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The imaginative flip-flop « Snarkmarket

RT @tcarmody: On Tolstoy, Erich Auerbach, and this funny thing we call literary history.

 

Can you think your way through time and recognize yourself on the other side, not through a false sense of universal humanity but through the textures of lived experience? Can you encounter the dark miracle we have chosen to christen “literature”?

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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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Stanford fellow investigates how literature shapes transnational fields of medicine

Stanford fellow investigates how literature shapes transnational fields of medicine | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Literary academic and Stanford Humanities Center fellow Alvan Ikoku explores how fictionalized accounts of the tropics and malaria research simultaneously foster and examine the foundations for global health.
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10 Most Reclusive Literary Geniuses

10 Most Reclusive Literary Geniuses | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

The world’s greatest writers use their literary genius to illustrate and comment on the human condition. And yet, those who could be considered to have the best understanding of human feelings often choose to hide themselves away from the public eye. The stereotype of the reclusive author is not always true, but for these literary greats, a life of solitude had more appeal than the draws of fame and awards.

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5 British Literary Characters That Made a Comeback - Anglophenia

5 British Literary Characters That Made a Comeback - Anglophenia | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Anglophenia
5 British Literary Characters That Made a Comeback

 

Some literary creations are so potent they cannot be contained by one book, one series, or one author alone. They may make the move from the page to the stage, from the stage to the radio, from the radio to the television, and from the television to the movie screen, but what happens then?

. . .

Enter the literary sequel-erizers. They come in after the original author has become unavailable (most commonly through death) and rescue the characters, giving them new things to do in suitably respectful—but not-quite-the-same—prose clothes.

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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."

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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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Reading Rainbow's Kickstarter campaign rakes in more than $6 million - Los Angeles Wave Newspapers

Reading Rainbow's Kickstarter campaign rakes in more than $6 million - Los Angeles Wave Newspapers | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Reading Rainbow's Kickstarter campaign rakes in more than $6 million
Los Angeles Wave Newspapers


He believes that they should be able to see themselves in characters that appear in literature they read.

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Sometimes the good guys win

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A full-on CanLit feud - Macleans.ca

A full-on CanLit feud - Macleans.ca | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
A full-on CanLit feud
Macleans.ca

 

Last fall, the author, broadcaster and sexagenarian CanLit bad boy David Gilmour caused the the Internet to explode when he said he doesn’t “love women writers enough to teach them” in his modern short fiction class at the University of Toronto. In an interview with the online literary magazine Hazlitt, Gilmour revealed he teaches only “serious heterosexual guys”—that familiar “manly man” canon that includes Chekhov, Tolstoy, Fitzgerald, Henry Miller and Philip Roth. Outrage was immediate: Editorials were written, bloggers fulminated. Gilmour was branded “sexist,” “misogynist,” an archaic relic of white-man privilege.

 

Now, in a podcast and a long essay titled “Of a Smallness of the Soul,” released last month on The Biblio File blog, the novelist André Alexis, who is black, has added a new charge: racism. More specifically, Alexis accuses the narrator of Gilmour’s 2011 roman à clef, The Perfect Order of Things, of relying on “obvious racist tropes.” The source of Alexis’s aggrievement is the depiction of René Goblin, a character known to be based on Alexis. The essay also names reviewers of The Perfect Order of Things who Alexis argues overlooked the racial politics in the portrayal of “an ugly, jazz-loving and dreadlocked spook—given his marching orders by a character named ‘Lynch’—[who] ends up happy once he’s put in his place for dissing and then eyeballing an endlessly appalled white man.”

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