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Romance that never loses its sparkle: The world's most influential novel ever - The Independent

Romance that never loses its sparkle: The world's most influential novel ever - The Independent | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Independent
Romance that never loses its sparkle: The world's most influential novel ever

 

It gave us Colin Firth in a clinging, wet shirt and inspired Bridget Jones to sing "I'm Every Woman". Jane Austen's "own darling child", or Pride and Prejudice as it's known to you and me, is a brand all of its own. It has inspired more spin-offs than almost any other book in history, and has ballooned into a multi-million-pound industry. Pretty impressive, considering it turns 200 years old this month.

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Read Slowly to Benefit Your Brain and Cut Stress

Read Slowly to Benefit Your Brain and Cut Stress | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
At least 30 minutes of uninterrupted reading with a book or e-book helps.

 

Once a week, members of a Wellington, New Zealand, book club arrive at a cafe, grab a drink and shut off their cellphones. Then they sink into cozy chairs and read in silence for an hour.

 

The point of the club isn't to talk about literature, but to get away from pinging electronic devices and read, uninterrupted. The group calls itself the Slow Reading Club, and it is at the forefront of a movement populated by frazzled book lovers who miss old-school reading.

 

Slow reading advocates seek a return to the focused reading habits of years gone by, before Google, smartphones and social media started fracturing our time and attention spans. Many of its advocates say they embraced the concept after realizing they couldn't make it through a book anymore.

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Review: 'Olive Kitteridge' Continues the Existential Exploration of 'True Detective' - Indie Wire

Review: 'Olive Kitteridge' Continues the Existential Exploration of 'True Detective' - Indie Wire | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Review: 'Olive Kitteridge' Continues the Existential Exploration of 'True ...

 

"True Detective" may have inaugurated a new form of televisual fiction where storytelling is at the service of existential elaboration -- a bolder conception of seriality where narrative is still king but meditative cogitation is queen. Lisa Cholodenko's adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning book by Elizabeth Strout, "Olive Kitteridge" represents an interesting step in this direction, and one made, for once, by a woman telling the story of another woman. 

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10 Experimental Novels That Are Worth the Effort

10 Experimental Novels That Are Worth the Effort | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Today marks the US publication of Eimear McBride's A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, a highly experimental, Joycean novel that, despite the fact that modern readers often eschew difficulty, has been h...
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Raising readers: Parents play crucial role in nurturing love for the written ... - Columbus Dispatch

Raising readers: Parents play crucial role in nurturing love for the written ... - Columbus Dispatch | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Columbus Dispatch
Raising readers: Parents play crucial role in nurturing love for the written ...
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Almost all the books people say influenced them were written for children

Almost all the books people say influenced them were written for children | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Facebook's data scientists crunched the numbers on a meme you've probably seen going around.


Via Luca Baptista
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Murder, they wrote, using this doctor's ingenious ideas - Los Angeles Times

Murder, they wrote, using this doctor's ingenious ideas

Los Angeles Times

 

He spends two days a week saving patients' lives at his Laguna Hills heart clinic. The rest of the time, he writes crime novels and tries to answer other crime writers' questions about how to end their characters' lives in weird — but scientifically plausible — ways.

 

When your Mac isn't working, you go to the Genius Bar. When your car won't start, you find a mechanic. When you want to find out how long your character will live if his body is stripped of skin, or what kind of poison a killer in medieval Europe might use, or whether a body mummifies if it's been bricked into a wall for several years, you call [cardiologist Dr. Douglas] Lyle.

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Professor's new book explores theories of place - The Bowdoin Orient

Professor's new book explores theories of place - The Bowdoin Orient | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Bowdoin Orient
Professor's new book explores theories of place

 

For years scholars have been experimenting with compiling readings in the discipline. “The People, Place, and Space Reader” contains texts from geography, anthropology, psychology, architecture, urban studies and even a piece by Virginia Woolf about not being allowed entrance to the Oxford Library.

