Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Arts, literature.  ---  .This section is about literature in general.  Topics include: ( ) Academic writing.  ( ) Genres.  ( ) Grafitti.  ( ) Metaphor.  ( ) Nonfiction  ( ) Fiction and novel.  ( ) Philosophy of literature.  Literary theory.  ( ) Quotes.  ( ) Short forms.  ( ) Theme.  ( ) Travel writing.  ( ) Writing.  ( ) What is literature.  ( ) Why study literature.  Why write or read literature.  ---  1/24/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  (1) Academia:  Must appeal to, and please, one's academic peers.  (A) Must use foot notes and bibliographies.  Must cite friends as a favor.  (B) Must stick to a single subject.  (2) Commercial success of professional writer:  (A) Must appeal to, and please, the masses.  Must cater to whims of public, or at least your audience.  Must not risk offending, be careful of what you say, be careful of what you criticize.  (B) You get locked into a style.  Must stick to a genre.  (3) Me:  Free to say what I want, how I want, in my own voice.  (A) I can switch subjects whenever I like.  (B) I can switch styles when the mood strikes me.  I can mix poetry, essay, and aphorism.  ---  06/05/1997

Arts, literature.  ---  (1) One problem is when people read infrequently.  (2) Another problem is when people read only novels.  ---  6/1/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  (1) Writing style.  Smooth and tight.  All needed information there, and no unneeded information there.  (2) Writing mechanics.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  A story can be merely an aesthetic experience.  (1) A story does not need to have a moral nor take an ethical stance.  However, some people argue that it is inescapable for a story to have an ethical view.  (2) Nor does the story have to take a metaphysical or epistemological view.  (i.e., "This is how things are.  This is how I know.  This is how things could be. ").  (3)  Themes can be metaphysical, epistemological, ethical or aesthetic.  A moral is a ethical theme.  The story does not have to have a theme or message.  ---  1/15/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Academic writing, criticisms of.  Academics write to be published in academic journals.  Academic journals are narrow niches.  Academic writers are limited by their medium.  ---  11/18/2005

Arts, literature.  ---  Academic writing.  Common writing mistakes of academics.  (1) Many academics mistakenly believe that the more words they write the more important the subject is.  Many academics also mistakenly believe that the more words they write the smarter their views on the subject are.     (2)  Many academics mistakenly believe that the bigger the words they use the more important the subject and the smarter their views on the subject.     (3) Many academics mistakenly believe that the prettier the language they use the more important the subject and the smarter their view on the subject.  They believe that if they write, "The gracile crimson vulpine vaulted the lethargic umber canine" it means more than "The quick red fox jumped over the lazy brown dog".  It does not.     (4) Many academics mistakenly believe that the more footnotes they add and the bigger the bibliography they add the more important the subject and the smarter their views.     (5) Many academics mistakenly believe that the longer they write the more potent and powerful they are.     (6) So, generally speaking, by this formula, who are some popular writers who fall into this academic style?     (7) However, computer programmers realize that the more concise the code the better.  So, generally speaking, by this formula, who are some terse writers?  Vonnegut?     (8) I think that in the long run the economical style is more valuable.  And I think the trend is toward the economical style.  Some people mistakenly believe that an economical style means simple ideas.  It does not.  :)   Concise coding makes more powerful programs possible.  Modular coding makes more  powerful programs possible.     (9) Concise vs. long-winded.  (A) Is it just a matter of aesthetic taste?  In an age of information-overload I think not.  (B) Is it a matter of personality style or thinking style?  That is, you write the way your mind works.  You write the way you are.  You can't really change.  (C) Or does the subject at hand determine the writing style?  ---  10/19/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Academic writing.  To the academic, the most important ideas in any situation must be lengthy, complicated and numerous.  The academic will seldom admit that the important ideas in a situation can be short, simple and few, otherwise the academic would be out of a job and without a purpose in life.  The academic will call such ideas cliche', trivial, or otherwise deny their importance.  ---  9/19/2001

Arts, literature.  ---  All communication is to get what we want, even if it is just spreading our version of truth.  All communication is essentially a political act.  See propaganda.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  All writing is secondary to the development of writing theory.  ---  03/06/1989

Arts, literature.  ---  An argument against literature.  Its just a story.  Its not a fact.  You can write whatever you want.  You can make any character say or do anything.  This is also an argument for literature.  ---  12/29/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Analogical thinking in literature.  Metaphor.  Simile.  Symbolism.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Anecdotes (happy) and war stories (tragic).  ---  12/30/1995

