The gamer story. Regardless of its iteration—D&D, Commodore 64, Nintendo, X Box, LARP—there is the hero, and there is the rest of the gang, subjugated as sidekicks and underlings. The gamer story has a long tradition of tropes and structures, arcs and character elements, at the center of which has always been the hero telling the story and in world more like ours, the person role-playing that hero....more
Posts Tagged: Electric Literature
Adam Flemming Petty writes over on Electric Literature about the literature of ruins:
This perception of antiquities as fragile rather than permanent, and all the more affecting for their fragility, is common in literature. Writers have often found their imaginations piqued when encountering the broken, the cracked, the falling-apart.
I think what demands telling and retelling and re-retelling is this: any story in which complicated grief and desperate sadness is the main character . . . Loss is really the one thing we all share, rich and poor and stupid and smart alike. We learn compassion by experiencing the loss of others. We learn love by letting other people share in our own stories of loss.
Sticking a grade-schooler in front of Star Trek might lead to a brief obsession with spandex, but with me it also meant absorbing tons of non-grade school words. From “purview” to “enmity” to “geneticist” to plain-old “stoic,” the scholarly verbal style of Mr.
Henry Stewart waxes nostalgic on Ray Bradbury for Electric Literature—he points at coming of age, the lessons we learn, and how the whole of life can be found in The Martian Chronicles....more
For Electric Literature, Henry Stewart examines the coming of age stories of Ray Bradbury. In addition to comparing Bradbury’s “boy’s boys” to characters in works by Mark Twain and James Agee, Stewart draws parallels between Bradbury’s novels and the author’s biography....more
Readers stop reading a book they enjoy when they put it down and forget to come back. Readers finish books they hate when they are assigned it for book clubs or else they want to hate-read and laugh about [it] with their friends .
If you are uncertain about whether you’ve made it as an author yet, you can self-check using Electric Literatures’s flow chart....more
Electric Literature has announced the upcoming debut of its weekly online magazine Okey-Panky, a cocktail of short, experimental writing brewed to cure the Monday blues:
Okey-Panky would be dedicated to brevity, eccentricity, and dark humor. It would publish every Monday morning, which is when you desperately need something short and weird.
With the Canadian publication Descant announcing it will come to an end this month, Juan Vidal reflects on the state of literary magazines for NPR....more
To celebrate the New Year, Electric Literature is giving away an interactive short story app from acclaimed Israeli author Alex Epstein! True Legends is a multi-dimensional app exploring the story of a blind piano tuner. Alongside Epstein’s story, the app features music by Ita Lia and Ulrich Ziegler and animations by Tsach Weinberg....more
The lack of literary interest in the game is surprising, since it serves as the perfect lens through which to examine our fractured state: its ingrained prejudices, gender distortions, money lust, and, above all, the culture of brute violence that has come under increased scrutiny of late.
2014 has already been called “The Year of the Debut” as a way of recognizing all the amazing debut novels published over the last twelve months. Now Jason Diamond is calling 2014 “The Year of the Essay,” pointing out the growing popularity in the non-fiction form and telling us why he values it so much:
Reading fiction is one of my true loves, but essays help me to understand things about the world, the writer, and if they’re really great, myself.
At Electric Literature, Elisa Gabbert’s finally collected what we never knew we needed: a compendium of the year’s most essential literary tweets....more
Book-to-movie adaptations are nothing new, but does the transition work the other way around? Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll examines the capacity of prose to put film on paper:
This shouldn’t work, but it does. Perhaps it’s that the deconstructive elements of the novel echo another part of the world of cinema: between film school and film criticism, discussion is as much a part of cinema as images projected onto a screen.
How does one write a mouse-washing scene? There aren’t a lot of examples in literature, and in any event I didn’t want my mouse-washing scene to be contaminated by the work of other fiction writers.
For Electric Literature, Jeff Vandermeer explains how he overcame the age-old challenge of describing a character washing a mouse....more
On Wednesday evening, Phil Klay’s Redeployment won the National Book Award for fiction, making it the first short story collection to win the award since Andrea Barrett’s Ship Fever in 1996. That’s 18 years. But what’s maybe more startling is that the collection, which takes multiple perspectives of people involved in and returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, stands nearly alone as a fictional account that has risen to the national level of attention since the war in Afghanistan began in 2003....more
Think of the most complicated and intriguing people you have ever met. Think of the way it feels to return to those people again and again, each time finding some new facet of truth, beauty, insight, originality. Michael Cunningham’s “White Angel” is a story like one of those people. First published in the New Yorker in 1988, the story later grew into Cunningham’s 1990 novel and the 2004 movie, A Home at the End of the World....more
What I as a young enthusiast took for pell-mell freedom and chaos is in fact the result of careful orchestration and staging, within individual stories and in terms of the collection as a whole. This doesn’t mean the work is without its excesses—or that it doesn’t, at times, scan to me as self-indulgent, repetitive, inscrutable, etc.—but if you had asked me, before I revisited this book, why I no longer read Vollmann, I would have phrased my answer in terms of losing my tolerance for a certain kind of sloppiness; but now, having had my reunion, I must say that my complaints about Vollmann are not to be phrased in terms of his qualities as a writer but rather in terms of my taste as a reader.