literary giants


Today we are going to look at an amusing historical fact: The time that beloved poets Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman met, got drunk, and slept together.

(Closed Captioning coming soon) 

Transcript Below:

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Writer’s Woe #2:

It’s now 12:47 AM.  I’m in bed, in my pajamas, and have been suffering from writer’s block all afternoon.  I have to wake up extremely early tomorrow for one of my classes.  I need to sleep.  

And yet I currently am filled with the passion of a thousand literary giants, my mind a veritable fountain of brilliant ideas.  I can feel the ghosts of Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf nodding in approval.  Alexander Hamilton is cheering me on.  Oprah is promising me future collaborations.  I must write.    

But then again I wonder if what we feel in our hearts today isn’t like these raindrops still falling on us from the soaked leaves above, even though the sky itself long stopped raining. I’m wondering if without our memories, there’s nothing for it but for our love to fade and die.
—  Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant
On Tolkien, alignment, and shadows

[Tolkien’s] villains are orcs and Black Riders (goblins and zombies: mythic figures) and Sauron, the Dark Lord, who is never seen and has no suggestion of humanity about him. These are not evil men, but the embodiments of evil in men, universal symbols of the hateful. The men who do wrong are not complete figures, but complements: Saruman is Gandal’s dark-self, Boromir Aragorn’s; Wormtonge is, almost literally, the weakness of King Théoden. There remains the wonderfully repulsive and degraded Gollum. But nobody who reads the trilogy hates, or is asked to hate, Gollum. Gollum is Frodo’s shadow; and it is the shadow, not the hero, who achieves the quest. Though Tolkien seems to project evil into ‘the others,’ they are not truly others but ourselves; he is utterly clear about this.

~ Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Child and the Shadow”

This wonderful quote is actually relevant to the concept of alignment and, IMHO, the epic fail thereof where evil races are concerned. When they are essentially symbols, creatures of myth, or reflections of ourselves and our dark side, it’s absolutely fine to portray them summarily as evil. (Example: red dragons, unnamed goblins in a dungeoncrawl).

But when the game ventures beyond mindless hack-and-slash, the orc becomes an actual character, an individual. And when the lens focuses even a little on goblins as a humanoid society, who raid and pillage (like humans do…), but also try to raise their young, and survive, and expand - then what exactly differentiates them from the barbarian’s own tribe? You know, the one inspired by Vikings, which may occasionally be described as “savage” but never as inherently evil?

Nothing at all, other than the fact that Vikings are “cool”, while goblins have green skin and fangs and we don’t. But once you take a good look at evil races, they are not symbols anymore. They’re people. People branded with the mark of Cain just so that adventurers can kill them with a crystal clear conscience, and no consequences whatsoever. How… barbaric.

And then there’s this line: it is the shadow, not the hero, who achieves the quest.

This is one of the crucial unconventional elements that Tolkien inserted in an otherwise conventional story. You don’t see that every day, do you? And if you take out these elements, what’s left is rather bland, to be honest. For example, imagine someone like Aragorn being the ringbearer, the Chosen Hero of Royal Lineage instead of the everyman that Frodo is. How boring that would be…

(Sadly, some of Tolkien’s imitators missed all that, and that’s how we ended up with that soup of epic fantasy genre, worthy of deconstruction only. But that’s another discussion.)

P.S. Ursula Le Guin is, of course, a literary giant, and her science fiction and fantasy works need no introduction. But she’s also a fantastic critic, and often comments on the genre with tremendous wit and insight. I heartily recommend The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction.

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November 23rd 1990: Roald Dahl dies

On this day in 1990, the famous British author Roald Dahl died at his Oxford home aged 74. Dahl was born in Wales to a Norwegian family in 1916 and was educated in England; it was during this time that he had many experiences that went on to influence his novels in later life. After leaving school, Dahl worked for Shell Petroleum Company which sent him to work in Kenya and Tanzania. During World War Two, he fought for the British Army as a fighter pilot, and suffered many injuries as a result, afterwards becoming a diplomat and army intelligence officer. Dahl is best known for his enduring children’s stories, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, The Twits, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. He also wrote short stories for adults which were marked by their much darker nature than his children’s stories, including the infamous Lamb to the Slaughter. The beloved author Roald Dahl passed away in 1990, and was buried in Buckinghamshire. He is commemorated across the United Kingdom, and remains one of Britain’s greatest and most influential writers.

