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The Arts Journal

The Arts Journal | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it
website of The Arts Forum ('The Arts Journal', for perspectives on contemporary literature, art, culture of Guyana, Caribbean & Diasporas http://t.co/hzT0bBlLdu #CW53)...
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John McCutcheon - Boothbay Register

John McCutcheon - Boothbay Register | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it
Boothbay Register
John McCutcheon
Boothbay Register
His storytelling has the richness of fine literature.” McCutcheon has emerged as one of the ...
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The Book Chook: Visual Literacy - Investigate and Play with Images

The Book Chook: Visual Literacy - Investigate and Play with Images | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it

Via BookChook, Claudia M. Reder
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BookChook's curator insight, March 31, 2013 2:09 PM

Help kids develop skills in visual literacy by using picture books, apps, websites and other media. 

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Study: Reading Fiction Makes People Comfortable With Ambiguity

Study: Reading Fiction Makes People Comfortable With Ambiguity | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it
New Canadian research finds reading a literary short story increases one’s comfort with ambiguity.

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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, June 15, 2013 12:59 PM

EXACTLY!

 

Another serendipity! No sooner did I scoop and "defend" ThugNotes take on The Great Gatsby, than I came across this article addressing the very same concerns.

 

Perhaps this article's presentation of the points I tried to make are more palatable than my expression of the issues.

 

I'd really encourage the reading of this article that begins...

 

_____

 

"Are you uncomfortable with ambiguity? It’s a common condition, but a highly problematic one. The compulsion to quell that unease can inspire snap judgments, rigid thinking, and bad decision-making.

Fortunately, new research suggests a simple antidote for this affliction: Read more literary fiction.

 

A trio of University of Toronto scholars, led by psychologist Maja Djikic, report that people who have just read a short story have less need for what psychologists call “cognitive closure.” Compared with peers who have just read an essay, they expressed more comfort with disorder and uncertainty—attitudes that allow for both sophisticated thinking and greater creativity."

_____

 

And, it gets better and better. Lectures and Informational Reading certainly have their significant benefits; but literature can accomplish what is much more rarely accomplished in other expressions of wisdom.

 

That is unless "snap judgments, rigid thinking, and bad decision-making" and the insistence for "cognitive closure" aren't personal and therefore social problems that need serious attention.

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 

 

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Literary discourse: Rendezvous with Abdullah Hussain - The Express Tribune

Literary discourse: Rendezvous with Abdullah Hussain - The Express Tribune | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it
The Express Tribune Literary discourse: Rendezvous with Abdullah Hussain The Express Tribune She spoke of a disconnect between upcoming writers and those in Hussain's league, considering that only a limited number of Urdu novelists who have come of...
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Book: As Paixões de Pessoa – By George Monteiro – Review - Portuguese American Journal (blog)

Book: As Paixões de Pessoa – By George Monteiro – Review - Portuguese American Journal (blog) | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it
Book: As Paixões de Pessoa – By George Monteiro – Review Portuguese American Journal (blog) Monteiro has written extensively about Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), a Portuguese poet and writer considered one of the greatest modernists in any language,...
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'One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories,' by BJ Novak - Washington Post

'One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories,' by BJ Novak - Washington Post | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it
'One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories,' by BJ Novak Washington Post His style is part Steven Wright and part Charlie Kaufman, married with a sharp ear for (and satire of) contemporary pop culture.
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John Brown: Is Anyone Speaking?

John Brown: Is Anyone Speaking? | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it
Yes, let's read, write, and use the Internet, but let's not abandon the miraculous pleasure of speaking in the real world with identifiable persons other than ourselves.
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Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer

Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it
"Deep reading" is vigorous exercise from the brain and increases our real-life capacity for empathy

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Anne Oswalt's curator insight, June 15, 2013 6:32 PM

Ammo for 1st day of school.

Robin Burns's curator insight, June 20, 2013 10:54 AM

Interesting read.

Sharon Hayes's comment, August 28, 2013 3:00 AM
This has come up at the Writers Festival this year. I think I've always known this but nice to have research to back it up!
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'The Great Gatsby' Be Straight Trippin'

'The Great Gatsby' Be Straight Trippin' | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it
Sparky Sweets, PhD is back with more literary analysis, this time of the F. Scott Fitzgerald – and Baz Luhrmann – classic The Great Gatsby.

