literary equivalent

characterization, filters, and characterization to be found in the lack of filters

Talking about Jane earlier got me thinking, you know, Jane is not at all the only character that uses this device to show off the less desirable traits lurking in the psyche of all these damaged teens. Like. So many characters have these lurking deep seated issues that stay hidden deep down because the characters are pretty good at projecting a less damaged and more together version of themselves. 

If that sounds familiar it’s because it’s a fucking outrageously relatable quality and part of what makes the Homestuck characters RESONATE so much. Why they feel like they have all this dimension and depth that makes us grab on to them and never want to let go. 

I’m just going to run through some examples here while I’m thinking about it. The first OBVIOUSLY since thinking about her is what got me going on this – Jane. Crockertier Jane removing the layers of self-imposed filter on Jane’s festering insecurity, entitlement issues, jealousy and so on. I’ve already talked enough about that today.

Grimbark Jade! You notice Jade says what she’s thinking WAY more easily while she’s mind controlled, and she still sounds like herself – she sounds kinda like she does when she’s owning Karkat repeatedly, doesn’t she? Because angry Jade has that same effect of pushing her nice girl filter aside and letting the angry witch (not a cutesy slur, her literal witch class) within fly free. Grimbark Jade tells us that behind that nice girl front Jade Harley actually thinks some pretty uncharitable thoughts sometimes, she just keeps a tight fucking lid on it because – well, don’t most people? Relatable as fuck. 

Jadesprite! Since we’re talking about Jade anyway. Jade likes to think she has everything together, that her visions from Skaia and her scientific prowess and the tools her Grandpa left her are more than enough to handle everything that comes her way, she’s independent, she’s capable, she’s certainly never LONELY oh no of course not certainly never CRUSHINGLY OVERWHELMED by the responsibility of her own existence nah those are weak feelings for weak girls who aren’t as awesome as Jade! And then – Jadesprite. Why do you think Jade got SO ANGRY at Jadesprite? Because she was being confronted with something she knew deep down was a reflection of weaknesses in herself (totally normal ones that her later arc reinforced were a mistake to pretend weren’t there – Loneliness and fear and regret are all tied in with Jade’s character progression and learning how to deal with those things is where I imagine her arc would have gone if Homstuck’s ending hadn’t been the literary equivalent of chopping off a limb and cauterizing the wound.) Jadesprite is Jade without the filter of implacable strength Jade imposes on herself to fuckin cope with living on a hell island with the stuffed corpse of her grandpa who she grew up thinking literally killed himself at BEST.  god damn

Davesprite. Dave Strider with a slow long agonizing depressing arc wherein he realizes his coolkid persona won’t make anyone think of him as their best friend anymore, and in the absence of the security that persona afforded him when he was The Real Dave he has no idea what to do with himself. He’s lost, he feels aimless, untethered, incapable of being happy – and yes, Davesprite is his own character, but you can still infer a lot from Dave’s character about him – for instance, how he completely ties his self worth up in how useful he is to his friends or how worthwhile they find him and has no idea how to even BEGIN the hard journey of looking within for worth instead of relying eternally on changeable external sources. Davesprite is Dave not WITHOUT a filter but certainly with a VERY DIFFERENT one.

Homestuck does this with almost every single damn character on its roster at some point. Shows a version of them with a different or lesser or completely missing filter to highlight flaws and issues and internal struggles of all kinds. 

Homestuck is a damn deep dive into an exercise about analyzing nature vs nurture and what we’re predisposed to do and what comes from within and what is put upon us by forces out of our control, and how that line is blurry and messy and everyone has the potential to be either the worst or best version of themselves. Even Caliborn was given a choice. Hussie-The-Character explained it to him at great painstaking length. 

There are so many other examples. Jasprose is Rose without a filter, and the way Jasprose goes around gleefully calling every hot girl she sees hot and delighting smugly in knowing more than just about anyone else and lording over the information and playing smarter-than-thou games – that tells us a LOT about Rose! A LOT about what sort of urges Rose tamps down on every day in an effort to just be fucking cool! 