 

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These Books Won't Change Your Life: A Guide to Literary Self-Help

These Books Won't Change Your Life: A Guide to Literary Self-Help | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Does reading make you a better person? Will fiction improve your empathy? Can great literature fix your relationship? The publishing industry seems to think so: literary appreciation as self-help is one of its most irritating recent trends. Pioneered by Alain de Botton, the genre—a first cousin to the biblio-autobigraphy,  but with Buzzfeed-worthy titles—has a new, and unlikely, entry: How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, a conservative economist’s attempt to show how the father of capitalism offers a guide to happiness. Here’s a brief and incomplete guide to the lit crit life coach genre.

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Sara Paretsky: By the Book

Sara Paretsky: By the Book | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The author of the V. I. Warshawski novels, most recently “Critical Mass,” was hugely influenced by “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”: “I felt as though I’d fallen into words and wanted to drown in them.”

 

Which do you consider the best detective stories of all time, and why?

 

Anna Katharine Green, for defining the consulting detective for the 19th century; Wilkie Collins, for playing with the form and transforming it; Dashiell Hammett, for reinventing the form for the 20th century; the Holmes oeuvre, for making detective fiction popular in both Great Britain and America; Amanda Cross and Lillian O’Donnell, for opening the door that enabled Marcia Muller, Linda Barnes, Sue Grafton and me to challenge the form in new ways.

 

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Hakan Nesser- Swedish literary giant - Nordic Style Magazine

Hakan Nesser- Swedish literary giant - Nordic Style Magazine | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Hakan Nesser is celebrated around the world. He seems to keep on producing high quality books with poise and sophistication, with ease.

 

Hakan has been celebrated all around the world, and with ease manages to keep on producing high quality books with poise, sophistication and intrigue that would welcome any virgin Nordic Noir reader to join the fastest growing literary circle that is Scandinavian crime thrillers. 

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Viewers have good reasons for not feeling 'The Leftovers' - Washington Post (blog)

Viewers have good reasons for not feeling 'The Leftovers' - Washington Post (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Viewers have good reasons for not feeling 'The Leftovers'
Washington Post (blog)

 

I totally buy “The Leftovers” as literature. I don’t quite buy it as a TV show. This is not like the usual “book vs. movie” debate. On the page, I believed in such concepts as a cult that took a vow of silence in response to the Sudden Departure, choosing to express themselves symbolically (all-white clothing; incessant cigarette smoking). The cult of Holy Wayne made sense, too. In his direct and just slightly wry prose, Perrotta presented these communities as reasonably weird reactions. I even remember thinking, “Boy, I’d like to see a movie version of this.” (Not, “Boy, I’d like to this drawn out in a darker, more confusing, more violent way.”) The act of handing “The Leftovers” world over to Lindelof’s vision, which is far more morose and grisly, turned the novel’s concept into something that is overstated, hallucinatory and unbelievable.

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Another Problem with Banned Books Talk - Library Journal (blog)

Another Problem with Banned Books Talk - Library Journal (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Another Problem with Banned Books Talk
Library Journal (blog)

 

If library patrons ask for a book to be moved or removed from the children’s section, it’s “censorship.” If librarians make sure a book never gets there in the first place through a deliberately rigged collection process, it’s “selection.” Double standards prevail, making librarians look like hypocrites.

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The 'sexiest meal': what a character's breakfast reveals about them

The 'sexiest meal': what a character's breakfast reveals about them | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
From James Bond's boiled eggs to Queequeg's beefsteak, the first bite of the day is one of literature's less celebrated themes (Breakfast in literature: http://t.co/zUnnsuq56M)...

 

Breakfast is not love, or war, or death, or life. It is not one of the great themes of literature. But still, it lurks there in the background, a daily heartbeat, telling us what that character does when they are not experiencing the disruptions that drive great stories. More often than not, all that character wants is the freedom and happiness of which the ability to breakfast as they wish is a symptom.

 

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Literary truth - The Nation

Literary truth
The Nation
In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens, famously criticized by E.M Forster for his failure to create round characters, nevertheless managed to create a universe where evil and virtue aren't divided across class lines.

