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Timothy Dalton Joins Penny Dreadful At Showtime - Cinema Blend

Timothy Dalton Joins Penny Dreadful At Showtime - Cinema Blend | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Timothy Dalton Joins Penny Dreadful At Showtime
Cinema Blend

 

License to Kill actor Timothy Dalton hasn’t had a big TV gig since he popped up on Chuck several seasons ago. Whether by choice or circumstance, he hasn’t worked nearly as frequently in recent years (unless you count Toy Story stuff), but that’s all about to change. He just found a new project in Showtime’s new series, Penny Dreadful, which is headed to the subscription cable network sometime in 2014.

Penny Dreadful’s title stems from a type of British fiction published in the 19th century that often featured horror tropes. Accordingly, the network is describing the series as a “frightening psychological thriller” that will fittingly be set in Victorian London. The series will reimagine London as a place filled with some of the most horrific and fanciful characters from literature in the time period, including Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and more.

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Murder for young readers - Boston Globe

Murder for young readers - Boston Globe | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Murder for young readers
Boston Globe

 

But in a new book, “Bloody Murder: The Homicide Tradition in Children’s Literature,” Michelle Ann Abate reveals that violence has always played a central role in children’s books—from actual fairy tales up to high school reading lists today. In short, it’s not just adults, with their true crime books and endless reruns of “Law & Order,” who are hooked on homicide. As Abate writes, “the American obsession with murder also permeates its literature for children.”

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'Bone Season' author suggests 5 other books of dark futures - Today.com

'Bone Season' author suggests 5 other books of dark futures - Today.com | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
'Bone Season' author suggests 5 other books of dark futures

Today.com

 

Characters like Lucy Snowe from Charlotte Bronte’s “Villette” helped her forge a path for Paige Mahoney, the female protagonist of “The Bone Season.”

 

“Lucy is a fascinating character,” said Shannon. “She's very enigmatic and somewhat passive on the surface, but she faces a great deal of psychological pain. The way Bronte handles Lucy, wrapping the character in a kind of emotional façade, is something I'd like to emulate with Paige.”

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Plath Edits Book of Essays on Raymond Carver - Illinois Wesleyan University

Plath Edits Book of Essays on Raymond Carver - Illinois Wesleyan University | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Plath Edits Book of Essays on Raymond Carver

Illinois Wesleyan University

 

Plath’s new book Critical Insights: Raymond Carver (Salem Press, 2013) is a collection of 13 essays summarizing the short story master’s unique place in American literature and examining the major issues surrounding Carver criticism. Although he was also a poet, essayist and playwright, Carver is best known for his short fiction that consistently reflected his own hardscrabble, blue-collar life. His work often focused on ordinary people living everyday lives on the margins of society. Six of Carver’s stories won the O. Henry Prize given annually for the best North American short fiction.

 

Critics in Carver’s time insisted on calling his literary style “minimalism,” a style short on adverbs and long on oblique hints and even innuendo. Carver resented the term, feeling it diminished his work, said Plath, who also wrote the book’s introduction and contributed two essays

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Girls on Film: The confounding problems of fan fiction

Girls on Film: The confounding problems of fan fiction | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The disappointing new film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was derived from a piece of Harry Potter fan fiction. That's not a good thing.

 

 

To be fair, fan fiction is neither a new invention nor an inherently questionable one. The term "fan fiction" gained popularity along with the rise of the internet, but a version of "fan fiction" has been the driving force behind the evolution of centuries-old stories, which were told, retold, and expanded by a wide range of storytellers — resulting in some of the most beloved stories in history. The practice has created classics like West Side Story (based on Romeo and Juliet, a story that didn't originate with Shakespeare anyway). Disney used a version of fan fiction to change grotesque fairy tales into family-friendly animated musicals. Aspiring television writers show off their chops by writing "spec scripts" for their favorite series. And fans write these stories as a means to let their beloved series continue for years after their official entries have concluded — even if the practice angers writers like Anne Rice, Orson Scott Card, and Ursula K. LeGuin.