I bet you have things like this with yourself, right? Doesn’t everyone?

Tricksters! Look at how they act. They’re not themselves but there is plenty to glean from them. Jane immediately goes for Jake, the object of her desire, to pursue an exaggerated version of her idealized future. Trickster Jake is a passive fucking ragdoll who immediately acquiesces to everything everyone demands of him because their happiness becomes his happiness – Jake hates confrontation, so Trickster Jake is just a fucking doormat. Roxy goes for Jake AND Dirk because divorced from the guilt she normally feels for harboring desire toward either one of them she knows exactly what she wants! ETC ETC. Of course they would never do any of this shit if they weren’t high as balls and incapable of understanding the meaning of the word “consequence.” That’s the point. Seeing what they do in this situation is an interesting window in!

Brain Ghost Dirk is a version of Jake (yes, of Jake, not Dirk) without a specific filter Jake runs his own personality through before he’s comfortable presenting it to others, and you’ll notice, it’s EXTREMELY biting and critical sometimes. Jake knows what he’s about. He just buries it most of the time because that’s easier than dealing with it. 

I could seriously keep going. 

Homestuck loves to show us what our favorites do and say and ARE when basic filters go out the window. Those filters that most of us employ to make other people believe we don’t all have intrusive thoughts or bad desires or just plain old weaknesses we’re ashamed of and want to keep hidding at costs – or that we occasionally think things or think about doing things we would never ever ever do in real life are demolished or changed or temporarily suspended. 

It’s brilliant tbh. It lets us see facets of characters that would normally never really get full spotlight reveals by their very nature, especially with protagonists. 

Vriska vs (Vriska) – (Vriska) is just Vriska with some more self awareness and more willingness to let down her self-imposed filter and actually examine the shit she wants and why because watching Aranea fuck the timeline over out of motivations eerily similar to her own hardcore shook her enough to develop in that direction. (which makes sense since HER original motivations are copying Mindfang who IS alt-aranea lmao I love Homestuck)  (Vriska) is still Vriska, it’s just a very very different lens through which to view her character. 

blah blah blah blah etc there are so many examples

anyway I love Homestuck and good character writing what up

Let’s give you some very brief background on the situation here. Venezuela is, on paper, a super-rich country. They have more oil than anyone else on Earth. But thanks to cartoonish levels of government corruption, their economy’s shit the bed so badly that it’s no longer recognizable as a bed. As a result, Venezuela is sort of collapsing as a nation (they’re now experiencing food shortages so severe that one citizen we spoke with reported defending his mango tree with a crossbow). Since the Venezuelan government is largely responsible for the clusterfuck, they tend to clamp down brutally on journalists who write about it.

At least five journalists have been murdered in the country since 1992, all for writing stories that weren’t the literary equivalent of a government blowjob. That means that when these guys get death threats, it’s not the same as the bullshit you have to tolerate every time you express a negative opinion on Twitter about a Marvel franchise. There are plenty of reasons to think they’ll follow through – they have the means and know where you live.

“I published an article criticizing the government’s corruption,” said “Dolores,” a Venezuelan newspaper columnist, “and I received an anonymous call in which an unknown person told me that I was going to get my head cut [off] if I kept writing those things. Next week, I published another article of the same kind, and I received another call where the guy told me my house address and my son’s name.”

5 Realities Of Reporting The News In A Brutal Dictatorship


Have you ever wondered what the literary equivalent was of a modern urban fantasy thriller filmed on a camera nicked from the set of the original Dracula movie?

Well wonder no more!

This book stars something far more enigmatic and far more threatening than the things that go bump in the night- it stars their doctor! Dr. Greta Helsing is the person you go to if you’re a vampire who had too much italian, a mummy whose ankles are ground to dust, or a mysterious ash-grey and immortal man with bronchitis.