Arts, literature.  ---  Anything you can think (i.e., say to yourself) you can write.  Anything you can feel (emotions) you can not write.  Anything you can sense (sensations) you can not write.  You can only allude to emotions and sensations by way of thoughts.  ---  1/24/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Argument for literature.  In a way, by being so narrowly focused and specialized, the academic Philosophy department has ceded the big questions about life to the English department.  So, in English class, one should give assignments that deal with philosophizing about life and the world.  ---  9/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Arguments for and against literature.  (1) Arguments for literature versus the other arts.  (2) Arguments for literature versus other values like money and power.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Arguments for and against literature.  PART ONE. Arguments for literature.  (1) Literature is easily portable.  (2) Literature developed years ago when films and music were not invented yet.  (3) Literature forces you to use your imagination in ways that film does not.  (4) The book is often better than the movie.  (5 People use literature to build meaning systems.  PART TWO.  Arguments against literature.  (1) Literature can be difficult to understand at times.  (2) Literature is time consuming.  Watching a movie takes two hours, reading a book can take ten hours.  (3) We live in an increasingly visual culture.  Some people will argue that no one reads anymore.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Arguments for literature.  (1) Weak version of the argument for literature.  People have always told stories and always will tell stories, so people might as well think analytically and critically about the stories that people tell each other and that people tell themselves.  Some stories are better than others.  (2) Strong version of the argument for literature.  Understanding the world through literature is just as important, perhaps even more important, as understanding the world through philosophy or science.  If you want to really understand life you should read a novel.  ---  10/8/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Arguments for literature.  Arguments against literature.  ---  10/5/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Artistic language is allusive.  Technical language is exact.  Everyday language is a mix of the two extremes.  ---  9/20/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  At some level writing is like sex.  To write a lot is to f*ck a lot.  Prolific has a least two meanings.  ---  10/21/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  Audience.  What audience is the author writing for?  How can we tell?  What is the message that the author is trying to convey?  Who is the intended recipient of the message?  ---  3/14/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Authors are artists.  Artists are sensitive.  Artists are affected strongly by the world, and in return, artists have a strong effect on the world through their works.  Artists use art as a coping mechanism, to varying degrees of personal psychological success.  Art is psychotherapeutic.  Art to cope with, to deal with, to understand, life, the world, other people, and the self.  ---  3/14/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Can words really capture reality?  There was a time when I did not want to write because I thought it would lessen reality.  Writing cheapens reality.  Can words describe the way she looked to me?  Can words describe how she made me feel?  Why bother writing?  Writing is so futile.  Writing degrades reality.  Writing is a crime.  ---  1/24/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Canon.  (1) The cannon is the set of books considered good and  important.  Significant for one reason or another.  What to read, what to study.   (2) Over time the cannon changes.  New books are added.  Some older books get less attention.  (3) The cannon is under constant debate.  Different people have different views of which books to include, why to include the book, and how important the book is, and why the book is important.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Canon.  The cannon is under contention or debate.  The cannon is always changing.  Additions, subtractions.  The cannon reflects a power struggle.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Canon.  The canon is a list of great works.  The concept of canon is problematic for many reasons.  (1) The amount of great literature in increasing rapidly, because as civilization progresses there are more people, with better education, with more access to great literature, and more access to computers, and these people develop better writing skills and produce more great literature.  (2) In literature, as in all the arts, it is difficult to say who is the absolute best.  The arts are inexact and subjective.  In math and science it is easier to say what is best, because these subject are more objective and exact.  The arts present a diversity of valid views.  (3) Who creates the canon?  To some extent the canon is the result of political pressures.  The canon is picked by power holders and the canon upholds the values of power holders.  At one time the canon was of only white European males, but today the canon is more global and diverse.  (4) As the world changes, there is a change in which works of literature are viewed as good.  As new problems arise, and as new solutions are adopted, the view of what is good art changes.  ---  9/12/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Canon.  There are many "great and good" works of literature worth studying.  The number of "mediocre and bad" literature is an even larger set, maybe 100 times as large.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Character.  The complexity of a character is revealed through the character's mental life, their ideas and emotions and attitudes, which is revealed through their thoughts, words and actions.  The use of action alone to reveal a character amounts to pantomime.  The use of thought alone to reveal a character amounts to a person sitting in a chair thinking to his or her self.  ---  8/30/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Childrens literature.  Fairytales are not harmless fun.  They have implicit or explicit metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical views.  Kids soak them up, kids learn from them, often incorrectly.  We know it is imaginary but kids think it is real.  The world is magical to kids because they can't see cause and effect.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Childrens literature.  The fantasy and inanity of childrens books is pathologically high.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Cliche'.  (1) Cliche's are starting points.  When you tell people not to consider cliche's you are stopping people at the start of their thinking.  (2) Cliche's can be true nonetheless.  Cliche's are building blocks.  (3) If you don't know the cliche's you are in sad shape.  Learn the cliche's.  Then transcend the cliche's.  ---  4/1/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Cliche'.  Cliche's are a starting point.  Without cliche's there is no starting point.  The problem is that, for many people, cliche's are also an ending point.  ---  4/25/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Cliche'.  One man's cliche' is another man's revelation.  ---  8/26/2001

Arts, literature.  ---  Computers and writing.  (1) A database is an example of tightly structured writing.  A free-form poem is an example of loosely structured writing.  Both tightly structured writing and loose structured writing are useful ways of writing.  (2) There are various ways to format structured text on a computer.  A flat-file is a tab delimited text file that can be easily sorted by column.  A spreadsheet will also let you structure text in a sortable format.  A database management system, like MySQL, will provide additional database functionality.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Computers and writing.  (1) Computers.  Computers are a powerful tool.  Computers are a tool for thinking.  Computers are a tool for information management.  (2) The Internet.  The Internet is a network of computers, information and users.  A public space.  A multimedia place.  (3) Computers and the Internet are affecting the way people read and write.  (4) Hyperlinks.  (5) Databases.  Databases are the basis of Content Management Systems.  (6) Web sites.  Multimedia.  (7) Blogs.  A blog are an easily updated website.  Blogs are influencing journalism.  (8) MySpace.  MySpace is social networking software.  MySpace lets you create a web site that links easily with others.  (9) XML allows custom tagging of information.  For example, the website Flickr.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Computers and writing.  (1) Discussion of how computers and the Internet are changing the way people write and read.  Hyperlinks.  Databases.  CMS.  Blogs.  Online newspapers.  Online texts.  Statistical textual analysis.  Text messaging.  (2) Cyberfiction.  Philip K. Dick.  Gibson.  (3) Technical writing of computer manuals.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Computers and writing.  (1) History of language, writing, printing, computers.  (2) Paper and pen.  (3) Computers and writing.  Internet and writing.  (4) Information management methods.  List.  Outline.  Web page.  Database.  (5) Word processors.  Open Office.  Editors.  (6) Content management systems.  Blogs.  ---  8/30/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Computers and writing.  Hyperlinks.  Writing used to be serial.  Hyperlinks make writing less serial.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Computers and writing.  Information management  A content management system (CMS) is a type of information management system that focuses on words, not numbers.  Blog software is perhaps the most common example of a content management system.  CMS's have a web front end that uses hyperlinks, and a database back end that is sortable and searchable.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Computers.  Books and computers.  Computers make possible the following:  (1) Ebooks.  The digital book.  (2) Hypertext books.  Containing links.  (3) Database books.  Made easier.  (4) Macro-books.  Thousands of pages.  (5) Micro-books.  Less than 100 pages.  (6) Multiple author books.  Example, recent encyclopedias.  (7) Interactive books.  User input.  (8) Multimedia books.  ---  3/9/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Crime and bad luck articles show how cruel life can be, how cruel people can be, and how much of life is pure luck.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Death of artistic literature.  Art is a dead form.  Fiction is a dead form.  Poetry is a dead form.  Studying or reading both above is a waste of time.  English lit major is ridiculous.  TV and movies killed novels.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Development of literature in ancient humans.  (1) Topics of ancient conversations.  Action topics.  Who slept with who.  Who begat who.  Who fought with who.  (2) Latter topics.  Communication topics.  Who said what.  (3) Modern topics.  Psychological topics.  Who thought or felt what.  ---  11/24/2003

