Category Archive for "Language"

Heroes and their Discontents

The heroes’ journey is probably one the most well-known ideas in critical theory. A casual survey that I conducted among random strangers left me finding about one person in five to be familiar with the broad outlines of the thing. Our…

Read More

Professionalism

  Language, being so central to our humanity, does some interesting thing to people, and common greetings can frame a lot about a culture. In South Korea, the first question most people ask is “how old are you?” From a…

Read More

It’s Just Semantics

No it isn’t. It’s never just semantics. All writing is about a meaning expressed; an intention delivered. Writing is an ultimatum, and a claim made on nature. Every piece of writing ever created asserts the shape of reality on the…

Read More

Home is Where the Heart Is

Perspective is essential in art and life. As I sit here this morning, pondering the various offerings that my friends have left for me on social media, I came across a cute photoshop of a country house surrounded by trees….

Read More

Considering the Reader

At the heart of any creative endeavor, there is always a question about the audience. It’s one that really plagues starting writers, who often carry around a lot of doubt—often so much that they forget to start writing. But questions…

Read More

Cliche-Dar

Cliches get stuck to most people’s writing like butter on toast, or maybe like shit on a stick (an expression with surprising origins). I’ve heard the accusation time and again: editors, writers, and critics are all very quick to point…

Read More

America’s Orwellian Problem: Political Language and Democracy

Every undergrad in America today knows the term “Orwellian.” It’s pretty quickly inserted into the armory of would-be political scientists and armchair philosophers as a means of describing discourse that is designed to serve political ends and obfuscate truth. And…

Read More

As promised, Fifty Shades of Grey

Ugh. I read Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. I want to say that I did so that you don’t have to. Honestly though, part of me thinks you should. After all, this book birthed the mommy porn genre and…

Read More

The Anatomy of the YA Novel

Today I found myself reflecting on the YA novel, and the underlying formula that makes them work. After all, a lot of writers really want to develop these – partly because the market is so active (and likely over saturated,…

Read More

Mr. Palomar

Italo Calvino has learned to be dead. Like the subject of his novel Mr. Palomar, we have had to see how the world has gotten on without him. In fact, he left us some time ago, much to the consternation…

Read More