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Rachel Cusk: 'Aftermath was creative death. I was heading into total silence'

Rachel Cusk: 'Aftermath was creative death. I was heading into total silence' | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

The controversial writer talks about the hostile reaction to her 2012 account of the breakdown of her marriage and how she finally rediscovered her voice.

 

Finding form as a writer, she argues, has always been her most important task – it took two years to hit upon Outline's outline. The writing itself is secondary. For a writer of eloquent precision, it is interesting to hear her shrug off the question of style. She sees style as inescapable from self, allied to it: "Just as a person, don't you sometimes get sick of being yourself and want to be the thing you aren't? But you are the thing you are – to me, that is style. It is relatively bonded to self and there is not a lot you can do about it. Form is different." She cannot be found in the new novel, she says, yet she is there. She believes Outline's "annihilated perspective" might be the "beginning of something interesting" (she is already working on a sequel). And now she makes another astonishing assertion: "I'm certain autobiography is increasingly the only form in all the arts. Description, character – these are dead or dying in reality as well as in art." Is she right? I'm not sure. Even on literary turf, she is effortlessly provocative.

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Much here about writing: voice, form, style, life

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The Real Cult of Charles Manson

The Real Cult of Charles Manson | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The mass murderer, who died on Sunday at 83, turned one following into another.
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How narratives help shape culture
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The 'Killer Women' Writers Collective Is Turning the Page on Sexist Crime Novels

The 'Killer Women' Writers Collective Is Turning the Page on Sexist Crime Novels | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Women buy 80 percent of the 21 billion crime books sold every year. We outnumber both male writers and readers in the genre, lapping up books about serial killers, rape, and psychological torment.
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How to Read Difficult Books: Developing a Discipline

How to Read Difficult Books: Developing a Discipline | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Do you find it shy from the task of reading difficult books? Here's a how-to on developing the discipline to read those toughest texts.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:
"Sitting with [a book] means recognizing that something is too difficult, too painful, or too confusing, but refusing to leave the experience. It takes discipline to do this, and practice. It also takes motivation, which many people don’t find themselves possessing when they encounter a tough read.
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Kampot literary festival hopes to revive Cambodia's lost art of storytelling

Kampot literary festival hopes to revive Cambodia's lost art of storytelling | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Atmospheric Kampot is hosting the likes of Jung Chang and Madeleine Thien as it seeks to rebuild Cambodia’s literary scene and defend its freedom of speech
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The Wailing Woman | History Today

The Wailing Woman | History Today | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
A Mexican woman, Juana Léija, attempted to kill her seven children by throwing them into the Buffalo Bayou in Houston, Texas in 1986. A victim of domestic violence, she was apparently trying to end her suffering and that of her children, two of whom died. During an interview Léija declared that she was La Llorona. La Llorona is a legendary figure with various incarnations. Usually translated into English as ‘the wailing woman’, she is often presented as a banshee-type: an apparition of a woman dressed in white, often found by lakes or rivers, sometimes at crossroads, who cries into the night for her lost children, whom she has killed. The infanticide is sometimes carried out with a knife or dagger, but very often the children have been drowned. Her crime is usually committed in a fit of madness after having found out about an unfaithful lover or husband who leaves her to marry a woman of higher status. After realising what she has done, she usually kills herself. She is often described as a lost soul, doomed to wander the earth forever. To some she is a bogeywoman, used by parents to scare children into good behaviour.  This folk story has been represented artistically in various guises: in film, animation, art, poetry, theatre and in literature aimed at both adults and children alike. The legend is deeply ingrained in Mexican culture and among the Chicano Mexican population of the United States.
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After years of campaigning, Seattle finally wins UNESCO’s laurel for literature

After years of campaigning, Seattle finally wins UNESCO’s laurel for literature | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
It only makes sense that Seattle is now officially one of UNESCO’s Cities of Literature, considering that it’s home to the world’s biggest bookseller.
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Murder on the Orient Express review – Branagh's starry romp runs out of steam | Peter Bradshaw's film of the week

Murder on the Orient Express review – Branagh's starry romp runs out of steam | Peter Bradshaw's film of the week | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The big-name cast includes everyone from Johnny Depp to Judi Dench, but this snowbound Agatha Christie adaptation by Kenneth Branagh is a dusty, old-fashioned dud
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:
Well darn. I had high hopes for this film, which opens in the U.S. this Friday. I'm going to see it despite this review, and I'm probably going to like it, too. So there.
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The Triumph of the Quiet Style

The Triumph of the Quiet Style | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
What’s crucial—and, ultimately, what defines the quiet style—is the gesture of abnegation, a recognition by its heroes that success either is not for them or doesn’t matter to them. In spite of its heavy use of naturalism, the quiet style is not realism. Fundamentally, the quiet style is a mode of religious expression and it leans heavily on its confessional aspect, its blind faith that the moments of most abject, most senseless humiliation are also the moments when we are at our funniest and truest and (ultimately) most divine.
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These Popular 'Universal Monsters' Came to Life on the Big Screen

