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Life etc Literature

Audiobooks and me.

Audiobooks Saved my Life. I lay silent for months, unable to move. Then, one day, words come out of the darkness and exploded in my ears. Not everyone likes talking books. “You’re not getting the whole thing”, my friend Dave once claimed, “just an actor’s interpretation of it. I want to read it for myself.” […]

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Literature Writing

Looking Something Up in an Actual Book.

An interest in Buddhism, a fluctuating chronic illness and a near-fatal bout of cancer has left me with a feeling that belongings aren’t terribly important. However, probably because I studied English at University,  I absolutely love my bonkers, hard-to-use, compact Oxford English Dictionary. We’ve been through a lot together. The complete twenty volumes of the […]

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Literature

Edgar Allan Poe’s Less Successful First Detective.

It is often claimed Edgar Allan Poe invented the modern detective story in “The Murder in the Rue Morgue.” When the character of C. Auguste Dupin first appeared in 1841, the word detective did not yet exist. Poe claimed this new type of story was a tale of “ratiocination”- in which the main concern of […]

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Literature

Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Green Tea” and The Horror of Psychological Horror

There are no monsters in real-life, right? No ghosts, vampires or werewolves? So to avoid being laughed at some supernatural writers choose to go down the psychological route. As is the case, for instance, in the short story “Green Tea,” written by Irish author Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (text here.) In the tale – first published in […]

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Literature Writing

What Our Monsters Possibly Might Tell Us

There are monsters around this time of year. Creatures of folklore and horror fiction. All of them presumably had creators at some point -people  who had to puzzle and make creative decisions about their monstrous imaginary progeny. Which made me ask a few rhetorical questions to myself, starting with this one – what kind of […]

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Literature Writing

Grammar -What Is It Good For?

Towards the end of the eighteenth century the innocent, care-free days of English grammar were coming to an end. Grammarians had made strenuous efforts to “ascertain” the language and bring order to a riotous body of previously lawless syntax. There were dissenting voices. Liberals like Joseph Priestley wrote in 1762 that it was “absurd” to […]

Categories
Literature Writing

The Characters are Ruining It

It’s probably not going to be an Internet-breaking observation that characters can sometimes seem to take on a life of their own when you are writing fiction. Writing day-in and day- out for months some characters (more often primary than secondary) start to become almost as “real” to you as anyone else in your life. […]