Literature & Psychology
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Literature & Psychology
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Defying the limits of occupation: Capturing Ramallah in art and literature

Defying the limits of occupation: Capturing Ramallah in art and literature | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Ahram Online

Defying the limits of occupation: Capturing Ramallah in art and literature

 

The importance of art and literature is heightened in the context of occupation, discuss Ramallah-based visual artist Shuruq Harb, author of ‘In Ramallah, Running,’ and Guy Mannes-Abbott at Art Dubai's Global Art Forum

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Black Smurfs: The Birth Of Modern Zombie Fiction

Black Smurfs: The Birth Of Modern Zombie Fiction | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

WhatCulture!
Black Smurfs: The Birth Of Modern Zombie Fiction

 

Superficially, zombies are always about the mass, about the horde. They embody our fears of mortality and death (what of us lingers after we are gone?) and frequently exhibit our neurosis of becoming, or being prey to, otherness.Whether as a parody of consumerism – shuffling, insatiable, mindless beings driven solely to consume (even depicted tearing through a mall in Dawn of the Dead, 1978) – or as a manifestation of terrorism – they could be any of us, they could come from anywhere, they look like us but we can’t understand what they want (see: 28 Days Later, 2002) – zombie fiction often gives license to what it is that we fear our society at large might soon become as we fight to hold on to the individuality and selfhood that defines us.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

I'm trying to be more open to the notion of zombies as cultural metaphors.

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Do We Need to Identify With a Protagonist to Enjoy a Novel?

Do We Need to Identify With a Protagonist to Enjoy a Novel? | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Do We Need to Identify With a Protagonist to Enjoy a Novel?

 

There are, of course, many other good reasons to read literature: for entertainment, for instruction, for inspiration. But from the 18th century onward, novels have shown themselves to be remarkably effective, durable technologies for encouraging us to extend our understanding to others, no matter how different or unlikable they might initially appear. And if that isn't a good reason to pick up a good book, then I don't know what is.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Read about the difference in concepts of literary characterization between 17th century and earlier works, and 18th century and later works. While I don't think we have to "identify" with the characters we read about, I do expect a good literary work today to allow me to understand the characters. And perhaps that's really the same as identifying with them, in the sense that I understand those characters because I see at least a little bit of myself in them.

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The most persuasive words in English: The psychology of language

The most persuasive words in English: The psychology of language | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
What are the most persuasive words in english? Recent research points to "Free", "Because", "You", "Instantly" and "New".
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A lot of useful information here about how our brains process language.

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The legacy of iconic literary figure Neal Cassady lives on in Santa Cruz with his son and daughter

The legacy of iconic literary figure Neal Cassady lives on in Santa Cruz with his son and daughter

 

Many of the Cassadys' most vivid memories of their father date back to the later part of his life when he had become a quasi-celebrity from his association with Kerouac. Both John and Jami have memories of seeing their father at the Hip Pocket bookstore in downtown Santa Cruz in the mid 1960s where he commonly would command the attention of an audience with stories, anecdotes or long discourses on life, literature and philosophy, often strung out on speed.

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Enjoying the fictional garden

Enjoying the fictional garden | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Enjoying the fictional garden in Brighton
Northumberland News

 

There is a rich tradition of the use of gardens in literature, as more than a setting or a place for characters to kiss, starting with the Garden of Eden.

Writing and gardening go hand in hand. The writer, using only words, needs to create a scene that you can smell, taste and feel, as well as see. From Conrad Aiken through to Emile Zola, gardens inhabit writers' imaginations and are handed into ours. 'The Literary Garden', introduced by Duncan Brine, gives us wonderful excerpts from many of the giants in literature, along with garden tips and recipes.

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"Pieces of Light: How the New Science of Memory Illuminates the Stories We Tell about Our Pasts

"Pieces of Light: How the New Science of Memory Illuminates the Stories We Tell

 

I wanted to write a slightly different kind of science book, one that was based on real people's stories as much as it was about communicating scientific findings. I'd become interested in memory through some creative writing teaching I'd been doing, in which I was asking writing students to think about what a reader's brain has to do when it's processing a literary text. And the construction of a self-narrative through memory was a key theme of my previous nonfiction book, about my daughter's early psychological development. Memory is a perfect topic for a slightly left-field approach to science writing, because it's all about personal stories. I'd like readers to come away feeling that they've spent some time in the company of a rewarding narrative that deals with characters and emotions, as well as knowing plenty about the latest research.

