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Speaking Volumes - New York Times

Speaking Volumes - New York Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Speaking Volumes New York Times

 

For most of human history, literature was transmitted orally from storyteller to listener. In theory, therefore, a book read by an actor or an author should feel like the most natural thing in the world

 

In reality, the book-length recitation turns out to be a very tricky medium. A good reader can lift a mediocre book above its station. A bad reader can ruin a masterpiece. And there are all kinds of variation in between: A so-so book rich with incident and characters can delight, while a good book can be good in the wrong ways, with sumptuous, tightly written sentences that make it almost impossible to stick with, especially for listeners who are driving, or making dinner — which is to say, most of the intended audience.

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Should kids get time to read for pleasure during school? - Washington Post (blog)

Should kids get time to read for pleasure during school? - Washington Post (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham asks and answers the question.

 

Yesterday I pointed out that, as students get older, they spend read less and less in their leisure time. One way to address this trend might be to allocate some time during the school day for them to read. The idea is that it might do more than improve reading ability (especially fluency and comprehension); it could also help motivation. Students who would otherwise not read for pleasure will do so and discover that they like it. Whether this practice brings any benefit to students has been controversial, but overall I think it’s worth teachers’ consideration.

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Saul Bellow and His Complicated Love Life - Vanity Fair

Saul Bellow and His Complicated Love Life - Vanity Fair | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
On the eve of a new biography of the Nobel Prize–winning author, Martin Amis explores Bellow's divorces, affairs, and four-decade search for a lasting love.
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Goth Character: Realistic or Not? | Queen of Darkness

Goth Character: Realistic or Not? | Queen of Darkness | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
If you are writing a book and you are thinking of adding a goth character to your story, this guide or ideas can help you get started.
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Where the wild things are: fiction that proves we're closer to nature than we think

Where the wild things are: fiction that proves we're closer to nature than we think | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Melissa Harrison's At Hawthorn Time and Sarah Hall's The Wolf Border take us to the brink of the anthropocene.
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When A Setting Becomes A Character: Exploring Tokyo In Wayward - Comicbook.com

When A Setting Becomes A Character: Exploring Tokyo In Wayward - Comicbook.com | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

When done right, real world settings can do far more than just improve a story. They can become characters in their own right. Whether in works of literature (Los Angeles in L.A. Confidential), television (Baltimore in The Wire), or comics (New York City throughout the entire Marvel Comics line), some stories are bound to the world in which they are imagined. They derive a fully realized sense of place that delivers endless riches to those telling the story. In these stories, the ones where a city truly comes alive, it’s not a simple matter of knowing maps and history. It becomes a dedication to the scenery that requires experience and intensive knowledge; the kind of awareness that can only come from a mastery of both the landscape and the medium through which it is being conveyed. This sort of work isn't common, but it has the ability to transport readers through a screen or a page.

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12 Monkeys: Season 1 Review - IGN

12 Monkeys: Season 1 Review - IGN | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
In its first season, 12 Monkeys used the concept of time travel to ask big questions about life.

 

I love anything to do with time travel (I don't necessarily understand it, but I love the idea of it) and 12 Monkeys continued to up its game throughout Season 1.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

I, too, am fascinated by the concept of time travel for what it can reveal about human nature. I had not heard of this show on the Syfy channel.

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Turning Pages: The great fantasy debate is just fantasy - The Age

Turning Pages: The great fantasy debate is just fantasy - The Age | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The debate about fantasy sparked by Kazuo ishiguro's latest novel is much ado about nothing

 

Last month Ishiguro confessed to The New York Times that he was worried a novel so different from his previous work, set in an Arthurian England featuring ogres, pixies and dragons, would be dismissed. "Are they going to say this is fantasy?" he wondered.

 

Up popped celebrated fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin on a blog, bristling with indignation. She didn't much like the novel, but what annoyed her far more was his question. Yes, she replied, they probably will say this is fantasy. "Why not? It appears that the author takes the word for an insult . . . I found reading the book painful. It was like watching a man falling from a high wire while he shouts to the audience, `Are they going to say I'm a tight-rope walker?'."