Along the way she encounters many mysterious foes:

  • poison!
  • intrigue!
  • lights!
  • garlic!
  • contradictions!
  • irascible patients!
  • latte art!
  • depression being called “melancholia”!
  • public transit systems!
  • couch surfers!
  • babies!
  • and much much more!

Its so good, I simply had to be the first person to make fanart!

Yes, it’s tiny! But if I made it much bigger, you could tell what it was, and that just wouldn’t do! You have to read it first!

Buy it HERE!

The author is HERE!

anonymous asked:

hi Lottie! so I want to do a thing next year where i only read books by women because I was looking at my bookshelf recently and realised i drastically need to redress the gender balance there - do you have any recommendations?


  • anything and everything by V. E./Victoria Schwab, but especially the Shades of Magic series and Vicious
  • SHIRLEY JACKSON (I read We Have Always Lived In the Castle a few months ago and I’m still shook) 
  • Sarah Waters writes pretty much exclusively about historical lesbians, and all her books are fantastic (The Handmaiden was based on her book Fingersmith) 
  • Jeanette Winterson is also prolific in the slightly weird and gay arena
  • Philippa Gregory is a combo of the two: prolific, historical (The Other Boleyn Girl is one of my favourite books eveeerrrr) 
  • DONNA friggin’ TARTT 
  • check out Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy, the best series I’ve ever read, probably (and if you like it she has another war trilogy, because St Pat blesses us) 
  • The Montmaray Journals series by Michelle Cooper is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and involves QUEER ROYALTY and WORLD WAR II, some of my FAVOURITE THINGS 
  • Naomi Novik, Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater and Leigh Bardugo all write great YA SF/F and I love all of them (Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series in particular is #lifechanging) 
  • literally anything by Catherynne M. Valente, but especially Deathless 
  • Mary Renault writes loooooads of gay history, she is unparalleled (The Charioteer is [100 emoji]) 
  • if you want to power through a load of books that feel like the literary equivalent of riding a rollercoaster: anything by Jodi Picoult
  • and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, especially if you’re into ROMANCÉ
  • and, if you’re into CRIME, Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli & Isles series is lit (and dark and scary and #flawed, unlike that HEINOUS tv adaptation) 
  • if you want to laugh lots and reminisce about teenagerhood, then the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennisen and The Secret Diaries of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend are A+ 
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, Witch Light by Susan Fletcher, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold are all standalone books by women about women that I LOVED
  • As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley, Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz and The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger are all about dudes but equally as fantastic 
  • I’m also currently reading Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and it’s giving me a lot of Feelings (I also read Orlando a million years ago, which was similarly emotion-inducing) 
  • some POETRY: Warsan Shire, Carol Ann Duffy, Anne Carson, SAPPHO
  • and if you need a BREAK FROM NOVELS then check out Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, my favourite graphic novel EVER, Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, which is a bunch of spooky and fab graphic short stories, and, of course, KATE BEATON’S HARK! A VAGRANT 

I’ve just started The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, and the first chapter literally features someone eating someone else’s arm, so this trilogy has definitely cemented itself for me as the literary equivalent of “go hard or go home”.

I hate how the discourse regarding trash romance novels isn’t “this stuff is shitty and problematic but other things men like are also pretty shitty and problematic” but is instead “WHAT, these books are great, they’re absolutely not terrible or the feminine, literary equivalent to Michael Bay movies and if you disagree, you’re SEXIST!”  Like can we have a little nuance PLEASE? 

Another 5 Random Facts about Italy

* Italians on average eat around 30 kg (66 pounds) of pasta and drink 60 liters of wine per year 

* The “Promessi Sposi” is Italy’s literary equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. Many Shakespearean plays were set in Italy, including Romeo and Juliet in Verona.

* Rome is Italy’s capital and largest city with a population of 2.9 million. It’s the 4th-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. The metropolitan area includes 4.3 million residents.

* According to legend, the brothers Romulus and Remus (founders of Rome) were raised by a she-wolf in a cave on Palatine Hill. Rome’s emblem is the she-wolf suckling the 2 brothers.