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Literature goes to B-school: IIMs, top institutes using old classics to teach ... - Economic Times

Literature goes to B-school: IIMs, top institutes using old classics to teach ... - Economic Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Economic Times
Literature goes to B-school: IIMs, top institutes using old classics to teach ...

 

At a time reading old literary masterpieces is a waning practice, several top B-schools, including the top three IIMs, are harking back to the Arthur Millers, Ibsens, Shaws and Gandhi to teach students how to lead in the challenging business environment of the modern times.

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Welcome Back, Renata Adler

Welcome Back, Renata Adler | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
New Yorker (blog)
Welcome Back, Renata Adler

 

What is amazing about Adler’s novels is the way that they integrate cultural analysis with telling details of social nuance. “Speedboat,” like “Pitch Dark,” has just been republished by NYRB Classics, after years of being passed along to new readers like samizdat pamphlets. Both novels have more in common with the New Novel than with the thrillers that Adler has said she loves. Both are written in a “discontinuous first-person” (in Muriel Spark’s phrase) that cumulatively conveys what it is like to be a female intellectual in the world of publishing in the nineteen-seventies. These are not works of realism—they have a dreamlike quality— but they contain as much reality as a Balzac novel does. It’s just that their reality is incantatory, sparse, periodically blazing, and not a little self-consciously neurotic.

 
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Western Michigan University to host 13-hour marathon reading of Vergil's 'Aeneid'

Western Michigan University to host 13-hour marathon reading of Vergil's 'Aeneid'
Mlive Kalamazoo

 

Latin 5570, The Teaching of Latin, is holding a read-aloud of Vergil's epic, “The Aeneid,” on March 15. The enterprise, “To Hell and Back on the Ides of March,” will kick off at 11 a.m. in Knauss Hall and go until all 9,896 lines of the 2,000-year-old poem have been read.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

I was a classics major, so this warmed my heart.

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Book Patrol: The History of Education and Textbooks

Book Patrol: The History of Education and Textbooks | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

From ancient Egypt into the projected future. . .

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Why Lack Of Women in Magazines is Linked to Dearth Of Women in Science

Why Lack Of Women in Magazines is Linked to Dearth Of Women in Science | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
PolicyMic

Why Lack Of Women in Magazines is Linked to Dearth Of Women in Science

 

The others address a lot of non-literary material: politics, economics, domestic and foreign policy, psychology, biography, history, and occasionally a book...

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Seattle writer David Shields can't stand most novels (And memoir? Don't get him started)

Seattle writer David Shields can't stand most novels (And memoir? Don't get him started) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Seattle writer David Shields can't stand most novels (And memoir? Don't get ...
OregonLive.com

 

The subject is his new book "How Literature Saved My Life," but the subject is really himself. Shields has written 14 books; all of them, once he abandoned fiction after three novels, are about him and his obsessions with popular culture and with big issues: sports, race, death. He writes in a form he calls collage, short bursts of personal essay and memoir and criticism and quotes from everywhere, blended into what he hopes is something new and exciting. He has no patience for narrative fiction and says he can't read long novels or long anything, really. It bores him.

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Julie Myerson: a life in writing

Julie Myerson: a life in writing | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

The Guardian
Julie Myerson: a life in writing

 

In the 20 years since Myerson sent her debut novel, Sleepwalking, to four agents and secured her first contract, she has made a speciality of writing about heightened emotional states. She has also made a habit of digging into some of her own most troubling experiences, starting with her father's rejection of her as a teenager and his suicide.

 

"When you make your own death as he did, you deliberately stir the black silt on the bottom, disturbing all that debris which should be left down there in darkness," she wrote on page one of her debut, as a way of introducing her fictionalised account of his death. She says now that she did this "probably slightly coldly, because I felt I had recovered from my father's rejection and it was good material for a novel. It was a very typical first novel in the sense that I had to try and work out what I had in my life that I could write about. Not much had happened to me except having babies and being rejected by my father."

