Brad Hagen

Brad Hagen

Hi! I love writing and a professor of mine introduced me to this magazine. Anyone who finds themselves reading this... I hope you enjoy what I have to offer.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

8
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The Importance of Learning the Classics

Is it important to learn about classic literature to better understand contemporary writing?

  • I think this a great start for a topic! Maybe you could refine the topic a little by pointing to specific classics that are commonly assigned in secondary education? For example, To Kill a Mockingbird, Great Expectations, etc. I think that specific examples would definitely focus the article more and add to its impact. – Opaline 6 months ago
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  • Learning the basic nature of Classic Literature has always had a high importance, but there are stories that can be substituted. This might be something you'd want to explore as you're researching, such as what books might be able to replace, for example, A Tale of Two Cities in terms of having the same themes; so perhaps finding a more modern novel with themes of doppelgangers, unrequited love, and so on. I believe this is how new classics are born as time goes on and the classics we have now become more like the tales of Chaucer - simply something we skim over once or twice through secondary school or university. – Steven Gonzales 6 months ago
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  • I'm so glad there are more voices for this! I've taught college and high school, and I lose sleep over the push to leave Classic Literature to electives and Humanities rather than retaining it as part of a general education requirement. Yes, there are some we can substitute, but why? I don't believe that anything contemporary has the same academic or historical value. The emphasis on language and prose style is often only evident in older works. I would love to see how many of the most successful writers were influenced by the classics. A lot of the best novels out there have hints of classic works - prose, themes, conflicts and unique premises. To understand contemporary works, it would help to read the works that influenced their authors. – wtardieu 6 months ago
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  • Classics can be very Euro-centric. The more balanced approach of examining literature with classical themes would make a more relevant article. Such as looking at famous love stories, changing circumstances in life and qualities about human nature.I think it is worth giving this topic another analysis but framing it with classical world literature. – Munjeera 2 months ago
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  • I began my writing journey after several writing courses during college. I earned stellar commentary from my classmates and the professor. But, it wasn't until I started to revisit the writing of Shakespeare (which I dreaded in high school), the Greek myths (which always fascinated me), and science-fiction (H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke) that my inner voice resurfaced. The best place to begin testing personal writing ability is in the poetry and narratives of the great ones. It is the proving grounds for the imminent author or the hesitant observer. – lofreire 2 months ago
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  • I think that the "classics" are classics for a reason, but the canon of classic literature mostly excludes women, people of colour, and non-European/American literature, which is a huge problem. It might be interesting to examine how the canon of classic literature is being (rightfully) challenged by scholars who are inserting frequently underrepresented narratives and texts back into literary history. So, yes, I think people should read classics that interest them, but prioritize expanding their horizons. – Kristen 1 month ago
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Taken by Ben Woollard (PM) 4 weeks ago.
12

Does Author Matter?

What if you stumbled across the most beautiful poem you’d ever read while browsing the Internet, only to learn that it was created by a computer program. Would it lose it’s value? Would "A Raisin in the Sun" lose it’s value if it was written by, say, a white man, or would it retain its message?

  • Between "Biographical Fallacy" (Wimsatt & Beardsley, 1946) and "Death of the Author" (Barthes, 1967), I can't help feeling this topic has been done to death (no pun intended). I'll admit, your invoking of Hansbury, however, might provide a somewhat fresh take. It's one thing to talk about authorial biography and intent when it's simply a matter of literary interpretation, but race does seem to complicate these matters. I could see the whole article just being about that; however, I'd be very surprised if even that hasn't been done before. – ProtoCanon 6 months ago
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  • I think art can, and should, stand alone anonymously. Knowing the author or artist can influence our reaction to it. – Jeffrey Toney 6 months ago
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  • I have always thought that the poem, or any piece of literature, can be interpreted as a stand alone piece, irrespective of the author. As such, the reader can always delve into the rationale behind why an author was stimulated to write what they did, but the words themselves carry more weight than the author. – NateSumislaski 6 months ago
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  • Extremely interesting topic! I think it just depends on how you are reading it. New Criticism and close reading basically don't take the author into consideration. If you want to analyze a work from a biographical and/or historical standpoint, then maybe the author does matter--who says you can't analyze a computer program? To produce a great poem, that program has to somehow be programmed to follow the expectations of what a "great" poem is, for example. That will lead us to the programmer(s).– James Zhan 4 months ago
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  • I would lean towards saying author doesn't matter. Take Beowulf, for example. It has no known author, is centuries old, yet continues to be taught in high schools and colleges across the United States. If one changes their opinion of a work simply based on its author, they are not truly accepting the work on the basis of its content, but rather on the name attached to it. – ngm1204 3 months ago
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Published

Are Video Games Worth Studying?

