The Truth About Great Literature

In the most recent issue of Poets & Writers, Steve Almond writes about some interesting issues in his article, “The Problem of Entitlement: A Question of Respect.” In it, he attempted an amateur psychoanalysis of his students’ skepticism towards the actual greatness of the stories anthologised in Best American Short Stories. To this extent, I could agree with him that many students attack anthologised stories as a defense mechanism similar to that of sour grapes: “I most likely will not get published in that anthology, so it must not be very good,” goes their thinking. [ Cont'd ]

A Writer’s Cure For Derivative Works

There is nothing new under the sun in the literary world. Most nearly everything has been done, and done quite well. In this day and age, the world of creative media is supersaturated. Anything we hope to create is undoubtedly influenced by any number of existing works. How, then, do we avoid the trap of being too derivative? [ Cont'd ]

Elliot Rodger: Loneliness In American Cinema Embodied

As anyone who follows this blog would tell you, I have a keen interest in the loneliness of the American male. Being that loneliness is the primary theme of my novel, I’ve studied its presence in movies such as Taxi Driver (1972), Falling Down (1993), One Hour Photo (2002), The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004), and in the novel The Catcher In The Rye. It’s startling to see the similarities between Elliot Rodger’s descent into violence and American cinema’s narrative of the American man’s loneliness. [ Cont'd ]