Our 8 favourite literary references on The Simpsons
While the series may superficially appear to be about a man-childish oaf named Homer and his eccentric family, the episode topics often include sharp, satirical commentary on politics, pop-culture, history, socioeconomics and, yes, literature.
To mark the ultimate Simpsons marathon, we're highlighting our favourite hilarious literary references that made their way onto the show in past years.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:
Read in preparation for cable network FXX's marathon session of all 552 episodes, August 21-September 1.
Writer Plumbs 'Nature Of Evil' In Hometown's Violent, Civil Rights Past WUWM
As for Iles, he's still focused on figuring out the "why" of things: "All my books are an inquiry into the nature of evil. Why do good people do bad things? Are any human beings completely evil? Do we all have good within us? That's what I'm interested in."
And he says Mississippi is a fitting lens through which to view how race shapes the American identity.
Toes were tapping, two-steppers were dusting the dance floor and Rainier beer was flowing freely at the Occidental Hotel, as several thousand literature lovers descended on this central Wyoming cattle town last weekend to celebrate Longmire Days.
As in Walt Longmire, a fictitious character created by writer Craig Johnson, a Wyoming rancher-turned-New York Times best-selling author.
Advice on setting rules for a book club Boston Globe
Can you recommend a polite way to deal with one member of a 10-person book group who monopolizes the conversation? At our last meeting, “Susan” talked so much about herself that the rest of us were too stunned to interject.
JK Rowling says crime thriller series will run longer than Harry Potter
The novelist, who has written two whodunnits under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, says she loves writing in the crime genre because of its open-ended nature, with the detective having to tackle a constant sucession of cases rather than being tied to a single storyline.
On the voyage of the HMS Beagle, Darwin lived and worked in a cabin that housed the ship’s library—404 volumes that spanned works by naturalists and explorers of the time. Now, a virtual recreation of the library, published online this week, gives readers a glimpse of the evolutionary biologist’s life at sea, where he came up with his theory of natural selection.
Musicians being inspired by books certainly isn't a new phenomenon, and it's a trend that can be seen across multiple genres. Here, we take a look at some of our favorite indie bands and artists who've found their muse in literature. From Greek mythology to contemporary speculative fiction, these musicians have definitely done their reading.
Book reviewing is an art, in its own way The Conversation
To exist as an independent entity – that is, as a definitive aesthetic form – book reviews must offer both aspiring and experienced writers the opportunity to be persuasive, ironic, intelligent, witty and critical. That is one good reason reviewers deserve to be given an identity, which is also about bequeathing them a humanity.
Literature to share with tweens and teens: Go beyond today's young adult titles
Much like grown-up book club buddies, families can’t help but learn more about each other as they share literature. Your child may come to appreciate your fascination with plot while you’re delighted to discover that she’s mature enough to really understand metaphor.
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”Ultimately any literature helps us develop key skills we need to navigate daily life,” says Chris Shoemaker, president of Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. The classics continue to shed light on current issues, he says. He suggests that George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and his “Nineteen Eighty-Four” – for instance – though written in the 1940’s, are well-positioned for today’s young reader, given the questions they raise about surveillance and totalitarianism. He suggests that students might read and compare them to Corey Doctorow’s contemporary “Little Brother” and see how the themes have endured.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:
Some good suggestions for reading couched within a touching story of how a mother nurtured her son's love of reading and of discussing literature. Contains a link to a list of 32 recommended books.
the attempt to read a book through someone else’s eyes. Your thoughts triangulate. You wonder, What did person X feel when he read Y’s book?
It needn’t be a novel. Maybe it’s a collection of stories, poems, even essays. Somebody you’re interested in—your person X—found this book entrancing. It’s no longer sufficient to know what the author was thinking. Now you want to know what person X thought the author was thinking.
I learned how to write fiction by understanding the language of visual art. As an artist, I was trained to capture the nature of my subject by amplifying the qualities that make it distinct or noteworthy. As a fiction writer, I do the same thing.
News from Rutgers Hear Jane Read: Rutgers Psychologist's Research Gives New Meaning to Semantics, Value of Reading Aloud
“There are different ways to be a good reader,” explains Graves, who is trying to determine whether a reader’s choice of word meaning vs. word sounds impacts how skilled a reader is, and if it does, why. His findings, as reported, could have applications for developing learning programs for individual readers or tailoring reading therapies for people with brain injuries, or adults struggling with reading who need to “re-learn how to read.”
