MythCon 45 Day 3: Postmodernity at MythCon

Sunday morning at MythCon, and I took it easy, only getting to "Harry Potter as Dystopian Literature" for 10:00. Kris Swank framed Harry Potter not only in terms of the latest dystopian craze in YA fiction (Divergent, The Hunger Games), but also with the dystopian tradition of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. The Dolores Umbridge-corrupted …

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MythCon 45 Day 1: Prose, Genre, and Tolkien’s Genius

. This is a series documenting my intellectual journey at MythCon 45 at Wheaton College, in Norton, MA (8-11 August 2014). Although I will attempt to summarize the arguments made by presenters, the series does not replace the presenters' scholarship, but will represent my attitudes towards the topics. Having arrived early the Thursday, I had …

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Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Every once in a while, I pick up a book that inspires me into creativity and haunts my dreams. Perdido Street Station by China Miéville is one such book, a celebration of the alien, the urban, and the grotesque. New Crobuzon is a corrupt city with an underground network of criminals--only a part of whom …

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Fantasies of History: Guy Gavriel Kay’s Synthesis of the Historical Fantasy Novel — PowerPoint Presentation

Use the following  links to download the PowerPoint for my presentation "Fantasies of History: Guy Gavriel Kay's Synthesis of the Historical Fantasy Novel" at MythCon 2014. I presented at 5:00 pm Sunday, August 1oth at Wheaton College, Norton, MA. Fantasies of History Presentation PDF Fantasies of History Presentation PPT Fantasies of History Presentation PPSX Fantasies …

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Aegypt: The Solitudes by John Crowley

Pierce Moffet wants to find a compelling book idea for a nonfiction history book.  He discovers that the reason we think gypsies can tell fortunes is not because they came from Egypt (or even India for that matter), but because our ancestors thought gypsies came from Aegypt, a dream-Egypt sprung from the European imagination. In …

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Cockroach by Rawi Hage

Rawi Hage's unnamed protagonist—an unreliable narrator—fantasizes almost as much as he steals. A poor, starving Middle-Eastern immigrant walking the Montreal winter streets, he sees himself as a cockroach: the lowest of the low, but also crafty and able to survive. His awkwardness around women causes him to undergo what he perceives as a metamorphosis into …

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Rawi Hage and What his Work Means to Me

I counted it a significant turn of good fortune that I had just finished reading Rawi Hage's novel Cockroach when it almost won this year's Canada Reads competition (Joseph Boyden's The Orenda took first prize). It took me 5 years to get around to reading it. Nonetheless, this author—whose book I am reviewing Friday—has had …

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