What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey?. Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface -- a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character -- and... read more
“There is only one story. Ever. One. It's always been going on and it's everywhere around us and every story you've ever read or heard or watched is part of it.”
“Reading should be fun. We call them literary "works." Really, though, it's all a form of play.”
“Now hear this: irony trumps everything.”
The quest consists of five things: (a) a quester, (b) a place to go, (c) a stated reason to go there, (d) challenges and trials en route, and (e) a real reason to go there.Highlighted by 351 Kindle customers
Memory. Symbol. Pattern. These are the three items that, more than any other, separate the professorial reader from the rest of the crowd.Highlighted by 283 Kindle customers
whenever people eat or drink together, it’s communion.Highlighted by 262 Kindle customers
there’s no such thing as a wholly original work of literature.Highlighted by 248 Kindle customers
The essentials of the vampire story, as we discussed earlier: an older figure representing corrupt, outworn values; a young, preferably virginal female; a stripping away of her youth, energy, virtue; a continuance of the life force of the old male; the death or destruction of the young woman.Highlighted by 239 Kindle customers
ghosts and vampires are never only about ghosts and vampires.Highlighted by 216 Kindle customers
The real reason for a quest is always self-knowledge. That’s why questers are so often young, inexperienced, immature, sheltered.Highlighted by 209 Kindle customers
Here’s the thing to remember about communions of all kinds: in the real world, breaking bread together is an act of sharing and peace, since if you’re breaking bread you’re not breaking heads.Highlighted by 209 Kindle customers
In those works that continue to haunt us, however, the figure of the cannibal, the vampire, the succubus, the spook announces itself again and again where someone grows in strength by weakening someone else.Highlighted by 166 Kindle customers
What we mean in speaking of “myth” in general is story, the ability of story to explain ourselves to ourselves in ways that physics, philosophy, mathematics, chemistry—all very highly useful and informative in their own right—can’t. That explanation takes the shape of stories that are deeply ingrained in our group memory, that shape our culture and are in turn shaped by it, that constitute a way of seeing by which we read the world and, ultimately, ourselves. Let’s say it this way: myth is a body of story that matters.Highlighted by 162 Kindle customers
1. Every Trip Is a Quest (Except When It's Not)
2. Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion
3. Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires
4. If It's Square, It's a Sonnet
5. Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before?
6. When in Doubt, It's from Shakespeare...
7. Or the Bible
8. Hanseldee and Greteldum
9. It's Greek to Me
10. It's More Than Just Rain or Snow
11. ... More Than It's Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence
12. Is That a Symbol?
13. It's All Political
14. Yes, She's a Christ Figure, Too
15. Flights of Fancy
16. It's All About Sex...
17. ... Except Sex
18. If She Comes Up, It's Baptism
19. Geography Matters...
20. ... So Does Season
21. Marked for Greatness
22. He's Blind for a Reason, You Know
23. It's Never Just Heart Disease...
24. ... And Rarely Just Illness
25. Don't Read with Your Eyes
26. Is He Serious? And Other Ironies
27. A Test Case
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