From a literary perspective, are video games worth studying, or should you put down the controller and pick up a book?

  • There is certainly something to be said for the level of artistry that games have achieved in recent years. This justifies intellectual criticism of these new developments and, in turn, justifies criticism of previous "less artistic" developments for a better historical understanding and appreciation of the form (e.g. we don't study The Sneeze as a masterpiece of cinema, we study it as landmark event in the history of film; so too will be the case with Pong). However, I think it is high time that Video Games Studies truly becomes a field of its own. Your use of the word "literary" feels inaccurate, which may be a contributing factor as to why many literary scholars are quick to reject Video Games as a form, since they see it as a low-brown infringement on their domain. At the moment, most academic work surrounding Video Games has been contained in Film (as its closest relative with regards to media) and Theatre (as its closest relative with regards to interactivity) Studies, but it strikes us as being too different from either of these to real belong within them. Only with a Department of its own can the form (and its societal appreciation) truly begin to flourish, as was the case when Film Departments began to appear in the 1920s. – ProtoCanon 6 months ago
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  • I think that a interesting way you could pursue this topic is to discuss the Video Games as an art/art form debate. Because if video games are art, then the argument can be made that they deserve to be studied on the same level as art or film.Additionally, I think that thinking about how much of video games are "intentional" could be an interesting angle to pursue. For example, the creators the video game make a conscious decision on art style, what moves a player can do, how the game plays, and what perspective is the game in (3rd or 1st). These are conscious decisions made by the creators, similar to how authors make conscious decisions about how they construct a narrative such as 1st or 3rd person, what information the reader knows about and what is hidden from the reader. – SeanGadus 6 months ago
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  • I agree entirely that Video-Games should be studied as an artistic medium; I personally find them to be a somewhat more interactive medium than conventional art-forms though, which leads to a sort of rift between studying games and, say, film studies. Nonetheless, they should be examined, if not just for the artistic choices made by their creators but the story choices as well. Most games today have a defined storyline or plot in them (though some don't, which is fine). However, the way a developer can portray that story can vary widely across games: some games, such as the Legend of Zelda franchise, give the player a relatively deep pool of lore to sift through just by playing the game. However, other games, such as Cave Story or Superbrothers Swords and Sworcery have a more subtle way of giving the player the story, and may leave parts up to us as players to interpret. There are also games like FEZ and The BInding of Isaac, which have purposefully cryptic storylines which the players must explore for themselves, giving them a greater sense of accomplishment when something finally "clicks" than if they were merely given a predetermined plot point. – bwmaksym 6 months ago
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  • Literary studies cannot remain so rigid. For one, the concept of "literary worth" is rapidly changing as self-publishing options are becoming more and more profitable and accessible. Therefore, what deserves to be published (and therefore read) is subject to change. At the same time, other forms of media have been considered "unworthy of academic study" for generations. At first it was film, then it was pulp and genre fiction, and now it's video games. Video games are not literature, nor are they film and therefore need a specific set of tools to analyse their critical and philosophical significance. Yet, they still provide us with a message, they still use visual and audial aids to immerse us in reality, and they still often follow some sort of narrative structure. To think that video games are undeserving of the title of "art" or too banal for intensive literary study is absurd. – X 6 months ago
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Latest Comments

Brad Hagen

Truly, this is my favorite film era. Maybe it’s because I’ve taken French classes for the past five years or maybe, growing up in Minnesota, I feel a connection to the culture. Either way, one could squeeze the innovation from these films. These directors did remarkable things with their films and it’s a shame how unknown and under appreciated these films are in the states.

The French New Wave
Brad Hagen

An interesting take on the medium. I agree that it would be ignorant to generalize anime, or any art for that matter, in such a way. There are too many good attributes that go ignored if one makes such a claim.

A Response To Miyazaki: The Dark Side of Anime
Brad Hagen

I have to admit I like remastered editions. They allow the player to relive the glory days on a new system, potentially with new people. Also, I can understand the remastered editions of Kingdom Hearts. The story line is very intricate and bringing these older games to newer consoles allows for everyone to be up to date when Kingdom Hearts 3 finally comes out.

An Abundance of Remasters: Originality in the Gaming Industry
Brad Hagen

I would also recommend something a bit older like Cowboy Bebop or Trigun. Their animation styles alone hooked me onto this genre.

Anime for Dummies: What Starters Should Watch
Brad Hagen

Finally, someone that gets it.

Emotionally Investing in Games and Their Characters