A critical fan, especially of the fantasy genre.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics


Use of Color in Literature

How has the use of color in literature changed, especially in more recent works? Our tv shows and movies are closely edited, digitally graded, and dominated by blue and orange. We over-edit our "candid" photos, dimming the colors to look retro or cranking up the contrast. Do we see a similar trend in written descriptions?

Has the symbolism behind colors changed? Has the use of certain color symbolism been reduced as the result of changing trends?

As our literature becomes divided into increasingly smaller genres and subgenres, is the use of color similarly divided? Thrillers will always be "darker" than romances, of course, but are there other trends in symbolism, shades, etc?

  • I love this topic because there is so much symbolism in color, and it does change depending on how you use it. One fun fact you might explore: many colors symbolize different things depending on what part of the spectrum they are from. For example, in the 1995 remake of A Little Princess, director Alfonso Curan used many different shades of green. Warmer greens (jungle, lime, Kelly) were meant to convey the beauty of India, Sara's warm personality, etc. Colder, darker greens (gray-green, hunter, olive) were used on the attic, to convey Miss Minchin's harshness, etc. – Stephanie M. 9 months ago
  • I find it interesting that, although many people claim to understand symbolism, they often won't notice many important clues to a story given (indirectly) through colours because they aren't highlighted for them. When I started studying Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire", my teacher at A Level told me that Williams is brilliant because he seems to never waste a word, and as the play's original title was in fact "Primary Colours", there is plenty of important context hidden behind colours. Williams is definitely one of the writing worth looking into; his use of imagery is sublime! – kristinagreta 9 months ago

Is the BBC Sherlock Holmes Becoming a Soap Opera?

Discuss the current direction of the show, especially its later seasons and their emphasis on Sherlock and Watson’s personal lives.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s character has been successful for so long and undergone many adaptations because of the clever use of the powers of deduction to solve mysteries that boggle lesser minds.

Is the BBC show wandering from its origins? Is that something that contributes to its success and popularity, or will it trip it up if it continues?

  • The topic would definitely be of interest to a large audience, but it would be helpful for concept of "soap opera" to be more thoroughly defined. Perhaps just culturally. As a soap opera in the US is different than the UK and extremely different than Mexico or other Latin American countries. And is becoming a soap opera a bad thing? – mazzamura 10 months ago
  • http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AdaptationDecay <-- this page may be helpful for anyone interested in writing about it. – Sadie Britton 10 months ago

The Value of Anime

While essentially escapist in nature, entertainment (especially fiction) has often been defended by its writers as having further intrinsic value.

What draws people to anime? What is Western TV doing to emulate it? What gives anime its unique value as a genre? Or is it merely entertainment and has no worth beyond the superficial distraction of fan service?

Edit 9/8/16 for grammar

  • What I find interesting in most anime is that there is a layer of abstraction to the characters as well as the general story. Each character seems to have their own philosophy which develops and changes as the characters do, these various philosophy the characters exude are different parts of a general ideal that makes up the atmosphere of the anime. It's this trait that separates anime from other forms of entertainment, it gives people something to reflect on. Philosophy is a very abstract concept and anime helps people understand it better by breaking it down and trying to develop on it. – RadosianStar 1 year ago
  • Most people who are interested in anime have had interest in it from a young age. While most of Western TV is childish and comic, anime comes in many forms and genres. Majority of people are introduced to anime from one of the major series, whether it was a Miyazaki movie, Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, etc. There's now an even larger anime industry to follow that which is introducing new people to the world of anime. Particularly, I like to watch anime for its story line but also the graphics. People of the western world want to meet up at conventions, do cosplays (costume play), just get together and buy merchandise from their favorite show or from someone who does something different with a similar style, see Shiroiroom, qinni, and yuumei for examples. For some it is entertainment and a way to wind down after a long day, for others it's so much more, sometimes, it can get pretty cringe-worthy. – dreamlikediana 1 year ago
  • I think that people are drawn to anime because it's so much more genuine than American cartoons. The characters are complex, the voice acting is AMAZING, and the story lines are so special to a lot of people. For example, I know that I've felt more emotions towards animes than I have from cartoons on Cartoon Network (minus Toonami and the exception of a few others). – Breeedo 1 year ago

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Latest Comments


I saw the Black Cauldron as a kid after I read the books (thanks to my mom’s insistence). As a result, I was extremely disappointed in the movie. I remember being horrified when Gurgi died and indignant when he returned to life. I still think that element undermines the theme, even if it makes the story end more happily.

Now, I think I should watch the film again. I enjoy different things about movies as an adult, and I remember the look of it made an impression on me.

Thanks for the article!

Disney and the Perils of Adaptation

Modern fantasy owes a great deal to Tolkien for re-popularizing fantasy for both children and adults. He not only modeled the elements of RPG such as characters, creature types, plot, and world building, but also themes such as good vs. evil that are apparent especially in early games.

Nice article!

The Influence of J.R.R. Tolkien on Modern Video Gaming

Interesting article.

Sometimes I wonder, though if we take too much agency way from young girls, denying their ability to recognize fantasy from reality (a bit sexist on our part) and their ability to recognize that being kind is a good behavior separate from any so-called reward.

Fairytales and Feminism: "I Don't Wanna be Like Cinderella"

This article is a nice explanation and critique of the anime harem genre as it relates to the male viewer, but I would be interested in hearing more about the genre’s female audience.

At first glance, the objectification and categorizing of women appears to be “fanservice” for the male viewers, but then why do women contribute to these’s shows popularity, even when the show is not a reverse harem?

Harem Anime and Manga - Expectations vs. Reality
Clarifying Current Understandings of Fairytales: The Princess or the Goblin?

What about characters like Aragorn from Tolkien’s LOTR (the book)? He is a typical romantic hero (old usage of the word “romantic”) who is superior in degree to other men and his environment (Picturing Tolkien 223). His role in the books is as a character that the reader admires and aspires to be like. The flawed hero popular today is considered “low mimetic mode” where he is not superior to either other men or his environment.

Kayla Wiggins argues in her article “The Art of the Story-Teller and the Person of the Hero” that character flaws in a hero actually cause us to feel superior to the hero and NOT to identify with him/her. She writes, “the effect is not to bring us closer to these characters but to shove us further away. We can’t know them with the fundamental recognition that is part of our primal consciousness, the part of ourselves that reaches out to myth…as essential truth” (quoted Picturing Tolkien 223).

Exploring The Hero's Journey: A Writer's Guide

I agree with you to an extent. Books and films are different and those differences need to be taken into account in any discussion about them. However, those differences are important because they call into question the trends of belief in our society. How characters are changed reveals values of both film makers and audiences. Film makers chose to adapt a book. Audiences should be expected to take that into account, and to think critically about the changes that were made.

How 'By the Book' Should Literary Adaptations Be?

Great article! Very fair.

Personally, I think someone who has spent significant time with a book both critically and as a fan (the writer, ideally) ought to be included in the writing team for film adaptations. Maybe then catastrophes like The Last Airbender and The Lightning Thief movies could be avoided!

On the other hand, the movie Ella Enchanted turned out really well, even if it is almost nothing like the book.

How 'By the Book' Should Literary Adaptations Be?