Arts, literature.  ---  Development of literature in primitive humans.  Talk about the present (the present tense.  things that are) developed in humans before the ability to talk about the past (past tenses.  things that were), which developed before the ability to talk about the future (future tenses.  things that will be or may be).  ---  11/24/2003

Arts, literature.  ---  Differences and similarities, and pros and cons of (1) Language vs. sound vs. images.  (2) Writing vs. speaking.  (3) Books vs. tv vs. radio.  (4) Fiction vs. nonfiction.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Distortions in story telling.  (1) The oral tradition.  The "telephone game" phenomenon.  There is distortion in person-to-person communications.  Distortions take place often when playing the telephone game.  Distortions take place in oral storytelling traditions too.  Additions and deletions occur to the "text".  (2) Fact vs. fiction.  Truth vs. imagination.  One would like to communicate the facts, the truth.  However, very often distortions occur by bragging, boasting and embellishing.  Exaggerations take place.  People make stuff up.  People lie to support their interests.  (3) Distortions of memory in individual persons in oral storytelling traditions happen frequently.  (4) Power plays in story telling.  Those in power (with position, money, land) have a tendency to try to shape the telling of history to suit their interests.  They also try to shape the reporting or discussion of current events (journalism) to suit their interests.  They try to limit dissenting views.  They try to limit what subjects can be discussed.  Even at a primitive tribal level power tries to control the media, even if the only media is the oral storytelling tradition.  (5) Personal bias in story telling.  ---  11/24/2003

Arts, literature.  ---  Elements of literature.  (1) Can there be a story without a character?  (2) Can there be a story without a conflict?  (3) Can there be a story without a setting?  (4) Can there be a story without a plot? (mood only).  (5) Can there be a story without theme?  (morally ambiguous).  ---  1/1/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  English class versus other classes.  (1) English class delves into emotions, psychology, sociology, philosophy.  Math, science, business are about numbers, and about the one right answer.  (2) English class encourages diversity and tolerance.  There is no best art, only many good works of art.  Also, many voices, views from around the world and through time.  (3) Still, art and literature are not permissive of all.  There are ethical standards.  For example, abusive speech will not be tolerated.  There are epistemological standards.  For example, arguments for a flat earth will be deflated.  ---  9/4/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  English class versus other classes.  English deals with words and language.  Some other classes, like math, sciences, and engineering, deal with numbers.  Some other classes, like visual arts, deal with images and pictures.  Some other classes, like music, deal with sounds.  Some other classes, like computers, deal with computer languages, but computer languages are as much like math as they are like words.  ---  9/4/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  English class.  (1) How do words differ from music, visual arts, etc.?  (2) How does English class differ from the other subjects?  Its not a math formula.  Its not a science multiple choice test.  Literature is not a logical argument like one finds in philosophy class.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  English class.  In math class there is a "one right answer".  In English literature class there is no "one right answer".  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  English class.  The academic subject "English" is a blanket term that covers many important, closely related areas.  (1) Communication.  Semiotics.  (2) Language.  Linguistics.  (3) Writing.  Practice of writing.  Process of writing.  At a high level.  ALSO.  Reading.  Practice of reading.  Process of reading.  At high level.  (4) Literature.  Study of literature.  Study of great, art literature.  (See: reading)  (5) Literary Criticism and Literary Theory.  (See: study of literature)  (6) Mass Media criticism.  McLuhan.  Chomsky.  (7) Psycholinguistics.  Chomsky's Universal Grammar.  Fodor's Language of Thought.  (8) Philosophy of Language.  (9) Evolutionary theories of literature.  Narrative.  Oral tradition.  (10) Technology.  History of writing.  Technology of the book.  The Internet.  History of the book.  (10) Politics of the book.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  English in schools = lit history, lit criticism theory, linguistics and language in general, english language specifically (grammar, vocabulary, spelling, writing, speaking), communication studies.  ---  02/07/1994

Arts, literature.  ---  Essay or thesis.  (1) Building an argument.  (2) Analyzing an argument.  ---  9/4/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Essays are about ideas.  Essays are about exploring ideas.  ---  9/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Essays or Thesis.  (1) Topic.  Subject.  (2) Thesis.  Claim.  View.  Stance.  (3) Support.  Evidence.  Arguments.  Reasons.  ---  9/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Essays.  Questions for essays.  (1) What did you like and dislike about the essay?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of the essay?  (2) What are some counter-arguments against the author's thesis?  What are some additional supporting arguments to the author's thesis?  (3) Rate the essay on the level of ideas.  Rate the essay on the level of expression of ideas.  ---  9/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Essays.  Topic.  Thesis, Arguments, Claims.  Support for claims.  What is the structure of the argument?  Techniques used.  Strength and weaknesses of the essay.  Additional support and counter-arguments.   What is the emotional tone or effect of the essay.  ---  10/10/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Fiction and non-fiction.  When can we tell fiction is autobiographical?  When can we tell when non-fiction writers are lying, keeping secrets, or mistaken (false)?  We can't.  Thus all non-fiction can be attacked using literary theory.  And all fiction can be attacked with philosophical analysis.  Also, fiction can use logic and reason, just as non-fiction can use emotion, persuasion, and bias.  There is no distinction between fiction and non-fiction.  Both can be true and false.  ---  09/01/1994