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25 Queer Authors You Absolutely Should Be Reading If You're Not Already

25 Queer Authors You Absolutely Should Be Reading If You're Not Already | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
A writer’s queerness is not necessarily the central part of who he or she is. Yet this identity did (and still does) carry a stigma, and struggle of any kind inevitably affects the way a writer writes, the way she pours her soul out onto the page, or the way he chooses to spin a story. This collection of incredible queer writers (definitely not definitive — I could have gone on and on!) is an acknowledgment that they exist and that their writing endures. And it’s important to bring these authors forward and celebrate them for their voices, their writing, and their participation in literature. 
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Why Even Magic Needs To Play By The Rules In Fiction - io9

Why Even Magic Needs To Play By The Rules In Fiction - io9 | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Sometimes magical events and characters can really push a story into a much more interesting place, but sometimes their appearance seems to stop things in their tracks. What makes the difference? Remembering that even magic has to follow the rules.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Writers of fantasy and science fiction get to build their own worlds. Here's a reminder that even those worlds need to abide consistently by their own rules. 

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A New ‘Wrinkle in Time’

A New ‘Wrinkle in Time’ | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Ms. Voiklis said she wanted readers to know the book wasn’t a simple allegory of communism. Instead, it’s about the risk of any country—including a democracy—placing too much value on security. The tension between safety and personal freedom is an idea that resonates in today’s politics.
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Eileen Battersby picks her favourite fictional mums for Mother's Day - Irish Times

Eileen Battersby picks her favourite fictional mums for Mother's Day - Irish Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
From Mrs Bennet to Ma Joad, writers have created many wonderful mother figures

 

Mothers are important in fiction; some writers revere them, others confront them, most try to understand them, all agree they are vital and they account for many of fiction’s most enduring creations.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

To create a sense of balance, in time for your Mother's Day consideration.

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Teen opinion: how dystopian fiction calls me to the wild side - The Guardian

Teen opinion: how dystopian fiction calls me to the wild side - The Guardian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
As the world becomes ever more urbanised and with fewer opportunities to connect to the wild, teens are turning to dystopian fiction, such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, to get their fix of nature...
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Why The Greatest Leadership Tool You've Ever Overlooked Is Gathering Dust on Your Bookshelf - Forbes

Why The Greatest Leadership Tool You've Ever Overlooked Is Gathering Dust on Your Bookshelf - Forbes | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Here’s a depressing (yet unsurprising) fact: 42% of all college graduates will never read another book after graduation. Even I have contributed to this epidemic of literary abandonment, and I was an English major.

 

It turns out that you develop skills from reading fiction that simply do not emerge from consuming other forms of content. Reading literary fiction is strongly correlated with a higher capacity to understand what’s going on in other people’s heads, a talent often referred to as “theory of mind.”

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Yet another realization from the business world--Forbes!--that reading fiction can be beneficial to one's career.

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How Paperbacks Transformed the Way Americans Read

How Paperbacks Transformed the Way Americans Read | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Half a century before e-books turned publishing upside down, a different format threatened to destroy the industry.
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Top Ten Tuesday: Books Which Feature Characters Who Have Lost Someone

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Which Feature Characters Who Have Lost Someone | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

For this week’s top ten we decided to highlight books that feature characters who have lost someone. Loss and grief is difficult for anyone to deal with, but for teens it can be especially scary and confusing. The fact that so many authors for young adults are committed to writing stories that can help their readers is truly notable. Here are the top ten books with characters who have lost someone:

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Selections from YA literature

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Five Authors Pick Their Favorite Pranksters in Literature | Bookish

Five Authors Pick Their Favorite Pranksters in Literature | Bookish | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Five authors choose their favorite prankster characters in fiction. See which mischief-makers made the list: http://t.co/ZWcLEteROv
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Happy Birthday, Brain Pickings: 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living

Happy Birthday, Brain Pickings: 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Reflections on how to keep the center solid as you continue to evolve.


Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

If you haven't yet discovered the wonderful Brain Pickings by Maria Popova, here's your opportunity.

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Marxist literary criticism - Bee Hive

Marxist literary criticism - Bee Hive | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Marxist literary criticism

 

Marxist literary criticism is a loose term describing literary criticism based on socialist and dialectic theories. Marxist criticism views literary works as reflections of the social institutions from which they originate. According to Marxists, even literature itself is a social institution and has a specific ideological function, based on the background and ideology of the author.

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An introduction to this branch of literary criticism

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Shame and Ridicule in Indiana: William H. Gass, David Foster Wallace, and Writing from the Nowhere State

Shame and Ridicule in Indiana: William H. Gass, David Foster Wallace, and Writing from the Nowhere State | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Where is Indiana? Forget geography; if you can say with confidence if it’s located to the east or west of the Mississippi, you’re ahead of the curve. No, I’m thinking of mythology, that America of Madison Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, the Alamo and Antietam. In this spiritual landscape, Indiana isn’t misunderstood. It’s ignored.

