The Weird Week in Writing: The strange tale of a subway station in honor of Dostoevsky (plus, a weekend prompt)

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Freaky Friday—the latest from the weird and wonderful world of
writing this week (followed, as always, by a prompt). Happy weekend!

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Dostoevsky continues to do what he does best: Impress and, to some, depress. Psychologists fear that Moscow’s new Dostoevskaya subway station, which features cool but heavy murals of scenes from such novels as Crime and Punishment and The Idiot, just might make commuters afraid to ride the subway, violent, or even suicidal.

Michael Cunningham—“Yet another gimmick man, yet another shtick peddler”: Check out the HuffPo’s saucy “15 Most Overrated Contemporary American Writers” article that’s been causing a stir in the literary-net-o-sphere this week.

The Future of Reading? By now you might have heard that e-books are outselling print books on Amazon. So what is everyone poring over? Curiously, as eBookNewser revealed, the highest spots on Amazon’s Top 100 Free list at one point this week were not Dostoevsky’s dark tomes or any of the many complementary classics available, but, rather, video games.

A Tale By Two Descendants: Poet—and J.R.R. Tolkien descendant—Michael G.R. Tolkien found a new audiobook reader: Gerald Dickens, descendant of Charles Dickens. Tolkien said the partnership’s odd lineage connection happened by chance … but I don’t think that necessarily means we should all geek out over it any less. Or refrain from envisioning other great literary ancestor collaborations. (How about Vonnegut’s son + Hunter S. Thompson’s?)

* * *

WRITING PROMPT:You Had Your Reasons
Feel free to take the following prompt home or post a
response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings.
you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to me at, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll
make sure it gets up.

The hotel was $19.99 for a reason. And you were there for reasons of your own ... but not the kind everyone might think.


Want more writing prompts and exercises? Brian Kiteley has packed more than 200 wildly original ones into his 3 A.M. Epiphany. Check it out here.


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