Arts, literature.  ---  Fiction and truth.  When a writer creates a character and then puts words in that character's mouth, can we really be sure that character would actually say those words?  Authors often claim to try to "let characters speak for themselves", but is that really possible?  I say most people barely understand themselves, and often have no clue about other people, so trying to create a character seems the height of folly.  ---  7/31/2001

Arts, literature.  ---  Fiction as lacking of ethical standards and epistemological standards.  (1) Anyone can write a story about anything.  Anyone can take any view on any topic.  (2) Anyone can read a story and interpret it an any way.  Anyone can read any story and declare it true or false, important or unimportant.  ---  4/4/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Fiction versus non-fiction.  (1) In fine literature, artistic literature, meaning is more open to interpretation.  Looser meaning.  More vagueness and ambiguity.  More figurative language.  More sensual, sense imagery.  More emotive.  (2) Non-fiction prose.  More exact meanings.  More literal language.  More emphasis on reasoning over emotion and sense.  More emphasis on argument.  More logical.  ---  9/4/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Fiction versus non-fiction.  Fiction often is heavily autobiographical.  Non-fiction often has errors, lies, exaggerations, omissions, etc.  Thus, there is no clear dividing line between fiction and non-fiction.  ---  8/31/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Fiction versus non-fiction.  Fiction tries to convince by telling a story.  Nonfiction tries to convince through logic and reasoned argument.  Poetry is often neither a story nor a logical argument.  ---  8/30/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Fiction.  Definitions of fiction.  Arguments for and against fiction.  Types of fiction: novel, short story, poetry and drama.  ---  1/17/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Fiction.  Writing fiction and reading fiction is a form of psychological denial.  The fiction author (and fiction reader) essentially says "I am not sitting at my desk writing (or reading).  I am not me, rather I am someone else.  I am not here, rather I am somewhere else.  I am with someone else, doing something else".  When does fiction writing or fiction reading become avoidance of reality, as opposed to confrontation of reality?  ---  5/8/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  Four and a half pages of Truth is worth more intrinsically than twenty pages of garbage.  ---  03/01/1988

Arts, literature.  ---  Four views of literature: psychological and social from the point of view of the author and reader.  (1)(A) People write because they have a story to tell.  People write because they have cathartic requirements.  This is a psychological view of the author and story.  (B) People write because they want to influence other people.  People write because they have an idea that they want to transmit to others.  This is a social view of the author and story.  A political view.  (2)(A) People read because they feel the story will help them work out or release their own psychological issues.  This is a psychological view of the reader and story.  (B) People read because they want an encounter with another person, the author.  The reader wants to buy an idea, or debate an idea.  This is a social view of the reader and story.  ---  6/2/2005

Arts, literature.  ---  Genre benders.  There is no discernible line between fiction and non-fiction.  There is no discernible line between prose and poetry.  There in no discernible line between information and entertainment.  ---  1/18/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Genre is a fuzzy concept.  Genres blend into each other at the edges.  Texts can bend genres, fall between genres, or belong to several genres.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Genre.  Definitions of each genre.  Traits of each genre.  History of each genre.  Comparisons of genres: better and worse and why.  Do's and don'ts.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Genre.  Development of the genres.  (1) Each major genre has a history.  A hundred thousand years ago, the precursors of novels may have developed from a single speaker telling a story to an audience around a campfire.  Plays may have resulted from a group of people acting out a story to an audience around a campfire.  Poetry may have resulted from singers singing songs to an audience around a campfire.  (2) In the last few thousand years the development of genres has often been influenced by technology: first oral, then writing, then print, then computer technology.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Genre.  How do the genres differ?  (1) Novel.  Novel: many characters, many subplots, many digressions.  Short story: short and more focused, fewer characters and subplots.  Novel and short story are more linear than drama and poetry, with more focus on a narrative or story.  (2) Drama.  Drama contains more dialogue than novels and short stories.  Drama has less description.  Drama has the action written into the stage directions.  (3) Poetry.  Poetry is looser in meanings, more open.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Genre.  Question for each genre and style.  Why is it important?  How important is it?  What does it do that others can't?  What can't it do that others can?  What are the elements and principle of it?  What's the history of it?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Genre.  Similarities and differences of the genres of short stories, plays and poetry.  Similarities: all are written forms of fiction.  Differences: (1) Short story:  Single story teller.  More narration than plays.  More description than plays.  (2) Drama or plays: Evolved when a group tells a story.  Takes place in a theater, on a stage, with a set, and multiple actors.  Less narration than short stories.  More dialog than short stories.  Visual elements including scenery, stage directions, and the expressions on the faces of of the actors.  (3) Poetry: Short, compact, condensed, concise.  Sung, musical, sound oriented.  Author, narrator, speaker is often same person.  Personal, the author is speaking directly to the reader.  Looser meanings, more figurative language.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Genre.  What is genre?  Genre is a type or form of literature.  Example of genres of literature include novel or short story, drama or plays, and poetry.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Genre.  Why go outline to prose, when the student just goes prose to outline?  Leave it in outline, save everyone trouble.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Genres are ideal, abstract forms.  There will always be works that cross genres, mix genres or create new genres.  Literature is a spectrum or web.  ---  5/2/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Genres list.  (1) Prose vs. poetry.  (2) Prose non-fiction.  (A) Describe, explain, argue (persuade, rhetoric).  (B) Aphorism, maxim, apothegm, axiom.  (C) Editorial, opinion, criticism.  (D) Journalism, treatise, essay.  (E) Survey literature vs. polemical monographs.  (F) By subjects: (26 notes subjects.  Historical, biography, polemical, political, humor, religious, travel writing, philosophical, scientific, religious, etc.  (2) Prose fiction (artistic writing).  Novel, short story, epic, fable, parable, allegory, romance, saga, ballad.  Novel: horror, spy, detective mystery, crime, Hollywood, rich, poor, historical: frontier, western, cavemen.  Drama: tragedy, comedy.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Genres.  Novels we discuss chapter by chapter.  Short stories we discuss paragraph by paragraph.  Poems we discuss line by line, even word by word.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Genres.  Short story is a form of micro-fiction.  Short story is one of many short forms, like haiku, or three minute pop songs, or jokes, or idioms, or quotes, or aphorisms, or even the paragraph.  (2) Exercises.  Write a story one paragraph long.  Write a story one page long.  ---  1/17/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Graffiti.  (1) Literature is a type of graffiti.  Graffiti is a type of literature.  (2) Literature as graffiti.  The publishing world is scarily similar to the graffiti world.  Its all about getting up.  The famous author wants to tag the world.  (A) The author is territorial, like animals who mark their trails.  (B) The author as transgressive.  Break the law.  Trespass your mind.  (C) The author wants to be seen.  The author wants attention.  The author wants love.  (3) It can help to look at the great authors as graffiti artists.  ---  7/16/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Graffiti.  (1) Written it lasts longer than speech.  (2) Captive audiences are forced to see it.  (3) Graffiti is public: many see it, and yet the author remains anonymous, allowing you to speak freely without fear of retribution.  You can say what's not socially acceptable, and break taboos.  You can say what's not socially useful, i.e. pure fun.  You can step outside yourself and your roles.  It's an assertion of the individual, a political act.  (3) Two types of graffiti: outside on walls, inside in bathrooms.  (4) Types of graffiti: sexual, political, racist, hurtful, helpful.  ---  04/21/1993