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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, June 15, 2013 12:15 PM

Be careful. This video has more than enough reasons to be considered inappropriate. But, that being said I really believe that an English teacher who doesn't watch the entire video is missing an incredibly valuable professional development opportunity.

 

Personally, I've never been a big fan of The Great Gatsby. This is not to say that I think it is a bad book. There's certainly plenty of opportunities for contemplating the great literary themes. And, I have no doubt that it "works" for many teachers and students. 

 

I just had trouble finding a bridge from the world I knew as a high school student to the world of annoying people in the story. For the most part, I blame this on my "late blooming." So this is not intended as an anti-Great Gatsby argument by any means.

 

I just wasn't ready for it when my life trajectory crossed the course syllabus trajectory. 

 

I read the book again in college and only disliked it a little less than I did in high school. I still found the style to be indistinguishably pretentious from the characters's pretentiousness. That's when I learned that F. Scott Fitzgerald lived life pretty much in the same fashion as those he appeared to despise in the book which I found fairly off-putting. Though at the time I was beginning to discover that many authors' personal lives were not the best example of the value of the wisdom they appeared to profess in their work.

 

But, somewhere along the line there were experiences that began to clear some of the many fogs of youthful obliviousness. One such experience was hearing Dick Cavett once say, ...

 

It is a rare person who wants to hear want he doesn't want to hear. 

 

Another was when I ran across Voltaire's quote...

 

"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

 

The key here, at least in my mind, was that I came to understand that I didn't always have to pit my beliefs against others' beliefs as though life were no more than knowing which answer on a multiple choice test was the one and only correct answer. And, that if "A" was the correct answer then "B," "C," and "D" couldn't possibly be correct. 

 

There are plenty of examples of there being "one and only one" right answer I suppose, but there are also plenty of examples of there being many viable alternatives to a single question.

 

So, as has become my practice, I am a bit reluctant to treat my opinions as though they were tattoos that I committed to thinking would always appear to me to have been a good decision for which I'd never see as foolish in hindsight. (And just to be clear, no I don't have any tattoos)

 

Therefore, my personal opinion of The Great Gatsby aside, I've never dismissed it as having no real value in the curriculum or the canon. It, like so many other complex elements of the real world, works for some and not for others.

 

So, I went to see the The Great Gatsby film the other day, just to see what my reaction might be. I must admit that I'd liked the controversial version of Romeo and Juliet also directed by 

Baz Luhrmann and also starring Leonardo diCaprio.

 

And, like so many other film adaptations (To Kill A Mockingbird for example), I found much to be disappointing and much to like.

 

And then I came across this video that certainly discusses The Great Gatsby in terms that many will not want to hear. And, though we do live in times when a dangerous percentage of people are absolutely unwilling to listen to anything they do not want to hear. There's a rather unexpected turn of events in this video. 

 

I'd have a pretty tough time defending the use of this video in class. And I'd be extremely cautious about recommending this video to colleagues, knowing that many would find it offensive. Yet, I'd definitely recommend it WITH A WARNING that offensive as it might be to some, there is significant reason to watch it to the end rather than to stop watching it at the first sign of offensive content.

 

So thanks to Baz Luhrmann and Sparky Sweets, I think I'll dust off my copy of The Great Gatsby and give it another read.

 

If, by chance you happen to find this video of some interest, you might also find Sparky Sweets' Thug Notes explanation of Crime and Punishment worth a look. (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZWVp_qrD8o)

 

Intrigued? Check out: http://www.thug-notes.com 

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Literature and the Moral Life - Patheos (blog)

Literature and the Moral Life - Patheos (blog) | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it
Literature and the Moral Life
Patheos (blog)
The state of contemporary literary criticism complicates this question. It often takes a “death of the author” approach and is conducted without respect to an absolute meaning of the work.
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Catalonia, a place of literature: 10 Catalan titles to be published in the UK

Catalonia, a place of literature: 10 Catalan titles to be published in the UK | Contemporary Literature | Scoop.it

2013 is a unique moment for Catalan literature both in the UK and the rest of the English-speaking world. Three recently translated major works of 20th-century European literature are the novels La plaça del Diamant (In Diamond Square, Virago Press) by Mercè Rodoreda, Incerta Glòria (Uncertain Glory, MacLehose Press) by Joan Sales, and El quadern gris (The Grey Notebook, New York Review of Books) by Josep Pla. The publication of these three masterpieces translated by Peter Bush is complemented by some excellent exemples of contemporary Catalan literature...


Via @AngloCatalans
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