 

An MA in English Literature might make you unemployable, but the one thing it does, if you’re lucky, is give you the ability to skirt the black and white of ideological opinion, and grapple for the complicated ‘truth’—rarely an idea as unequivocal as we tend to believe. One of the chief pleasures a deep study of literature may yield is that first thrill of realization that the narrator, who’s spun an imaginary world for us, may be unreliable, hacking away at the trust most people naively tend to attribute to the written word. The purpose of education, as opposed to merely literacy, is to facilitate complex cognition, which in studying literature can take the form of viewing the world – and fiction – as peopled by characters neither perfectly heroic nor absolutely villainous.

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Partisan Review Now Free Online: Read All 70 Years of the Preeminent Literary Journal (1934-2003)

Partisan Review Now Free Online: Read All 70 Years of the Preeminent Literary Journal (1934-2003) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Founded by William Phillips and Philip Rahv in February of 1934, leftist arts and politics magazine Partisan Review came about initially as an alternative to the American Communist Party’s publication, New Masses. While Partisan Review (PR) published many a Marxist writer, its politics diverged sharply from communism with the rise of Stalin. Perhaps this turn ensured the magazine’s almost 70-year run from ’34 to 2003, while New Masses folded in 1948. Partisan Review nonetheless remained a venue for some very heated political conversations (see more on which below), yet it has equally, if not more so, been known as one of the foremost literary journals of the 20th century.

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Haruki Murakami: 'I'm an outcast of the Japanese literary world. Critics ... - The Guardian

Haruki Murakami: 'I'm an outcast of the Japanese literary world. Critics ... - The Guardian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian
Haruki Murakami: 'I'm an outcast of the Japanese literary world. Critics ...

 

Murakami has often spoken of the theme of two dimensions, or realities, in his work: a normal, beautifully evoked everyday world, and a weirder supernatural realm, which may be accessed by sitting at the bottom of a well (as does the hero of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle), or by taking the wrong emergency staircase off a city expressway (as in 1Q84). Sometimes dreams act as portals between these realities. In Tsukuru Tazaki there is a striking sex dream, at the climax of which the reader is not sure whether Tsukuru is still asleep or awake. Yet Murakami hardly ever remembers his own dreams.

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Colleges reject charge that freshman reading lists have political bias

Colleges reject charge that freshman reading lists have political bias | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Colleges deny any political intent in their book selections. They say that they seek high-quality books that provoke debate and that they are encouraging it as an academic experience among all the other events and parties during those first few days on campus.
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INFOGRAPHIC: How Long Does It Take to Read Popular Books?

INFOGRAPHIC: How Long Does It Take to Read Popular Books? | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Ever wondered how long it takes to read The Great Gatsby (2.62 hours) compared to Atlas Shrugged (31.22 hours)? If so, you'll like this infographic by Personal Creations. It's similar to an infogra...

Via Sharon Bakar
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Absolultely flawless: Meet the most fashionable characters in literature

Absolultely flawless: Meet the most fashionable characters in literature | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Fashion in books is important. We'd even be as bold as to say that clothes make a character.

Without her black dress Truman Capote's Holly Golightly wouldn't be an effortlessly chic socialite. In Atonement, Robbie wouldn't have fantasised about Cecelia if she hadn't been wearing that green gown. And there would be no Miss Havisham without a wilted yellow wedding dress, in Dickens' Great Expectations.


Essentially, without these garments, all these characters would be incomplete, as their sartorial preferences means we are able to understand their personalities better, know a little bit about their pasts and what they're thinking.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Mouse over the individual images or click on one to begin a pop-up slideshow.

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The death of adulthood? Yes, please. - Washington Post (blog)

The death of adulthood? Yes, please. - Washington Post (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The death of adulthood? Yes, please.
Washington Post (blog)

 

All really popular stories today are, to some extent, fairy tales. “Harry Potter” is a fairy tale. “Star Wars” is a fairy tale. “Batman” is a fairy tale. And fairy tale problems are not the problems of adulthood. They are deeper and less practical. The rise of what is termed YA, I would suggest, is actually a return to the kind of stories that cast larger shadows — the kind of fiction that is necessary. We need our stories in a way that we don’t need literature, per se. We need myths when we are struggling with uncomfortable questions, “too deep for utterance.” How to be. What to love. What to save and what to destroy.

