literary nerds

How I know I'm in the right major

I legit get an adrenaline rush from writing literary analysis essays.

Maybe it’s all the coffee I drink, but I legit get such a thrill when I finally find that one quote I’ve been looking for to back up my argument. Or when I read through everything I have so far and it flows so smoothly.

Ugh, it feels great, man.

A show of nerdiness. The Finale.

I wasn’t expecting it. Caught off guard by that first glance, I involuntarily debated breathing. My next inhale was orgasmic. Several people looked my way, but I only saw them peripherally and I didn’t care because I was overwhelmed. It was too much. I had to turn away and look at something else.

When I had come round that corner, I recognised the Beowulf Manuscript immediately. Despite this being the first time I had ever set eyes on it, I knew this was it. I’ve read it many times and I felt the words speak to me through the glass and across the letters that formed the Old English in which it was written 1000 years ago. But I wasn’t ready to see the story I love so much. I needed time to prepare myself for such an event.

So I turned and walked around the room, trying desperately to pay attention the other magnificent manuscripts. Nizami’s Khamsah, the Guthlac Roll, Sultan Baybar’s Qur’an, the Gutenberg Bible, and the Golden Haggadah were all there along with many more wonderful things. I could hardly look at them. Beowulf, Grendel, and especially Grendel’s mother were all I could think about.

I took a moment and sat on the small couch. Then I went and stood in front of that display for at least thirty minutes. Pretty sure I ticked off at least four people. Screw them. This was my life’s dream.

Oh. And I saw the Magna Carta too. It was kinda cool.

Character Study: Jason Peter Todd

Anon asked: sorry i keep asking dick and jason questions but can you like do an overview of their personalities and like use in-text examples? its hard for me to get a grasp on characters and their mannerisms and personalities.

Quick Background: Jason practically grew up on the streets as a kid. Between his father who was stuck in a perpetual revolving door of prison sentences and a drug addicted mother, he didn’t have much of a family life before joining the Batfamily. His father was murdered by Two-face and his mother died of an overdose, leaving a young Jason to survive on the streets. Batman found Jason one night while Jason was in the process of stealing the tires off the Batmobile. Bruce will eventually come to take in Jason and give him the mantle of being the second Robin. After only being Robin for a few years he is murdered at the age of 16 by the Joker. He is resurrected by the Lazarus Pit and has since become the problematic character that we all know and love. 

(Character qualities and In-text examples are under the read more)

Keep reading

I’m reading American Gods right now but it’s the big hardbound bind up with Anansi Boys. I finally ended up giving in and using a stand.

Forget #WomanCrushWednesday … It’s #WilliamShakespeareWednesday at the NPR Arts Desk! Which is totally a thing that I did NOT just make up. So bask in the Bard’s glory, my fellow literary nerds! And always remember, “now is the winter of our discontent,” whatever that means. 


Calling beta readers!

Hi all!  

I’m looking for beta readers for Misshapen, my adult literary fiction novel set in 1880s Scotland. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate anyone who wants to help!

The pitch

A decade before Oscar Wilde opens up about his homosexuality only to be tried for gross indecency and imprisoned for two years with hard labour, Scottish teenager Gill Macduff discovers he’s gay.

Already hopelessly alone at his small-town school and on the family farm he’s expected to inherit, the last thing Gill needs is more reason to collapse into himself. Every time he finds a friend or mentor he admires, they slip through his fingers. And, when someone reaches out to him, he pushes them away. It’s a bad habit, being a threat to himself.

If you had asked Gill, last year, how he’d feel if his father found him a scholarship to attend an elite, all-boys private school in Edinburgh, he would have jumped at the chance. Now, he isn’t so sure that boarding at Glenallen Academy, away from home and at the mercy of two-hundred rich, cut-throat—and, if you ask Gill, handsome—boys, is his path to happiness.

On the surface, Gill’s life is as wholesome as an episode of “Little House on the Prairie.” Beneath that, it’s as gritty as a Carson McCullers novel. In 99,000 words, I look into a forgotten piece of history: that of the gay people who never come out because they were born in the wrong time. They molded themselves to fit in so well that we easily forget how many stories went untold.

Who am I looking for?

Anyone who wants to read this is WELCOME, but specifically: historical and literary fiction readersnerds and outsiders, and gay male readers (for accuracy). These are the kinds of people who would enjoy my story.

There are a couple of sex scenes, but they aren’t too explicit. You may not want to read it if you are uncomfortable with reading sex. There is one instance of sexual harassment, and several instances of corporal punishment (all but one are not graphic).

Readers aren’t expected to provide line edits. I will have broader questions about the content at the end of each chapter for you to answer. If I have questions about your feedback, we can email or Skype chat to clarify. 

I would like betas to read 2 chapters (7,500 words, on average) a week, but if you can read only 1 chapter per week, we can work that out. If you can read more than 2 chapters, please do.

Please message me on Tumblr with your email address if you’re interested. I will send you a couple of questions about yourself and the first chapter as a taste. If you like it, I will send you 1 chapter at a time from then on. When you are done a chapter, email me the answers to the feedback questions, and I‘ll send you the next chapter. 

If, at any point, you don’t want to continue reading, I won’t be offended. If it’s for a reason you’re comfortable sharing, please let me know so I can improve my novel, but you aren’t obligated to tell me anything.