These Popular 'Universal Monsters' Came to Life on the Big Screen | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
These monsters, born in books, have endured and achieved universal recognition thanks to movies that brought them to life for mass audiences.
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Agatha Christie's genius unravelled as Murder on the Orient Express hits cinemas

Agatha Christie's genius unravelled as Murder on the Orient Express hits cinemas | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
AS THE latest Murder On The Orient Express movie steams in, mystery author TP FIELDEN salutes Hercule Poirot’s creator.
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Review: A ‘Joan Didion’ Portrait, From an Intimate Source

Review: A ‘Joan Didion’ Portrait, From an Intimate Source | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
This documentary is directed by Griffin Dunne, Ms. Didion’s nephew, a relationship that limits the movie in certain ways, but opens it up in others.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:
A documentary film about one of our time's foremost writers and thinkers
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The Pop-Culture Evolution of Frankenstein’s Monster

The Pop-Culture Evolution of Frankenstein’s Monster | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
In “Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years,” Christopher Frayling resurrects Mary Shelley’s classic through the countless visual adaptations of its monster.
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A Beginner's Guide to the New Weird Genre

A Beginner's Guide to the New Weird Genre | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Outstanding--perhaps even uncomfortable--literature that transcends common tropes, characters, and even genres themselves: welcome to the New Weird.
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How Obama and Trump built their brand by writing books

How Obama and Trump built their brand by writing books | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The last two US presidents are case studies in the shaping power of literature, even in an age of reality TV and Twitter
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Nicole Krauss: ‘The self is more or less an invention from beginning to end’

Nicole Krauss: ‘The self is more or less an invention from beginning to end’ | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The American author talks about setting her new novel in Tel Aviv – and why she brought Kafka into it
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Share your insight
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Tracing the Development of the Doppelgänger

Tracing the Development of the Doppelgänger | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
As a literary device, the doppelgänger is perfectly suited for exploring human duality, often used to personify the darker traits of a character. The double may also serve as a foil to the protagonist’s personality, a behavioral negative as in Hans Christian Andersen’s 1847 fairy tale Skyggen, or The Shadow. In the fairy tale, a man’s shadow separates from his body and gradually becomes his walking double, demonstrating the exact opposite physical and moral traits and eventually replacing him entirely.
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Kenneth Branagh: ‘I want you to smell the steam of the Orient Express’

Kenneth Branagh: ‘I want you to smell the steam of the Orient Express’ | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The actor-director’s latest film, Murder on the Orient Express, boasts a stellar cast, including Branagh himself as Poirot. He discusses magnificent moustaches, moral brooding and the passion of Agatha Christie
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How long have we believed in vampires? - HeritageDaily - Heritage & Archaeology News

How long have we believed in vampires? - HeritageDaily - Heritage & Archaeology News | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Vampires have a contested history. Some claim that the creatures are “as old as the world”. But more recent arguments suggest that our belief in vampires and the undead was born in the 18th century, when the first European accounts appear.
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Christopher Cerrone: Everything Comes From Language

Christopher Cerrone: Everything Comes From Language | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
While composer Christopher Cerrone has not written any original prose fiction or poetry, he approaches his own musical compositions in much the same way that a writer weaves a narrative. Whether it's the site-specific multimedia adaptation of Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities (which was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music), a Tao Lin-texted song cycle, E.E. Cummings, or a Philip Larkin-inspired concerto grosso for string orchestra, literature is the primary inspiration behind almost every piece of his music.
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Here are the real life serial killers who inspired Mindhunter.

Here are the real life serial killers who inspired Mindhunter. | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
f you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to sit across from a serial killer and ask them anything you like, you. Mindhunter serial killers.
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5 Recent Books with Authentic Characters with Mental Illness

5 Recent Books with Authentic Characters with Mental Illness | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Initiating awareness and conversations about mental health is a crucial need in these times of great psychological distress. The first week of October is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Week, while in November we recognize International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. So I have compiled a list of five recent UK books which accurately portray characters coping with various mental health issues and suicide loss.
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This Scholarly Monster Society Is Here to School You On Ghouls

This Scholarly Monster Society Is Here to School You On Ghouls | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
It's an interesting time to see the world through the eyes of blemmyes and demons.
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In Praise of Plotless Books

In Praise of Plotless Books | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Why plotless books can make for excellent reading.
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Books with no story line? What say you?
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Analysis | Five ’80s tropes that ‘Stranger Things’ turns upside down

Analysis | Five ’80s tropes that ‘Stranger Things’ turns upside down | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
From the “jerk boyfriend” to the “absentee parent,” here are the tropes that “Stranger Things” tossed out the window.
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Our Villains, Ourselves: A Thriller Roundup

Our Villains, Ourselves: A Thriller Roundup | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Six spooky fall thrillers, whose plots range from a campus crime to an international spy hunt to a young girl’s mystical self-murdering, all unsettle the neat distinctions between “hero,” “villain,” and even the reader.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:
"If our heroes disclose who we wish to be, our villains reveal what we fear we may become."
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