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How Paula Broadwell wronged her readers

How Paula Broadwell wronged her readers | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Biographers agree that Broadwell wronged her readers -- and not just by sleeping with her subject...

 

If we have learned anything from the past decade of book-world scandals — whether over plagiarism, fabrication, Internet sock puppetry or simple inaccuracy — it’s that what seems like an obvious ethical violation to some observers will strike others as no big deal. Biography, a genre that can scale the heights or wallow in the gutter, is a particularly delicate enterprise. There’s no official — or even quasi-official — biographer’s code of ethics, and members of the profession are contemplating changing that. While informed readers are unlikely to confuse the likes of Broadwell with the the authors of definitive, years-in-the-making, doorstop “lives,” the biographical profession is at least slightly besmirched by the scandal. “When Jayson Blair did his nonsense, it reflected badly on all journalists,” said acclaimed biographer David Nasaw, “and this will reflect on all biographers.”

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Stuart Dybek Talks Flash Fiction And Flashbacks - Chicagoist

Stuart Dybek Talks Flash Fiction And Flashbacks - Chicagoist | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Stuart Dybek Talks Flash Fiction And Flashbacks

Chicagoist

 

The very agility of fictional prose is what Dybek claims is the mark of his affinity for the artistic medium. When asked about his tendency to shift his perspective through time, he addressed the popular belief that within literature, the flashback is equivalent to the word “f***” in Hollywood. Dybek emphasized that you can’t really get away with using either f-word unless you’re an already established artist in your field. Though he recognized that flashbacks do in fact have a tendency to disrupt the natural flow of time in a narrative, he argued that fiction, because of its abstract nature, allows for greater freedom to “hurdle back and forth through time.”

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Melville, the Morgan, and Me

Melville, the Morgan, and Me | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
My First Day at Sea (Awash in Melville and literary history: follow John Bryant's voyage on the Charles W.

 

Melville embarked on his first oceanic voyage as a nineteen-year-old “boy” (greenhorn) on the packet St. Lawrence to Liverpool and back in 1839.  He would not go whaling, on the Morgan‘s sister ship Acushnet until January, 1841.  My first day sailing on a whaling ship will happen, weather permitting, on July 14, 2014, between Provincetown and Boston.  So my adventure will do double duty in simulating, via my own experience, Melville’s first voyage and his first day on a whaling ship. The three selected passages below attempt to capture some sense of life on a ship: its motions, its effect on time and sleep, and the stars at night.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A Melville biographer follows in his subject's footsteps (so to speak)

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Are modern detectives the new priests? - Mail & Guardian Online

Are modern detectives the new priests? - Mail & Guardian Online | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Are modern detectives the new priests?
Mail & Guardian Online

 

True Detective is a work of genius, deserving of the multiple Emmy nominations it’s just received. Even better than Breaking Bad in my book. But one of the things that is often being said about it is that the nihilistic Cohle – “I think the honourable thing for our species to do is to walk hand in hand into extinction” – represents a particularly modern variant of the detective as atheist. I’m not so sure. For it’s arguable that the very genre of detective fiction is intimately bound up with collapse of religious faith.

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In the shadow of the twin towers - Prospect

In the shadow of the twin towers

Prospect

 

After the death of Osama bin Laden, and approaching the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, it is tempting to declare the end of the 9/11 era. Looking at US culture and politics today, however, it becomes clear that historical traumas do not have such clear half-lives. In American fiction, certainly, there’s no sign that the trauma has been resolved. On the contrary, the sheer number of novelists who have treated the subject, and their very mixed record of success, suggest that American literature is still searching for the right way to understand the attacks.

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Tea Party Literature? - The American Conservative

Tea Party Literature?