Arts, literature.  ---  Graffiti.  How much wisdom is in graffiti?  How artistic is graffiti?  How much is it possible to say with how few words?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Graffiti.  See also Arts, visual arts - grafitti.  ---  12/30/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Great writing is the beautiful and deadly accurate transcription of the truth.  ---  12/04/1988

Arts, literature.  ---  History of literature.  Some people think an Intro to Lit class should focus on the History of Lit.  For example, the history of American Lit.  Or perhaps the history of Anglo-American Lit in order to include British, Irish, Canadian and Australian lit.  Or perhaps the history of World Lit, in order to include the entire world.  One problem with this view is that if you pick any list of one hundred authors of great world literature, you can easily pick a hundred different authors of great world literature.  There are many great authors, and the list is only growing.  (See notes on Canon).  ---  9/12/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  How do we convert reality into stories?  (1) Do we convert reality into stories by finding morals?  Regardless of whether we are actually creating morals and imposing them on the situation, rather than finding inherent pre-existing morals?  (2) Do we convert reality into stories by simplifying?  Regardless of the loss of detail and information?  We make extensive editing decisions when we convert reality into stories.  (3) Do we convert reality into stories by imposing order?  Regardless if it rearranges the facts?  (4)  Do we convert reality into stories by "detail by detail" transcription?  Regardless of whether it actually makes sense?  (5) Do we convert reality into stories by acknowledging the meaningless, chaotic, absurdity, illogical, nonsensical, disconnected flow of events?     PART TWO.  How do we convert reality into stories?  (1) The first stories by humans were probably about actual events and circumstances.  (2) In the next step, the tales of heroes are given legendary status. (3) The next step may have been myths, which use mythical or divine characters to explain events that are beyond the power of humans (such as natural disasters).  (4) The next step in the evolution of stories was the concept of purely fictional stories, which was an interesting development because it was a case where, "It is not true.  Everyone knows it's not true.  It does not matter if it's not true.  You can still enjoy it and learn from it".     PART THREE.  How do we convert reality into stories?  Stories are attempts to describe and explain the situation, and predict the future.  In this way stories are a form of proto-science.  Humans have a natural tendency to tell stories.  Humans try to understand their situation by noticing patterns.  The pattern in a situation are interpreted by humans as a sign of order, which are interpreted as signs of logic and reason.  ---  1/12/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  How does literature differ from the other arts?  Specifically, how does literature differ from movies?  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  How important is artistic literature?  Some think it is very important.  I think its importance has been overemphasized greatly.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  How to study literature?  Treat literature as just another text.  People create texts of various types.  The borderline between artistic literature and other types of texts is hazy.  The goal is to develop high-level textual analysis and criticism skills, so that when you read any text you have the tools to analyze and critique the text.  Be able to write a coherent response to anything you read.  ---  9/10/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  How to teach literature in a world where few people read and many people listen to music and watch movies?  (1) Show the similarities between music and literature.  Use music as an example to teach poetry.  (2) Show the similarities between movies and literature.  Use movies as an example to teach short stories and novels.  (3) Then show how literature is different from both music and movies.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  How well can one get along without reading?  How well can one get along without writing?  ---  1/17/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Idea versus expression of idea.  (1) One problem is a good idea with poor expression.  Good ideas with poor expression have trouble catching on due to the poor expression of the good idea.  (2) Another problem is a bad idea with eloquent expression.  A bad idea with eloquent expression is a bad situation because the bad idea may spread due to its eloquent expression.  For example, Hitlers ministers of propaganda gave eloquent expression to some very bad ideas, with very tragic consequences.  (3) Ideally one wants to see good ideas with good expression.  ---  9/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Idea versus expression of idea.  A good idea expressed simply trumps a bad idea expressed eloquently.  ---  9/4/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Idea versus expression of idea.  There are two concepts to consider: the idea, and the expression of the idea.  You can have a good idea and express it poorly.  You can have a bad idea and express it eloquently.  Both situations are suboptimal.  Optimally, you want to have a good idea and express it well.  ---  9/12/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Idea versus expression of idea.  We can distinguish between the ideas of the text, and the expression of the ideas in the text.  We can talk about ideas and expression separately.  The ideas can be evaluated.  The expression of the ideas can be evaluated.  For example, someone could write an eloquent defense of a bad idea like fascism.  Eloquence is good.  Fascism is bad.  ---  9/6/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Idea versus expression of idea.  When you write, you express an idea.  When you write, you put an idea into words.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Ideal.  (1) Important ideas, powerfully communicated.  (2) True, accurate, complete, precision.  (3) Organized, logical, well ordered, clear, unified whole.  (4) Concise, economical, condensed.  (5) Harmony, flow, balance, beautiful.  (6) Bold, interesting, lucid.  (7) Original: in style, and in philosophy.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Ideal.  (1) Vocabulary and grammar used correctly, understandable.  (2) Experience, talent, creativity.  (3) Wisdom, intelligence.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Ideal.  Fitting to audience.  Fitting to subject matter.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Ideal.  The main aesthetic criteria is power and lucidity.  We want new important ideas, powerfully communicated.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  If you supplied a group of people with paper and pen and told them to start writing, what would they write?  Perhaps 60 percent would write a personal history (diary, journal).  Perhaps 30 percent would write fiction in the form of a novel.  Perhaps 10 percent would write non-personal non-fiction.  ---  3/29/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Images vs. music tones vs. acting vs. words.  Writing words are so much more exact and efficient and versatile than the other alternatives.  ---  03/20/1997