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

All novels are autobiographical in some sense.

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Scientific Explanations for Why Spoilers Are So Horrible

Scientific Explanations for Why Spoilers Are So Horrible | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Scientific Explanations for Why Spoilers Are So Horrible

The Atlantic

 

Studies show that anticipation and suspension of disbelief are both key ingredients in a pleasurable experience—and spoilers have a tendency to kill both.

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The fickle fate of fiction: what book reviews reveal decades later

The fickle fate of fiction: what book reviews reveal decades later | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

What also becomes clear in reading old reviews is that critics who are contemporaries of the author are likely to be caught up in ideological differences that seem important in the moment but may blind them to lasting quality. When V.S. Pritchett reviews 1984, for example, in 1949, it is clear that he has been reading Orwell for some time: He speaks of Orwell’s “faults as a writer – monotony, nagging, the lonely schoolboy shambling down the one dispiriting track,” and it seems that he’s referring to Orwell’s entire oeuvre. When he writes that Orwell “is like some dour Protestant or Jansenist who sees his faith corrupted by the ‘doublethink’ of the Roman Catholic Church” it’s clear that he’s talking about the social and political role that Orwell has been playing in British media at the time of writing; he is judging a personality rather than a book. It’s an interesting lesson for reviewers today, who also have a hard time separating celebrity from the works at hand.

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Tennessee Williams Festival's streetcar opens doors to less stodgy, more more inclusive literary crowd

Tennessee Williams Festival's streetcar opens doors to less stodgy, more more inclusive literary crowd | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Tennessee Williams Festival's streetcar opens doors to less stodgy, more ...

 

In January 2011, I started Room 220: New Orleans Book and Literary News and began online publication of interviews, reviews, and updates related to local writerly endeavors. As the 2011 Tennessee Williams Festival approached, I thought I might give it some coverage. But as I scanned the docket of authors and the schedule of events, I grew discouraged. Everything seemed corny and the participants second-rate. With nothing that seemed worth hyping, I tapped out a small note for Room 220 that simply said: “You won’t see me at the Tennessee Williams Festival.”

 

This year, that’s not the case. I’m going to give the Tennessee Williams Festival another shot, and I encourage you to, as well. With several new key staff members on board, an increasingly searching eye on the national literary landscape, and a diversification of events and authors, the festival appears to be undergoing a sharp upgrade.

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Mohsin Hamid on his enduring love of the second-person narrative

Mohsin Hamid on his enduring love of the second-person narrative | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

The Guardian
Mohsin Hamid on his enduring love of the second-person narrative

 

In my final year, as I was starting my first novel, I read The Fall by Camus. It is written as a dramatic monologue, with the protagonist constantly addressing the reader as "you," and it changed how I thought books could work. I was amazed by the potential of the "you", of how much space it could open up in fiction.

 

The book I was writing then, back in 1993, became Moth Smoke, the tale of a pot-smoking ex-banker who falls disastrously in love with his best friend's wife. You, the reader, are cast as his judge. The story has what might be called a realistic narrative – there is no magic, no aliens – but the frame of the trial that it uses isn't realism. It is something else: make-believe, play, with "you" given an active role.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

I'm still not convinced that so-called "second-person narrative" is just a variation on third-person point of view. I'll add these books to my reading list.

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Fear Factor Increases, Emotions Decrease in Books Written in Last 50 Years - Science Daily

Fear Factor Increases, Emotions Decrease in Books Written in Last 50 Years - Science Daily | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Fear Factor Increases, Emotions Decrease in Books Written in Last 50 Years Science Daily

 

The use of words with emotional content in books has steadily decreased throughout the last century, according to new research from the Universities of Bristol, Sheffield, and Durham. The study, published today in PLOS ONE, also found a divergence between American and British English, with the former being more 'emotional' than the latter.