 

But fan fiction has suddenly become the new big business — a way for fans (and publishers) to capitalize on a recently established writer's world and hope to ride the same waves of success.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

How archetypal stories become fan fiction

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Author's story collection full of magical talent - Technique

Author's story collection full of magical talent - Technique | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Technique
Author's story collection full of magical talent

 

[Karen] Russell’s stories are quirky in the best way. She twists standard tropes or archetypes and presents them in thought-provoking or hilarious situations (or both). To wit, the story “The Barn at the End of Our Term” depicts American presidents reincarnated as horses in the same barn. The story follows Rutherford B. Hayes, and the other equine Commander-in-Chiefs such as Dwight Eisenhower, as they attempt to figure out if they are in heaven, hell or even the U Part political satire. As the horses grant themselves such positions as “Spokehorse of the Western Territories,” the short story also manages to be a tale on handling death. Hayes tragically believes his wife is trapped in the body of a sheep on the farm in the same vein he is trapped as a horse. He trains the sheep to follow him with carrots, leading to funny and depressing moments of him realizing he is alone.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A look at "Swamplandia!" author Karen Russell’s short story collection "Vampires in the Lemon Grove"

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Poetic dissection of childhood - The Age

The Age
Poetic dissection of childhood

 

Wish is really about the physical nature of language and the boundaries that communication both creates and dissolves. Of course, it is a sophisticated version of the science fiction that Goldsworthy loved as a young person and which he describes in His Stupid Boyhood. Yet the book's fascination with language is closer to Goldsworthy's mature poetic interests. James Bradley writes in an excellent new introduction that ''language, the novel suggests, is both liberating and confining, a creation capable not only of communicating but of isolating''.

 
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

About the novel "His Stupid Boyhood" and other writings by Australian physician Peter Goldsworthy

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Best of British: Five iconic food moments in literature - The Independent

Best of British: Five iconic food moments in literature - The Independent | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Independent
Best of British: Five iconic food moments in literature

 

British authors know how to pen culinary delights. And while some of Britain’s literary greats bring food to life on their pages to get our taste buds tingling, others have equally repulsed through their gruesome narratives.

 

From writers of canonical prestige, to the classics of our childhood, appetizing and iconic literary food moments are at the forefront of many of our best books. Here is a selection of some of the tastiest:

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Super natural: the rise of the new nature writing - The National

Super natural: the rise of the new nature writing - The National | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Super natural: the rise of the new nature writing

The National

 

Nature writing might be my thing but I am uncertain how best to think of it or how even to house it. I have books of poetry next to field guides, science next to dream-texts, travel literature alongside autobiographies. I am a chaotic librarian and a poor carpenter but it isn’t only that. Nature Writing is not simple to define any longer and my books are announcing this.

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5 questions for 'Night Film' author Marisha Pessl

5 questions for 'Night Film' author Marisha Pessl | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Pessl: The book does have some dark places but our world is dark, and experiences that people go through are horrifying. Though evil exists, my world view is there's always hope. With the human spirit there's always the possibility of transcendence and something good. In the end, I don't think we live in a hopeless, amoral world. I think goodness exists and I wanted to convey that while allowing the reader to step to the edge and formulate his or her own conclusions.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

About Marisha Pessl's new novel "Night Film." Her earlier novel is "Special Topics in Calamity Physics."

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In Defense of Trashy Novels - Flavorwire

In Defense of Trashy Novels - Flavorwire | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
In Defense of Trashy Novels
Flavorwire

 

I feel the need to clarify just this one point: coming from me, the term “trashy” isn’t necessarily pejorative. I do not condemn people for reading “trash.” I don’t even venture mild criticism of it. If it weren’t for “trash” I might not be much of a reader myself; V.C. Andrews and The Plains of Passage and Danielle Steel turned me into a person-who-reads-books-while-she-walks-around-New-York today.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Michelle Dean discusses her concept of trashy literature. What books would make your list of trashy novels?

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Everything I Know About America I Learned from Stephen King - The Millions

Everything I Know About America I Learned from Stephen King - The Millions | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Millions

Everything I Know About America I Learned from Stephen King

 

I’ve done the math, and somehow throughout this modestly peripatetic life, in the hotel lobbies and the airports and the back seat of the car and during idle moments at my series of illuminating summer jobs — visa office photographer, gas station attendant, commissary stockist, slide scanner — I managed to read more books by Stephen King than by any other writer. I remember vividly the row of Stephen King books on the shelf of the basement library in the American Embassy Athens, a fortified Bauhaus dream downtown. Reading Joyland this summer, and then plowing through a handful of others for the second or third or fourth time, I was struck by how much of my conception of America comes from those thick books — what they said to me during that quasi-rootless time, and what they say to me now that both the vague internationalism and the natural solipsism of my childhood have mostly dissipated. For better or worse, I cut my patriotic teeth on the oeuvre of Stephen King.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A Foreign Service kid who grew up traveling the world explains her cultural debt to Stephen King.

