Jessica S. Manuel

Jessica S. Manuel is a reader, writer, and college professor. Her work explores the intersections of contemporary theories and philosophies with classic and contemporary literature. She earned her B.A. in English with an emphasis in Critical Theory and a minor in Theological Studies from The Master's University. She went on to earn her M.A. in English (Literature) from San Francisco State University where she studied 19th-20th Century Literatures with a special studies emphasis in Critical Theory. After examining the intersections of psychoanalysis and contemporary literature, she wrote her thesis on Haruki Murakami's use of the unconscious in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. After earning her M.A., she continued her education at University of California, San Diego where she studied and earned certificates in teaching adult learners, literature, and online teaching and learning. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design at Clemson University. Jessica offers online adult literature courses and reading groups for life-long learners through Book Oblivion Academy and also teaches writing and literature courses at the college level.

Narrative Architecture in Meander, Spiral, Explode

Narrative Architecture in Jane Alison’s Meander, Spiral, Explode

“The wave is one. There’s a reason we’re drawn to it, whether viewing or watching entranced as one wave after another breaks on shore: a wave is a clear instance of energy charging static matter until that energy is spent and equilibrium returns, elegant and satisfying. Arcs or waves exist all around as waves of …

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Space and Time Converge

How Time and Space Converge to Evoke Walter Benjamin’s Aura

“The concept of aura which was proposed above with reference to historical objects may usefully be illustrated with reference to the aura of natural ones. We define aura of the latter as the unique phenomenon of a distance, however close it may be. If, while resting on a summer afternoon, you follow with your eyes …

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Walter Ong's Psychodynamics of Orality and the Reading Mind

Walter Ong’s Psychodynamics of Orality and the Reader

“Until writing was invented, men lived in acoustic space: boundless, directionless, horizonless, in the dark of the mind, in the world of emotion, by primordial intuition, by terror. Speech is a social chart of this bog.” – Marshall McLuhan When we trace language from orality, characterized by the pre-socratics and the passing of tradition from one …

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Ten Diverse Books

10 Books That Celebrate Diversity

“The book industry is focusing more on diverse voices and stories: a reflection of the real demographic of the United States, allowing all to find their stories reflected in books. Children’s publishers across the industry have put an emphasis on finding diverse authors and stories, and I believe adult publishers are accelerating their efforts as well. All voices should be represented …

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A Thousand Eyes of Curiosity With Albert Camus

A Thousand Eyes of Curiosity With Alberto Manguel

“Now open in my eyes a thousand eyes of curiosity.” Virginia Woolf, The Waves ALBERTO MANGUEL (BORN 1948) Alberto Manguel is a proliferate writer and reader. His world travels both in and out of books converge in everything he writes. His writings explore an intimate love of reading that is arguably unparalleled by anyone alive. …

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Henri Bergson on the Cinematographic Mechanism of Thought

Henri Bergson on the Cinematographic Mechanism of Thought

“In its entirety, probably, it follows us at every instant; all that we have felt, thought and willed from our earliest infancy is there, leaning over the present which is about to join it, pressing against the portals of consciousness that would fain leave it outside.” Henri Bergson Henri Bergson (1859-1941) Henri Bergson was a …

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The Philosophy of Wonder

William Covino on the Art of Wonder in Philosophy

“The art of rhetoric underlines the ambiguity of language; to practice the art, one remains mindful that all conclusions are provisional, tentative. The art lies not in the completion of a text, but in the transfiguration of one text — one system of possibilities — into another.” William A. Covino, The Art of Wondering REVISING …

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What Is Truth - Dynamic Epistemology and the Etymology of Truth

Dynamic Epistemology and the Etymology of Truth

“Hail to Thee, Logos, Thou Vast Almighty Title, In Whose name we conjure— Our acts the partial representatives Of Thy whole act.” Kenneth Burke MISUNDERSTANDING TRUTH There is a huge misunderstanding in culture that the idea of relativism has wiped out the notion of absolute reality. Consequently, morals decline and society is in shambles. This …

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David Foster Wallace and the Philosophy of Solipsism

David Foster Wallace and the Utter Hell of Solipsism

“One of the things that makes Wittgenstein a real artist to me is that he realized that no conclusion could be more horrible than solipsism.” David Foster Wallace Who’s there? The famous words Shakespeare pens at the beginning of Hamlet are answered 387 short years later in the first two words of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest: I …

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The Muse Learns to Read

The Muse Learns to Read: Trace the Process of Intellectual Becoming

Language is the soul of intellect, and reading is the essential process by which that intellect is cultivated beyond the commonplace experiences of everyday life. Charles Scribner, Jr. When we trace language from orality, characterized by the pre-socratics and the passing of tradition from one mouth to the next, to literacy made possible by writing …

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The Evolution of Jean Baudrillard's Hyperreality

Tracing the Evolution of Jean Baudrillard’s Hyperreality

“Today abstraction is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror, or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal.” Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation WHAT IS HYPERREALITY? Hyperreality is …

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The Rhetorics of Reading and the Energy of Language

On the Energy of Language and the Rhetorics of Reading

“Camerado, this is no book,  who touches this, touches a man,  (Is it night? Are we here alone?) It is I you hold, and who holds you,  I spring from the pages into your arms…”  Walt Whitman, So Long! In William Covino’s book, The Art of Wondering (1988), he advances Plato’s definition of rhetoric that he develops …

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