Literature & Psychology
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And when did you last see Blake Morrison? - Irish Examiner

And when did you last see Blake Morrison? - Irish Examiner | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Irish Examiner
And when did you last see Blake Morrison?

 

Morrison now lives and works in London with his wife and family, but given his parentage (and the fact that he has been invited to the WCLF), to which side would he say he inclines? He thinks about it. “I consider myself English, mainly because I grew up in England and because I’ve never lived in Ireland.” A pause, a smile. “But emotionally I incline to the Irish side.”

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

How do writers define themselves? Is ethnicity or national origin important for a writer?

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Barron: Cheyenne literary club vibrant after 112 years - Casper Star-Tribune Online

Barron: Cheyenne literary club vibrant after 112 years
Casper Star-Tribune Online

 

Then there is the Young Men's Literary Club of Cheyenne, still going after an incredible 112 years.

 

Established in 1902, the capital city's organization is something of a relic and only one of a handful of literary clubs from that era that survive today.

 

It is an elite men-only organization with 30 active members who must be invited to join.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

YAY for their longevity.

BOO for excluding women.

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Who IS a genius, anyway? Darrin McMahon tries to tell us - Buffalo News

Who IS a genius, anyway? Darrin McMahon tries to tell us - Buffalo News | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Who IS a genius, anyway? Darrin McMahon tries to tell us

Buffalo News

 

Darrin M. McMahon’s “Divine Fury: A History of Genius” is an exceptional work of accessibly written scholarship that seems poised to usher the history of ideas back into vogue; or perhaps not. Unlike the histories of knowledge or culture or ideas, genius is a unique and mysterious subject that fascinates and provokes. What produces genius? Is genius measurable? Why are the acknowledged geniuses in history almost entirely male? Why have so many geniuses suffered from mental torment? How is it that genius – once the provenance of Leonardo Da Vinci, Mozart, and Einstein – is now wantonly applied to NFL coaches, rock stars and Apple Store employees?

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Calling it wrong: when fictional names don't match the characters - The Guardian (blog)

Calling it wrong: when fictional names don't match the characters - The Guardian (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian (blog)

Calling it wrong: when fictional names don't match the characters

 

It might seem unreasonable to complain about the names authors choose for their characters – it's their choice after all. But some writers could clearly do with a little help.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Does a character's silly name affect how you react to that character?

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Anthony Burgess on James Joyce: the lost introduction - Irish Times

Anthony Burgess on James Joyce: the lost introduction - Irish Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Anthony Burgess on James Joyce: the lost introduction

Irish Times

 

Written in 1986 as the introduction to a Dolmen Press edition of ‘Dubliners’ illustrated by Louis le Brocquy, but never used, this brilliant essay, recently found among the papers of the author, who died in 1993, appears here for the first time

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The top 10 feminist books - The Guardian

The top 10 feminist books - The Guardian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian
The top 10 feminist books

 

What makes a great feminist text? The right values for sure. But it also needs sufficient wit, wisdom, energy and eloquence to inspire change beyond its time, perhaps beyond the imagination of its author. My list includes fact and "non-fact" – as I sometimes think of fiction – poetry, original English and translated writing. Two male authors have made the cut, though I could easily have included more.

 

Gender-based inequality remains the greatest global injustice and the struggle against it spans millennia and continents. These books make us more impatient for change, but they may also be turned to in dark hours when it feels change might never come. Feminism is no impulse or outcome of modernity. As these books show, it has been around for centuries. We don't need to re-invent the wheel, or number what "wave" we are now riding; we need to harness an atomic rocket to it.

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Science Catches Up to What Authors Have Known Since the Age of Shakespeare - Huffington Post (blog)

Science Catches Up to What Authors Have Known Since the Age of Shakespeare - Huffington Post (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Science Catches Up to What Authors Have Known Since the Age of Shakespeare

 

Writers have arguably understood on some level the psychological merit of writing about trauma as far back as the days of Shakespeare -- some theorists suggest the Bard penned Hamlet while recovering from the death of his 11-year-old son Hamnet. As it happens, psychologists also have long speculated about the power of writing. For about a century, it has been commonplace for counselors to ask their clients to keep journals, write letters to estranged or deceased loved ones, and otherwise put their thoughts into writing. Nonetheless, only during the past 25 years has science been brought to bear on these practices.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A good recap of research into the therapeutic benefits of writing, including information on college classes focused on writing trauma narratives, both fictional and nonfictional.

