden the mind?

When I was fifteen my mother sent me to stay with a Belgian woman who had been the French teacher at our boarding school in Johannesburg. She told us she was a princess as she had married one of the younger Colonna sons. She had recently started what she called a finishing school in Florence and my older sister was already there.

How To Hold It All Together in Life and Literature

A great editor once told me, "If you do it once and it works, do it again. If you bring in a character once bring him/ her in again. " This might be applied to both life and literature.

When Is It Wise to Confess?

I remember telling my poor children their father was in Bruxelles when my ex- husband was off with his mistress. My intentions were of the best, of course. I hoped to spare my little girls the suffering of knowing of their father's infidelity, which he finally confessed to them much to my ire. But I'm not sure my silence was ultimately helpful to my children.

What Is the Motivation for a Criminal Act?

St. Augustine, who ponders this question in 387 A.D. writes: So when people look for the reason why some criminal act has been committed their account is only rendered credible when it is evident that there may have been greed on the malefactor’s part.

How To Change Your Life

Change, which is so difficult to achieve in life and to portray in literature is often brought about by a catalyst, a stranger, who comes into our lives and makes us see ourselves in a different and perhaps more truthful light.

What Makes a Book Great?

I have been reading “Crime and Punishment” with a group of New Yorkers. Where else could one find a group of people interested enough to meet every week or so and discuss a book of this kind? We are all enjoying the book so much, so that at one point I asked somewhat guiltily if it might actually be considered “trash” rather than the great book history has decided it is.

Why Create Minor Characters in a Novel, Story or Essay?

Russian stories are often filled with a vast number of minor characters whose names we may find difficult to pronounce or remember. So why does Turgenev, for example, in a short story like Mumu ( 1854) give us not only his main character,Gerasim, the wonderful deaf and dumb serf, but the woman he belongs to, as well as a tailor, Kapiton Klimov who is a sad drunkard.

How To Keep The Reader Reading

Suspense often lies in putting a vulnerable creature into a dangerous position. Thus it comes from within ( the vulnerability) and without ( the outer danger) or to put it differently from the character, himself, or from the world outside him.

On the Wisdom of Taking a Lover

When my ex- husband announced he had fallen in love with another woman, he said he still loved me and was not sure what to do. He felt terribly guilty as did his mistress and he had to tell me the truth. We had been married for ten years and were both in our early thirties

How To Write a Thriller?

First, as with anything you write, you have to choose a voice. Who is going to tell your story? Do you want to use the first person as Albert Camus does in “ The Stranger” and begin with the lapidary sentences: “Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be quite sure.”