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Literature, Lyrics and Humanity: - encore Online

Literature, Lyrics and Humanity: - encore Online | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Literature, Lyrics and Humanity:
encore Online

 

e: I think the character development in your songs is interesting. Are you influenced by certain literary artists? Why do you think it’s important to bring your characters through an evolution?


CC: Well, there’s Hemingway and Kerouac, Joyce, and Fitzgerald. And we’re all just small shadows against their mountain. I think it’s important to bring characters out so we can see ourselves, so we can scream at ourselves like we are actors in a movie. You know just what a person should do when you observe them objectively through a song. Helps you find common humanity. When Johnny said he shot a man in Reno, I can find the part of myself that did that.

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Can games change minds? - Gamasutra (blog)

Can games change minds? - Gamasutra (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Can games change minds?

Gamasutra (blog)

 

Regardless of your performance (some possible answers are here), new research suggests that thinking about stereotypical and nonstereotypical trait pairings increases social identity complexity, a psychological construct linked to “tolerance of outgroup members.” In other words, the more often we are reminded that not all computer scientists are male, that an insurance underwriter can also be a legendary game designer, and that artists can also be tennis players, the more we internalize the degree to which people belong to multiple, nonconvergent social groups, and the closer we feel to those who are members of social groups that differ from our own.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

The author argues that games can influence our thinking in this way. So can literature.

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Rotenberg's Toronto Thrillers Mix Canadian Courtesy With Murder - NPR

Rotenberg's Toronto Thrillers Mix Canadian Courtesy With Murder - NPR | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
NPR
Rotenberg's Toronto Thrillers Mix Canadian Courtesy With Murder

 

Robert Rotenberg has written four legal thrillers set in Toronto, that old industrial city on the shores of Lake Ontario. He's a criminal lawyer — all his books are centered on trials — and he loves his city so much that he makes multicultural Toronto a character in his books.

. . .

"When I think of a character, almost the very first thing I think of, [is] where do they live?" Rotenberg says. "Knowing where they live really tells me a great deal about who they are, and if I don't know where they live I can't write about them."

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3 Modern Sirens Tackle the Greek Myths - Mother Jones

3 Modern Sirens Tackle the Greek Myths - Mother Jones | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Mother Jones
3 Modern Sirens Tackle the Greek Myths

 

The word "music" traces back to Greek's mousike, or "art of the Muses," those seven goddesses presiding over song, literature, and dance. The muse Euterpe, "giver of delight," embodied music and lyric poetry; she'd have approved of the following contemporary songbirds, for whom timeless Greek tales inspire and enrich songs about modern life and love.

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Making 'Killer Angels'

Making 'Killer Angels' | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The story behind Michael Shaara’s classic novel about the Battle of Gettysburg.

 

One-hundred-and-one summers after the Battle of Gettysburg, a family of four stopped their Nash Rambler at the site during a 1,000-mile drive from the New York World’s Fair to Tallahassee, Fla. The father was a New Jersey-born former boxer, paratrooper and policeman who became a creative writing instructor at Florida State after enrolling to study opera. Before arriving at the park he had published dozens of science-fiction short stories, but nothing about history. But he had researched several Gettysburg participants for the trip, and he fascinated his daughter Lila and son Jeff with stories of his favorites while the family walked the grounds.

They ended up staying for several days, because Michael Shaara was in the early stages of creating his masterpiece novel, “The Killer Angels.”

 

Partly owing to meticulous research, it took Shaara (pronounced “Share-a”) seven years to finish the manuscript. Relying chiefly on first-person accounts like memoirs, diaries and letters, he pioneered a new type of historical novel.

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Booked: A literary travel guide for the stay-at-home vacationer - Globe and Mail

Booked: A literary travel guide for the stay-at-home vacationer - Globe and Mail | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Booked: A literary travel guide for the stay-at-home vacationer
Globe and Mail

 

Planning to tour Canada this summer? To help you plan your getaway, Globe Books asked some of the country’s finest writers to recommend the book they think best explains their home turf. The result is a literary travel guide that’s got us covered, coast to coast to coast.

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Victorian Literature for Accounting Majors

Victorian Literature for Accounting Majors | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Two professors offer a course that experiments with how to provide a business education without abandoning the liberal arts.