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Muse by Mary Novik: Love poetry's labour lost - Vancouver Sun

Muse by Mary Novik: Love poetry's labour lost - Vancouver Sun | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Muse by Mary Novik: Love poetry's labour lost

Vancouver Sun

 

With her second novel, Muse, Vancouver writer Mary Novik continues her ongoing exploration of the "the minor characters in the lives of great figures of literature." While her first novel, 2007's Conceit (which was awarded the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize), focused on Pegge, the historically obscure daughter of poet John Donne, the new novel withdraws several centuries and across the English Channel to the era of the Avignon Papacy to explore the (fictional) muse responsible for the fiery, seminal love poetry of 14th-century writer and humanist Francesco Petrarch.

 
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Alice Hoffman 's latest work took her in a different direction - Boston Globe

Alice Hoffman 's latest work took her in a different direction - Boston Globe | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Boston Globe
Alice Hoffman 's latest work took her in a different direction

 

In a career spanning three decades, Alice Hoffman has published more than two dozen novels for adults and teens, many of which are suffused with magic. Now, years after her last treatment for breast cancer, she has written “Survival Lessons,” her first work of nonfiction, recounting what she has learned about life through enduring serious illness.

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Herman Melville, great American reader - Salon

Herman Melville, great American reader - Salon | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Salon
Herman Melville, great American reader

 

IN THE GENERAL RARE BOOKS COLLECTION at Princeton University Library sits a stunning two-volume edition of John Milton that once belonged to Herman Melville. Melville’s tremendous debt to Milton — and to Homer, Virgil, the Bible, and Shakespeare — might be evident to anyone who has wrestled with the moral and intellectual complexity that lends Moby Dick its immortal heft, but to see Melville’s marginalia in his 1836 Poetical Works of John Milton is to understand just how intimately the author of the great American novel engaged with the author of the greatest poem in English. Checkmarks, underscores, annotations, and Xs reveal the passages in Paradise Lost and other poems that would have such a determining effect on Melville’s own work.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Public Library are launching a month-long celebration of Moby Dick, a way to encourage readers “to discover or rediscover the great literary masterpiece, Moby Dick, through the lens of the modern and equally mythical Southern California state of mind.”

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Angus Wilson: From darling to dodo - The Guardian

Angus Wilson: From darling to dodo - The Guardian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian

Angus Wilson: From darling to dodo

 

Angus Wilson was once celebrated for his clear-eyed interrogations of moral behaviour and fretful liberalism, so how did he end up penniless in a French apartment block? DJ Taylor on a cautionary tale of a writer who lost touch with his time

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Rachel Trezise and Will Self join other writers in praise of the short story - WalesOnline

Rachel Trezise and Will Self join other writers in praise of the short story - WalesOnline | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Rachel Trezise and Will Self join other writers in praise of the short story WalesOnline

 

Tessa Hadley


Human beings think in short story shapes. The  short story comes naturally to us. A joke, or a  scrap of news, or a bit of gossip – all these are  short stories in embryo. So it’s surprising that  even passionate readers are sometimes wary of  the short form. Perhaps reading short stories is  more strenuous than reading a long novel –  because you have to keep starting over again,  plunging with each new beginning into a new  place with a new set of rules. But that  strenuousness is the joy of the form too.

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Paris Review – Nabokov on Joyce, Sadie Stein

Paris Review – Nabokov on Joyce, Sadie Stein | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Splendid: Nabokov showing how data viz is often the best kind of literary criticism

 

Of teaching Ulysses, Vladimir Nabokov wrote, “Instead of perpetuating the pretentious nonsense of Homeric, chromatic, and visceral chapter headings, instructors should prepare maps of Dublin with Bloom’s and Stephen’s intertwining itineraries clearly traced.” Below is his.

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Author book tours aren't what they used to be - Chicago Sun-Times

Author book tours aren't what they used to be - Chicago Sun-Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Author book tours aren't what they used to be
Chicago Sun-Times
I

 

authors still make in-person appearances. Readers still want autographed books. It’s the nature of their interactions, and where they take place, that has changed.

 

A virtual tour — in which an author makes pre-planned “stops” in the blogosphere through live chats, guest posts, and Q&A sessions on various websites — is one popular and inexpensive method for attracting readers.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A look at how the current publishing reality has affected the ways in which authors and readers interact.

