Mall as Muse? Why Not

The Mall of America is taking applications for a summer writing residency, which makes now a good time to question whether our collective taste for absurd mash-ups has gone too far. Is this an attempt to out-quirk the Amtrak residency, where writers typed on trains? What’s next — a sculptors’ retreat in a Chevron station? A poetry workshop at Ikea?

Maybe, but think about it: The people-watching alone would make easy fodder. Look — there goes a man in a plaid shirt, walking past Foot Locker into Sephora. He emerges with a small bag. The story practically writes itself. (Read the rest here, or if you haven’t recycled it yet, in yesterday’s Sunday Review section of The New York Times.)

 

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“Observe people in the act of searching — whether they get what they search for or not — and you will understand something about them. And understanding is as good a place as any to start, whether you’re writing a story or just living one.”

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