Arts, literature.  ---  Interpretation.  (1) Every individual reader forms their own interpretation of a work of literature.  Every individual forms an opinion about the meaning and importance of a work.  (2) Every society forms an interpretation about the meaning and importance of a work.  ---  3/14/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Interpretation.  (1) Interpreting from other languages (translation).  (2) Interpreting from same language (ex. reading Shakespeare).  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Interpretation.  All stories are puzzles requiring interpretation.  All texts are puzzles requiring interpretation.  All communications are puzzles requiring interpretation.  All people are puzzles requiring interpretation.  ---  3/5/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Interpretation.  Many an author does not say outright what he or she means.  This can be quite frustrating.  Why does not the author say what he or she means?  (1) The author many not say immediately, directly and concisely what he or she means in order to be entertaining.  Telling a story is different from giving a lecture.  (2) The author may be ambiguous in order to discuss taboo topics without fear of retribution.  (3) The author may be trying to be realistic about everyday conversations which are often oblique.  The artists conception of truth is often the truth of everyday life, concrete details, sensory experiences, not the truths of abstract principles.  (4) The author might not say what he or she means because the author might not know what he or she means.  Literature is an art, and very often artists act on subconscious impulses and hunches, without knowing exactly what it all means.  ---  3/14/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Interpretation.  Reader's interpretation and reader's meaning is as important as author's meaning and author's interpretation of his/her own work.  (1) Sometimes the author does not know what their work means.  Sometimes the author, as an artist, has a vision that the author does not fully understand.  (2) What the author means to say is not always what people hear.  The author might intend to write one thing but the public might interpret the text to mean another thing.  ---  3/14/2007  

Arts, literature.  ---  Irony is a type of discrepancy.  (1) Irony can lead to humor and comedy.  But not all irony is humorous.  (2) Irony can also lead to tragedy.  For example, a discrepancy between what is said and done can be labeled hypocrisy, which is a character flaw that can lead to a character's downfall.  Another example of tragic irony, in Romeo and Juliet, it was ironic yet tragic that each one did not know the other was alive and so they both committed suicide.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Irony.  (1) Irony vs. hypocrisy.  A lot of times we wrongly play down instances of hypocrisy by calling it irony.  (2)  Irony as a passive-observer phenomenon.  There is something of the spectator in those who notice irony everywhere.  (3) Irony as something we impose on situations.  The world is not ironic, humans are ironic.  (4) Irony is about coincidence and happenstance.  (5) Is irony always about humor?  Does irony always have an element of humor?  That does not mean all uses of humor are ironic.  Everything is not a joke.  (6)  Two opposing views: Life is not a joke vs. you can find humor anywhere.  (7) Is the humor of irony a snide, smug, superior humor or is it a mirthful joy?  (8) Irony and epistemology.  "Isn't it ironic that we thought that X was the case when actually Y was the case?"  This is about our inability to correctly perceive the situation.  (9) Irony and ethics.  "Isn't it ironic that person X said not to do evil when a person X actually ended up doing the most evil?"  Or, "Isn't it ironic that person X tried to do good but ended up doing evil?"  This is a negative, defeatist tone.  (10) Pro irony argument.  The situation is multi-faceted.  There is more to the situation than meets the eye.  Ethics can be relative.  Relativism holds sway.  Post modernism hold sway.  (11)  There is more to life than irony.  Irony is not the be all, and irony is not the best nor most important concept.  The goal of every story should not be merely to be ironic or to include irony.  ---  1/15/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Irony.  Irony is a over-used literary term.  Irony is often confused with other concepts.  (1) Irony and humor.  Irony should not be mistaken for humor.  Comedians tell humorous jokes, but not all comedians are ironists.  (2) Irony and injustice.  Irony should not be mistaken for injustice.  That slaves work harder but get less than slave owners is not so much an example of irony as it is an example of injustice.  ---  8/31/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Irony.  Is life inherently ironic?  Are humans inherently ironic?  ---  8/31/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Irony.  PART ONE.  Character and irony.  (1) A character can be aware of the irony in a situation.  Even intending the irony.  (2) A character can be unaware of the irony.  Unintentional irony.  PART TWO.  (1) The author can be aware of the irony.  (2) The author can be unaware of the irony.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Just because you read a book does not mean you will "get" what that book is about.  Just because you read a book is no guarantee that you will "get" all that the book has to offer.  Better to get the synopsis of the book so that you can know what you were supposed to get from the book.  This is an argument in favor of education by reading many short, clear synopses rather than a few, long-winded, opaque "great books"  ---  2/6/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  Lets start with some very basic ideas.  Lets start from the ground up.  PART ONE.  Why write?  Why learn?  Why think?  (1) We have brains.  Our brains are our friends.  Our brains are useful.  We should use our brains.  (2) To solve problems.  (3) To make a living.  To make money.  (4) To avoid mistakes, misery, pain.  (5) To do the right thing.  To be just.  To be ethical.  (6) To know what is going on.  To be informed.  To not be ignorant.  To not be wrong.  (7) Thinking and learning help deal with the problems of life.     PART TWO.  Thinking, learning, writing, take a little bit of effort.  It can be difficult at times.  Other times its easy, and the ideas appear effortlessly.  But you get better at it with practice, so do practice it daily.  You also get better at it with age, so a few years from now you will be improved.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Like the way a thousand lines of computer code can create a graphical user interface (GUI) on the computer screen, so perhaps can a thousand page novel create a graphical user interface (GUI) in your mind.  ---  8/24/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Literary critics tend to criticize specific books.  Literary critics tend not to criticize literature itself.  Literary critics tend not to question the value of literature in general.  ---  12/11/2005