Summer Research: Where Literature Meets Music Bucknell University
This is how she started studying literary synesthesia, a concept she describes as an evocation of the mixing of the senses.
Brown has tied the concept to sound/color synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon that causes people to see color when they hear music. Her research has led her to believe that during Dickinson's most productive creative period (1860–1865), she could have been experiencing this type of synesthesia. The time coincides with an eye affliction Dickinson suffered, which led the poet, who rarely left home, to travel for treatment.
New York Post The Truman Show Delusion, and how culture determines 'crazy'
The Truman Show Delusion, first described in 2006, written up in academic journals in 2012, and now the subject of a fascinating new book called “Suspicious Minds” by NYU psychiatrist Joel Gold and his brother Ian Gold, a professor philosophy and psychology at McGill University, reveals how intimately culture interacts with madness and mental health.
Aged 10, John Dolan was told a family secret, which set him on the road to crime, addiction and homelessness.
Dolan, until recently a homeless heroin addict, is now a "famous artist" as he puts it when he rushes into the Howard Griffin gallery, soaking from the rain. He has a sellout exhibition, a second just opened and a new memoir, which could become a bestseller. As he is well aware, the interest in his intricate drawings of London buildings, and of his dog, George, is piqued by his remarkable change of fortune. This poses two questions: where did it all go wrong, and where did it all go right? The answers, as many people find, are bound up with family.
Literary treasures abound in rare book store Rapid City Journal
But one step through the door of Van Norman Rare Books reveals a treasure trove of history, literary tales and a collection of rare books accumulated over a lifetime.
That green-colored book in the glass display case by the front door? That's a first-print, first-edition copy of "The Theory of the Leisure Class, An Economic Study of Institutions," by Thorstein Veblen. Published in 1899, it's valued at about $3,000.
The book next to it? "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas," written and signed by Gertrude Stein.
'Lena Finkle's Magic Barrel' conjures a new literary form Los Angeles Times
This is the power of the graphic novel, that it not only tells but also shows us, that by integrating images into the narrative, it draws us into Lena's experience with the force of memory. Ulinich highlights this with her drawing, which merges elements of sketch and crayon into a style that is naturalistic and impressionistic at once.
The shift from print to digital texts may have deeper repercussions for reading and comprehension.
Soon after Maryanne Wolf published “Proust and the Squid,” a history of the science and the development of the reading brain from antiquity to the twenty-first century, she began to receive letters from readers. Hundreds of them. While the backgrounds of the writers varied, a theme began to emerge: the more reading moved online, the less students seemed to understand. There were the architects who wrote to her about students who relied so heavily on ready digital information that they were unprepared to address basic problems onsite. There were the neurosurgeons who worried about the “cut-and-paste chart mentality” that their students exhibited, missing crucial details because they failed to delve deeply enough into any one case. And there were, of course, the English teachers who lamented that no one wanted to read Henry James anymore. As the letters continued to pour in, Wolf experienced a growing realization: in the seven years it had taken her to research and write her account, reading had changed profoundly—and the ramifications could be felt far beyond English departments and libraries. She called the rude awakening her “Rip van Winkle moment,” and decided that it was important enough to warrant another book. What was going on with these students and professionals? Was the digital format to blame for their superficial approaches, or was something else at work?
I prefer to think of reading, as it has often been described, as a conversation, and what a conversation requires is the absolute opposite of speed. The literary conversation requires pauses, here and there. You might fix a cup of tea, meander around in the book some more. Interrogate the author, wonder what he might think of your ideas. Other authors might come along to weigh in. Half of the procedure is just reflecting, sometimes absently, sometimes in a boiling or stone-cold fury, or amusement or excitement, on what is being said. On responding.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:
A look at speed reading and various methods that attempt to teach it
Why literature written out of the First World War is some of the last century's finest writing
I do not rush to read books about war; in fact, I avoid them. But, strangely, some of my favourite novels, memoirs and poems were inspired by a conflict that claimed the youth of a generation and gave birth to a bitterly disillusioned modern world. The 1960s musical that made satirical mincemeat of the First World War’s ideals was called Oh, What a Lovely War! I would say, instead, “Oh, What a Literary War!” To me, it’s clear that the literature written out of the Great War outshines that prompted by other wars.