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Original Fairy Tales and their Disney counterparts

Disney played a large role in bringing fairy tales to a larger audience. To do so, they had to remove many horrific aspects, such as the stepsisters in Cinderella who cut off their toes and heels to fit into the glass slipper or how the princess is raped while unconscious in Sleeping Beauty.
Compare more of the original fairy tales, which explored far more taboo and grotesque content and how Disney has altered them to be more child friendly and palatable. Discuss why this was done and how the purpose of fairy tales has evolved.

  • Many of the revisions suggested weren't acted upon. – Sunni Ago 2 months ago
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  • Hi Sunni! I changed Grimms fairy tales to original fairy tales to accommodate all the origins. I also changed my questions to ask about why changes were made and how fairy tales have evolved over time and why. I specified who I was referring to and what I was asking. Is there anything else I can do to refine this topic? – Anna Samson 2 months ago
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  • Maybe make the question: Discuss the purpose of this change and how it is tied into the evolution of fairytales. Or something like that: same question but could be worded differently. – Montayj79 2 months ago
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  • Might be some old interviews with good old Walt himself to help narrow down this idea a bit. – alliegardenia 2 months ago
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  • I think you could talk a bit more about the fairy tales that aren't commonly known to the public! – Sangnat 2 months ago
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  • This was a topic I was heavily interested in a few years ago. Children's literature and fairy tales is rooted in violence and weird sexual inuendos. They're more cautionary tales but if you're looking at the "Disneyfication" process, I believe there was an article called "Breaking the Disney Spell" by Jack Zipes. It demystifies Walt Disney a bit (not really in a good way) and will spill some of those trade secrets of marketing gruesome fairy tales for a modern child audience. – iresendiz 2 months ago
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Book Influencers and Their Impact on the Publishing Industry

The concept of social media having an impact on various marketing strategies is nothing new. However, one industry that has been increasingly affected by social media is the publishing industry due to "Booktube" and "Booktok". In recent years, there has been a rise in how these influencers are starting to shape the books that people are reading. There are now tables displaying the latest trending titles in local and big box bookstores, regardless of when they were published. There are stories of writers who gained enough of a following to self-publish their highly anticipated and praised books. How does this impact the publishing industry? What does the future of the publishing company look like? How will authors be influenced by their audience as the distance between writer and reader shrinks with the aid of social media?

  • Interesting topic, but there was an article published about this exact topic about 2 weeks ago on this site. – CulturallyOpinionated 6 months ago
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  • The impact of "Booktube" and "BookTok" will be revolutionary in the new procedures and willingness to work with new writers in different genres rather than a specific one. The publishing industry's future will be influenced by the readers' choices, popular genres, and tropes that are gaining the most traction. The future of publishing companies depends on what they are willing to accept without backlash from the intended audience or cult favorites. The question of how authors will be influenced also depends on the independent person and what they value. Do they value feedback from their audience? Do they want to see what their next book should be about? – byrdsy 3 months ago
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Othello (The Killer) versus Big Screen Killers

How can a character, such as Shakespeare’s’ Othello, be compared to characters in film. For instance, what similarities (physical, psychological, etc) does Othello have to characters that kill on film, such as the characters from the 1995 film, The Usual Suspects.

The focus here should be on what drives these people to kill. Explore economics, manipulation, and corruption. Obviously, these two works have easily identifiable differences, but the objective is to dig into the psychological to show how their different circumstances leads them down the same road. In other words, think of Othello as a character in The Usual Suspects (or vice versa, one of the characters from The Usual Suspects in Othello’s place).

  • I once listened to a podcast titled “New Evidence Calls into Question William Shakespeare’s Authorship of ‘The Usual Suspects’,” by The Onion. This topic reminds me a lot to that podcast, and how people can come up with crazy ideas disguised as serious matters. – T. Palomino 5 months ago
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The presence of racism in H.P Lovecraft's work

Many of famous horror author H.P Lovecraft’s work contains themes and language indicative of racism towards indigenous and black communities. Even the famed "Call of Cthulu" retains aspects of racism when referring to the activities of indigenous and black communities. They are labeled as practicing "Voodoo", and often referred to as savages. How has the work of H.P Lovecraft aged? Is something like this acceptable for fans of the genre to hold as an example?

  • I believe someone suggested a similar topic before. (As I remember commenting on it.) While yes, H.P Love Craft held views that many, my self included find distasteful, those elements are often what people sight for creating the sense of otherness/horror in his books. He does not understand other races, cultures, or sexual identities, and that was part of the reason he feared them. I don't believe you have to like an artist on a personal level or agree with their views to appreciate their work. Some personal examples for me are Raymond Chandler, R.Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Sean Connery and Danny Masterson are all people who have done/said things that I personally disagree with. But I enjoy the book the Big Sleep, I can listen to ignition or fly me to the moon. I enjoy watching James Bond and That 70's show. Many people feel separating the artist from the art is people ignoring/giving a pass to the actions of the individual. I don't believe that is the case. As R. Kelly are and Danny Masterson are both in jail for their actions. I would also mention people can change, as Lovecraft eventually changed some of his views, as over the years he became friends with a gay man, and over time began to change some of his views on homosexuality. Whether people forgive someone or engage with their work is always a personal decision. – Blackcat130 5 months ago
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Technological Horror, The Evolution of Supernatural and Weird Horror?