Via Mary-Catherine Harrison
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Mary-Catherine Harrison's curator insight, June 27, 2013 10:47 AM

"We believe, though, that accounting majors—and college students who have embarked on other professional tracks—continue to need a solid foundation in the liberal arts. Selecting a career-related major does not reduce the importance of gaining a deep appreciation for literature, visual arts, history, political science, and the like, not to mention the critical thinking, reading, and writing skills that students can hone in those fields. Unfortunately, many students concentrating on business careers seem obsessively focused on the narrow confines of their majors."

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Shakespeare's plays to be retold by novelists - Telegraph.co.uk

Shakespeare's plays to be retold by novelists - Telegraph.co.uk | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Telegraph.co.uk

Shakespeare's plays to be retold by novelists T

 

Hogarth, the Random House transatlantic fiction imprint, has today announced an international project that aims to bring Shakespeare to a wider contemporary audience. The project, titled The Hogarth Shakespeare, will ask bestselling novelists throughout the world to retell his work in a more accessible prose form.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

This project raises the interesting question of how a change in literary form affects the nature of meaning.

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The Humanist Message Hidden Amid the Violence of One Thousand and One Nights - The Atlantic

The Humanist Message Hidden Amid the Violence of One Thousand and One Nights - The Atlantic | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

The Humanist Message Hidden Amid the Violence of One Thousand and One Nights
The Atlantic

 

This is why Hanan Al-Shaykh's new edition (with an introduction by Mary Gaitskill, an American master of writing about sexual violence) is such a gift. To prepare it, Al-Shaykh read three Arabic editions in full--including the "authoritative" edition, prepared by scholar Muhsin Mahdi, from a 14th-century Syrian source (as well as its English translation). Her goal in trucking through nearly 8,000 pages: to distill the very best into a single, approachable volume. "It took me nearly a year and a half to choose," she told me, "because all the stories are like jewels. It took me a long time to think and to wander."

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Brett Martin's 'Difficult Men' Sees a New Golden Age for TV - New York Times

Brett Martin's 'Difficult Men' Sees a New Golden Age for TV - New York Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Brett Martin's 'Difficult Men' Sees a New Golden Age for TV

New York Times

 

The mob boss Tony Soprano — played by the great James Gandolfini, who died last week of a heart attack — was one of the most memorable fictional characters to emerge in the past several decades. He was also a prototype for a wave of provocative antiheroes who, as Brett Martin’s new book points out, would place cable television at the vanguard of a creative revolution, one that would make open-ended serialized drama “the signature American art form of the first decade of the 21st century.” The secretive and lonely Don Draper in “Mad Men,” the murderous Al Swearengen in “Deadwood” and the wily Walter White in “Breaking Bad”: these “difficult men,” as Mr. Martin calls them, are all Tony’s psychological relatives — “unhappy, morally compromised, complicated, deeply human” characters who stir both our sympathy and our revulsion, a sense of identification and an implied complicity in their darkest deeds.

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George Orwell's Biggest Fear Went Far Beyond Big Brother - San Francisco Chronicle

George Orwell's Biggest Fear Went Far Beyond Big Brother - San Francisco Chronicle | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
George Orwell's Biggest Fear Went Far Beyond Big Brother
San Francisco Chronicle

 

The totalitarian surveillance state imagined in George Orwell's "1984" is often cited to describe government encroachments on privacy, which is why the recent National Security Agency leaks led to a spike in sales of the dystopian novel on Amazon.com.


When you look at Orwell's other novels, however, it becomes clear that his central fear went far beyond government spying. The British author, whose birthday was 110 years ago today, also wrote pessimistic novels about imperialism, capitalism, commercialism, and war.

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Placing Literature site links literature and geography - Mind Of The Geek

Placing Literature site links literature and geography - Mind Of The Geek | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Placing Literature site links literature and geography
Mind Of The Geek

Placing Literature is a new online database that allows users to map and check in at locales affiliated with books and authors.

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The Canadian Faulkner - Daily Beast

The Canadian Faulkner - Daily Beast | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Canadian Faulkner

Daily Beast

 

At more than 400 pages, Cities of Refuge has a Faulknerian commitment to diverse perspectives—from a barely literate Colombian immigrant to a highly literary Anglo professor, from a hard-headed materialist who plays historical detective to a soft-souled idealist who sacrifices history to her belief in Christian resurrection. A writer needs space and stylistic dexterity to give characters like these and others—a mathematician working on Godelian uncertainty, a Colombian woman pretending to be the wife of a legal immigrant, a stumblebum stalker, a tired Anglican priest—their say and their relations to another “character,” the city of Toronto, which Helm depicts as refugee central in a country to which 700,000 foreign applicants are awaiting entry. But if my complimentary “Faulknerian” sounds too Southern or last-century, think of Cities of Refuge as the Toronto cousin of contemporary New York novels by and about immigrants such as Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin, Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, or Teju Cole’s Open City. Welcome to our shores, Michael Helm, and apologies for the delay.