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The Story About the Story II - Willamette Week

The Story About the Story II - Willamette Week | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Willamette Week

The Story About the Story II

 

To counteract the joyless misreadings and picking of scabs that have become today’s literary criticism, Hallman is collecting writing about books that is every bit as personal, humane and emotionally rich as the books themselves. Zadie Smith’s essay about reluctantly allowing herself to love Zora Neale Hurston—allowing herself to even acknowledge something like the “black experience”—is affecting enough it brought (manly, stoic) tears to my eyes even though I’d already read the essay in her 2009 book, Changing My Mind. Seattle writer David Shields’ appreciation of Bill Murray, “The Only Solution to the Soul Is the Senses,” is as tragic as it is funny. And Martin Amis’ obituary for the great misanthropic poet Philip Larkin is a classic of the form, an ode to a death that was “as comfortless as the life.”

 

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Teaching with literature makes social sciences come alive - Times Higher Education

Teaching with literature makes social sciences come alive - Times Higher Education | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Times Higher Education

Teaching with literature makes social sciences come alive

 

 came to cross-disciplinary studies by accident. As a literature professor in a department with low enrolment, I was urged to set up popular courses. Because I had a background in the social sciences – including a BSc in social sciences from The Open University – my solution was to develop courses in loss, charisma, nationalism and poverty that brought literature and the social sciences together.

 

These courses, which I called “bridges”, are based on the view that literature is often more deeply understood in the context of wider historical, social, political and psychological issues. It is also true that the study of social science is greatly enlivened when literature is included.

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Crime writer David Weeks on real life criminals - Edinburgh Evening News

Crime writer David Weeks on real life criminals - Edinburgh Evening News | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Edinburgh Evening News

Crime writer David Weeks on real life criminals

 

A forensic neuropsychologist for the past decade, Dr Weeks’ real-life Cracker role has seen him work alongside police and lawyers, analysing suspects and criminals, often interviewing them behind bars while they await trial, delicately picking over their thoughts and lives to build up a picture of their state of mind.

 

It gave him a unique ringside view of an area of society’s underbelly that most of us can only imagine and few might want to be a part of. And it’s left him a wealth of background for a change of role – as one of Scotland’s newest members of the nation’s thriving crime writing community.

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Seitz: There Has Never Been a Better Time for TV Criticism - Vulture

Seitz: There Has Never Been a Better Time for TV Criticism - Vulture | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Seitz: There Has Never Been a Better Time for TV Criticism

Vulture

 

The only thing these writers have in common is that they’re not interested in satisfying preconceived notions of what criticism should be. They aren’t losing sleep over answering the questions that some other critic believes are the “right” ones, or nudging TV coverage into line with the supposed grand traditions of older art forms. They’re just writing. Sometimes the show is the whole point. Sometimes it’s just a springboard for something else. If you don’t like what any particular writer is doing, read somebody else. If you read enough TV criticism, you’ll eventually find a byline worth returning to, believe me. The freer they are, and the more open-minded we are, the more impressive the landscape will become.  This world is young.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Matt Zoller Seitz discusses what he sees as the young world of TV criticism, with a long list of critics whose work you can sample.

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Nadine Gordimer helped me see how fiction writing can illuminate reality ... - The Guardian

Nadine Gordimer helped me see how fiction writing can illuminate reality ... - The Guardian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian
Nadine Gordimer helped me see how fiction writing can illuminate reality ...

 

Gordimer called it "witness literature".

 

Witness literature is fiction, not non-fiction, an interplay of sometimes real events or a context that is real, with fictional events and characters, combined with the aesthetic qualities of fiction. Witness literature is also not autobiographical fiction.

. . .

For Gordimer, "witness" is foremost an aesthetic quest. It is what writers can, must even, give as it comes with "the awesome responsibility of their endowment of the seventh sense of the imagination". It is "the transformation of events, motives, emotions, reactions, from the immediacy into the enduring significance that has meaning".

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Novelist Elmore Leonard elevated crime thriller, mastered dialogue - Detroit Free Press

Novelist Elmore Leonard elevated crime thriller, mastered dialogue - Detroit Free Press | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Novelist Elmore Leonard elevated crime thriller, mastered dialogue Detroit Free Press It was Leonard's trademark style — keeping his writerly self in the background and putting the spotlight on his colorful characters and their honest, stylish,...
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

An appreciation of local author Elmore Leonard, who died yesterday at age 87.

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