 

That’s why stories have always existed, and why they’re so vital. And there’s nothing childish about it.

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Scotland: Literary Land of Multiple Personalities and Perspectives - Huffington Post

Scotland: Literary Land of Multiple Personalities and Perspectives Huffington Post

 

No doubt there are other examples of multiple perspectives and split personalities in Scottish literature; the titular character of Muriel Sparks' The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), for example, combines sparkling wit and a penchant for fascism in a manner that is unsettling, to say the least. And of course the Scots don't have a monopoly on the genre: Joseph Conrad, Patricia Highsmith, Vladimir Nabokov, and Edgar Allan Poe have all made terrifically entertaining and thought-provoking uses of doubles, doppelgängers, and multiple personalities in their fictions. Regardless of the outcome of the Sept. 18 referendum on Scottish independence, however, I suspect that Scottish authors will continue to be particularly interested in questions of perspective identity -- whether split, doubled, or independent once more.

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Accents, narrators and total silence: how you hear voices when you read - The Guardian (blog)

Accents, narrators and total silence: how you hear voices when you read - The Guardian (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian (blog)

Accents, narrators and total silence: how you hear voices when you read

 

Hearing voices is not only common, but it turns out to be a rich and underexplored area of study. For a thought-provoking set of articles on the phenomenon, head to our Inner Voices series, where you’ll find a scientific exploration of talking to ourselves, a survey on how authors find their voices, why hearing voices was central to Dickens’s technique and the different sorts of voice-hearing described by Hilary Mantel and Virginia Woolf, among other pieces.

 

As important as the voices in writers’ heads are those that are heard by readers. So on a recent open thread, we asked you how you experienced characters when reading – specifically, how you heard their voices (if indeed you did). Your answers were fascinating and amazingly diverse. Here is a selection of your contributions.

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A Look Back At The Rise Of The Hollywood Mega Franchise - Forbes

A Look Back At The Rise Of The Hollywood Mega Franchise - Forbes | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Forbes

A Look Back At The Rise Of The Hollywood Mega Franchise

 

The ability of an audience to demand a story that they wanted, regardless of the business decisions of the creator of the property, is an idea that started with literature fans of Sherlock Holmes. This character’s unprecedented impact on popular fiction of the time was a unique creation not built upon the foundation of oral tradition or religious legend. Holmes became a new archetype which lead many theaters and short story writers to ape or adapt the character into another medium – not because the character necessitated it but because a consumer who was a fan of Sherlock Holmes had shown that a passion for the fiction translated directly to sales in multiple media.

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About that novel - Grist

About that novel - Grist | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Grist
About that novel

 

The First Commandment of fiction is “show, don’t tell,” which is no less true for being such a cliché. Fiction lives and dies on specifics — not “he was happy” but “as he rubbed the back of his neck, he couldn’t quite hide his smile.” Not “she was furious at his betrayal,” but “her mouth grew wide for a moment before it snapped shut, her eyebrows drawing together.” You don’t tell readers what’s happening, you show them what’s happening and let them figure out what it means. At least that’s the kind of fiction I like (e.g., I went on an Elmore Leonard binge early in my break).

 

Problem is, I have trained all my life to be a teller, not a shower.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

On the difference between writing fiction and nonfiction

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How 'Gatsby' Went From A Moldering Flop To A Great American Novel

How 'Gatsby' Went From A Moldering Flop To A Great American Novel | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
In So We Read On,

Maureen Corrigan looks at the story behind The Great Gatsby

 

Corrigan considers The Great Gatsby to be the greatest American novel — and it's the novel she loves more than any other. She's written a new book about it called So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures.

 

Corrigan says she loves The Great Gatsby in part because of its message that it's admirable to try to beat your own fate.

 

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