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How to Spot a Communist Using Literary Criticism: A 1955 Manual from the U.S. Military

How to Spot a Communist Using Literary Criticism: A 1955 Manual from the U.S. Military | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
In 1955, the United States was entering the final stages of McCarthyism or the Second Red Scare. During this low point in American history, the US government looked high and low for Communist spies.

 

. . .

In 1955, the U.S. First Army Headquarters prepared a manual called How to Spot a Communist. Later published in popular American magazines, the propaganda piece warned readers, “there is no fool-proof system in spotting a Communist.” “U.S. Communists come from all walks of life, profess all faiths, and exercise all trades and professions. In addition, the Communist Party, USA, has made concerted efforts to go underground for the purpose of infiltration.” And yet the pamphlet adds, letting readers breathe a sigh of relief, “there are, fortunately, indications that may give him away. These indications are often subtle but always present, for the Communist, by reason of his “faith” must act and talk along certain lines.” In short, you’ll know a Communist not by how he walks, but how he talks.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

It's good to be reminded occasionally of incidents like this in our history.

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Five science fiction novels for people who hate SF

Five science fiction novels for people who hate SF | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Like any enduring cultural experiment, science fiction has evolved its own codes, its own logic. Some of the genre's most intense and visionary work talks in a shared language of concepts that can be hard for the uninitiated to penetrate – works Samuel Delaney's Dhalgren or James Tiptree Jr's Ten Thousand Light Years From Home, for instance, would be a forbidding place to start. But if you want to catch up with the literature of our shared future then where can you begin?

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What Makes a Work of Art Seem Dated? - New Yorker

What Makes a Work of Art Seem Dated? - New Yorker | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
New Yorker
What Makes a Work of Art Seem Dated?

 

What actually makes a work of art—a film, a novel, architecture, fashion—seem “dated”? The Web site of Merriam-Webster defines dated as “outmoded, old-fashioned.” And yet, this lacks explanatory power; every historical artifact (not to mention some that are new and “already dated”) could fall under that rubric. Why do some things seamlessly slip from their temporal context? When does something cross from historically appropriate to “dated”? And is there a time window for datedness, a kind of reverse statute of limitations, beyond which things are doomed by their historical patina?

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Read why one critic thinks the film "Mad Max" (1979) doesn't feel dated.

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Why violence is good for games — and storytelling - VentureBeat

Why violence is good for games — and storytelling - VentureBeat | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Why violence is good for games — and storytelling
VentureBeat

 

When video game violence makes headlines, it’s usually at the expense of geekdom. Such was the case with Vice President Joe Biden’s recent comments that he sees no legal barrier to prevent a tax on violent games. But in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, former Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne producer Jeremy Pope recently brought up one word that has everything to do with why video games need violence if they want to ever be considered a more culturally valuable form of expression. That word is conflict — more specifically, meaningful conflict that propels a story forward.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

It's true that conflict is the basic ingredient of any good story. But violence?

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Frontier romance and our love of it - Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Frontier romance and our love of it
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

 

In her new book, “The Frontier Romance,” Judith Kleinfeld combines her knowledge as a professor of psychology with her experiences running UAF’s Northern Studies Program (which she founded) to explore how a handful of contemporary Alaskans are pursuing the frontier dream on their own terms, usually — but not always — to good ends.

 

Kleinfeld opens with a brief exploration of the role that the frontier has played in America’s collective mind. It’s been there for our entire history, but as she explains, it wasn’t fully embraced as a good thing until the 19th century when westward expansion truly erupted. Historically, frontiers were seen as places to defend, not boundaries to to be overcome.

 

Once they were breached, however, the restlessness that drove settlers across the continent became the metaphor for virtually all of America’s endeavors. Today those making strides in science, technology, venture capital, or even something as mundane as moviemaking, are touted as brave pioneers pushing the limits of the frontier. It’s embedded in our thought.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A look at how a concept, "the frontier," has shaped national consciousness.

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Method to the Madness

Method to the Madness | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Exploring the “dark art” of writing about psychological dysfunction.

