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The Future of Fantasy?

Fantasy has remained a strong cultural presence from the days of Tolkein to now with Game of Thrones. Changes in the fantasy genre are unsurprising given an increased technological influence and shifts in societal attitudes. That begs the question: what is next for fantasy? Examples of current fantasy authors: Sarah J Maas (ACOWAR etc), V.E Schwab (Shades of Magic series) and others are definitely welcome (and even encouraged)!

  • One could possibly take a look on even indie fantasy films like say The Lost River and other such offbeat titles apart from the famous approved ones. – Vishnu Unnithan 4 days ago
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North & South and the Parallels to Pride and Prejudice

I noticed while I was watching North and South that there are very similar themes to Pride and Prejudice. A man who seems mean and aloof, a stuck up girl who has refused him twice and got a proposal earlier on…Falling in love in the second proposal. It would be interesting to explore all the similarities

  • You can definitely draw parallels, but they are distinctly different in thematic issues, characterization, social issues, etc. Also, you stated "while I was watching," therefore, you could simply deal with the adaptations--I believe there has only been one of N&S, but MANY of Pride and Prejudice--centering on one of the Pride and Prejudice versions. I am a huge Austen and Gaskell fan, but I am uncertain how much I agree with the validity of parallels that can be drawn. But, as I always say, I do enjoy when I am uncertain about a connection in literature and then am proved wrong, allowing me to grow as a reader! – danielle577 6 months ago
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  • There remains much to be explored about connections with Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. Not only did Gaskell write a biography of Charlotte Brontë, there are fruitful overlapping themes begging to be explored, reworked, etc. – JudyPeters 3 days ago
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Fifity Shades of Fan Fiction

Fan fiction has a rather negative image within the literary genres. Works such as Fifty Shades of Grey do not not necessarily help the genre to renegotiate its stand in the literary world. Why is it that fan fiction is oftentimes seen as problematic? What are some positive examples? What might be the future of fan fiction?

  • For a shining example of the heights that fan fiction can achieve, I would suggest looking into Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. It takes the source material and elevates it into something brilliant, profound and even life-altering. – Lokesh Krishna 3 months ago
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  • This is going to be a long comment but first, I really do think this question is relevant so good job. I just want to add a few things (mainly for the future writer): I gather that by fanfiction you mean those posted online for nonprofit purposes. It would be interesting to compare the impression people have of those works in comparison to "Wicked", modern Dracula/Frankenstein/etc. rewrites, those based on an existing work (ex. "Dorothy must Die" by Danielle Paige), etc. The distinction between professionally written "fanwork" and others might influence what you consider examples of fanfiction in your second question. For the first question, is there a conclusion to be drawn from people's impression of works when produced professionally? Do people assume that had a work been good it would have been published, and so works online are thus of lesser quality? Or is online fanfiction mocked because of the idea that the internet is a young person's playground, and thus online writers must be younger/less experienced? There is also the notion that fanwork is necessarily erotica which might make it seem cheaper to some. [Note: While it is also possible to discuss the pros/cons of fanworks in terms of queer representation/copyright/etc. the best thing about your question is that it's focused on people's perception of fanwork, so I wouldn't broaden the topic to include its actual workings]. For the third, one can look at the influence fans have on writers: it would be easier to see said influence on shows, but it would be interesting to see if book authors are influenced similarly. I guess my only issue then is that your topic is still very broad, and all three of your questions could make separate articles. I'm not sure I would ask you to focus on one question yet, but it would definitely be to your advantage. Still, an interesting topic. – Rina Arsen 3 months ago
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  • As a personal opinion (haven't read but watched one movie and have heard a lot of talk about it's origins), and one the future writer might use, I see it as completely irrelevant that it started out as a fan fiction because the end product doesn't rely on the source of inspiration. It's just a big messed up relationship. The fact that we constantly tie it back to it's fanfiction origins is proof that fanfic has a bad connotation, one that we should address and assess. If it doesn't affect the content, why are we still bringing it up? Why is it such a big deal? Readers of this article should ask themselves those questions. – Slaidey 2 months ago
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  • While the Artifice has received quite a few articles on this topic which are still in the publishing queue(I myself edited one today), one important derivative aspect which could be looked into is the availability of online portals for people to write out their fantasies for others to read and how this has radically altered the way people view these writings, what with everyone considering themselves a great writer.(No offense intended) – Vishnu Unnithan 5 days ago
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Young Adult Literature: The Escape