Arts, literature.  ---  Literature class is essentially an art appreciation class.  When we study works of literature, it is like studying paintings or music.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Literature is about going global.  Adventure, exploration, travel, new cultures, new experiences, broaden horizons, new views, new voices, new settings, diversity, tolerance.  Challenge our existing views.  Find out what's going on in the world.  Think about everything.  The arts are synthetic, big picture, everything at once.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Literature is not supposed to be about "saying the unsayable", which is what some poets believe.  Literature, I say, is supposed to be about "saying the unpaintable" and "saying the unsingable".  That is, literature is most useful when images and music do not do the subject justice.  Let words do what pictures and music cannot do.  And anyway, nothing is unsayable, I say.  ---  11/15/2001

Arts, literature.  ---  Literature, and all the arts, are a way of knowing about the world.  The arts are a type of knowledge.  The arts transmit sense knowledge, emotional knowledge, and rational knowledge.  Art is a way of knowing and a way of communicating.  (2) Literature, and the knowledge gained from literature, can help a person deal with the big problems in life, the big issues in life.  ---  4/2/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Me.  (1) Who writes for my generation?  Someone who states the position?  Someone who defends the position?  Someone who criticizes the position?  (2) Who or what is my generation?  Ten years above and below me?  Anyone alive when I'm alive?  (3) What defines my generation?  Majority philosophical position?  Power holders?  (3) How is generation related to culture?  Generation is a period in the culture?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Me.  Paul literature goals.  Write a story a sentence long, paragraph long, and page long.  Write a poem of subject and view in five different styles.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Me.  Paul's aesthetic by elements.  (1) View: objective reality, realism.  (2) Subjects: america, proles, pain, troubles.  (3) Style: tragicomedy, satire, cynical, tough, humorous, blues, complain/bitch/yell, my time.  (4) More subjects: basics, foundations, primordial, elemental, raw, unconscious, naked, base.  (5) Influences: Kerouac, Bukowski.  (6) Compositional techniques: synthetic, intuitional, free writing.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Me.  Why do I write?  What do I write?  How do I write?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Media (see: Sociology, communication, media).  (1) Written: book, magazine, journal, news, sheet.  (2) Oral: speeches, debates.  (3) Radio, TV, movie, advertising.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Metaphor and simile are bogus ideas.  To say something is something else, or even like something else, is confusing.  Things are what they are.  ---  08/18/1988

Arts, literature.  ---  Metaphor is in very common use in the real world.  However, academia is not so open to argument by metaphor.  Math class does not admit many metaphorical arguments.  Philosophy class does not recognize many metaphors.  Science class does not often acknowledge argument by metaphor.  In academia, English class is the place for metaphors, metaphorical thinking, and metaphorical argument.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Metaphor, simile, symbolism, figurative language, associative thought, and analogical thinking.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Metaphor.  (1) People often think by using metaphors.  Analogical thinking.  (2) People often use metaphors in their everyday speech.  (3) Our culture is stock full of metaphors.  For example, "Time is like a river".  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Metaphor.  In a good poem, the use of good metaphors help clarify whatever the poem is about.  In a bad poem, the use of bad metaphors confuses whatever the poem is about.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Metaphor.  Metaphor can be used as code to protect against censorship.  For example, people use political metaphors to write texts criticizing oppressive regimes.  Another example, People often use sexual metaphors to write song lyrics that discuss issues in sexual relationships that broadcasting censors would not otherwise.  Another example, people use metaphors to discuss topics prohibited by religious censorship.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Metaphor.  Symbolism and metaphors were used in the past by artists to say things that were not allowed to be said openly for fear of legal penalty or social sanction.  But today, due to the first amendment, and the more open and tolerant nature of our culture, you can say just about anything you want.  So symbolism and metaphor become unnecessary.  ---  03/19/1989

Arts, literature.  ---  Metaphors and symbols suck.  People only confuse the issue with metaphors.  Things are complex enough without making them more confusing.  Say it clear and plain.  ---  03/19/1989

Arts, literature.  ---  Most important ideas.  Writing and reading novels is a slow, unorganized way to learn.  Scrap it as a primary learning method.  ---  10/30/1997

Arts, literature.  ---  Most novels contain 100 pages of set up for 10 pages of epiphany.  Most poems 10 pages of set up for 1 line of epiphany.  Do we really need all this set up to put us in the right mood to make us receptive to truth?  Or is it just needless padding.  ---  10/15/1994

Arts, literature.  ---  Much like philosophy and history, literature lets you study all areas of human life.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  My literature motto: New, true and important.  ---  9/11/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  My writing style: cynical, tough, humorous.  Like Bukowski.  ---  08/18/1988

