Helen DeWitt

Helen DeWitt is the author of The Last Samurai, Lightning Rods and, with Ilya Gridneff, Your Name Here.

Diary: On Being Stalked

Helen DeWitt, 21 August 2014

I write this with a baseball bat by the bed. A weapon that will do more damage than you can bring yourself to inflict is useless; last time I made the wrong choice. (Could I hit someone with a baseball bat? Perhaps.) This may be completely unnecessary. Or it might not. The Women’s Freedom Center of Brattleboro, Vermont has advised me to leave at once for my mother’s home in DC.

From The Blog
3 September 2015

Consider the following excerpts from a couple of language aptitude tests: Test 1 The questions in this section are based on an invented language, called Dobla. Read each group of examples carefully, paying particular attention to different forms of words and working out what information they convey (just as in English there are differences between e.g. cat and cats, or beckon and beckoned). Word order in Dobla is different from that of English and is not entirely fixed; it is not a reliable guide to the meaning of sentences. Note also that Dobla has nothing corresponding to English the and a(n), so that tine can mean either ‘the maid’ or ‘a maid’. You are advised to work through the questions in this section in the order in which they are given, as the later ones may presuppose information or vocabulary supplied in the earlier examples.

Some years ago, the novelist David Foster Wallace submitted himself to a long television interview with Charlie Rose, the PBS chat-show host. It was a terrific performance, and in it Wallace...

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