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How Men vs Women Write Feminist Novels

When reading a feminist novel, or one based on that movement, if differentiates greatly between the gender of the author. Women, I find, speak more passionately about the subject, and are willing to stand up and ridicule the opposite sex with great meaning and intention. However, when a man is writing a book about feminism, it’s through an entirely new set of eyes. He may or may not judge the patriarchy as harshly or express similar views, even though it’s the same concept.

  • This is an interesting topic. It would be cool to see comparisons between books written by the opposite sex. – OkaNaimo0819 2 months ago
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When the protagonist is the most interesting character

It’s almost a cliche at this point that the central characters in any story are rarely the most interesting ones. More often than not they tend to be relatively bland, and the story grows out of their interactions with a cast of more interesting side characters. However, every so often a protagonist will end up being the most interesting character in their story. For instance, in Osamu Tezuka’s "Buddha" manga, the Buddha is actually one of the more well-rounded and relatable characters, even given that the legends about him tend to paint him as an almost perfect, untouchable being. What are some other examples of this phenomenon, where the main protagonist really is the most interesting, or one of the most interesting, characters? What is it about them that makes them so interesting?

  • I believe this statement can be completely true. Sometimes the evil character is more relatable and evokes more emotion than the Plain Jane good person. For example, in The Vampire Diaries, everyone loves Damon. He's mysterious, alluring, and sexy. More than that, people want to believe in him. They want to see the whole "bad-boy turned good" phenomenon play out. Like in Maleficent or Wicked, entirely new stories are revealed. It shifts from delivering a story about monsters to explaining how they became this villain everyone believes them to be. I think that villains are important in literature and film, because sometimes they teach us more than the heroes. People can't relate to a perfect character. They can easily relate to the villain, because they see their flaws scattered in themselves. – nicolemadison 4 months ago
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  • what if we explored the possibility of "supporting characters" being the REAL "protagonists"? Or the possibility of multiple protagonists? – Dena Elerian 2 months ago
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Identity and Loss: Beloved

Explore the nature of personal identity in Toni Morrison’s novel “Beloved.” This could include the nature of the character Beloved, notably in her relationships with other characters (most importantly Sethe) and her opaque origins. Additionally, the book can be examined for commentary on the dehumanizing effect of American slavery on African American identity, and how this effect lingers, thus making “Beloved” resonant.

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    Why is Utopian literature less popular than Dystopian literature?

    An article exploring the development and effect of significant pieces of Utopian literature and why Dystopian literature is more popular and widespread than its positive cousin. Is there something in our modern day psychological make-up that makes us define the ideal world negatively rather than positively?

    • Good topic! One thing to touch on is the overlap between the Utopian & dystopian; most dystopias are the final evolution of a preconceived utopia that has invariably warped over time. – majorlariviere 3 months ago
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    • I think we are, socially and individually, more curious in dystopia; more interested in the 'bad' re imaginings of the world rather than the 'good.' With the peak of technology, we are constantly wondering 'what could go wrong?". I remember one of the screenwriters for Black Mirror was saying that the inspiration for one of the episodes was the assemblage of the 'robot dog' and 'what if that was chasing me?' I think that dystopia serves as a kind of a reminder, to us, especially in a world where we have become more lazy than ever, that not everything that is beneficial is 'good.' – SpookyDuet 2 months ago
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    • I don't think it's the dystopia we are interested in as much as the evolution of the dystopia. We like seeing a dystopia transform into a utopia, its more relatable. No one lives a perfect life and therefore utopias are not relatable. On the other hand, a dystopia is, and it is our constant yearning to make our lives better that makes us relate to the evolution of dystopian fantasy. – promptlyby12 2 months ago
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    Taken by Alyshabuck (PM) 1 month ago.
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    Is Postmodern Literature Dead, or Simply Out of Fashion?

    Many considered the encyclopaedic novels of the late ’90s and early 2000’s such as Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves and most prominently, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest to be, variously, postmodernist, or post-postmodernist – ‘New Sincerity," being a label applied to the latter. In the case of DFW, the abandonment of irony in place of sincerity was defined as the source of the departure from the genre or movement, while Danielewski’s act of essentially drawing out postmodern literature and all its tropes and threads to their logical conclusions was, essentially, concluding it there and then.
    I read House of Leaves in my first year of university, and some years later, it is now the subject of my doctoral thesis. As I studied my way through the university, and particularly in grad school, I found very few scholars wanting to discuss postmodern literature or philosophy. In classes I took on Modernism, postmodernism was included in a one-lecture session where it was deemed to have been subsumed into "New Modernist Studies," as essentially, a subgenre of modernism rather than (depending on who was writing it) an elaboration on or even ar reaction to Modernism.
    While there were stragglers throughout the ’80s, ’90s and naughties, many consider the heyday of postmodern literature to have taken place during the late sixties and throughout the seventies. Even Raymond Federman who wrote extensively on the self-reflexivity that defined these novels concluded during the ’90s that this era of self-reflexive experimentation was essentially, over. It is worth noting that while these essays were collected, many were written at the time before the term "postmodernism," had even been applied to this kind of literature (a term that was first applied to architecture before carrying over into the other arts; many of the seminal writers like Vonnegut and DeLillo were often called black humorists in their present tense). While Federman perhaps made that call prematurely in 1992, given the popularity of the first two novels I mentioned for this topic, the fact remains that whether or not the movement is "dead," it has fallen terribly out of favour. A professor confessed to me once, that it was very trendy at a time before I’d been born, or perhaps even when I was very young and as a grad student in their 20’s in the ’10s I had missed out Is postmodernism dead because it’s out of fashion? Or will it return, much like the mullet?

