Showing posts from November, 2012

Gender, Women's Writing and Feminism

Cleopatra: Feminist Icon? Many of my students are interested in gender, women's writing and feminist criticism. I have recently made available a short introduction to this topic. I have also started to assemble a list of some useful and thought-provoking comments together with some historic quotations. Reflect and Enjoy! The last quotation on this page of the blog references Cleopatra... "one is not born, but rather becomes a woman." Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex "Historically social inequality between men and women can be traced to unequal power relations in particular societies [...] But it can also be traced - possibly relatedly - to systems of representation: how women are represented in plays, rituals, photographic images, novels, films, etc." Alan Durant and Nigel Fabb, Literary Studies in Action (1990), p. 43. “When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even

A Song for St. Cecilia's Day

  A Song for St. Cecilia's Day, 1687   FROM harmony, from heavenly harmony,               This universal frame began:     When nature underneath a heap       Of jarring atoms lay,        And could not heave her head,          The tuneful voice was heard from high,       'Arise, ye more than dead!'       Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry,   In order to their stations leap,           And Music's power obey.           From harmony, from heavenly harmony,             This universal frame began:         From harmony to harmony        Through all the compass of the notes it ran,      The diapason closing full in Man.   What passion cannot Music raise and quell?           When Jubal struck the chorded shell,     His listening brethren stood around,          And, wondering, on their faces fell        To worship that celestial sound:   Less than a God they thought there could not dwell         Wi

52 Favourite Children's Books

Thanks to all the recent contributors on  Facebook and Yahoo Answers. I have now compiled a list of  your favourite children's books: Anna Sewell, Black Beauty Anthony Horowitz : Groosham Grange; Return to Groosham Grange Arabian Nights Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret Clive King, Stig of the Dump C. S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia Cressida Cowell, How to train you dragon books. E. B. White, Charlotte 's Web E. L. Konigsburg   From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna Enid Blyton, Famous Five or Secret Seven Books Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden Francesca Simon, Helping Hercules and Horrid Henry Books Series  Hans Christian Anderson, Fairy Tales Harry Potter books Isaac Asimov’s SF Books Jacqueline Wilson Books Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeremy Strong, Books include There's A Viking In My Bed Joan Aiken, The Wolves of Willoughby

Light and Shadow: the Age of Kindle

Light and Shadow: What will happen to books and reading in the Age of Kindle? Encounter   I had the opportunity to make use of a friend’s Kindle a fortnight ago.   Resistance   Dear Reader, you may be shocked at my tardiness in coming to the most fashionable gadget in recent years. Indeed, in 2010, I fought off several offers of Kindle Christmas presents from the many friends and family who know very well my addiction to reading books. Temptation I was aware of the vast library of free books and that was a temptation: having them in my pocket, rather than stuck on the hard drive, or only available with internet access. What struck me was the sleek design of the Kindle, its comfortable lightness and ease of use; but most impressive its screen technology, unglaring and flicker-free. Overcrowding As my large Victorian terrace house will not accommodate more purchases of books it makes sense to switch at least some of my purchas