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The New Violence in Literature | The Artifice

The New Violence in Literature | The Artifice | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Taking notes from both b-movie horror films and Shakespeare, these authors are developing a new kind of literary violence the likes of which has never been seen before. It is the violence of nameless links to videos of beheadings. You don’t see it coming, but once it’s there, you can’t look away. Everything is described in perfect grueling detail, a literal counting of just how many ropes of entrail are strewn across the floor. The language zig-zags between poetic highs and vulgar lows. Sentences act as biting commentary on the depersonalizing nature of technology while simultaneously describing base sexual desires.

. . .

To call these books Horror seems wrong, even though they are horrifying. These authors don’t deal with the world of monsters and serial killers, but instead with the terrifying untapped well of violence that sits in the heart of every human being. The feelings we pretend we don’t feel about our friends and ourselves.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

You have been warned.

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Shakespeare, magical realism and “House of Cards”: A conversation between ... - Salon

Shakespeare, magical realism and “House of Cards”: A conversation between ... - Salon | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Salon
Shakespeare, magical realism and “House of Cards”: A conversation between ...

 

Alexi Zentner’s new novel, “The Lobster Kings,” is set in a lobster fishing village and focuses on Cordelia Kings. Inspired by “King Lear,” Zentner’s second novel is the story of Cordelia’s struggle to maintain her island’s way of life in the face of danger from offshore and the rich, looming, mythical legacy of her family’s namesake.

. . .

Alexi and Téa Obreht (“The Tiger’s Wife”) met recently to talk about “The Lobster Kings’” inspiration and influence, Shakespeare, writing outside your voice, and the way myth and magic work in fiction.

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'Let it go' from 'Frozen' has grabbed our brains and still won't let go - Today.com

'Let it go' from 'Frozen' has grabbed our brains and still won't let go - Today.com | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
'Let it go' from 'Frozen' has grabbed our brains and still won't let go Today.com

 

It’s what your kids wake up singing every morning. It’s become the topic of countless YouTube parodies including one of a dad singing, “This freaking song is haunting me … Please make it stop.” Not not only did the song win the Academy Award for Best Original Song, but its remix version has snuck its way into clubs across the country.

 

Yep, it's the can’t-escape-it, stuck-in-your-head song “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen.” So what exactly is it about this earworm-from-hell that’s made it so irresistible?

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10 things ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Sopranos’ helped teach us

10 things ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Sopranos’ helped teach us | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Sexy isn’t a height or a weight or a haircut — and other lessons from HBO’s current megahit “Game of Thrones” and seminal drama “The Sopranos.” The Season 4 finale of “Game of Thrones” is Sunday, June 15.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A good look at why these shows/stories appeal to such a wide audience.

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Why We Still Don't Have a Good TV Show about Tech and Need One, Quick - Paste Magazine

Why We Still Don't Have a Good TV Show about Tech and Need One, Quick - Paste Magazine | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Paste Magazine

Why We Still Don't Have a Good TV Show about Tech and Need One,

 

In my mind, TV shows, by virtue of being a product of economic and creative collaboration, are vetted pieces of the society reflecting back on itself. And while I don’t expect that very many other people interact with TV in the exact way I do, I do believe that the broader viewing public do participate in milder forms of these processes.

 

Thus, that the tech industry hasn’t been effectively treated by television suggests that we lack a mass outlet to collectively evaluate and understand the broader social consequences of the Valley. The industry has been effectively featured as a one-off or secondary concern, as in the case of, respectively, The Good Wife (which continues to do stellar work critiquing the surveillance infrastructure) and Veep (“Kindergarten for Cyberbrats” remains a stunningly meaningful burn). But nothing currently exists at the level of The Social Network, David Fincher’s 2010 film about the origins of Facebook penned by Aaron Sorkin and based on the contentious non-fiction book The Accidental Billionaires.

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6 Compelling Books Featuring Other Books - Paste Magazine

6 Compelling Books Featuring Other Books - Paste Magazine | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Paste Magazine
6 Compelling Books Featuring Other Books

 

a book within a book has to be a winner. It’s time to get meta: here are six excellent books featuring other books.

