As digital technology grows and changes, the art of storytelling is being forced to adapt. Film and TV seem to be doing so readily and creatively – so why has the novel fallen behind? Today I’m discussing the limitations of the novel in the digital age, the ways in which we’re already seeing the written word adapting to digital technology, and the role that digital technology might play in the future of the novel. Continue reading “Rethinking the novel in a digital age”
YA is a genre I’ve always enjoyed. Like any genre, there’s a mix of good and bad, but the good ones are truly special. They’re easy to read without feeling trivial. They can be sad and emotional without feeling sensationalist. They blend humour and tragedy with interesting, likeable characters.
But recently I’ve been finding it hard to engage with this genre. Continue reading “Post YA: What can 20 somethings move onto after YA?”
I came across this poem entirely by chance, actually. Sometime a few years ago, I used my enormous Norton Anthology of Poetry to press some flower petals, and when I came back to check them some weeks or months later, I had a quick read of the poems surrounding them – one of which was Margaret Atwood’s ‘Up’. To this day I’m still not entirely sure why this poem made such an impression; there’s something so simplistic and quietly haunting about it, it takes me by surprise every time. Continue reading “Poetry Picks: ‘Up’, Margaret Atwood”
Trying to get into poetry for the first time can feel a bit daunting – there is just SO MUCH poetry out there, where do you start? If I hadn’t studied English at uni and been given poems to read and poets to explore, there’s a good chance I would have dismissed poetry altogether. That’s why studying literature is so rewarding; it pushes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to read things you might never have considered before.
This is where Poetry Picks comes into it. It’ll be my first recurring feature, and it’s exactly as it sounds: I pick a poem, poet or collection and talk a little bit about it. But don’t worry, it won’t be heavy on the analysis! Just a quick introduction, a couple of lines about what strikes me about the poem, and a few pointers towards some particularly notable aspects of it. From there it’s up to you how much further you want to delve!
So stay tuned if you’re interested in poetry and are just looking for a place to start.
“And that’s when I know it’s over. As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it’s the end.”
In this essay I explore the way in which Chuck Palahniuk uses Gothic tropes in Fight Club (1996) to explore the terrors of the postmodern capitalist city, and how this situates it within the context of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York. Continue reading “Fight Club’s Gothic Leanings in a Pre-9/11 Era”
“if a city hasn’t been used by an artist not even the inhabitants live there imaginatively”
In this essay I explore the relationship between identity and the imagination in Alasdair Gray’s Lanark: A Life in Four Books. I unpick the uncanny layering and blurring of the reality in this text, and also explore the extent to which it matters which is the ‘real’ identity, and which is the ‘imagined’. Continue reading “Imagined Identities in Lanark”
So although my blog has been a little slow so far, I promise I have been reading a tonne of books recently – unfortunately they’ve mostly been for my dissertation. For plagiarism reasons, I am wary about discussing these texts until it has been graded. I am beginning to realise that starting a literature blog halfway through dissertation semester was, perhaps, not my greatest idea.
However, I have just returned from a much-needed break in Portugal where I read a few non-dissertation texts, most notably J. G. Ballard’s High Rise, which I intend to post about over the next week or so, in between the frantic post-uni job hunt and looming ‘what am I supposed to do next’ anxieties. Next on my reading list is Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, which, I confess, I have never read before and am thoroughly looking forward to.
Once my dissertation has been graded and sufficient time has passed that I no longer feel an imminent nervous breakdown approaching just thinking about it, expect posts on the post-modern, the Gothic and post-9/11 (or a combination of all three) in texts such as Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, Bret Easton Ellis’ Lunar Park and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
In the meantime, happy reading!
I read Isaac Marion’s 2010 novel Warm Bodies last year as part of a Modern and Contemporary Gothic module, and while it received some harsh criticism from our tutor (to make a long story short, it was criticised for its utter failure as a piece of Gothic literature), I wanted explore it a little further because, I confess, I enjoyed the book. True, perhaps its didn’t show great skill in executing the Gothic mode, and perhaps it could have done with a little more diversity (it was also criticised for being too hetero-normative), and perhaps its ‘love is the answer to everything’ lesson was a little cliché, but I enjoyed it, and sometimes that’s all a novel needs to be – enjoyable.