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Contemporary literature's obesity epidemic - Salon

Contemporary literature's obesity epidemic - Salon | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Salon
Contemporary literature's obesity epidemic

These four novels constitute an emerging and very modern genre, one that explores the physicality as well as the psychology and sociology of obesity. They describe what it’s like to move as an obese person, to approach buildings and furniture and vehicles in which you simply don’t fit: how quickly you sweat and tire and lose your breath. The prose is crammed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, bone spurs, arterial disease, flesh rotting, flesh dimpled, flesh “pocked, veined, bloated.”

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2012 In Review: 50 Wonderful Things From The Year In Pop Culture - NPR (blog)

2012 In Review: 50 Wonderful Things From The Year In Pop Culture - NPR (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
NPR (blog)
2012 In Review: 50 Wonderful Things From The Year In Pop Culture
NPR (blog)

6. "The diary, yes!" I had no more purely pleasure-filled reading experience this year than Gillian Flynn's audacious, addictive Gone Girl.

 

7. A brief tag at the very, very end of Sarah Polley's documentary Stories We Tell, which is the complicated story of her own family. The film contains multitudes: sadness, joy, love, disappointment — and then comes this tag, this tremendous tag, which punctuates the story and reiterates its most important lesson: that you just never know about people until they sit down to tell you about themselves, and even when they do, they just keep surprising you.

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America Needs a New Story That Gives Meaning to the World - San Diego Free Press

America Needs a New Story That Gives Meaning to the World - San Diego Free Press | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

San Diego Free Press: America Needs a New Story That Gives Meaning to the World 

 

My childhood perceptions were part of this Story of the People, in which humanity was destined to create a perfect world through science, reason,...

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

We all have a personal life story, but cultures and societies have dominant narratives, too.

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Canadian contributions 2012: from Parliament to literature to the universe - Toronto Star

Toronto Star Canadian contributions 2012: from Parliament to literature to the universe

 

Over 10 years, this iconoclastic young Toronto writer published a collection of surreal fairy tales, a psychological novella about a 19th century...

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

See the section about Sheila Heti's book "How Should a Person Be?"

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The Little House books as feminist classics - The Guardian

The Little House books as feminist classics - The Guardian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian The Little House books as feminist classics

 

Nobody knows what feminism is any more, but it isn't just about equal pay and abortion rights. It's about appreciating femaleness for femaleness's sake. Wilder was right wing, religious, practically silent as a writer until her 65th year. What pulls these books of hers, unwittingly or not, on to a feminist level derives from her innate rebelliousness, hinted at in the fictional Laura's moments of indignation, sisterly rivalry and daredevil escapades. Wilder boldly took the American dream and 18th-century individualism to include herself, and wrote without apology about the daily lives of women and girls.

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Steampunk Scholar: Best Steampunk Reads of 2012

Steampunk Scholar: Best Steampunk Reads of 2012 | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
... the book is an excellent example of self-reflexive fiction, complete with a somewhat untrustworthy narrator, a frame narrative reminiscent of Cervantes, nested tales, and ruminations on the nature of reality and fiction, which ...
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Wanjeri » Life of…The Hobbit [on] Cloud Atlas: Three Books, Three ...

Wanjeri » Life of…The Hobbit [on] Cloud Atlas: Three Books, Three ... | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
I was overjoyed at coming across these wonderful books this year. Luckily purchasing “Cloud Atlas” and “The Hobbit” off the streets and receiving “Life of Pi” as a birthday gift. I was even more excited to find out that all three books would be adapted into films set for release in 2012!

 

Now having completed the book/film combos, I can finally share my thoughts on the six creations in the order in which I watched the films.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A Kenyan journalist compares the book and film versions of "Life of Pi," "The Hobbit," and "Cloud Atlas."

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Biologist By Day, Fiction Writer By Night - GreenAnswers (blog)

Biologist By Day, Fiction Writer By Night - GreenAnswers (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Biologist By Day, Fiction Writer By Night
GreenAnswers (blog)


It may seem strange for an ecologist to write fiction, but in fact I have found the experience to only strengthen my love for my career and for nature.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Leadership Journey - Forbes

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Leadership Journey - Forbes | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Age
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Leadership Journey
Forbes
In fiction, we can have tragic figures that redeem themselves with great acts of sacrifice. ...

 

I saw the movie version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The book is a literary treasure of childhood, an adventure story with dwarves, wizards and elves in a world beyond conventional imagination. As a child, I read the epic fantasy with an undisguised affection like so many others. What I didn’t understand back then was that The Hobbit is also an allegory about leadership, a legend that holds many insights for today’s leaders, even for those not initiated into Middle Earth legend.

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Darkness in literature: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - The Guardian (blog)

Darkness in literature: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - The Guardian (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian (blog)
Darkness in literature: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Based on a Russian fairy tale, The Snow Child is a tale of the shoring up of defences, psychological and literal, against the cold and dark. Set in the 1920s, the novel follows the move of middle-aged Jack and Mabel from 'back east' America to a remote homestead in Alpine, Alaska. Heavy with the loss of their firstborn and only child many years earlier, they seek to change the pattern of their lives in a context of icy ravines and wild silence.

