Categories
Literature

Edgar Allan Poe and “Genre” Writing.

Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” was published in 1845. In the story a mesmerist (a kind of hypnotist) puts a dying man called Valdemar in a suspended hypnotic state at the moment of death. The man’s body becomes cold and inert. It is left for months. Finally […]

Categories
Literature

Why Write?

There are some writers who aren’t too worried about having an audience. Only a handful of Emily Dickinson’s poems were published during her lifetime, possibly without her permission.  Her fellow Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins felt publication conflicted with his vocation as a priest. The rest of us want as big an audience as possible […]

Categories
Literature

Kenostic vs. Heuristic Storytelling

I once attended a lecture on the Polish-born English novelist Joseph Conrad. The lecturer talked about two types of text. The first was “heuristic” in which the hero/reader gains knowledge as the novel progresses – like Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe”. Then other type of text is “kenostic” where the text empties of meaning, like in […]