Alright, but one thing I notice.  A lot of the main characters have a poet / poetic writer that they reference at least once, if not more than once in the series, and I kind of think it’s both a neat little insight into works of literature that stuck with them, and says so much about them as people

  • For Quentin it’s Byron. Of course it’d be fucking Byron, though.  He references Byron twice in The Magician King alone.  Byron is dark, and he’s full of fear, sex and adventure, but also he’s a romantic, he’s a lover, he’s enchanted with everything.  He’s simultaneously gloomy and brooding, and dreamy and waxing.  Lord Byron is simultaneously hailed for his heroic, swoon-worthy side, and notorious for being brooding, rule-breaking, and kind of a scoundrel.  Perfect Quentin Coldwater material, and it’s no question why he’d resonate.  I also think that ultimately, Byron is also the bad boy Quentin sometimes wishes he was, but is also glad that he isn’t.  I think he’d admire Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know, but I think he’d not quite enjoy that life.  But again.  Byron is heightened and emotional and everything Quentin probably wants gushed into poetry.
  • Eliot has Tennyson.  He quotes Tennyson’s Ulysses their first trip to the Neitherlands. At a glance, my first instinct was merely ‘probably an aesthetic preference.’  But honestly, there’s so much more to it.  Tennyson’s words were musical, they flowed amazingly, they were meticulously chosen and perfectly fitted.  Just how Eliot talks.  Furthermore, there’s an intense sense of melancholy that rings out Tennyson’s poems.  It’s singsong, at times, but there’s always a deep, profound hurt present.  Sometimes it weaves a fantastic tale, that’s lovely and lurid.  That, too, is something deep expressed with a pretty bow.  And really, what could be more Eliot than that?  That’s who Eliot is, in a lot of ways.  Well-spoken, amusing, perfect words at the perfect time, with sorrow below the surface. Also, Tennyson’s thing for strength and order and Kings of fantastic proportions fit so amazingly with Eliot, melancholy and all.
  • For Julia it’s John Donne.  She outright tapes him to her door.  And Donne is a perfect match for Julia on so many levels.  Donne is cynical, he thinks deeply when you don’t want him to, he feels painful emotions when you don’t want him to.  He has two selves, a light Jack Donne and a sombre Doctor Donne–brings to mind First and Second Julia.  And Donne did things with conventions that people didn’t want him to, and he broke social norms, and he was sad in ways that weren’t approved of, but he really didn’t let up or stop because of that.  Also, he’s full of dry wit and puns so very up her alley. It’s wonderful, picturing Julia reading A Valediction Forbidding Mourning, frankly, and a lot of his other stuff, because they’re so very well matched.
  • Janet’s is Shakespeare.  To be fair, other characters talk about The Bard, too, but hers stuck out to me, so I think she deserves some attention for it. Specifically, she talks about Hamlet and Macbeth a lot. Shakespeare’s bloody, psychological tragedies draw her in.  In these two plays. women are witchy omens and powerful queens, and they’re not always good people–they are who they are, and they’ve got feelings, sure, but that doesn’t really change their darker cores.  She thinks of Ophelia going mad when she’s alone in the sand, and no one in the world who cares about her is around and she’s grasping at something only she can see, because sometimes shit is absolutely crazy, and you’re vulnerable and scary.  And she kind of revels in the heightened, unapologetic nature in herself, and in the world that these plays include.  People are fucked up in these plays, and you love them for it, so why should she apologize for being fucked up, or shy away from things that are?  It doesn’t make her feelingless, it just makes her who she is.  And so I really like the pairing of Janet with Hamlet and Macbeth.  

Ultimately, I really like what these character’s personalities lead them to reference throughout the books, and what their specific references reveal about them as characters.

Also, what I wouldn’t give to know what kind of things Alice would talk about, were she given a chance.

Comedy, that is, tends to inhabit a liminal space (one on the edge, either literally or metaphorically), a place between locus and audience. It rarely forgets that there is an audience; and it posits the liminal position as one that bestows the sort of power that arises from resistance to authority, whether that be social or literary.
—  Penny Gay, The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare’s Comedies, p. 11

man why is it so hard to believe that people liked Batman v Superman?? not just die hard DC fans like me, but people like my friend Tash who doesn’t know a damn thing about DC and generally loves the superhero genre and was positively blown away by how unique and beautiful it was? or people like my brother-in-law who knows DC and Marvel canon like the back of his hand and thought characterization was more on point then any other superhero character in a movie so far? what about the literary and art nerds who were surprised when they went to see a superhero flick and got something with depth and nuance, filmed like a painting and written like a revenge tragedy? what about those who just saw the movie because they know the DC heroes because of their iconic nature and didn’t get blown away by seeing characters who have changed their lives on screen together but genuinely liked it and were moved by it??

why is it so FUCKING hard to believe that DC did something good and new and people actually want more???

Got tagged! :D

I got got tagged by the lovely @word-spielen. Thank you Parisa!! <3

Rules: Answer eight questions and tag eight people

Last movie I watched: Finding Dory! I finally got around to watching it, and it was pretty cute! However, my heart will always belong to Finding Nemo. :)

Last song I listened to: All The Right Moves by OneRepublic

Last book I read: Too Much Tuscan Sun by Dario Castagno (HILARIOUS)

Last thing I ate: Mini quiche ^_^

Where I would want to time travel: To the 1920s in Paris - I’m a cliche literary nerd and I’m proud!

Fictional character I would hang out with for a day: If I just got to see a reflection of Riza Hawkeye in a window as she walked by I’d be good

If I could be anywhere right now, where would I be: Somewhere new! 

Current Fandom Obsession: FMA/B (duh), RWBY, Fairy Tail, and My Hero Academia

I tag @the-heart-alchemist, @thestaffofra, @royalvorpal, @queenxolivier, @gomboc123, @hawkeyedflame, @canadiangold, @oliveguy if you guys want to do it! :D