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Literary Links

Logan Steiner on Learning Life Lessons From Anne of Green Gables

I was drawn to this article because much of what Logan Steiner writes here reflects my own reactions to reading Anne of Green Gables. The book demonstrates not only what it means to be human, but also how literature can unconsciously teach us how our particular society expects us to behave.

Categories: Fiction, Life Stories in Literature, Reading

7 Ways to Identify “Psychopath Eyes”

I read a lot of mysteries and thrillers, and watch a lot of movies and television shows of the same ilk. Such works often contain references to a killer’s “psychopathic stare” or “dead eyes.” How accurate is this common literary trope?

This article from PsychCentral discusses psychopathology and how it presents in people.

Categories: Film, Literature & Psychology, Reading, Television

The 10 Best Bookish Conversation Starters

Instead of the usual “What’s your favorite book?” Mara Franzen suggests 10 more varied ways of making literary small talk.

Categories: Literature & Psychology, Reading

How to Be a Man—According to Pop Culture

“‘We find ways of creating ourselves from what we have around us,’ says Manuel Betancourt, the author of The Male Gazed.”

Michael Colbert interviews Manuel Betancourt, whose book is about “the context in which something—whether a telenovela or sexy Adidas ad—is created, examining the positionality between the text and himself as a consumer.” 

In other words, Betancourt’s book looks at how stories presented in popular culture both reflect and reinforce cultural norms that individuals incorporate into their sense of personal identity.

Category: Life Stories in Literature 

The Best Books of 2023 So Far

This list from Time magazine contains both fiction and nonfiction items.

Category: Book Recommendations

20 Award-Winning Graphic Novels for Your TBR

Lately I’ve been trying to read more about various types of literature I’m not familiar with (even though, I admit, I haven’t found time to read many examples of those types). Here’s an introduction to graphic novels.

Categories: Book Recommendations, Literary Criticism, Literary History, Reading

 Don’t Treat Your Life as a Project

“Fight the tendency to see your life as a narrative journey.”

I obviously don’t agree with this article’s premise, but I think it’s only fair to present the other side of the story (in this case, the story of Life Stories in Literature).

Categories: Life Stories in Literature, Literature & Psychology

Why the Idea of Western Civilization is More Myth Than History

Prepare to have your notion of history completely crushed:

Naoíse Mac Sweeney, professor of classical archaeology and author of The West: A New History in Fourteen Lives, tells us that “the ancient Greeks did not give us Western Civilization. . . . we in the modern West are not the heirs of a unique and elevated cultural tradition, stretching back through Atlantic modernity to Enlightenment and Renaissance Europe, and from there through the darkness of the medieval period and ultimately back to the glories of classical Greece and Rome.”

She writes that although this is a “version of history that is all around us, set out in popular textbooks, encoded implicitly into children’s stories and Hollywood movies, and proclaimed loudly and sometimes even angrily by commentators on both sides of the political spectrum,” it is “simply wrong.”

Categories: Literary Criticism, Literary History

© 2023 by Mary Daniels Brown

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