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    Latest Articles

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    The Victorian Gothic and the Economy

    The Victorian Gothic genre is known for its haunting tales served with a side of rich prose, grand settings, dramatic characters, and a dash of ambiguity. I believe that it is no coincidence that the genre started gaining popularity during the Industrial Revolution – a time of excess and instability. The most unstable class at the time appeared to be the emerging bourgeoisie and the genre can be interpreted as the class’ self-analysis. Popular Gothic novels such as The Castle of Otranto, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula reflect aspects of the middle class’ interactions with their current economy and share themes of heavy loss and monstrous gains. Along with this, analyse some additional aspects and what that says about the genre and its contributors.

    • You are absolutely on to something here in noticing the connection between the rise in Gothic novels and the upstart of the industrial revolution. This turn to nostalgic genres of "novel ghost stories," was a literary means of holding on to the past amongst an ever-evolving society that was difficult for many to accept. With the changes brought about during the industrial revolution, many prospered, but the majority suffered. The classes that were once predetermined by birth were becoming shuffled, and people were no longer looked down upon for working, and were given the ability to rise in class. The beautiful eccentric castles in all gothic novels is an ode to the past amongst an ever changing world moving to a more urban setting. Great topic that I hope to see published as an article! – danielle577 8 years ago
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    Haruki Murakami's Manic Pixie Dream Girl

    American writers aren’t the only ones guilty of this trope. Murakami has been known to include girls that change the male character’s life in suit of this trope. This is evident in books such as Norwegian Wood and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (remember how the protagonist idealized the girls in his life). Create an argument supporting Murakami’s use of this trope and/or analyze the role women play in the lives of male protagonists in his books.


      The "So Bad, It's Good" Movies

      What makes a movie so bad that it’s good? Birdemic and Sharknado are just a couple of examples of movies celebrated for being so amazingly awful that they actually transcend bad movies. How does that happen? What’s the difference between a plain bad movie and a movie that is so bad, it’s good?

      • An easy way to understand whether a movie is just bad or secretly good lies in the subtleties of it. I'd categorize "Rubber" as one of these movies, where they are just so weird and boring but after close and patient examination one can find a really deep meaning only such an awful concept could bring out. That being said I don't think Birdemic or Sharknado fit into that haha. Just like how people like scary movies because they just want to feel scared, some people get a kick out of watching something so bad it makes them cringe, and they fill that niche. – Slaidey 9 years ago
      • Another movie that be considered "so bad, its good" is the Room written, directed, and starring Tommy Wiseau. Although it was universally panned many movie fans celebrate it for all its failures. Oftentimes these films develop a cult following. Whoever takes this up should consider looking up other cult films. – Cagney 9 years ago

      Loose Cannon: Sherlock Holmes

      Discuss the various incarnations of Sherlock Holmes in television throughout the past century and draw comparisons to the different portrayals actors bring to the character. This can apply to actors from countries other than America or England such as the award-winning Vasily Borisovich Livanov.

      • This topic begs for an historical approach. It would not do the topic justice if it were to focus only on such recent actors as Robert Downey Jr. or even Benedick Cumberbatch. Basil Rathbone deserves credit as establishing the tradition, and then each new version of Sherlock has added a layer to the detective's mystic. – awestcot 9 years ago

      The Failings of Live Action Dr. Seuss Film Adaptations

      Remember when the Cat in the Hat featured Paris Hilton? Do you recall the sexual innuendos in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas? I don’t. However the live-action movies state otherwise. Despite pandering to an adult audience, these movies did poorly with both the critics and the audience. Are the gimmicks stated previously the only reason these movies failed? Could it be that Seuss books just can’t be turned into live-action movies? Or is there a deeper reason behind it?

