book criticism

Proust Caught on Film? Critical Linking

In the more than a century since Marcel Proust was first published, the name of the great French novelist has come to be associated with many things, but film footage is not one of them. Despite a handful of photographs depicting Proust, no one living claimed to have seen the man actually move — until earlier this month.

Jean-Pierre Sirois-Trahan, professor at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, says he has found the notoriously solitary writer in footage of the 1904 wedding of Élaine Greffulhe.

Well that’s neat!


Krysten Ritter may have been busy bringing Jessica Jones to life, but the actress also found time to write her first novel.

Titled Bonfire, the debut novel is a psychological thriller that will focus on small-town corruption as environmental lawyer Abby Williams returns to her hometown after ten years to investigate Optimal Plastics, a local company, of dumping chemicals in local water. But in the process, Abby starts digging into the years-old disappearance of a former high school bully of hers, which in turn, leads her to an even darker secret about the town.

A+ will read.


Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu is in talks for the lead in Warner Bros.’ Crazy Rich Asians.

Jon M. Chu is directing the adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s New York Times best-selling novel, which will feature an all-Asian cast.


I know the prop design and little allusions to the books are amazing in the show, but look at this. We see Beatrice’s letter to Lemony in TMM pt2:

it reads as follows:

Keep reading

Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality. There are mass emotions which heal the wound; but they destroy the privilege. In them our separate selves are pooled and we sink back into sub-individuality. But in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like a night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.
—  C. S. LewisAn Experiment in Criticism
The signs as book genres
  • Aries: Adventure, Action, Epic
  • Taurus: Cooking and Recipes, Romance
  • Gemini: Books criticizing society, Satirical, Comics
  • Cancer: Romance, Drama, Biography
  • Leo: Drama, Novel, Classics
  • Virgo: Crime, Contemporary
  • Libra: Chick-lit, Art, Mythology
  • Scorpio: Mystery, Crime, Paranormal, Thriller
  • Sagittarius: Adventure, Spiritual, Travel
  • Capricorn: Historical, Economics, Politics (opinion books)
  • Aquarius: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Futuristic
  • Pisces: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Poetry


Call me Helen. You may have noticed that I am not Ari Bach, the usual factmaker of this blog. Ari is busy with this special event for the release of his new novella, THE MILLENNIAL KING, but wants someone to liveblog it all. So here I am.

And here we are at Ari’s big event: BACHanalia. Get it? It’s like Bacchanalia (a Roman drunken orgy festival) but with one C, because his name is Ari Bach. Clever little brat, ain’t he? Apparently he missed that it also contains the word “anal.”

This party is gonna rock though: We’ve invited literally hundreds of friends, cosplayers, book critics, celebrities and random people from downtown who looked like they knew how to have fun. There’s free alcohol ranging from hard cider to hard liquor (including real Absinthe!), there’s free food coming from five restaurants, a live metal band called Smegmata, a Kindle E-reader to give away, and in the arena floor, a real ball pit like at Chuck E. Cheese’s but bigger! AND- We have the most epic guest speakers ever: Darth Vader and Obi Wan themselves, Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor!!! It’s about to begin, I’ll post when I can :D

Students do not become critical thinkers overnight. First, they must learn to embrace the joy and power of thinking itself. Engaged pedagogy is a teaching strategy that aims to restore students’ will to think, and their will to be fully self-actualized.
—  Bell Hooks, “Critical Thinking,” from Teaching Critical Thinking (2010, p.8).

Oh!!! Since Sympathy for the Devil is on Taliesin’s Percy playlist I can tell you something cool about it :D

Sympathy for the Devil is partly based on a Russian novel called The Master and Margarita. It’s this multi-part satire about the devil coming to Moscow with his cronies and screwing with the communist elites, and also kind of about Jesus, AND about the titular Master and Margarita.

I read it in high school, so here’s what I remember cobbled together with the wikipedia summary: the Master is a writer, who is trying to complete a book (about Jesus) that he burns, (I think because he believes it’s too dangerous and edgy) and after that he kind of exiles himself from society and hates everybody and is sad. And his lover, Margarita, becomes a witch, learns to fly, and survives a fancy ball surrounded by evil historical figures from hell, and then makes a deal with the devil for the Master’s freedom. And they both sort of die but not really? They go to a sort of Limbo-thing, anyway, out of reach of Heaven and Hell, and having regained their faith in humanity.

And I thought that was really cool because it reminds me a lot of the Briarwoods, but…it also kind of reminds me of Percy and Vex :) with Vex trying to restore Percy’s faith and free him from the burdens of his work, and Percy’s denial and refusal of the Gods’ control. And also with the flying. Also, Margarita and Vex both get naked a lot.

On a lighter note, I have been reading the 5E D&D supplement Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Or, as Clio has taken to calling it after I read her a few excerpts, Volo’s Guide to Having Unexpected Feels About Monsters.

Why? Well, let me share with you the same excerpts…

From the section on kobolds:

Survival of the tribe is more important that the survival of any particular individual. Even a cowardly kobold might sacrifice itself to give its fellows time to collapse a nearby tunnel and prevent invaders from getting to the rest of the tribe… This practice contributes to the reason why most common folk (and adventurers) think kobolds are stupid as well as weak; they’ve seen or heard of a lone kobold trying to hold off a group of armed attackers and attribute the act either to idiocy or the creature’s ridiculously inflated idea of its prospects for success. The truth is that the kobold - persuaded into this role by its peers - is just hoping to slow down the invaders long enough to give the rest of the tribe time to prepare a lethal trap, an ambush, or a quick getaway.

Poor brave kobold… What? I mean, I’m fine. Everything’s fine.

And then I hit the section of mind flayers:

Sometimes a mind flayer that’s away from its colony breaks free from the elder brain… Unlike colonial mind flayers, rogue illithids develop a healthy respect for those not of their kind. They treat especially powerful creatures and individuals as equals, not adversaries, and seek to cooperate with them. A renegade mind flayer might become a trusted advisor or a powerful ally, so long as it is kept well fed. Any alliance it makes, however, collapses if the mind flayer falls under the sway of an elder brain once more.

And my fellow Critical Role fans may know why this one is SO NOT OK.