Literary Criticism

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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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 Best Books for Studying Magical Realism

The Best Books for Studying Magical Realism

In a magical realist story there must be an irreducible element, something that cannot be explained by logic, familiar knowledge, or received belief.” ~David Young and Keith Hollaman Magical realism is a radically complicated literary mode. It’s so complicated that I get uncomfortable every time I hear someone describe a work of literature as a …

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Exploring Truth and the Intellect With Friedrich Nietzsche

“Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a a devotee of truth, then inquire.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche, Letter to His Sister, 1865 Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), the German philosopher and professor of philology, wrote the essay, “Truth and Lie in …

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Mastering Your Circumstances in A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Mastering Your Circumstances in Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow

Are you reading along with us? Our summer book club is just beginning The Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. So what do we know so far? The Count’s circumstances have changed as a result of conflict. The year is 1922 and we watch the life of a poet, confined to a luxurious hotel, unfold in …

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The Fatal Flaw in The Secret History

The Fatal Flaw in Donna Tartt’s The Secret History

The Fatal Flaw in Donna Tartt’s The Secret History Aristotle coined the term Hamartia which literally translates “to miss the mark” or “to err”. We’ve come to understand this term as the fatal flaw and find it in most tragedies, especially Greek tragedies. Basically, there is a reversal of fortunes that needs to take place in the plot. It’s …

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