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Harlem: The Journey Uptown

The February 1, 2023, daily newsletter from The New Yorker describes this article from 1981 as follows:

Few neighborhoods in New York City—indeed, few neighborhoods anywhere—are as closely linked with a community as Harlem is with African Americans. In literature and music, fashion and film, the area has become synonymous with Black culture and history—to such an extent that many people may not realize how recently that history started. “Until 1900, Harlem had been a virtually all-white neighborhood,” Jervis Anderson wrote in The New Yorker, in 1981.

Anderson’s four-part series for The New Yorker was later published as a book, This Was Harlem, that “movingly conveys the story of the neighborhood, detailing the diversity of its residents and a multitude of their accomplishments, many achieved in the shadow of discrimination and violence.”

Categories: Literary Criticism, Literary History, Literature & Culture

New Year, New Good Habits: 5 Ways to Make your Reading Life Greener

Recycling books is “a complicated and detailed process, so don’t just put your books in the recycling bin and call it a day,” writes Rachel Rosenberg. Donating books “also should be done thoughtfully.” So how can you make your reading greener? Rosenberg has some suggestions, including a link to how to turn individual pages from damaged books “into all manner of magnets, collage art, planters, or even bunting.”

Categories: Libraries, Reading

7 Books With Inclusive and Empowering Retellings of Ancient Greek Mythology

I did my B.A. and M.A. in classics, so I can’t resist articles like this one. Most of the titles listed here are about women characters and therefore also illustrate the contemporary movement to reintroduce the voices of women who have been ignored by history, one of the themes of Life Stories in Literature.

Categories: Life Stories in Literature, Literary Criticism, Literary History, Literature & Culture

Celebrating Black History Month

“JSTOR Daily provides context for current events using scholarship found in JSTOR, a digital library of academic journals, books, and other material. We publish articles grounded in peer-reviewed research and provide free access to that research for all of our readers.”

On this page JSTOR Daily editors pick their favorite stories for Black History Month.

Categories: Literary Criticism, Literary History, Literature & Culture

Begging the Question Fallacy — Definition and Examples

Begging the question is a type of logical fallacy that is based on assumptions rather than on concrete evidence.”


Note that in some contemporary usage the term “begs the question” is used to mean “invites the question” or “raises the question”. However, this is typically considered to be the incorrect usage of the term, and the way it is used in classical rhetoric and logic is seen as the correct one.

Categories: Reading, Writing

“I Remember It Like It Was Just Yesterday…” Really?

“The Role of Emotional Memory in Our Writing”

Clinical psychologist Martha Manning writes about emotional memory:

It is the kind of recollection that is received, processed and retrieved in a state of emotional “arousal.” In other words, when what we feel is intense. Arousal ranges from high-octane excitement to neutral/blah. Neutral would be a state in which our feelings aren’t really engaged at all.

Categories: Reading, Writing

Capturing the Voice—and Honesty—of Adolescence

In this thought-provoking piece novelist Sterling Watson discusses Holden Caulfield and Huck Finn, both adolescent fictional characters:

Both Holden and Huck exhibit two natures, the public nature and the private one.  It’s a measure of the cruelty of the world, that the private nature must remain hidden.  It’s the work of the good reader to discover this nature which is available only through inference, or only after the public self has broken down.

The inability to recognize this duality has produced much of polemic writing I’ve come across around these two novels, particularly The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Categories: Life Stories in Literature, Literary Criticism, Literary History, Reading, Writing

19 New Books by Black Authors That Need to Be on Your Radar

“To celebrate Black History Month, we’ve pulled together a list of buzzy new and upcoming releases by Black authors, ranging from mystery and romance to literary fiction and nonfiction.” From BookBub.

Categories: Book News, Book Recommendations, Reading

Finding a Place in Oral History

Writer J.J. Anselmi discusses how he wrote a book of oral history to portray his home town of Rock Springs, Wyoming. Here’s how he describes the oral history approach:

It’s told in people’s own words without the filter or spin of narrative journalism. The oral history form asks readers to sift through several stories that don’t neatly align: there are, for instance, multiple, sometimes contradictory accounts of the same events. That sifting process leaves you with a fuller sense of what it was like to be in a specific place at a specific time.

Categories: Life Stories in Literature, Reading, Writing

© 2023 by Mary Daniels Brown

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