 

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I read books by only minority authors for a year. It showed me just how white ... - Washington Post

I read books by only minority authors for a year. It showed me just how white ... - Washington Post | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
White authors reign in book reviews, bestseller lists, literary awards and Amazon.com recommendations.

 

In 2014, I decided that for the entire year, I would not read books written by white authors. My goal was to address the reading practices I developed growing up in Australia, where white authors have dominated the literary world. My high school reading list was filled with the “classics” — Shakespeare, Austen, the Brontes, Euripides — and well-known modern writers such as Margaret Atwood and T.S. Eliot. After school, my pleasures came from bestseller lists, which also were filled with Anglo names: John Grisham, Peter Carey, Hilary Mantel. Then I read Questions of Travel by Sri Lanka-born Michelle de Kretser. It moved me so deeply that I decided to evaluate the literature I was reading. I quit my standard diet to expose myself to new perspectives.

 

But it was much harder than I expected to discover books by nonwhite authors.

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Sci-Fi's Difficult Genius - The New Yorker

Sci-Fi's Difficult Genius - The New Yorker | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Wolfe has published more than twenty-five novels and more than fifty stories, and has won some of science fiction and fantasy’s most prestigious awards. But he has rarely, if ever, been considered fully within the larger context of literature. His books contain all of the nasty genre tropes—space travel, robots, even dragons—and he hasn’t crossed into the mainstream on the strength of a TV or movie adaptation. Wolfe himself sees the trappings of science fiction and fantasy, the spaceships and so on, as simply “a sketchy outline of the things that can be done.” But even within fantasy fandom, Wolfe’s work presents difficulties. His science fiction is neither operatic nor scientifically accurate; his fantasy works are not full of clanging swords and wizardly knowledge. But ask science-fiction or fantasy authors about Gene Wolfe and they are likely to cite him as a giant in their field. Ursula K. Le Guin once called Wolfe “our Melville.”

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

This article has generated a lot of activity among writers on Twitter.

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13 Modern Shakespeare Retellings And Continuations To Read, Since You ... - Bustle

Bustle
13 Modern Shakespeare Retellings And Continuations To Read, Since You

 

Retellings have always been a popular form of literature, especially in the young adult world, and it isn’t a wonder why. They take stories we love and cherish and allow us to explore them and enjoy them in new and exciting ways. Modern restagings come in all different forms — continuations of the original story, new spins on old tales, the same story but told from a different perspective, homages — and act like like new frames on classic art. And when it comes to Shakespeare, the master of comedy, tragedy, history, romance, and even poetry, these retellings have the power to reinvigorate a more than 400-year-old story. 

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Writing psychological thriller novel was 'cathartic', says social worker ... - Communitycare.co.uk

Writing psychological thriller novel was 'cathartic', says social worker ... - Communitycare.co.uk | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

White is the Coldest Colour is the debut novel of former police officer and child protection social worker John Nicholl

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“When you’re writing, you have control over events that you don’t have in real life,” he explains.

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The case for young adult literature - The Stanford Daily

For most of us here at Stanford, young adult literature is a thing of the past.

 

Ultimately, though, we should read YA because it’s fun. Most YA novels are real page-turners and almost impossible to put down. Additionally, you get all the benefits of reading without the pressure of reading something extremely linguistically dense. You won’t end up having to look up every other word because you’re not fluent in Olde English. Young adult literature can feel really relevant to things that we’re dealing with in our own lives, even if the characters are sometimes slightly younger than we are. It deals with a lot of firsts (first loves, first experiences with illicit substances, first instances of having to take real responsibility for actions), that most of us can to relate well.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A Stanford student defends reading YA literature.

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The Worst Mothers in Literary History

The Worst Mothers in Literary History | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
As Philip Larkin wrote in the Greatest Poem of All Time (GPAT): “Man hands on misery to man/It deepens like a coastal shelf/Get out as early as you can/And don’t have any kids yourself.”

 

Fictional mothers are orders of magnitude more damaging than real-life mothers could ever be. Take our quick tour through some of the Worst Mothers in Literary history and feel grateful all over again for your own wonderful and kind mom.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Just in time for your Mother's Day consideration

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