* The invention of the modern piano is credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655–1731) of Padua, who was employed by Ferdinando de’ Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany, as the Keeper of the Instruments. He originally was a harpsichord maker. It is not known exactly when he first built a piano. An inventory made by the Medici family indicates the existence of a piano by the year 1700; another document of doubtful authenticity shows 1698. The 3 Cristofori pianos that survive today are from the 1720s. Cristofori named the instrument “un cimbalo di cipresso di piano e forte” (“a keyboard of cypress with soft and loud”), abbreviated over time as pianoforte, fortepiano, and simply, piano.

Yuri On Ice and Toxic Masculinity (or Lack Thereof)

fancyass title but I just feel that it’s so obvious yuri on ice was written and directed by two brilliant, brilliant women?? like I was not surprised AT ALL to learn that kubo was a woman even though she used to produce work under a male pseudonym, because the content was so clearly NOT the kind of toxic, objectifying material that’s produced when men think they know what the audience wants to see but is actually just projecting their own stereotypes and fantasies

there’s fanservice in yuri on ice, no shit (ep 1 victor in the onsen is a screaming hint already) but it’s never gratituous or objectifying. the director and writer know what the audience would like to see but don’t put their own fantasies over artistic integrity. and there’s no toxicity in victuuri’s relationship, even though it would have been SO EASY to fall back on usual yaoi tropes of seme/uke, and there’s already a clear power imbalance at the start where victor is presented as being in control while yuuri doesn’t have his shit together. What I love about YOI is that instead of taking that easy way out and running with it, stretching the power imbalance even further, they made the effort to go the EXACT OPPOSITE WAY and subvert those tropes so that victuuri evolves to become a healthy and loving relationship between equals. There’s no sense of who’s ‘the man’ in the relationship, or who’s wearing the pants (lbr, neither of them). yuuri becomes a seductive power on ice and gradually more assertive and open off ice, and victor nikiforov isn’t some mysterious, unreachable idol, he’s a fool in love and happier than he’s ever been in his life.

idk, just seeing this is so amazing when it’s so rare to see pairings or even general stories in both eastern and western entertainment that are healthy and good and pure and still tell a fantastic story, and on top of this it’s a QUEER relationship which comes with even more trappings and stereotypes

so I really applaud kubo and yamamoto for everything they achieved, for the vision they had, and for the love that they poured into this project, for never taking the easy way out

and this is something women creators seem to have more in hand. I know it’s not always the case but I’ve noticed that the 'male gaze’ camera and its literary/comic equivalent happens less with women creators because surprise surprise no one wants to be objectified like that, especially women!!! and something specific to yoi but also a more of a trend among women creators than male creators is that the relationship is…deeper? it’s not just about the sexual tension but also all the other moments in between, not necessarily romantic but always emphasising respect and communication and trust, and learning to live with each other’s flaws, which is a much more realistic depiction of actual relationships

tl; dr basically women creators do amazing things and we should put them in charge more often

anonymous asked:

Is it true that Elizabeth Woodville tried to keep Richard III in ignorance about Edward's IV death and then she and her family stole the whole royal treasury before going to the Abbey? There are a lot of myths and odd stories about this Queen... And what you think of the story about Elizabeth sending Richard a "fake son"?

It is true that Richard of Gloucester did not receive prompt notification of his brother’s death. Even taking into account travel times, it took longer for the news of the king’s death to reach Middleham Castle than it ought to have done. What isn’t clear is who was the driving force behind that decision. We do know that there were disagreements between Elizabeth’s family and William Lord Hastings, but the details do not survive. It may well have had to do with the Protectorship outlined in Edward IV’s will, which he of course authorized to Richard, even though Prince Edward himself was still in the custody of Anthony Woodville at Ludlow Castle in Wales.

