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jrlewis's picture

Reading Arabian Nights

Because I love reading in bed, I bought a paperback copy of Arabian Nights at Barnes and Noble.  I thought that this text was especially appropriate to read in bed before sleeping.  I was with the king and the younger sister, a fellow listener.  The stories distracted me to the point of losing sleep or oversleeping the next morning.  The interlaced serial nature of the text was incredibly addictive.  I found myself craving another tale and another tale after that.  A like bites of a cake, each forkful delicious...

jrlewis's picture

Closely Related Literary Kinds...

I just finished reading Philippe Petit's book, "Man on Wire" pp  This text chronicles Petit's multiyear long project to perform a high wire walk across the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.  There is a significant amount of autiobiographical information, including Petit's childhood passion for horseback riding.  Interspersed throughout the text are black and white images of Petit, his accomplices, and the Twin Towers.  Some are photographs, others are sketches and notes in

Hannah Silverblank's picture

“An Artificial and Most Complicated World”: Reading and Writing the Brain

“From the very start, the brain’s capacity for making new connections shows itself… as regions originally designed for other functions – particularly vision, motor, and multiple aspects of language – learn to interact with increasing speed. By the time a child is seven or eight, the beginning decoding brain illustrates both how much the young brain accomplishes and how far we have evolved… These three major distribution regions will be the foundation across all phases of reading for basic decoding, even though an increasing fluency… adds an interesting caveat to the unfolding portrait of the reading brain.” (1)

-Maryanne Wolf


jrlewis's picture

Genres as Recipes or Recipes as Genres?

Perhaps this is a stupid question…  Especially for someone who has taken almost enough literature courses to be an English minor… An avid reader of novels, graphic narratives, biographies, and texts on philosophy and science… 
WHAT IS LITERATURE?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 
Is it the texts of the Western Canon?  Is it global?  Is it any kind of artist writing?  What about important articles? Comics? Papers? Speeches? Films? Recipes?

jrlewis's picture

The Tyranny of Henry James

In our discussion of The Portrait of a Lady, Anne asked our class to consider “who is the tyrant” of the novel.  She was inquiring what character or concept constrained the formerly free and independent character of Isabel Archer.  A discussion ensued about whether Gilbert Osmond or Isabel Archer’s imagination was the tyrant.  I would like to propose a third interpretation; Henry James, himself, is the great tyrant of his own novel. 

aseidman's picture

Doll - An Exploratory Short Story


In class on Tuesday, May 2, 2010, we discussed the fact that Henry James, particularly in his novel The Portrait of a Lady, leaves a great deal unsaid. He chooses not to include in the novel several scenes in which his characters make important decisions, but instead references those decisions later, never having explored the nature of how they came about. Some of my classmates were very much against this idea, or felt cheated by the fact that James did not feel it necessary to provide them with all of the information pertaining to his story. Other classmates were intrigued, or even pleased by the fact that he left such a great deal up to the imagination of the reader.

aseidman's picture

Storytelling through Serials - How and Why?


I think it would be an interesting idea for us to study serial fiction as a genre.

aseidman's picture

Intellectual Property P2P - Fanfiction as Emerging Genre


Intellectual Property P2P – Fanfiction as Emerging Genre


Paul Grobstein's picture

World Literature and Neurobiology

The Facebook group "Rethinking World Literature" hosts a series of interdisciplinary discussions around the topic of what constitutes "world literature."  The Evolving Systems project on Serendip hosts a series of interdisciplinary discussions exploring the common usefulness in a wide array of contexts, academic and otherwise, of emergent and evolving systems ideas.  The conversation documented below is archived from a discussion on the Rethinking World Literature Facebook site and will be added to as that discussion continues. A second discussion archive on "From Evolving Systems to World Literature and Back Again" is available here

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