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Literary Links

Against the objectification of books (or, some thoughts on The Discourse).

Brittany Allen addresses the tendency of readers who brag about how fast they read and how very many books they read in a given amount of time. (Examples of this trend most often pop up in those end-of-year reading statistics that Goodreads reports.) “Why is our culture so intent on praising folks for reading not wider or more deeply, but faster and more?” Allen asks. 

To answer her own admittedly rhetorical question, she continues, “What strikes me . . . is the profound incompatibility between the object of the book and the ethos of productivity. Novels, in general, take a long time to create and consume.”

What Is Free Indirect Discourse? Writing the “Intimate 3rd Person”

Free indirect discourse is the narrative technique that does most of the heavy lifting in contemporary novels. “Free indirect discourse is a narrative technique in which writers employ the third person POV with the intimacy of 1st person perspective,” writes Sean Glatch in this discussion of a topic you’re likely to come across when reading literary criticism.

How ‘feelings about thinking’ help us navigate our world

“The pleasant feeling of knowing, the frustration of forgetting, and other ‘metacognitive feelings’ serve as unsung guides”

Here’s a fascinating article:

That feeling of ‘knowing that you’re going to know’ is commonly described in psychology as the feeling of knowing. It belongs to a ragtag family of emotional processes called metacognitive feelings, which includes things like the feeling that you are forgetting something, the sense of déjà vu, the feeling of insight, or the sensation that some key information is at the tip of your tongue.

Such “metacognitive feelings show the constant interaction of ‘reason’ and ‘passion’ in our mental processes.”

9 Books About Multiverses

“How many of us grow up living one life while dreaming of another?”

The concept of parallel universes provides a particularly rich metaphor for the examination of alternate life story possibilities. (See, for example, my review of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.)

Here Emet North, author of In Universes, discusses several novels that make use of this metaphor.

These books offer breezy escapism. That doesn’t mean they’re silly

Every year at around this time, as summer approaches, articles like this one pop up to answer the perennial question: What is a beach read? 

“But what exactly constitutes a beach read? And where did that idea come from? Here’s what to know about the popular term,” writes Harmeet Kaur for CNN. Although the term “beach read” first appeared around 1990, Kaur writes, the concept of the “summer read” goes back to the 19th century and is connected to the creation of the summer vacation.

The Summer Reading Guide

If you’re putting together your own list of summer reading, The Atlantic offers 25 suggestions.

Your Childhood Home Might Never Stop Haunting You

I’ve written before on a topic similar to this one: “You Can’t Go Home Again” novels. Here, Faith Hill writes about how “it can be weird when old and new selves collide.”

© 2024 by Mary Daniels Brown

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