Which is all to say that if Elizabeth Woodville was responsible for keeping Richard in the dark while trying to take control of events in London, it wasn’t without reason. Nobody expected Edward IV to die when he did–he was only 41, after all, and for most of his life, he’d been an athletic, strong, and healthy man. Of course, he’d also spent the previous ten years on a permanent bender, so it’s not surprising at all in hindsight, even if nobody saw it coming at the time. But what everyone knew was that the last time England had had a child monarch (granted, a much younger child monarch, but thirteen is still a kid, like it or not), it was an unmitigated disaster that led to civil war. Furthermore, we need to remember that just five years earlier, George of Clarence had been executed for treason, and that for Elizabeth, that memory would have been very clear indeed. What role she played in his downfall is also unclear–later sources claim she was behind it, while Thomas More does his patented “some wise men say,” which is the literary equivalent of an ambivalent shrug. We do know that it was a very strange and disturbing situation, and that ultimately, Edward IV Is the one who made the final decision to have his brother killed.

Just as importantly, Richard was an unknown quantity. He had spent most of the past twelve years in the north of England, where he had built up an extremely strong power base. He had grown up with and married into the Neville family, who had historically hated Elizabeth’s family, and it wouldn’t have been at all clear how much Richard had absorbed those views.

The fake son thing is a nonsense, as far as I can tell. Obviously we will never be absolutely certain, but it seems highly unlikely that Elizabeth Woodville would have been able to sneak her younger son out of sanctuary under the circumstances.

Writing tip:

If you wanna drop hints about a PoV character’s past by having them remember something and then interrupt themselves, make sure you’re actually dropping hints.

Like–if you wanna allude to a character’s Tragic Past, and you have him think stuff like ‘Everything was fine until… No–I can’t bear the thought.’ the reader will get annoyed, because that’s like the literary equivalent of vageposting. It’s not giving the reader a clue to hang onto and piece into the greater puzzle, it’s just taunting the reader with the fact that a puzzle exists. It’s trying to force them to get curious, and readers don’t tend to like being forced. 

Effective foreshadowing (aftshadowing?) depends on dropping enough information to… well… cast a shadow on the future (or past.) 

Here’s an example from Wardbreaker:

I’m sick of all this scraping, Kyrin thought as he stashed his stolen coin and stuffed his shame far out of sight, I’m sick of the damnable rent and the leaking roof and the incessant drafts… If my family was—
Kyrin shook his head, forcing his mind back on the present. He didn’t need them—or their money.

This works better, because though Kyrin cuts himself off, he’s still giving info–not hiding it. This handful of lines tells you, among other things, that Kyrin’s family is rich, and that Kyrin does not have a good relationship with them. You don’t know what the deal is, yet, but you can begin to guess. 

Essentially, it all boils down to this: it’s no fun to hand the reader a mystery without also handing them clues.