    • A good topic, but it may be better to try to frame the topic in third-person because too much personal experience when discussing the topic may feel more like opinion than media analysis. – Emily Deibler 6 months ago
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    • Oh certainly Emily; but I'm not the one who's going to write it.Here's a couple of contextual articles for whoever does; I shouldn't have perhaps leaned on an anecdotal example when essentially, my professor was just echoing what a lot of people have now been saying for decades. Here's a couple of recent takes:https://sydneyreviewofbooks.com/theoretical-cool/https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/postmodernism-is-dead-va-exhibition-age-of-authenticismhttps://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/postmodernism-dead-comes-next/https://philosophynow.org/issues/58/The_Death_of_Postmodernism_And_Beyond (personally not a fan of this one; feel like it misses the point but it's valid to consider)https://areomagazine.com/2018/01/08/postmodernism-isnt-playing-around-anymore/https://areomagazine.com/2018/02/07/no-postmodernism-is-not-dead-and-other-misconceptions/ – benjamindmuir 6 months ago
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    • Ooooo boy, this is one tasty topic (personally). I mean this might come down to how post modernism is defined (good luck to whomever takes that on!) and, also, how you measure the deadness-to-passéness of post modernism; if it's by reader popularity then probably deadish, if it's by author output then it's arguably very alive (Zadie Smith, Jim Gauer, George Saunders, Haruki Murakami, Marlon James...). My main thought is: Is an either/or framing of this piece the best approach to reflect a topic that might benefit from a more exploratory flavour?. There are SO many options with this piece. I approve. – JM 6 months ago
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    • Ah! Thank you for the article lists. I think that'll be very helpful for whoever writes this. :) It's a good topic. – Emily Deibler 5 months ago
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    • I think the postmodern novel will eventually be "in fashion" again. It's strange to think of something as timeless as literature being subjected to trends but there is an ebb and flow. It would be interesting to consider the impact of how we've become accustomed to absorbing information in soundbites--tweets, Instagram and Snapchat stories in relation to lengthier post-modern texts from David Foster Wallace and Haruki Marukami. – Loie89 3 months ago
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    How the Past and Present Are Closer Than We Think

    Analyze how gender issues in the writings of the past and present are similar to how things are now. For example, look at The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and explore something like The Golden Girls, or a play like A Raisin In The Sun. What do they say about womanhood? How have things changed? How is there still relevance from the past? What does this say about women’s role in society today?

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    How Andre Aciman's "Find Me" - "Call Me By Your Name" sequel compares to its prequel

    Call Me By Your Name – the book version, ends with Elio and Oliver’s separation, but their longings for each other last for what seems like an eternity. Find Me – the sequel, picks up the storyline a few years later, and, spoiler alert, slowly leads the two star-crossed lovers back together in the end. However, the perspective has changed as the Find Me is in the POV of Elio’s father, now divorced, and his journey of finding new love with a woman much younger than himself. If Call Me, under Elio’s POV, was so successful critically and commercially, why did the author switch to his father’s, whose outlook on life may not be on who was responsible for some of the most soul-touching, sentimental and inspiring dialogues in the prequel

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      The increasing popularity of Royal Fantasy Fiction

      Analyse the texts that surround the current royal fantasy trend within young adult books. Worth noting Sarah J. Maas’s contribution and how texts such as Red Queen and others compare. Are there any archetypes concerning the female hero within?

      • Could also mention Amy Tintera's series. – Andi 10 months ago
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      • I have a game app on my phone that's basically reading different books, and a lot of them are royal fantasy fiction. I never thought about it before now, but that's a really cool observation! – csquie00 10 months ago
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      • ^ I believe you are talking about the app called Choices! They make visual novels, following various trends, such as royal fantasy. Specifically, one of the series is called The Royal Romance, which details a girl adventuring to the fictional kingdom of Cordonia with its prince. – EJSmall 2 months ago
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