The American Conservative

 

I remember being startled in a Texas classroom when I heard a little Hispanic boy, the son of immigrants, stand and give a history report on the great hero of history, Santa Anna. Of course in the popular mythology of Texas, Santa Anna is an archvillain. But not to this little boy. He wasn’t being provocative on purpose. He was just giving his report, based on what he was taught at home, and what his culture taught him about Santa Anna. This is the future of Texas, I thought then. You can call it bad, you can call it good, but absent some sort of massive intervention to halt immigration, it is inevitable. This is how cultures change, for better or worse. What does it mean to have a Texas in which Santa Anna is seen by most Texans as a hero, or at least not a villain? Do the white kids growing up in suburban North Dallas even know who Santa Anna is, or care? Why or why not? What will this mean, in time? You see where I’m going with this.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

It's misleading to encapsulate this thought-provoking piece with a single quotation. Read what Rod Dreher has to say about the necessity of developing a sensibility that allows a writer to look beyond ideology.

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All Reboots Are Not Created Equal: In Praise of the New 'Planet of the Apes' - Flavorwire

All Reboots Are Not Created Equal: In Praise of the New 'Planet of the Apes' - Flavorwire | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Flavorwire All Reboots Are Not Created Equal: In Praise of the New 'Planet of the Apes'

Flavorwire

 

Watching the Burton Apes alongside 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a real lesson in the dos and don’ts of a successful reboot. Instead of returning to the familiar narrative of the original film and adding in a few surface flourishes (the Amazing Spider-Man approach, in other words), the new Apes films take a decidedly long view. It’s not enough to merely revisit the planet where apes evolved from man; they’re going to lay out, in detail, how such a thing could happen, starting in the present day.

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WILL DOCTORS SOON PRESCRIBE VIDEOGAMES? - Fast Company

WILL DOCTORS SOON PRESCRIBE VIDEOGAMES? - Fast Company | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Fast Company
Play Two And Call Me In The Morning: Inside The Emerging Science Of ...

 

Feeling anxious, depressed, fearful, or unable to focus? Is your memory getting fuzzy? Medication might help. Therapy might help. And someday soon--according to neuroscientists, game designers, and drug makers--you might be prescribed a videogame that helps as much as (or more than) either. Here are a few of the innovative companies that are fusing game mechanics with principles of cognitive psychology to create a new paradigm for digital healing.

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An 'Unexpected' Treat For Octavia E. Butler Fans - NPR

An 'Unexpected' Treat For Octavia E. Butler Fans - NPR | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
An 'Unexpected' Treat For Octavia E. Butler Fans
NPR

 

In both stories Butler is able to create a whole world and a whole history out of very few words, by centering them on women who suffer no illusions about the worlds and circumstances they live in. She addresses race and class head-on as well as in metaphorical terms. And as Walter Mosley points out in his introduction, she was doing this "[l]ong before [she] changed the face of science and speculative fiction, the landscape of the potentials of literature."

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For One Crime Writer, Peaceful Shetland Is A Perfect Place For Murder - WSIU

For One Crime Writer, Peaceful Shetland Is A Perfect Place For Murder - WSIU | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
For One Crime Writer, Peaceful Shetland Is A Perfect Place For Murder
WSIU

 

"And then I thought, because I'm a crime writer: If there was blood as well, it would be really quite mythic," she says. "Like fairy stories with those colors — like 'Sleeping Beauty' or 'Snow White.' And just with that image I started writing Raven Black."

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

On the Shetland Islands as the perfect setting for crime

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Could reading dark literature harm your teenage children? - Irish Independent

Could reading dark literature harm your teenage children? - Irish Independent | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Irish Independent
Could reading dark literature harm your teenage children?
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A good look at both sides of this question. Includes a list "Five disturbing books that children should read"

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Five Indigenous female writers who should be on school reading lists - The Guardian (blog)

Five Indigenous female writers who should be on school reading lists - The Guardian (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian (blog)

Five Indigenous female writers who should be on school reading lists T

 

Overall, AustLit’s BlackWords dataset show women make up roughly half of the 5,452 First Nations writers in Australia, both past and present. That’s a lot of literature, stories, knowledge, opinions, commentary and perspectives to engage with, and the voices are as diverse as the nations these women come from: Wiradjuri, Wakka Wakka, Wadi Wadi, Wurundjeri to name a mere few.