“A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men”

“The creature abruptly submerged again, and we were handed, humbled, back to the water. Despite holding our lives at its mercy, the monster hadn’t even realized we were there.”

From “Not a Bad Bunch” by Anu Jindhal, original fiction recommended by Electric Literature. Read it for free tomorrow at Recommended Reading.

I know I'm probs the only person who actually reads my text posts

But, if any of my followers (all 67 of you) are struggling with understanding either deconstruction or Derrida, one of my professors just gave us a link to a four part lecture. In the lecture, Derrida really tries to discuss the idea and concepts behind deconstruction while straying away from the confusing jargon and flowery analysis that is usually found in his texts. It definitely helped me out, and it’s only about an hour long. I’ll post the link to the first video if anyone’s interested. If not, please return to your regularly broadcasted dashboards…

The Secret to Immortality

    The promise of immortality from some religions of this world could easily be achieved. As the immortality they speak of are of those that do good and heroic deeds, thus leading to being recorded as such. The immortality aspect of religion is the written word, carvings, and paintings. For example, Jesus is immortal, as there are many books written about him and his adventures, regardless if he is real or not his name strikes the imagination to envision a godly figure, this is the immortality within the promises given by some religions.

    When I hear a lot of people depicting their prophets or godly figures sitting on clouds because of their immortal status, I can’t help but think that they may be sitting on cloud nine because their memory is living on. And when these literary giants are read, or prayed to, the memory of them are within the person doing the reading or praying, thus the idea that “they” are everywhere even within you.

    So if you wish to be immortal look towards the arts, not some figure sitting on a cloud. Your immortality could come from a pen, a stroke of a paint brush, a single note played on an instrument, an idea. Create my friends, become immortal, you are as good if not better then any prophet or god.

Arawn @canadiandruid

(Grand Chieftain of the Druids of Gaul Order of Canada)


The Chapbook: Jack the Giant Killer

The story of Jack the Giant Killer (or Slayer) has been told for several centuries. Published in London, this chapbook edition is undated.

“Jack, the valiant boy, who had made up his mind to rid the land of Giants, was one day in search of adventures; when he fell asleep by the wayside, and was surprised by the Giant Blunderbore, who carried him home to his Castle.”

Title: My Daughter’s Keeper
Pink Rabbit Productions
Eliza’s thoughts in the aftermath of the attack on Cat.
AO3 url

My Daughter’s Keeper

Eliza Danvers has never liked Cat Grant. The woman is hard, sometimes cruel, power mad, and possibly just plain old fashioned mad. The drugs and alcohol are clearly signs of self medicating and Alex’s tales of how she’s demanded Kara’s time at all hours of the day and night do not lend themselves to motherly approval.

The fact that Kara has such an awful crush from early on does nothing to alleviate her concerns.

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‘Cult of Celebrity’ exhibition explores similarities between Shakespeare, Austen
The exhibition features portraits of the writers, rare editions of their work, precious relics and mementos.

More than other literary favorites, William Shakespeare and Jane Austen are cultural stars, celebrities on a first-name basis with the reading public who enjoy robust followings centuries after their deaths.

The literary giants are the subjects of “Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen and the Cult of Celebrity,” an exhibition at the Folger Shakespeare Library that promises to examine the similarities between the authors with humor and insight.

Caption: A group of women in costume, swooning in front of the shirt actor Colin Firth wore as Mr. Darcy in the 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” (Jeanette Klok-Heller)

The Devil's Advocate: Understanding Homura Akemi & The Rebellion Story in Style

At long last, the tumblr post you have all be dreading. And just in time for the first year anniversary of the release of The Rebellion Story!

Spoilers for the Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the works of Dante, and Devil May Cry - both versions. Also, this post is very animated gif-heavy, so for those of you with slow connections, I apologize in advance.

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“Hey, Jack, Lacie, suggest some writing prompts for me to tackle.”

Jack looks up from the board. Levi knows that man always has his tongue missing for a split second whenever Levi calls on him for motivating ideas, as if too many things flew about Jack’s head as he rummages for a proper response. “Ummm…..”

Lacie pushes her bishop diagonally. “I refuse.”

Levi leans back in his seat and tosses a few papers in the air for dramatic effect. “Curses! You can’t even humor me once?”

