Last Week’s Links

Last Week's Links

Literary Links

How Gruesome Penny Dreadfuls Got Victorian Children Reading “Despite causing a moral panic, these salacious tales helped boost literacy in Victorian England.” Even if you don’t read the article, take a gander at the illustrations. I’m Glad I Don’t Picture Anything When I Read Here’s an article on aphantasia or “mind blindness.” It attracted my …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Sympathy for the De Vil: Reading Beyond Likability “As a writer and enthusiastic consumer of unlikable characters, I’m often puzzled by viewers or readers who criticize a story for having these types of characters,” writes novelist and English teacher John Copenhaver. This is a topic that just won’t go away. I Don’t Read to Like …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

The Book Review Turns 125 The New York Times is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its Book Review with a selection from its archives. Here you’ll find links to reviews of past books including The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston, Roots by Alex Haley, and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, as well as …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

The great book shortage of 2021, explained Those exhortations you’ve heard about ordering holiday gifts early include books. My daughter reminded me just a couple of days ago to get my book requests to her soon. In defence of memoirs – a way to grip our story-shaped lives After studying life stories and their nonfiction …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

How the Clique Books Taught Me to Hate Other Girls and Myself “I thought these middle-grade novels would help me navigate private school. Instead, they immersed me in bullying and materialism.” Anyone who doesn’t believe how much literature can influence people could benefit from reading Lena Wilson’s account of how she was influenced by “the …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

All Our Possible Lives: On Sylvia Plath, Matt Haig, and the Female Suicide Narrative “Savannah Marciezyk Compares Textual Interpretations of The Midnight Library and The Bell Jar” Sylvia Plath and Matt Haig have much in common, but the differences between their receptions and textual interpretations are remarkable. Plath’s novel is famously (and controversially) autobiographical. Haig …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

An Innocent Abroad: Joan Didion’s Midlife Crisis Novelist, short story writer, critic and retired English professor Scott Bradfield grew up in California but had difficulty “[l]earning how to write fictions set in California”: California is filled with so many vivid pleasures, smells, textures, and absurdities of human character that it feels difficult, or even impossible, …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Students Protest Book Bans in Pennsylvania School District Last week’s Literary Links included an article about censorship in a Pennsylvania school. Here’s a follow-up: “students have spoken up, demanding that materials by Black and Brown authors be reinstated in the classroom.” Becoming the Thing That Haunts the House: Gothic Fiction and the Fear of Change …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Dread, War and Ambivalence: Literature Since the Towers Fell The events of 9/11 irrevocably changed the course of global affairs. They also changed culture. It will likely be easier to say how a century from now. But with 20 years’ hindsight, The Times’s book critics reflect below on some of the influence of that day …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

The Man Behind the Myth: Should We Question the Hero’s Journey? Sarah E. Bond and Joel Christensen dispute Joseph Campbell’s well-known theory “which proposed the existence of a singular ‘hero’s journey’ (also known as the Monomyth), as experienced by ancient heroes such as Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey.” How Extortion Scams and Review Bombing Trolls Turned …

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