      • The problem with the Seuss movies is that Hollywood does not know how to adapted 20 paged books into full length movies. If the books are too hard to stretch out into a movie, then simply just don't adapted it. The books are simply not made to be movies because of how strait forward,yet brilliant the books are. Trying to bring pulp culture into Seuss's creative and nonsensical world simply does not mix. I know I cringed when The Lorax had a Donkey Kong reference. In this case, if it isn't broke, don't fix it. – Aaron Hatch 9 years ago
      • I think that the failings of these movies is that they were, intrinsically, and consciously made to be "of" the time they were produced, whereas the books seemed to be timeless. I do not think a successful live-action adaptation of a Seuss story is impossible, but I think if it were to be done by mainstream Hollywood, they would not risk greenlighting it without these popular cultures or some sort of drawcard like Zac Efron. As aforementioned, a live-action or animated film is probably not necessary, especially, as I think his wife has vowed to reject all live-action adaptations because of The Cat in the Hat. Perhaps, it may be better to speak how other stories could be animated for widespread release. As far as I understand, at least Horton Hears a Who was pretty successful, both commercially and critically. I have heard that The Lorax is lacking, but, still, could be an interesting topic. – Matthew Sims 9 years ago
      • Perhaps a new suggestion should be given. Instead of making these books into films, make them shorts, maybe a TV series. Animated for bonus points. A good point is that live action does not mix with Dr. Seuss. If it must be adapted, it must be animated. I remember watching an animated Cat in the Hat when I was young (so many cats, wow) so I know it works. It just has to be done right. – SpectreWriter 9 years ago
      • Dr. Seuss is my favorite author. I own twenty or thirty books, some from my own childhood (wonder what that original printing of Thidwick is worth??) and some I bought to read to my now-adult children. While I still love the art, the prose, and the lessons learned, I do not find full-length live action movies to be a workable medium in which to interpret this body of work. For one, the need to expand and flesh-out the text into screenplay length is counter to the simplicity of purpose of the original works. Seuss books are designed and written to help children learn to read, to entertain minds with short attention spans, and to teach life’s important lessons, not to entertain the masses for 100 minutes. Many of the books are quite obviously liberal politically and may not translate well to general audiences who don’t go to children’s movies for political commentary. Remember that the original art work for Yertle the Turtle depicted Yertle as Hitler, causing the publisher to refuse to print until the character was changed. No matter how a screen writer decides to change the message, someone will be offended. Dr. Seuss books are gentle and calm. Not well suited for car chases, gun violence, hand-to-hand combat scenes, or gratuitous sex, which means adaptations for the big screen will always flop. – JanJolly 7 years ago

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      Latest Comments

      Your article actually introduced me to Woodman’s work. Her photographs have a contemporary yet timeless quality that is reminiscent of Dali. The art world lost an amazing artist.

      The Art of Francesca Woodman: Haunting, Evocative, Personal

      I enjoyed the in-depth look you gave regarding the structure of fairy tales. I remember reading a piece discussing the evolution of fairy tales and how a lot of stories that the Grimm brothers wrote were based off of oral fables passed around the community. I also read that the Grimm brothers had changed a lot of details to fit in with the world they currently lived in. I think that applies to modern retellings (like the ones found in Disney). You made a goof point – fairy tales are significant as they reflect society’s ideals.

      Clarifying Current Understandings of Fairytales: The Princess or the Goblin?

      Great article! I enjoyed the comparisons you made with each film. Your article made me garner a new appreciation of Miyazaki’s sublte use of recurring themes. Again, well done.

      Hayao Miyazaki: The Art of Repetition

      There’s something refreshing about a show where we can laugh with the characters instead of at them. In shows like Family Guy, there are always characters who are made fun of for their looks despite having no control over them. This article does a wonderful job highlighting all the great things Bob’s Burgers has done for comedy, showing viewers that you don’t have to be violent, spiteful, or just plain mean to be funny.

      Familial Love: The Special Ingredient in Bob's Burgers

      Mushi-shi’s atmosphere is definitely one of the show’s stronger points. Amidst high action and high energy animes, it’s nice to see a show with calmer dynamic accompanied by shorter, yet fulfilling plots. The art style and character design really sets it apart from other animes. It almost feels like a series of paintings combined with soothing music. I admit it’s a bit slow, however, it doesn’t bother me. In the end, it’s all a matter of taste.

      Mushishi (2005) Review: Short Story-telling at its Finest

      Fanfiction provides an opportunity for writers to fall into the mindset of different characters. When creating original works, new writers tend to create characters that are merely reflections of the author’s personality. By spending time with other characters, fanfic writers put aside thoughts of “what would I do” and replace it with “what would ____ do”.

      Fanfiction is a great place to ask “what if”. What if a character chose a) instead of b)? These questions lead to potential character growth and a deeper exploration of the world the original author had created. In Rainbow Rowell’s “Fangirl”, the main character, Cath, describes the importance of fanfiction. From uniting a community to strengthening a bond with lovable characters, fanfiction is a great way to make that all possible. With a supporting community, it might just give new writers the confidence to pursue stories outside of fanfiction.

      Fanfiction: The Merits of Originality