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Physicists Explore The Rise And Fall Of Words - Inside Science News Service

Physicists Explore The Rise And Fall Of Words
Inside Science News Service

 

Every year the Oxford English Dictionary expands, incorporating freshly coined terms such as "bromance," "staycation" or "frenemy." However, a recent analysis has found that as a language grows over time, it becomes more set in its ways. New words are always being added, according to this study, but few become widely used and part of the standard vocabulary. 

 

"There are a lot of new hip words that are sort of popping out, but the popularity and the lifespan of these words are very short," said Matjaz Perc, a physics professor at the University of Maribor in Slovenia and one of the authors of the paper. "Our study shows that we don't really need them, so the mileage that we get out of them is very low compared to other words."
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Tally ho! Let the hunt remind us who we are - Telegraph.co.uk

Tally ho! Let the hunt remind us who we are - Telegraph.co.uk | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Telegraph.co.uk
Tally ho! Let the hunt remind us who we are

 

This experience has been celebrated since ancient times. From the boar hunt that begins at line 428 of Homer’s Odyssey to the fox hunt that forms the climax of Trollope’s The Eustace Diamonds, hunting has been used to lift characters from their daily circumstances, and to place them in another predicament, which rouses their animal spirits and puts them to a very special kind of test. The wall of domesticity has been broken down, and we cross it to “the other side of Eden”, as the anthropologist Hugh Brody describes the world of the hunter-gatherer.

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Story has inspired for 150 years - Houston Chronicle

Story has inspired for 150 years - Houston Chronicle | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Story has inspired for 150 years
Houston Chronicle


Whether as refresher course or introduction, here's how one of the masterworks of literature became one of the greatest successes in theatrical history.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A summary and history of Victor Hugo's epic, “Les Misérables”

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Award buoys US novelist Elmore Leonard to write again - Ahram Online

Award buoys US novelist Elmore Leonard to write again - Ahram Online | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Award buoys US novelist Elmore Leonard to write again
Ahram Online

As he struggled writing his forthcoming book, "Blue Dreams," best-selling American author Elmore Leonard thought his 47th novel would probably be his last.


Then, inspiration came in the form of a medallion.

 

Leonard won the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in November, joining such U.S. literary luminaries as Toni Morrison, John Updike, Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer.

Now, the award has given Leonard, 87, the vigor and motivation to write at least two more books, he told Reuters in an interview at his home in Bloomfield Village, Michigan, in suburban Detroit.

 

"I don't have any reason to quit," he said. "I still enjoy writing."

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Mary Daniels Brown's comment, January 1, 2013 2:58 PM
Good news about one of my favorite authors.
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Extending Ross Douthat: How To Read Even Better In 2013 - Forbes

Extending Ross Douthat: How To Read Even Better In 2013 - Forbes | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Forbes
Extending Ross Douthat: How To Read Even Better In 2013

Read psychology, and not just any psychology. Read about the unconscious. That’s right, read and learn about the mystery within. Read about how the forces directing our decisions and opinions—including about politics—are connected weakly at best to that which we consciously find reasonable and correct. In fact, our arguments and points of view, the opinions we hold so dear, are often after-the-fact justifications for what our unconscious processes have previously produced. We would do well to understand as much as we can about these mysteries that drive us, both politically and personally.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

And the author has some book recommendations for expanding one's perspective.

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A literary tour of Paris, Rouen - Vancouver Sun

A literary tour of Paris, Rouen - Vancouver Sun | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
A literary tour of Paris, Rouen
Vancouver Sun


St-Germain-des-Prés, in the swanky 6th arrondissement, is legendary as a historical author hangout.

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Vacations-Abroad.com's curator insight, December 31, 2012 8:09 PM

Track the neighborhoods where George Sand, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Paul Sarte, Ginsburg and many other literary artists who lived in Paris where they indulged their senses and found creative inspiration.

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Famous Foils in Literature | Famous Things, People and Events

Famous Foils in Literature | Famous Things, People and Events | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
“Foil” is a literary term to present a character in contrast with another with an aim to project it against a backdrop of opposite traits. The word “foil” was taken from the practice of displaying gems with a backing of foil to project ...
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Digital books leave a reader cold - Washington Post

Digital books leave a reader cold - Washington Post | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Digital books leave a reader cold
Washington Post


Tension between man and machine is an old science-fiction plot that just happens no longer to be fictional. The more digitally entrenched we become, the less human our interactions.

 

Paper, because it is real, provides an organic connection to our natural world: The tree from whence the paper came; the sun, water and soil that nourished the tree. By contrast, a digital device is alien, man-made, hard and cold to human flesh.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

The war between print books and ereaders continues.

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Sue Perkins tracks down the real Maria von Trapp - Radio Times

Radio Times
Sue Perkins tracks down the real Maria von Trapp

 

Maria turns out to have been a far more redoubtable figure than the Julie Andrews character that took her name. Maria, in real life, was a formidable creature – quick to anger, strict, with a religious fervor that bordered on zealotry.