What is it about YAL that makes the genre so popular. Despite its name and set ‘age range’ young adult books are making waves and gathering attention to those of many ages allowing us to escape into the words created. Is it simply because we find the characters, situations, or world relatable? Are we living vicariously through the lives of characters we wish we could have been or been? What is it about YAL that is so captivating? Don’t believe me? Just look at all the book to screen adaptations chosen to live on the big screen. How do you Escape into the fantasy world of dystopian or YAL. Young adults and teens alike choose to lose themselves in the words living and learning vicariously through the characters.

  • Something that would be interesting would be to compare YA lit to other kinds of niche/'genre' fiction like mystery or sci-fi/fantasy-- both YA and traditional genre fiction are extraordinarily popular, but don't get the kind of respect that more traditional "literary" fiction gets. – Sadie 6 months ago
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  • I've found that, often, classes on YA argue that the reason people read so much YA is the "reliability" factor, though I don't know if that's necessarily all of it. I also think that there is an aspect of YA that lets topics that may not necessarily be as accessible in other genres come through in subtle interesting ways. But that may just be my own thoughts on the thing. Interesting topic! I'd love to see it written! – Mariel Tishma 6 months ago
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  • I think part of the pull toward YA novels is that they are generally easy to read and fun. For the most part, I know what I'm going to get with a YA book, hence the appeal (for me, at least). – itsverity 5 months ago
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  • While YAL may rule the sales charts, it is important to remember that they are not exactly 'masterpiece-materials'. They mostly have very short shelf-lives and poor re-read value. – Vishnu Unnithan 4 days ago
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  • Perhaps the appeal for readers of dystopian YA novels is being able to favourably compare their realities to the situations that characters are facing. – India 18 hours ago
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The Book vs The TV Show

In this technological age…new books are being streamed out alongside movies and TV shows. How can we persuade the new generation to read rather than just seeing the show? Especially supporting the struggling readers when the books could be more than 400 pages long…

Examples that could be included…
Game of Thrones
The Mortal Instruments
Hunger Games
Harry Potter

  • Since so much has been written in this area already, I'd stress the importance of finding a new angle on it, and a non-partisan one in particular. There are so many contributing factors when it comes to film adaptations, it might be an interesting idea to pick a narrower lens - for instance market over-saturation, or the difference between book adaptations of shows as opposed to tv show/movie adaptations of books. – Cat 1 week ago
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  • In my experiences I have always found the book to be more enjoyable. The reason for this being they have so much more freedom to write the story exactly as they envision it to play out. It can be as long or as short as they like. In the TV show, they are restricted with what content they are allowed to air. There are also time constraints resulting from trying to fit everything into a half hour time slot. Important storylines are often cut to make way for the sake of fitting the time limit. The TV show is still cool to see the book come to life, it will just never be able to match the book for quality. – JoshuaFtk 5 days ago
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  • You should also probably take into account visual achievements which were much better than the original writeups themselves. Case in point being Band of Brothers, Drive and Fight Club to name a few. – Vishnu Unnithan 4 days ago
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What is the point of reading plays?

Plays are written to be watched rather than read; what is the effect when the text of the play is considered, rather than the performance itself? Do intricate stage designs prove an obstacle, or do they provide insight into something that would’ve been missed in the moment onstage?

