Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Plotter, Pantser, Scribbler, Scribe

Can we get rid of the “plotter vs. pantser” binary already?

In light of last month’s quotations around NaNoWriMo, this piece seems like the logical introduction for the weekly links list.

What If We’ve Been Misunderstanding Monsters?

A history of how literary monsters have changed over the centuries. “Post-Enlightenment, literary monsters began largely to reflect social deviance.”

The Tragic Misfit Behind “Harriet the Spy”

There is a certain alchemy by which canonical characters, especially the figures of children’s literature, come to exist outside of history. Stripped of their initial contexts, and cleansed of any outdated particularities, they seem to endure in an eternal present tense. Take, for instance, the nineteen-sixties’ most iconic underage sleuth, Harriet M. Welsch, a.k.a. Harriet the Spy. . . . As the rebellious tomboy is revived for an audience unlikely to see her as especially gender-bending, it’s easy to lose sight of what she meant in her own time. That’s a story that can be filled in with a look at the life of her creator.

Rebecca Panovka examines Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy by Leslie Brody to understand how Fitzhugh created Harriet as “an entirely new and radically different version of the American girl.”

The New Pamphleteers: Why One Publisher Is Betting on Short Books with Big Ideas

“Biblioasis’s new series tries to incite debate and fill a hole in the publishing landscape”

Canadian publication The Walrus profiles Dan Wells, a publisher with “the hope of reviving the pamphleteering tradition in present-day Canada.”

Anne Rice used vampires to show people they belong, says son 

I often express my dislike for books about vampires, werewolves, and zombies. But after the recent death of Anne Rice, author of Interview with the Vampire and its sequels, I thought it only fair to let her son, Christopher Rice, explain how his mother used vampires, witches, and werewolves: “She used paranormal, supernatural gothic tales to pursue what she saw as these great cosmic spiritual questions.”

Can “Distraction-Free” Devices Change the Way We Write?

“The digital age enabled productivity but invited procrastination. Now writers are rebelling against their word processors.”

Julian Lucas looks at how “[c]omputers made the writer’s life easier, until they made it harder” by interweaving his own search for the perfect distraction-free writing machine with the various instruments devised by other writers seeking that same elusive goal.

Commentary: Spielberg tried to save ‘West Side Story.’ But its history makes it unsalvageable

Ashley Lee, a staff reporter for the Los Angeles Times, writes “No matter how many Nuyorican actors are cast, how many lines are recited in Spanish, how many Puerto Rican consultants are hired and how many panels with historical experts are held, the collective effort does not correct the problematic appropriation on which the musical was built.”

This article augments the discussions about cultural appropriation in literature that have come up over the past several years.

What It’s Like to Have Your Book Banned by the School Board

Mary Harris interviews Ashley Pérez about the recent spate of book-banning demands, which include her novel Out of Darkness, in public schools.

© 2021 by Mary Daniels Brown

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