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“Mr. Mercedes”: How Stephen King’s killers mirror real-life murderers

“Mr. Mercedes”: How Stephen King’s killers mirror real-life murderers | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The writer has long penned thrillers that hew uncomfortably close to bloody reality

 

But while it can’t be claimed to be either predictive or prescriptive, “Mr. Mercedes” proves to be more nuanced than it first appears. Perhaps it can make its readers think a little more closely about the heart of darkness in American culture.

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200 years on, Scott's Waverley is a must-read - Herald Scotland

200 years on, Scott's Waverley is a must-read

Herald Scotland

 

A ditherer and switherer, a reader and romantic, Edward Waverley is an unlikely hero. That his name graces Edinburgh's main railway station, a New York street, a pricey pen and much more besides is testimony to Scott's remarkable powers as a novelist. Waverley is not only the first historical novel but the first political novel, pitting pre-enlightenment Jacobite society against the so-called rational regime of the Georgian court in London.

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Dear Science Fiction Writers: Stop Being So Pessimistic!

Dear Science Fiction Writers: Stop Being So Pessimistic! | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Neal Stephenson has seen the future—and he doesn’t like it. Today’s science fiction, he argues, is fixated on nihilism and apocalyptic scenarios—think recent films such as The Road and TV series like “The Walking Dead.” Gone are the hopeful visions prevalent in the mid-20th century. That’s a problem, says Stephenson, author of modern sci-fi classics such as Snow Crash. He fears that no one will be inspired to build the next great space vessel or find a way to completely end dependence on fossil fuels when our stories about the future promise a shattered world. So, in fall 2011, Stephenson launched the Hieroglyph project to rally writers to infuse science fiction with the kind of optimism that could inspire a new generation to, as he puts it, “get big stuff done.”

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» Reading Tips for Everyone - Always Learning

I’ve been reading with students of all ages this summer and I’ve been reminded that the biggest challenge to reading comprehension is not any problems with the skill of reading itself; it’s the lack of background information. Young, inexperienced readers simply don’t know much factual information we adults take for granted, and so they are baffled by much of what they read. No wonder they don’t enjoy reading!


For this reason, it’s important for adults to check in regularly with their kids to make sure they are understanding their summer reading books.

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Literature's finest anti-heroines

Literature's finest anti-heroines | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

We all love a literary villain, but certain fictional females occupy a grey area between good and bad. These flawed, complicated individuals are non-conformists who refuse to bend to expected rules of behaviour.


Pliant and mild are not this lot's bag; they're a rebellious and impulsive bunch with a penchant for the unexpected. Not so much bad as misunderstood, they're by turn ambitious, subversive, bold and manipulative with a need to stand out from the crowd.

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Chivalry Romances As A Literary Genre | M.A. English

Chivalry Romances As A Literary Genre | M.A. English | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalry romance is a style of heroic prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about the marvelous adventures of a chivalrous, heroic knight errant, often of super-human ability, which often goes on a quest. Popular literature also drew on themes of romance, but with ironic, satiric or burlesque intent. Romances reworked legends, fairy tales, and history to suit tastes, but by c. 1600 they were out of fashion.

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Vital Remnants: The "Demon Irony": Classic literature as an antidote to modern thought

But the chief difference between traditional and modern narrative is not that the modern contains irony and the classical does not. The chief difference is that, in modern culture irony has become the chief literary and critical mode. Satire and cynicism now predominate in an unprecedented way. What are the cultural consequences of a situation in which, for many people, the parasitical has become the primary? How does it affect the way people think when they are saturated in the sarcastic? What happens when parody becomes the primary mode of cultural cognition?


The most obvious consequence of the dominance of modern irony is that there can no longer be a hero. This is why we no longer see epic stories being written today. The only epic hero story of any consequence written in the last 100 years is J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and the only reason it exists in the modern world at all is because it is not modern.