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Maria Popova on the critic as celebrator of the good

Maria Popova on the critic as celebrator of the good | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

I don't identify as a critic, for the role of the critic is to provide an analysis of the negative and the positive in a specific work, but the very etymology of the term invariably prioritizes the negative. I write about books, but I don't write reviews. I write recommendations, based on my own taste. I have no interest in putting in front of my readers books that I myself have found lacking in merit. Instead, when readers are presented with a steady stream of "good" works, over time these help develop an understanding of goodness itself, or at least of the subjective criteria for merit against which a particular writer measures works. What emerges is an osmosis of positive reinforcement and negative space through which each subsequent celebration of the worthy spurs a richer understanding of how to recognize and shield against the unworthy.

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Sue Grafton: 'My childhood ended when I was five'

Sue Grafton: 'My childhood ended when I was five' | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian

Sue Grafton: 'My childhood ended when I was five'

 

Most novelists prefer to maintain a distance between themselves and their characters; it preserves a veneer of sanity. If not always one of mystery. Sue Grafton, author of the best-selling alphabetical detective series that began with A is for Alibi in 1982 and is now up to V is for Vengeance, has seldom made any effort to separate herself from her fictional creation, PI Kinsey Millhone. Rather she has often muddied the waters as much as possible, by saying: "Kinsey is my alter ego – the person I might have been had I not married young and had children."

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CGS Library's curator insight, July 28, 2014 11:43 PM

Catchy titles include 'A is for Alibi' and 'M is for Malice'

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'The struggle with writing is over': Philip Roth at 80

'The struggle with writing is over': Philip Roth at 80 | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Macleans.ca 'The struggle with writing is over': Philip Roth at 80

 

On the occasion of Roth’s 80th birthday, PBS’s American Masters will air the 90-minute documentary, Philip Roth: Unmasked. While the film offers no clear answers to the question of What will he do now?,  it does provide an intimate look at the life and work–over 30 books in a career spanning over 50 years–of one of America’s most enduring voices.

 

Because Roth has so relentlessly pursued himself as a subject, fans of the author might not be surprised by the documentary. Roth states outright at the opening of the film that he has two great calamities awaiting him: death and a biography. “Let’s hope the first comes first,” he says.

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Tracy Chevalier: Making quilts for new book The Last Runaway?

Tracy Chevalier: Making quilts for new book The Last Runaway? | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Tracy Chevalier: Making quilts for new book The Last Runaway?
Metro

 

Something of a ‘method’ novelist, Chevalier took up fossil-hunting – an activity she still enjoys – for her last book, Remarkable Creatures, about real-life 19th-century palaeontologist Mary Anning, and turned to quilting for this new book [The Last Runaway].

 

‘I always look for something my characters can do with their hands,’ she says. ‘In order for me to feel I’m writing credibly, I need to do them myself.’

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Bestsellers: a snapshot of an age | OUPblog

Bestsellers: a snapshot of an age | OUPblog | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Why read, or contemplate, with any degree of seriousness, less than ‘good’ (and sometimes downright bad) books – the Deepings of the literary world? Do they not belong in that category, contemptuously called in German, Wegwerfl iteratur? – ‘throw-away literature’? Why pick up what literary history so resolutely discards?

 

Any study of bestsellers confronts the same question as does the decaf, no-fat latte drinker in Starbucks: ‘Why bother?’ One justification, and the easiest demonstrated, is their (that is, bestsellers’) interesting peculiarity. Like other ephemera of past times, bestsellers (even Orwell despised Deeping) offer the charm of antiquarian quaintness. Where else would one encounter a line such as: ‘I say, you are a sport, pater’ [‘Son’ addressing ‘Sorrell’, on having been given a tenner ‘tip’ in Deeping’s Sorrell and Son]. And, so short is their lifespan, that today’s bestsellers become yesterday’s fiction almost as soon as one has read them.

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New Study Reveals Which Authors Have Ignored Women Most - TIME

New Study Reveals Which Authors Have Ignored Women Most - TIME | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
TIME
New Study Reveals Which Authors Have Ignored Women Most


a recent study—reported this morning by Popular Science—has found that some of the most respected authors in literary history don't exactly treat men and women equally.

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