 

The verbal production of schizophrenics and other psychotic individuals might sound like language without discourse, a useful formulation, but for the novelist it’s not enough. A discourse — a coherent story — must be discernible within even the wildest ramblings of an insane narrator. Technically it’s a tough thing to get right. But madness is never arbitrary, never random in its manifestations — or its causes. The reader who’s been successfully enlisted as a kind of psychiatric detective will find herself engaged with minds blind to their own dysfunction, which makes them as rich in complexity as any in our literature.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Patrick McGrath, contemporary master of the macabre, discusses his literary infuences and the difficulty of expressing a chaotic mind in a comprehensible narrative form.

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WRITING ON THE ETHER: Let's Review Criticism | Porter Anderson

WRITING ON THE ETHER: Let's Review Criticism | Porter Anderson | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
In Writing on the Ether, Porter Anderson at JaneFriedman.com looks at how literary criticism now is divided into three major camps, none fully effective.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Interesting, if a bit more drawn out than necessay.

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The Upside of Trauma - Pacific Standard

The Upside of Trauma - Pacific Standard | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Upside of Trauma
Pacific Standard

 

The idea that adversity can be a source of strength, or that wisdom can come from great loss, is at least as old as the ancient concepts of tragedy and catharsis. Next to sobering pronouncements about the toll of traumatic stress on the brain, these can seem like saccharine clichés. But in fact a growing psychological literature supports these old notions, or something close to them. In numerous studies canvassing a great variety of traumas, researchers have found that many people, when confronted by events powerful enough to shake their core sense of the world, do indeed gain from the ordeal. In a process that is relatively normal, if easily derailed, they engage in a struggle for psychological survival that reroutes the direction of their lives in a way they ultimately acknowledge is for the better. The name psychologists have given this phenomenon is post-traumatic growth.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

This story has nothing to do with literature, but it's well worth reading for insight and enlightenment.

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Recap: No place like Dome - The Age

Recap: No place like Dome - The Age | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
New York Daily News Recap: No place like Dome

The Age

 

It's a sci-fi kind of premise but not a sci-fi kind of show, rapidly evolving into a closed in political drama that I'm quietly hoping turns into a Lord of the Flies / Battle Royale / Hunger Gamesfor adults kind of thing.

 
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

One critic's take on the introduction to TV's "Under the Dome," based on a work by Stephen King.

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Learning From Our Children | Psychology Today

Learning From Our Children | Psychology Today | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Psychology Today: Here to Help.

Michele Wick

 

While others might urge you to pick up the latest beach read, I invite you to dig deep emotionally and read this selection of memoirs written by parents of exceptional children. Each story will change the way you think about parenting and teach you something wonderful about wholehearted living.

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The Seven Ways To Write About Television - NPR

The Seven Ways To Write About Television - NPR | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
NPR
The Seven Ways To Write About Television

 

After any major episode, there will be a flurry of commentary, and even after minor episodes of minor shows, there are write-ups here and there.

 

But while these pieces — whether you call them recaps, reviews, essays, commentaries, whatever — may look the same, there are a bunch of different ways to do them, and understanding the kinds that are out there might help you find the kind you like. So here they are: the seven ways people commonly write about television.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

NPR's Linda Holmes talks about television commentary here, but her list of approaches could also be applied to literature.

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The Literary Origins of North West - The Millions

The Literary Origins of North West - The Millions | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Literary Origins of North West

The Millions

 

Certain names are forever tainted by their literary heritage. Jezebel couldn’t shake its association with the shameless wife of Ahab — until, perhaps, the feminist blog came along and reappropriated the name. Both Romeo and Lothario are inextricably linked to passionate seducers, one sincere, the other unscrupulous. Names derived from strong women in Shakespeare’s plays like Miranda and Portia are fairly common, but Ophelias are rare (Unless they’ve all gotten themselves to a nunnery, as Hamlet suggested.) Then there’s Lolita, a name practically synonymous with a sexually advanced, nymph-like young woman (So why don’t we call pathetic old guys infatuated with younger women Humbert Humberts? Just wondering.)

 

If some names are tainted, then others are forever blessed by their bookish
background. Is it any surprise that literary names like Phineas (A Separate Peace) and Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird) have taken off in recent years? Who doesn’t want to bestow upon their child a Pavlovian response from strangers who automatically find their child attractive, wise, honest or dignified because of a book they read in ninth grade?

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