Leaning an elbow on one knee, Jack says accommodatingly, “Well, if you explain more in-depth what you want, I’m sure I can think of something….”

“Don’t bother with him, Jack. That hack writer’s just exaggerating. Maybe he’s finally figured out he’ll never write anything worth publishing.” She pokes her lower lip out mockingly. “How disappointing you can never be compared to today’s literary giants.”

“Ha! Oh, Lacie, don’t you realize hack writers are the only ones who get published nowadays? The reading public loves their dreck and I’m full of it.”

Excerpt from “A Promise Lost” from The Book of Levi; And Other Fantastic Fairy Tales by tiniestdormouse, a phbigbang project

The third installment of our tale is now posted on and Archive of Our Own. Our journey continues when Lacie runs away on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, which results in several experimental factors Levi hadn’t anticipated–including the arrival of an unassuming but attractive young man named Jack Vessalius…

Please like, re-blog, and signal-boost widely! Please don’t delete text before re-blogging. Your support is much appreciated!

Also, we are currently running a giveaway for our readers, so check that out too!

Trees play an integral role in Middle-earth in various ways, and I’m fascinated by Tolkien’s term ‘Ent’, which is found to be derived from the Old English term for ‘Giant’ and conjures the specific mystical vision of trees taking human form. This vision is used to such a visually striking effect in the character Fangorn or Treebeard, who resides in the equally mystical Fangorn Forest in The Two Towers. - The dreams of trees unfold, by John Cockshaw

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June 9th 1870: Charles Dickens dies

On this day in 1870, the English writer Charles Dickens passed away aged 58, following a stroke. Dickens wrote numerous popular and famous works, such as Bleak House, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol. He died with his final novel - The Mystery of Edwin Drood - unfinished, leaving the identity of the story’s murderer unknown. Due to his status as a literary giant of his age, Dickens was buried in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey, rather than the “unostentatious” service he desired. Dickens’s work is still celebrated and widely read today, and he remains the quintessential British writer.

“He was a sympathiser with the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England’s greatest writers is lost to the world.”
- Epitaph for Charles Dickens


“Enclosed are seven books from my personal library that I have recently read and enjoyed immensely. You are, of course, free to read as many of the books in the castle library as you wish, but I command you to read these first so that we might discuss them…

Most affectionately,

Dorian Havilliard”

Brin’s All By Our Shelves Book-A-Thon: Day 30 : Five characters I would invite for a sleepover :

Hermione Granger - Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Dorian Havilliard - Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

Riley - W.A.R.P. Series by Eoin Colfer

Tanith Low - Skulduggery Pleasant Series by Derek Landy

Festus - Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan

Sleepover? I think you mean all night book readers club! Four literary bookworms and one giant metal dragon. Just because.

I’ve been in the fandom for 7 years, while there’re things in the series I enjoyed, I never thought Kishimoto was a great writer. I’m surprised the new fans seem to consider him some literary giant, his writing had been much criticised even before the ending. Every reveal/plot twist caused uproar. I’m kinda annoyed by the new fans cos all they can talk about is ships.

anonymous asked:

Hi I have a question regarding women in Islam. In islam, is there any female character that can be considered a model with some form of power and independence without being predominantly known for her relation to a man (presumably a man with power, incl. Mohammed pbuh).

Hello! I think the prime example can be personified through Khadijah, first and foremost, she broke most gender barriers before her time by not only being a Businesswoman, but a self made “Queen of Quraish”. She not only employed the Prophet(S) herself, but also asked him to marry her before he became a Prophet, she being also 15 years his senior. She is known for her independence and is considered one of the leading figures in Islamic history.

Other examples can be seen through Khawla bint Al Azwar, a female army general that lead the early Islamic conquests. Others like intellectuals are seen through Fatimah al Fihri, who founded the first University of the world that is still in operation today in Morocco. Scientists like Mariam Al Ijaliya created the astrolabe that founded the beginning of Telescope technology. 

Al Khansaa, one of the most gifted literary giants of Arabic poetry has left her mark as one of the greatest poets of all time. There are countless others, who have not only made their mark independent of their connection to men, but are well respected and documented in history, both Islamic and Arab history.

A great article that outlines the great Female scholars of Islam is seen here as well. Thanks for the wonderful question!