 

Georg’s and Maria’s courtship was also a rather more pragmatic affair than Hollywood would have you believe. Georg asked Maria to stay with him and be a second mother to his children. Of his proposal, Maria said, “God must have made him word it that way because if he had asked me to marry him, I might not have said yes.”

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The 10 Best Narrators in Literature

The 10 Best Narrators in Literature | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Holden Caulfield and Huck Finn make the list, but who else is among the best narrators in literature?

 

Whether insane, overheated, strung-out, or merely young and naïve, Unreliable Narrators always deliver more than their characters intend to. Comic or tragic, serious or absurd, they can tell just about any story while also reflecting our capacity for self-deception, our limited sliver of knowledge about the world, and the limits of language itself.

 

The World Swallower is the unhinged cousin of the old-school omniscient author-narrator (the one who used to say “dear reader”). He stretches (or obliterates) the boundaries of what a character might be able to know. Whether deployed to illuminate the scope of human imagination or to bring under one flimsy umbrella the whole of experience, the World Swallower is the ultimate stand-in for an author who has devoted himself or herself to their art.

 

There exist other varieties of first-person narrator, of course, and other ways to describe them, but my favorites (aka this Top Ten) are the Unreliables and the World Swallowers.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Check out the 10 examples of these two kinds of first-person narrators.

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My 5 favorite health/medicine books of 2012 - Boston.com (blog)

My 5 favorite health/medicine books of 2012 - Boston.com (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
My 5 favorite health/medicine books of 2012
Boston.com (blog)

I'd like to share with you my five favorite works of literature relating to health and medicine published in 2012. This genre is ever-growing, with new memoirs, literary nonfiction, and even novels and poetry collections added each year.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Read about the 5 books in this developing genre recommended by Dr. Suzanne Koven.

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Karim Raslan: Beyond Bourgeois - Jakarta Globe

Karim Raslan: Beyond Bourgeois - Jakarta Globe | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Karim Raslan: Beyond Bourgeois Jakarta Globe

 

There is a new school of Asian literature emerging, let’s call it the “Outsider Fiction” with the Chinese dentist-turned writer Yu Hua and India’s Aravind Adiga (the author of the ground-breaking, Man Booker Prize-winning “The White Tiger”) leading the pack. . . .

With these writers, it’s as if we’re watching and in fact participating in the world behind the swing doors that separate ‘polite’ society where tea is drunk from bone china cups from the hoi polloi where tea (often sweetened and at times mind-numbingly milky as well) is downed from a cracked glass tumbler, or whatever happens to be available.

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On the Road: Not a Great Movie, but an Interesting Work of Literary Criticism

On the Road: Not a Great Movie, but an Interesting Work of Literary Criticism | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
On the Road is not a great movie, but it’s a pretty interesting work of literary criticism.

 

On the Road is not a great movie, but it’s a pretty interesting work of literary criticism. The film, written by  Puerto Rican playwright José Rivera and directed by the Brazilian Walter Salles, adapts Jack Kerouac’s legendary 1957 novel of the same name, in which Kerouac’s alter-ego, Sal Paradise, buses, hitchhikes, and rides in a car—usually in the backseat; he hardly ever drives himself—between New York, Denver, California, and Mexico City. A few scenes catch the verve of Kerouac’s voice-driven novel: Paradise and several strangers singing in the back of a truck; a car soaring across a flat Western landscape; a sweaty dance sequence. But throughout—whether on purpose or, as sometimes seems to be the case, accidentally—the movie makes one reconsider, and not entirely fondly, the beloved, messy, sporadically thrilling, frequently dispiriting, and widely misunderstood book that inspired it.

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Courage And Curiosity: The Best Heroines Of 2012 : NPR

Courage And Curiosity: The Best Heroines Of 2012 : NPR | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

The most dangerous trait a woman can possess is curiosity. That's what myths and religion would have us believe, anyway. Inquisitive Pandora unleashed sorrow upon the world. Eve got us kicked out of paradise. Blight on civilization it may be, but female curiosity is a gift to narrative and the quality my five favorite heroines of the year possess in spades.

 

These women come to us from history, from a novel, from the pages of a diary and from an ancient poem. They're women who want to know things, who want to devour the world. Refreshingly, they aren't primarily defined by their desire to love or be loved — or even to be especially lovable — these are sublimely stubborn women, frequently at odds with themselves and always at odds with their times. They're on quests. Which isn't to say that these quests are necessarily successful (the heroines of one particular book were flamboyant failures). The outcome is immaterial; the wanting is all.

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Short stories that take us to dangerous places - Washington Post

Short stories that take us to dangerous places - Washington Post | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Short stories that take us to dangerous places
Washington Post

If a lot of recent fiction is inward-looking, safe, middle-class and domestic, then these three collections provide a bracing antidote. All of them are concerned with outcasts and loners, the has-beens and never-weres, the powerless and underprivileged, territory that often is left unexplored by the cosmopolitan, bicoastal writers who dominate the literary landscape. This is fiction taken straight, with no chaser.

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