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On Vacation

Literature & Psychology is on hiatus while I am traveling. Please check back on July 1.

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10 of the Best Independent Bookstores Across the U.S. - St. Augustine Record

10 of the Best Independent Bookstores Across the U.S.
St. Augustine Record

 

Barnes & Noble will always be there with a stack of bestsellers, and Half Price Books is likely to have the novel you’re looking for in a pinch. But for travelers, little will beat the act of stepping inside a small, local bookstore, being greeted by the owner and guided through the collection by an employee who actually loves literature as much as you do. Maybe it’s their independent spirit (reading, after all, is a form of freedom), or maybe it’s that they’re connected with local authors, but the independent bookstore manages to live on in an era of Kindles and chain resellers. So, if you’re like us, and agree that a good trip deserves a good book, then just for you, here are 10 of our editors’ favorite independently owned bookstores throughout the United States.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Is there one near where you live?

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Donna Tartt's 'The Goldfinch' Uncovered a Dirty Little Secret: Readers Don't Listen to Critics - Flavorwire

Donna Tartt's 'The Goldfinch' Uncovered a Dirty Little Secret: Readers Don't Listen to Critics - Flavorwire | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Flavorwire
Donna Tartt's 'The Goldfinch' Uncovered a Dirty Little Secret: Readers Don't Listen to Critics

 

The piece, which takes a look at the disconnect between a few critics’ less-than-stellar reviews of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and the million-plus print and digital copies of the book that have been sold, not to mention the the Pulitzer Prize it picked up, is centered around a question that really doesn’t get answered: “What makes a work ‘literature,’ and who gets to decide?”

 

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Greatness on the tiniest stage - Boston Globe

Greatness on the tiniest stage - Boston Globe | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Boston Globe

Greatness on the tiniest stage

 

On first glance, it looks for all the world like a manufacturing flaw: a tiny smudge defacing James Joyce’s owl-like eyeglasses on a Euro coin commemorating the Irish novelist.

But the rectangular imperfection reveals itself to be far more intricate and marvelous under the microscope: a miniature reproduction of the famed writer’s 300-page short story collection, “Dubliners.”


A Boston College physicist etched the famed text, published a century ago this Sunday, onto a 2.5-square-millimeter patch using a sophisticated nanolithography technique more commonly employed to build electronics than to print miniature editions of classic literature.

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Robert Frost Was Neither Light Nor Dark He's worth reading because we're both - The New Republic

Robert Frost Was Neither Light Nor Dark He's worth reading because we're both - The New Republic | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Robert Frost Was Neither Light Nor Dark He's worth reading because we're both

The New Republic

 

 The challenge, then, is the lack of challenge: that we experience the poems with more depth than we can usually comprehend. In this we are uncannily like the people in his poems walking past forests or down country roads or finding other sights that entrance them, who know that they reflexively project their desires and fears onto what they see even though they can’t help themselves. No matter how false their projections, their experience of them is as real and as intricate as that of what they see (and as that of their own theories and doubts). To read Frost is to feel his characters’ inner conflicts and to feel as conflicted as his characters, who are all too often lost in themselves.

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The Surprising Power of Stories That Are Shorter Than Short Stories - The Atlantic

The Surprising Power of Stories That Are Shorter Than Short Stories - The Atlantic | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Surprising Power of Stories That Are Shorter Than Short Stories

The Atlantic

 

Last week, Stuart Dybek, one of America’s living masters of the short story, published two new, and very different collections. The nine pieces in Paper Lantern: Love Stories are fairly conventional—they’re stories with drawn characters, and clear conflicts, that reach a certain length. Ecstatic Cahoots: Fifty Short Stories is more focused on the evocative power of language itself—as the strange, musical pairing of words in its title suggests. In offerings that range in length from two lines to nearly 10 pages, from narrative to wholly impressionistic, Dybek uses fragments, koans, and brief lyric flights to capture whole worlds in miniature.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

"Flash fiction" is a term used to describe very short writings. I originally saw it defined as a story less than 500 words long, but this article talks about the undefined nature of the form.

