Posts by: Victor Luo

Looking for Trump in Classic Literature

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With the election putting us all on edge, and the news cycles on both political ends spouting the rhetoric of potentially unprecedented catastrophe depending on the results, let’s step back and look to literature for an answer. For example: the many aspects of Donald Trump’s personality as embodied by several characters in classic lit, from Pola Lim over at Electric Literature.

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Feminism and Silence’s Uneasy Relationship

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Silence sometimes can protect you. It’s easy to think of the one who “saves herself,” who hides in the closet while the rest of the family is raped and killed by men in uniform. But silence can also protect others: when you face down demands to confess or condemn, when you refuse to sing for the master, when you speak not at all rather than speak the words they’ve scripted for you.

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How One Man Pioneered the Bookstore Business

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You might know about the invention of the printing press revolutionizing the business of publishing, but what about the revolution in actually selling those published books? At Lit Hub, John Pipkin shares innovating bookseller James Lackington’s story of creating a book-selling boon back in 18th century London—he was similar to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in many ways.

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Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is Painfully Relevant Today

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With so many Americans tuning in and cringing at the deluge of election controversies, we can take a little comfort that there are incredibly apt pieces of fiction to turn to for some perspective. At the Huffington Post, Claire Fallon looks at the renewed fame and interest in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” during these troubled times, and shares snippets of a new graphic-novel adaptation.

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John Cheever Could Never Be a Single Mother

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John Cheever, known as the “Chekov of the suburbs” for his fiction’s signature focus on the domestic, suburban family life in the 40s and 50s, probably couldn’t hack being a single mom today. At McSweeney’s, Jeanne Darst shares the excerpts from Cheever’s fiction that pretty much hit this head on the nail.

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The Power of Unreality

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While fiction embraces the flights of fancy that come with imagination, nonfiction is fairly hostile to writers who stray too far away from the objective facts of the story. How closely should writers of nonfiction stick to facts? At Electric Literature, Justin Lawrence Daugherty makes the case for embracing some unreality in writing nonfiction:

We can talk about truth versus fact.

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The Messy Life of Jonathan Safran Foer

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It’s not easy being a literary star. From the existential crises that comes from fame to the struggle to follow up a critically acclaimed first novel, becoming “a writer” for life involves a lot more than publishing a bestseller. Read Lev Grossman’s fascinating bio for TIME Magazine on what Jonathan Safran Foer (author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) has been up to: everything from divorce, leaving a major television project, to taking nearly eleven years to write his third novel.

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Puzzling over Plagiarism

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With the recent presidential election utilizing such unapologetic plagiarism, one wonders just what goes on in the minds of anyone who so confidently uses others’ words as their own. Marina Budhos meditates on this issue as she details the shocking moment of discovering that one of her own writing students had committed plagiarism.

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Poetry Inspires Kids to Change the World

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To do spoken word, you need bodies, you need people, you need that sense of gathering.

Poets have always tapped into an unspoken understanding that language can tap into the ways in which the world works. Over at the Huffington Post, Daveed Digs and Danez Smith discuss how poetry equips children with a sense of voice that inspires them to be more engaged with the world around them.

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