Things from journal 3 that Made Me Emo. also Thoughts in General

  • everything mcgucket ever did ever the whole time what a kind, genuine, dandelion sunflower sweet guy
  • “F, whose anxiety had rendered him nearly mute”. like. this mans debilitating anxiety had been building thru various incidents and this isnt even the worst of it, and hes so crippled by it, and hes still sacrificing everything he has & fighting his own demons to stay w ford and i love f
  • “[f] says thinking of his loved ones keeps him grounded. (i have a similar picture on my desk of nikola tesla.)”
  • ford reminds me of me when i was dips age. “if only [they] knew the powers of my ‘imaginary’ friend.” he has this chosen-ness, snowflake-esque Demeanor where he’s special and has a secret; its almost this holier-than-thou attitude. secrets are fun and they make you feel important. its so human to feel that way and i relate
  • bill is genuinely horrifying and he like, stabbed fords EYE or smthng so he needs a monocle and thats fucked up
  • bills note as bipper abt pine tree and shooting star made my heart stop i forgot how fucked up and evil and Dont Touch Me Babies I Swear To God
  • “debating the latest fashion trend of ‘Leg Warmers’”
  • “superstitions are for the weak. i am a scientist. and after tomorrow, i’ll be a great one.” OUCH this has such a pithy fire and resolve and this bit into my chest
  • this is so SO interesting as a character study to watch fords arc bc its more fleshed out than what we got to see in the eps. he has absolutely nothing besides his studies, so the amount of effort and sacrifice he has pored into that work is an investment in a future thats worthwhile. the way he reacted to mcgucket and stan by making himself a victim is still wrong and horrible but seeing where hes coming from makes sense
  • fords paranoia shows up in the style of his sketches as well as the content of his notes and thats a very cool touch the drawings are darker and smudgier and rougher 
  • “this journal told me there as no one in gravity falls i could trust. but when you battle a hundred gnomes side-by-side with someone, you realize they’ve probably always got your back.” punch me in the gut the fact that its all incorporated in here punch me in the GUT its the SAME THING AS HOW THIS FEELS
  • the whole bit w wax larry king is literary fare equivalent to that of a modern day william shakespeare
  • dip drew wendy and pacifica in the same profile and i want aro dip but like..fine…
  • “the jagged edge on his body is real, not just a bad drawing by me.” this is so cute and young i want to wrap dipper up in a blanket burrito and hold him forever
  • “mama stan” raising a baby dinosaur
  • stan celebrating his birthday alone please stop, doing this to me,
  • both ford and dip going zeus soos and its like Thats How You Can Tell The Uninitiated from The Initiated Tbh
  • mabel apologizing to dipper and writing a journal entry for him after sock opera made me weep
  • ford said hed die or smthng before letting a pig into his house when mcgucket was his partner and that made me lmao
  • the layout/bills plan makes so much more sense to me after reading it like this….it just makes SO much sense and i feel like all of my real questions about the whys and the hows have been answered and im not really mad anymore about how well, weird weridmageddon felt to me compared to me expectations it makes sense and im ok with it bc there was an overarching story here that i was missing some pieces to
  • im gay for jheselbraum the unswerving
  • literally everything on the last 15 pages made me sob from the bottoms of my feet to the top of my noggin i cant even really go over it right now and it will probably be this long when i do finally internalize and write on it
  • im so proud of my family. im so proud of all of them. my family includes ford.
  • the last page sounds like its a note directly from alex and that also makes me weep like an infant child
  • this:
The Satyricon through Different Lenses, Part I: A Critique of Roman Literary Idealism

Petronius is writing parody with a purpose; the Satyricon is as an attack against the generalized genre, the fetish of equivalence, and literary abstraction. The domination of empire––although the prescriptions of Roman culture were present throughout the period of the republic––streamlined culture as it spread far beyond the borders of Italy. An industry of Roman culture that is pumping out replicas of itself through colonies, military camps, and its influence over newly conquered areas. As Roman ideology solidified it became a symbol of status: to fully integrate oneself with the Roman ideal of culture, no matter where you are in the world or what level of society you come from, is what defines success or failure in society. Along with this idea of centralized culture comes the expectation of patterns in both social behavior and literature. The structure of traditional literary genres leaves no room for innovation, especially within a culture that regards novelty as synonymous with revolution. Therefore, Roman writers––especially those who write within the moralizing tradition––craft “a calculated framework that allows the audience to guess what is going to happen next, and be gratified by actually being right, subduing any unruliness and subordinating them to a formula which supplants the work.” Using a quote by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno is fitting because they wrote during the rise of the modern culture industry, and it is among this sort of cultural atmosphere that the Satyricon is created.

All mass culture under empire is identical and that includes art in all of its manifestations. Style becomes tantamount to universality of form, and “what is expressed seeks to be reconciled with the idea of the true universal.” How then does the Satyricon accomplish the task of not being a literary repetition while also subverting the reader’s expectations? Petronius supplies what is lacking: “a tension between the poles…the extremes which touch.” Similarity to others is what most works of traditional art coming out of the Roman cultural sphere rely upon, and the Satyricon is no different, however, through parody, Petronius mimics tradition while eventually subverting it and therefore creating something new. As Horkheimer and Adorno claim, “it is only in its struggle with tradition…that art can find expression for suffering.” Petronius’ use of tension professes the untruth of style and genre, through which literary tradition has created stagnation and generalizations that do not display reality, but only an idealized form of it. Like Trimalchio’s narration of the Greek actors performing Homer behind him, what is said and what is happening are two distinctly different things.

