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?”
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.
I recently read a Slate article subtitled ‘Read whatever you want. But you should be embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.’ Though the article focuses predominantly on YA literature, it shows a clear snobbishness for books that aren’t aimed specifically at adults. But when we look at the success of, for example, Harry Potter, it becomes clear that there must be something of value in children’s literature for adults. So this poses the question, is children’s literature exclusively for children?
That’s right, I’ve joined the blogging bandwagon and started my own literature blog! You’ll hopefully find here a mixture of book reviews, short essays and posts about the general world of literature and publishing. As an English student I read a lot and write about books a lot, but I don’t always get to explore the things I really want to, so this blog will hopefully provide me with a space to expand upon the work I’m doing for my degree, and when I graduate (EEK!) allow me to continue engaging with texts.
I’m totally new to wordpress so bear with me while I figure it all out. Feel free to comment with any hints or tips, or just to say hi.