In H. P. Lovecraft’s "Supernatural Horror in Literature" (1927), Lovecraft describes a horror that distances itself away from anything physical and attempts to attack the psyche of the reader through cosmic mystery, ancient folklore and culture as well as our primal instincts. Themes such as space and the deep ocean, primordial Gods and mythology and their respective mysteries seep into literature to create a profound sense of dread and isolation from the real world.

With the advancement of computers and networks, a new theme in horror fiction has found its footing amongst the aforementioned ideas: the theme of technology and the mystery of cyber data, the disposable nature of human flesh, its replacement by better and stronger artificial prosthetics and the paranoia of human-made machine rising against its own creator after achieving consciousness, something only humans so far possess. Works such as Harlan Ellison’s "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" (1968), Mamoru Oshii’s "Ghost in the Shell" (1995) or Frictional Games’s "Soma" (2015) explore this newfound horror with different methods, but with great success.

The question therefore lies within the nature of this trope. Is technological horror part of the weird and the supernatural as it treats technology as its own entity and its own vast realm of mystery, similar to that of the endless space and the deep ocean? How does technological horror fit with the ghost, thriller or other forms of scary themes? What other modern fictional stories bring forth technology as a truly terrifying aspect that attacks the mind of the consumer and isolates them from their world, rather than cause brief shock or superficial scares?

  • Great topic here. I'd encourage anyone tackling this topic to also consider Serial Experiments: Lain as another source of technological horror dealing with many of the same questions. It's a... complicated piece... but could provide some compelling ideas. – Elliot Brunk 5 months ago
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  • This means that the presence of technology in our lives is modifying and amplifying the meaning of horror... "Black Mirror," for example, is basically horror as a consequence of technological advancement and implementation. – T. Palomino 5 months ago
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Flatterers in fiction

The ancient philosopher Plutarch wrote a famous essay on how to tell the difference between a friend and a flatterer. In this essay, he lists several qualities associated with a flatterer, including:
1. being inconsistent and willing to change into whatever seems most attractive to the victim;
2. appealing to the worst angels of the victim’s nature and copying their vices rather than their virtues;
3. seeking to please the victim in the moment, even if it will cause the victim greater problems later on;
4. seeking to separate the victim from their real friends.

With this definition in mind, what are some examples of flatterers from fiction, particularly modern fiction? What traits, if any, do they and their victims have in common? Are there any stereotypes associated with fictional flatterers, either in terms of physical features or psychological makeup?

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    The Changing Relevance of Judy Blume

    A film version of the classic and often banned Judy Blume novel Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, is scheduled to hit theaters September 6, 2022. Not much is known about the plot itself, which raises a lot of questions. For instance, when the original book was published in the 1970s, it was unusual for children to be raised without religious affiliation, as Margaret is. Will this be the case for a Margaret of 2022? Will a 21st-century Margaret’s explorations of puberty be treated as scandalous?

    These and other questions bring up just how relevant Judy Blume’s coming-of-age story, as well as her other stories, such as the Fudge series, Blubber, and Deenie, still are. Millennial adults who grew up with them still consider Blume’s books classics and have introduced their own kids to them, and some Gen Z kids still read and enjoy them. However, Judy Blume doesn’t seem like quite the gold standard of coming-of-age stories she once was. Her plots don’t read as "cutting edge" because they’re not as controversial anymore. You could call them downright tame.

    Blume is definitely still relevant, but the question has become, just how relevant is she? In the case of Blume and her books, what does "relevant" mean? How is she similar to or different from today’s hottest middle-grade and young adult authors, and can she maintain her place as a classic author, or will her books eventually lapse into obscurity? Discuss.

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      Why is there such a lack of Christian mythology in fiction compared to other mythologies?

      In recent years, fictional stories in literature, TV, video games, film, etc. have begun to incorporate elements, characters, and situations from various ancient mythologies to great success. Greek and Norse mythologies have been especially featured (such as the popular Percy Jackson series or Marvel’s Thor and his stories), but other mythologies have seen an increase as well, including Irish, Japanese, Mayan, Egyptian, Hindu, and various native mythologies. The most successful examples are not simple modern retellings of ancient myths, but original stories.