The Satyricon creates novelty through both the depiction of reality and the satirizing of traditional genres. This task of subversion can be shown by concentrating on the tension between the poles, that is, the tension between female and male characters, which manifests itself throughout the Satyricon. Why focus on this area specifically? Because those who do not conform to the ideals of Roman genre––women, slaves, the lowers classes––are convicted of inadequacy by exclusion, and therefore, by focusing on women and their declaration of adequacy in the Satyricon, there can be seen a clear subversion by Petronius. Furthermore, women specifically because many other excluded types insist unwaveringly on the ideology by which they are enslaved, e.g. Trimalchio and his freedmen ensemble. Petronius, by including a tension between Roman men and women, is acknowledging what is idealized by other authors: that culture is that which is the sum of both spheres, both the upper and lower classes, both the free and enslaved, and both men and women. Moreover, that within this tension resides reality.

sparradile  asked:

You show us some good examples of visuals, but could you share some good examples of of what would be scary when one is only writing? I expect that in writing it'd have a lot more to do with the context so maybe that's why you didn't fit in both good and bad, but some links to good stories would help me out with seeing what you think is enough detail but not too much.

I linked to a bunch of stories I like yesterday, that post was sort of related to it, but if you want me to go more in-depth, here are some I think work and why;

  • Candle Cove - this one isn’t especially gory or anything, but it’s a perfect example of how to delicately feed little bits of information to the reader to create an increasingly uneasy atmosphere. The first post describes a perfectly relatable experience, half-remembering a television program from your childhood, wondering what you can learn about it by probing the internet. Everyone who watched TV as a kid has experienced this, vague memories of some show that the collective conscious seems to have forgotten. It escalates slightly as people chip in describing their memories of some of the off-colour creative choices, still relatable, tons of kids shows had moments that seemed like they just barely made it past the censors or you weren’t sure how they pulled off. And there’s a very specific feeling attached to remembering those moments, kind of like being in trouble, like you were watching something you weren’t supposed to. You didn’t have the life experience to understand what you were seeing and your untouched memories are tinted by that. This is the kind of story telling that the reader feels on a very visceral level because chances are they’ve experienced a similar situation themselves. The payoff comes when the final commenter relays his story about the static. Something is very clearly wrong but there’s no explanation exactly what or why. Where did Candle Cove come from? Who made it? Why could this select group of people see it while others only perceived static? What was it’s purpose? Did it effect the people who saw it? Will it effect them later in life? These questions are not asked and they aren’t answered, but they’re there. They’re what makes the story haunt you after you’ve finished
  • Barbie.avi - Similar escalation and payoff. Something extremely gruesome is implied but there is no direct mention, it’s entirely left to the audience to project their own worst fears. No single element of this story is scary in and of itself, persay, but they are juxtaposed in a way that makes everything seem off-kilter. The video of the woman speaking, but everything is muffled, the reader wants know what she’s saying, but they can’t, they’re left in the dark with only a sliver of illumination. All we know is she seems unhappy with her skin. But we’re fed a clue that enlightenment could be down the road. The person reaches the cabin but there’s no direct evidence of foul play, just suspicious elements, a wet tarp in a building with no indication that anyone is around to pay a water bill, a new locked door in an otherwise dilapidated structure. It raises more questions than it answers, but the threat of a potentially unfriendly stranger drives our surrogate eyes out of the building before we can collect any further information.
  • Normal Porn For Normal People - Again, slow build of increasingly surreal content, undefined purpose, unknown distributor. Gory imagery is utilized, but not mentioned in such explicit detail it distracts from the flow of the story, “It goes into a frenzy and beings to maul her” and “The chimp eats flesh from her corpse for four minutes as the video ends” are enough to communicate the scene to the audience. Monsters are revealed in a way that fails to explain them. We know an unseen creature is looming in the halls but what is it? It’s revealed to be a chimp but why is it shaved and painted red? Is that significant to some greater narrative we’ll never have the opportunity to learn about? Again, readers are left with lingering questions, Who made this? Who sent it out? Why did they do it? Who are the people featured in the videos? Why did they agree to this? What does the mission statement have to do with anything?
  • Pale Luna - The reader is left to speculate the significance of the equipment in the game as the main character plays it, as well as their symbolic nature in real life as he goes on his adventure through the woods. In a way this story is very similar to the (also very well-structured and haunting) “Internet Story”, which has a completely different ending but utilizes many of the same suspenseful devices.
  • Cervine Birth - This one has the most explicit descriptions of gruesome detail of this lot, but it’s still left vague enough that it doesn’t distract from the flow of the story. Descriptions are organically woven in, they talk about the “family of rotten corpses” with “wounds suggesting a mass suicide” but they don’t even mention exactly what the wounds are. The physical depiction of these corpses is whatever you want to make them in your head. The intrigue comes from the complete absurdity of the described imagery, trying to decode the symbolism. The disconnect of the deer and it’s mirror reflection, it’s calm face as it goes into this strange, unpleasant labour and gives birth to a vaguely humanoid creature, the hands touching the fox, the possible suicide of the creator, the lingering question over whether the whole production is an art piece or something even less comprehensible. No answers are offered for anything.
  • Anansi’s Goat Man Story - What a lot of people notice about this one after the fact is that the creature doesn’t actually… do anything to the people. We know it becomes hostile and aggressive when the people identify or attempt to exclude it, but there’s never any indication of what it’s intentions with them actually are, which contributes to the sense of helplessness. What does it want? What is it capable of doing to them?
  • Penpal series - As far as I’m concerned this is the crown jewel of internet Creepypasta. It’s an amazingly pedestrian horror story, nothing is supernatural, it’s just about this unexplained looming threat and how unaware of the situation the main character is until after the fact. If you’ve ever seen a photo of a whale swimming under a tiny boat, seemingly unnoticed by the passengers, this story is the literary equivalent of that. The antagonist is never described in clear detail, he goes completely unrecognized when other characters come in contact with him. There’s never any clear explanation of his motives, but the glimpses we catch paint a picture that’s equal parts foreboding, frightening, pathetic, and sorrowful. The questions you’re left asking yourself about his motives and intentions hang over you like a cloud for days after finishing the story, it’s heartwrenching, and makes you feel completely helpless and vulnerable.