  • This is a topic with potential. Could you provide some examples? – Munjeera 3 weeks ago
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  • I agree with Munjeera - a topic with a great deal of potential. Perhaps it might also be helpful to examine the difference between writing styles for plays written to be performed before an audience and those written for a radio performance. – Amyus 3 weeks ago
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  • Thank you both for your comments! Two examples I was particularly thinking of were Miss Julie by Strindberg, and Angela Carter's The Skriker. The first one has long, detailed set descriptions and stage directions, and I was just thinking about the effect of reading them vs. seeing them. Do we gain something with the time we can take to pore over the words, or do we lose something that would've only been there in the moment? In contrast, The Skriker is much more of an unreadable play. It's almost incomprehensible unless you're reading along to a performance, which is what I had to do when I read it for one of my classes. I wondered why it resisted reading that way, and again, what the difference might be in reading/struggling to read and watching.– Sohini 3 weeks ago
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  • Reading a play allows us to take a closer look at the text, which can definitely give us a better understanding of the themes that we might have missed while caught up in the immediacy of a performance. Of course there are many elements to a performance which add a lot, and can even allow for additional interpretations of a given play. In order to really understand a play as a literary text, however, I think it's necessary either to read the thing outright, or to see it enough times that one can become intimately acquainted with the writing. There are also a large number of plays that are difficult to perform, ie Faust which contains scenes such as Walpurgis Night/Walpurgis Night's Dream that are laden with fantastic and surreal imagery that would be impossible to replicate on stage. – Ben Woollard 2 weeks ago
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  • I would love to write about this topic since my Ph.D. is in theatre with a specialization in dramatic literature. – crleiter 1 week ago
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  • Reading Shakespeare is a major grouse for most school kids. Looking forward to read people's opinions on this topic. – Vishnu Unnithan 4 days ago
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The Topic of Cancer

Cancer is one of the most popular topics in literature, film, and television today. From Laurie McDaniel’s teen romances centered on cancer, to My Sister’s Keeper, to The Fault in Our Stars, cancer automatically generates gripping plots. Characters dealing with cancer instantly face huge stakes physically, mentally, and emotionally. Readers turn pages as fast as their fingers or e-readers will allow, eager to see if the heroes they are rooting for will make it to the end of the story.

However, the popularity of cancer raises some questions. Is the topic overused? Are characters with cancer truly three-dimensional, or have we gotten to the point where they are used as inspirations and little else? Do the high stakes associated with cancer actually turn readers and viewers away, and what could authors and directors do to keep the topic fresh? Explore these and any other related issues; the possibilities are endless.

  • Great topic. Also used in A Walk to Remember. – Munjeera 3 weeks ago
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  • Ahhhh! I can't believe I forgot that one! That would be an interesting one to explore because Nicholas Sparks wrote it as if the cancer was a big plot twist (which it is when you first read the book. Unlike in many instances, you don't know from the outset that Jamie is sick). – Stephanie M. 3 weeks ago
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  • Writing as someone who has experienced a cancer scare and has had two family members also undergo cancer treatment, I regard this topic to be highly relevant, especially with regard to our modern 'lifestyles'. However, the tendency to view cancer as the 'disease of the week' by some TV series and soap operas has lead it to be somewhat overused, plotwise. It's difficult to know what to suggest to any prospective author or director who may be considering covering this topic as everyone who has contracted cancer has a different story and a different way of dealing with it. There is no one-size-fits-all approach and as you quite rightly pointed out - the possibilities are endless. Just how far can we go without the exploration becoming too morbid or intrusive? The key, perhaps, is the person and not the disease. – Amyus 3 weeks ago
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  • I love your point. Yes, the media does tend to reduce cancer to the "disease of the week." We know a lot more about the cancer experience than we did in say, the '90s, when a sick or disabled character was only the focus of the occasional Very Special Episode. But despite our increased knowledge, I think we have embraced the idea that all cancer experiences are much the same. I'd love to see more characters with cancer who (1) Have lives/interests outside their diseases (2) Handle cancer in multifaceted ways and (3) Legitimately struggle with obstacles other than, "This disease may/is going to kill me." – Stephanie M. 3 weeks ago
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  • You could also explore the way cancer has been portrayed in other languages so as to get a more complete perspective of this global affliction. – Vishnu Unnithan 4 days ago
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  • Do you, by chance, have suggestions for world literature that deals with this topic? :) – Stephanie M. 4 days ago
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Deconstructing YA Literature in "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"

On the surface, Jesse Andrews’ debut novel "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" (2012) might seem like another Young Adult novel with quirky teen characters and a bittersweet coming-of-age story. But is there more to the novel than meets the eye? Analyze how the characters comment and critique certain cliches found in YA literature and how it deconstructs this facet of the literary community.