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Books for Children, Books for Adults: Age and the Novel from Defoe to James ... - Times Higher Education

Books for Children, Books for Adults: Age and the Novel from Defoe to James ... - Times Higher Education | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Books for Children, Books for Adults: Age and the Novel from Defoe to James ...
Times Higher Education

 

Michals’ study offers a significant addition to the familiar story of “the rise of the novel” by extending the usual narrative regarding its development. Most readers are familiar with publisher John Newbery and the emergence of fiction designed specifically for a juvenile audience based on a new understanding of childhood as a defined stage of emotional and psychological growth. Where Michals’ analysis charts new territory is in its suggestion that the real revolution in age-specific fiction came at the beginning of the 20th century with the construction of a specifically adult reader that freed novelists such as James and Lawrence to write fiction that was “aesthetically excellent, ethically complex, sexually explicit”.

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How 'Gone Girl' Is Misogynistic Literature - Huffington Post

How 'Gone Girl' Is Misogynistic Literature
Huffington Post

 

Gone Girl is decisively misogynistic.There is not a single woman in the entire novel that isn't a complete and utter mess -- whether it be daddy-issue-ridden Go, psychopathic scorned-wife Amy, or battered-woman-turned-thief Greta. Seriously, Gillian Flynn, you couldn't have given us one positive female character in the entire 432-page book?.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

I don't agree with writer Nile Cappello on this issue. Later in the article Cappello writes, "In real life, a woman can be The Homemaker, The Power Bitch, The Mistress, The Good Guy and The Bad Guy all in one." Part of the power of "Gone Girl" is that it reveals how someone can manipulatively present all these different personae.

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National Writers Series Recap: An Evening with Karin Slaughter - MyNorth.com

National Writers Series Recap: An Evening with Karin Slaughter - MyNorth.com | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
National Writers Series Recap: An Evening with Karin Slaughter
MyNorth.com

 

“It bothers me when men get revved up about strong women in literature. We’ve been doing it for a long time.” Slaughter named fellow Georgia writer Flannery O’Connor, and referenced the scene in Gone With the Wind when Scarlett shoots the Yankee deserter....

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Franco Moretti and the Science of Literary Criticism

Franco Moretti and the Science of Literary Criticism | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Should literary criticism be an art or a science? A surprising amount depends on the answer to that question.

 

Should literary criticism be an art or a science? A surprising amount depends on the answer to that question. If you’re an English major, what should you study: the idiosyncratic group of writers who happen to interest you (art), or literary history and theory (science)? If you’re an English professor, how should you spend your time: producing “readings” of the literary works that you care about (art), or looking for the patterns that shape whole literary forms or periods (science)? Faced with this question, most people try to split the difference: if you relate to criticism as an art, you take a few theory classes; if you relate to it as a science, you put on bravura close readings. . . .

 

Franco Moretti, a professor at Stanford, whose essay collection “Distant Reading” just won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, fascinates critics in large part because he does want to answer the question definitively.

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How conservative novelists can make a comeback - Washington Post

How conservative novelists can make a comeback - Washington Post | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
How conservative novelists can make a comeback
Washington Post

 

In the cover story of the July 7 issue of National Review, Adam Bellow issued a refreshing call for conservatives to re-engage with mass culture. Specifically, he wants them to write more novels. He is not the first to suggest this–Mark Goldblatt considered the role of MFA programs in driving the literary establishment leftward in the same pages in 2010.

. . .

 I hope Bellow will not mind if I offer a little advice to conservative writers.

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List watch: A brief look at glazomania | drmarkgriffiths

List watch: A brief look at glazomania | drmarkgriffiths | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
As far as I am aware, there is no published empirical research on personality types and list making although there is some psychological literature showing that list making – as part of time management practices – appears to ...
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For those of us who love our book lists

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Elizabeth Harrower: Australia's buried literary treasure is unearthed - The Guardian (blog)

Elizabeth Harrower: Australia's buried literary treasure is unearthed - The Guardian (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian (blog)

Elizabeth Harrower: Australia's buried literary treasure is unearthed

 

“Her great subjects are class, gender and power. She applies a spotlight to those things in a way I don’t think any other writer really does, with this intense, unsentimental and relentless psychological examination of men and women interacting with each other.”

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