Check out the latest 5-star review of my new book, “Everyone is Broken”.

“Max Mundan has done it again! This is one edgy work of non-fiction, no polished account of parties and high life, no glamorous celebrity rehab stories. This book is an honest, unflinching look at how appalling life as a drug addict can be, the things you do, the way you sell your soul to get by, it’s gritty and it’s ugly and it’s absolutely compelling. This book by Max Mundan is the literary equivalent of a gruesome, multi-vehicle accident, and these pages invite the reader to take a horrible yet irresistible drive past; you simply can’t look away. A must-read for anyone who has battled or is battling the dark war of addiction.”-Red Mango

You can purchase your own copy today by clicking right HERE!

How I Write, How I Dream: INFP

Ever since I was a very little girl, I’ve always had a meandering imagination and would exasperate my parents’ more concrete minds by beseeching them to tell me stories every night before bedtime. I’ve been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember, and my mother read storybooks to me so frequently that I learned to read on my own by osmosis before I turned three.  I always related to cartoon characters who would be reprimanded by their more dutiful parents to go to sleep three hours past their bedtime and who subverted their obligations by reading verboten books by flashlight shrouded in the covers. Nothing could separate me from my cherished books, which I would tote around with me as devotedly as Linus drags his careworn blue blanket.

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McEwan is a connoisseur of dread, performing the literary equivalent of turning on the tub faucet and leaving the room; the flood is foreseeable, but it still shocks when the water rushes over the edge.
—  Daniel Zalewski writes in his 2009 piece on Ian McEwan.