      One large area of untapped potential seems to be Christian mythology. As the most widespread religion on Earth, one would think the varied stories, traditions, and fantastical parts of Christianity would be ripe for use in stories on a level comparable to any other mythological system. There are some notable examples of where this has been implemented well in fiction, such as the Left Behind series of books or the Darksiders video game series (which both draw heavily from elements of the biblical book of Revelation), as well as elements being incorporated into popular works such as the TV shows "Supernatural" or "Lucifer." For the most part, however, fictional works set against a backdrop of angels and demons tend overwhelmingly to be overtly religious or evangelizing in nature. Compare this to works that incorporate other mythologies into their stories, which almost always do so purely for entertainment value rather than to promote the religions they feature.

      Why is this material so underutilized? Is there anything inherently different about Christian mythology compared to any other mythological system? With the sheer volume of fiction with mythological elements out there, might we see a surge in works that drawn upon elements from Christian mythology as the public tires of yet another story with Zeus or Thor?

      • Great topic! I think part of the answer may lie in how "overt" existing content is. As soon as you reveal content is religious, and specifically Christian, people expect to be either bored or offended (in my experience, anyway). I think there's a lot of implicit and confirmation bias going on, which you could explore if you choose to delve into the psychology of these questions. – Stephanie M. 6 months ago
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      • This is an interesting topic. Though the answer seems obvious, it can be interpreted in many different ways. The way I personally see it, Christian mythology is both still very much modern and widely spread across the world despite being rooted in ancient folklore, texts and stories. It is hard to conveniently represent biblical characters and events without offending certain groups of Christians or non-Christians. When representing characters such as Thor or Zeus, there is no huge demographic that will contest the artist's aesthetic position as those beings are widely believed to be mythical and unrealistic, mostly depicting human qualities and shortcomings. Most Christians, if not all, believe that the stories from long ago did happen, and that their representation is sacred and should be free from rewriting or human tampering. There is obviously also the topic of the different Christian churches such as Catholicism and Protestantism, which come with their own separate beliefs and doctrines. Though their mythologies most likely hardly differ in major ways, it is still an aspect that contributes to the lack of Christian fiction. – AlGrater 6 months ago
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      • Kinda disagree that Christian Mythology isn't being explored/delved into. While we don't have stories about modern versions of Biblical characters or retelling of christian events (Unless you include Aron McGruder's satirical sitcom Black Jesus or South Parks Jesus and Satan) we do see Christian religion regularly brought up or used as an allegorical message for various series. (Blue Exorcist the protagonist the is the son of Satan, Seraph of the End. While this series mostly deals with Vampires it does have multiple Christian references with in it.) Ankin basically being the chosen one and being born of a virgin birth is a good example in western culture using Christian imagery in their series. (Which I think is how most western shows/movies use Christianity now days.) But you have series like the Shin Megami Tensi series, where you summon actual biblical angels and demons to fight for you. And sometime battle various versions of divine beings. Much of that series has you going on journey that have multiple allusions to religious events. Persona 3 while it never directly states it, the protagonist is meant to be seen as a religious messiah that sacrifices himself for the sins of others. (Your literal final persona is called Messiah and you die at the end to give a humanity a chance to live on) I will agree with the premise that other religious mythological figures are more popular. And as someone has already pointed out, this most likely due to people being less protective of characters like Thor and Zeus, but I don't think Christianity has diminished in popularity. I think it used symbolically more than other religions, as it gets the message across in an largely inoffensive way. Still I would find someone writing on this topic interesting. – Blackcat130 6 months ago
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      • I think there's really two answers to this question. One is that people tend to like things that strike them as "new" or "exotic," and so they borrow from foreign belief systems for the "cool" factor of having something new and different. This is one reason why Christian motifs and names are more common in Japanese anime series than Western ones, because to the Japanese Christianity itself seems exotic. On the other hand, I would argue that Christian themes even in the west are actually more common than one might suppose, although they might be hidden. For instance, J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote the Lord of the Rings series, was a practicing Christian, and almost certainly included at least some of his beliefs in the stories he wrote. C.S. Lewis, of course, also wrote explicitly Christian themes into his Chronicles of Narnia series. There is also the fact that in past eras, where Christianity was a lot more widespread than it is now, people wrote much more openly about the characters and themes of the Christian Bible, with works such as Paradise Lost among others. – Debs 6 months ago
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      • Is there less of it, or are audiences in countries like the United States, that are majority Christian, less likely to notice it? Christianity is much more familiar than polytheistic ancient cultures. When Superman falls to Earth in Man of Steel, his arms outspread in the shape of a cross, is it less notable than significant Norse imagery? The Golden Compass and Good Omens are two large and successful franchises, both based in Christian mythology. They also have another thing in common - they faced tremendous backlash. Many of the other mythologies mentioned have few modern practitioners to object their mythology being farmed for fictional entertainment... So, with the examples given here and the ones above, is there really a lack? I'd be interested to hear more examples of the other mythologies adapted. – ronannar 5 months ago
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