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8 Actresses Who Brought Our Favorite Book Characters to Life

8 Actresses Who Brought Our Favorite Book Characters to Life | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Here's a list of the best on-screen versions of the most compelling female characters in literature, brought to life by a series of great actresses that just seemed to get the parts.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Counterpart to an earlier piece on 8 actors who brought literary characters to life.

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Vickroy: Classic literature in comic form has broader reach, teachers say - SouthtownStar

Vickroy: Classic literature in comic form has broader reach, teachers say - SouthtownStar | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Vickroy: Classic literature in comic form has broader reach, teachers say SouthtownStar

 

It’s called the graphic novel in academic circles but you know it as the comic book. Eric Kallenborn and Ronell Whitaker consider it the great equalizer.

 

Both Kallenborn, who teaches at Shepard High School in Palos Heights, and Whitaker, who teaches at Eisenhower in Blue Island, are at the forefront of incorporating graphic texts – literature presented in comic book form – into their classrooms. They also encourage other teachers, across all disciplines, to do the same.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Yes, but is it really literature?

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Why Are Literary Critics Dismayed by Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch and Its ... - Vanity Fair

Why Are Literary Critics Dismayed by Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch and Its ... - Vanity Fair | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Why Are Literary Critics Dismayed by Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch and Its ...
Vanity Fair

 

Have you read The Goldfinch yet?” Consider it the cocktail-party conversation starter of 2014, the new “Are you watching Breaking Bad?” Eleven years in the making, 784 pages long, the book has re-ignited the cult of Donna Tartt, which began in 1992 with her sensational debut novel, The Secret History. When The Goldfinch came out, last fall, recipients of advance copies promptly showed off their galleys on Instagram, as if announcing the birth of a child. Her readings sold out instantly. New York’s Frick Collection, which in October began exhibiting the painting for which the book was named, hadn’t seen so much traffic in years. The novel is already on its way to becoming a movie, or a TV series, made by the producers of The Hunger Games. It’s been on the New York Times best-seller list for seven months, sold a million and a half print and digital copies, and drawn a cornucopia of rave reviews, including one in the daily New York Times and another in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. In April it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the judges of which praised it as “a book that stimulates the mind and touches the heart.”

 

It’s also gotten some of the severest pans in memory from the country’s most important critics and sparked a full-on debate in which the naysayers believe that nothing less is at stake than the future of reading itself.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Have you read "The Goldfinch" yet? I have it on my Kindle, though I haven't started it yet.

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Anna Freud's Astounding Story | Psychology Today

Science journalist Rebecca Coffey’s just published novel, Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story, is a fact-based, fictionalized exploration of the complicated and loving relationship between Sigmund Freud and his daughter Anna.


As Anna tells her story, we gain insight into such questions as what it was like for her to grow up lesbian in a household where her world-renowned father had pronounced lesbianism to be a moral and emotional death sentence; what it must have been like for Anna to discuss her longings and beating fantasies every night with her own father as part of his analysis of her; and how she was able to build a full life with her female lover, all while doting on her disapproving father as he aged and died.

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Why moral ambiguity is popular on TV and the big screen - Deseret News

Why moral ambiguity is popular on TV and the big screen - Deseret News | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Why moral ambiguity is popular on TV and the big screen

Deseret News

 

"Rather than basing moral absolutes on something outside of us, like the Bible, we look inside of us and rely on our own intuition to determine what is ultimately right and wrong," said Kleiser. "In these (type of movies), ethical choices are not black-and-white but are Technicolor because while moral principles exist, circumstances might cause a higher principle to override the normal principle."

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Books|Riddle by Riddle, a Murder Confession Unspools - New York Times

Books|Riddle by Riddle, a Murder Confession Unspools - New York Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Books|Riddle by Riddle, a Murder Confession Unspools
New York Times

 

“The Antiquarian” is steeped in alienation, shame, mourning and disgust. It is intelligently conceived and well executed. Rather than serve up a tantalizing mystery with a tidy resolution, this book does the opposite, demolishing the “facts” and assumptions amassed along the way. It has hundreds of intricate pieces. Once you finish reading, you may feel compelled to take it apart, figure out how it works and begin again.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

About THE ANTIQUARIAN by Gustavo Faverón Patriau. Be sure to read the entire article. This sounds like my kind of book!

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