Arts, literature.  ---  Narrative and metaphor are a basic way how humans understand the world.  Instead of having philosophy and reason and logic try to explain what is literature and art and narrative and metaphor, why not do the reverse, and have literature and art and narrative and metaphor try to explain what is philosophy and logic and reason.  ---  4/22/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Narrative and metaphor are primary ways how the human mind works.  Narrative and metaphor are primary concepts in literature.  Most people, most of the time, are not walking around doing syllogisms in their heads.  Rather, most people, most of the time, are walking around trying to understand their world through the use of narrative and metaphor.  ---  4/15/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Narrator is also described by what "tense" the story is in.  Past tense: We did this, we did that.  Present tense: I am doing this, I am doing that.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Narrator is often described by what "person" the story is written in.  (1) Singular:  I (I was walking down a hallway, etc.).  You (You are walking down a hallway, etc).  He, she, it (He said, she said).  (2) Plural:  We.  You.  They.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Narrator.  Who is the narrator?  (1) Is the narrator the author?  Only in autobiographies.  (2) Is the narrator a character?  Sometimes.  For example, in Huckleberry Finn.  The narrator may even introduce them self.  (3) Sometimes the narrator is merely a voice.  A nameless voice.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Nonfiction. Definitions of non-fiction.  Types of non-fiction: History, Philosophy, Science, Journalism, Argument.  Traits of good non-fiction: Logical.  Precise, unambiguous.  Orderly, structured.  ---  1/17/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Novel.  Novel writing.  New ways to do a novel, short story, film or play script.  (1) Characters.  (A) Who are they?  (B) Who were they (history)?  (C) What is their world view (metaphysics, epistemology, ethics)?  (D) What are their drives, goals, tactics?  (E) What are their personality traits?  What are their strengths and weaknesses?  (F) Physical traits (ex. Rich vs. poor.  Smart vs. dumb.  Sane vs. crazy.  Pretty vs. ugly.  Guy vs. gal).  (2) Environment, situation, setting characters are in.  (3) Problems characters are faced with.  Physical, psychological, financial, social, spiritual(?).  Do they realize the presence and importance of the problem or not?  If not, is the problem solved by accident?  Is the problem ignored or confronted?  If ignored, do they pay the price, or luck out?  Is the problem attacked in thought and action effort?  If so, do they fail or succeed?  (4) The ultra-modern novel means current cutting edge (A) Situations, (B) Views of these situations, (C) Problems, (D) Solutions.  (5)(A) Traits of antagonist.  Fearful, avarice, greed, anger, crazy, stupid, weak (spineless), coward, bully.  (B) Traits of protagonist.  Brave, fair, freedom, strong, sensitive, smart, active.  ---  12/30/1996

Arts, literature.  ---  Novel.  Novels are examples.  Reading novels is for people who like learning by example.  I always preferred textbooks that had few examples.  They were ten times shorter, and the learning was ten times faster.  ---  01/12/1997

Arts, literature.  ---  Novel.  The novel as information, entertainment and art.  (1) Information.  Most people consider reading novels as a form of entertainment.  But perhaps the more important question is, "How much useful information is in this novel?"  Not merely factual information, like a description of a city, but also information about life, and people in general, and how to live one's life.  Great novels have a lot of useful information.  (2) Entertainment.  What is mere entertainment?  Does not even mere entertainment teach us something?  What is an example of the most vacuous entertainment?  What bad sitcom takes top prize in the category of mindless entertainment?  What does even that sitcom achieve?  ---  1/18/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Novel.  The novelists, sometimes they try to create a life.  Three variations:  (1) Tell it like it is.  (2) Life like it ought to be.  (3) Life the way it should have been.  ---  8/24/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Novel.  The novelists, what are they trying to do?  I must confess I'm not really sure.  (1) They are trying to create a world.  Create a reality.  (2) They are trying to create life.  Like Dr. Frankenstein.  (3) Create a person.  Create a character.  (4) They are trying to create life distilled or concentrated.  Like orange juice in a can.  ---  8/24/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Novels.  If I was an immortal living in paradise I might spend my time reading novels.  But I have only a limited life on an imperfect, problem ridden earth.  ---  11/16/1997

Arts, literature.  ---  Novels.  Let's say you want to write a novel.  You can pick any character, setting and action that you like.  The choices are infinite.  Let's say you write a novel by creating specific characters, a specific setting and specific action in the form of a sequence of events.  What have you accomplished?  You can make any character say just about anything.  Nothing said is ever completely out of character.  You can use your creation to try to justify any theme.  Various readers will use your creation to try to justify every other theme.  Readers will use just about any occurrence to try to prove any point.  Such is the human ability to twist logic and spin events.  What have you accomplished by writing a novel?  ---  9/1/2005

Arts, literature.  ---  Novels.  People are conditioned by society to read novels.  People are conditioned by society to write novels.  The conditioning occurs unconsciously to both readers of novels and authors of novels.  The conditioning is performed on the author and reader without their being conscious of it.  And the conditioning is performed unconsciously by society.  Society is for the most part not aware that it is subtly influencing authors and readers to work in the genre of the novel.  (2) Humans do not naturally think in novel form.  Humans naturally think in short chunks of information.  So why should we write in novel form?  ---  4/9/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  Novels.  There is a psychological distance between the reader and the story.  The psychological distance between the reader and the story can be close or far.  (1) Far distance.  Objective, distanced, dispassioned.  See the action happening to the characters.  (2) Close distance.  Subjective, immersed, empassioned.  Feel the action happening to self.  ---  12/5/2005.

Arts, literature.  ---  Novels.  What if you tried to learn about the world only by reading novels?  And at the other extreme, what if you tried to learn about the world without reading any novels?  ---  1/10/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Novels.  Why do people write novels?  (1) The novel, for the author, is a way to process, integrate and make sense of reality.  (2) The novel, for the reader, is a way to process, integrate and make sense of reality.  (3) Telling and listening to stories, writing and reading novels, making and watching movies, these arts have the in common the fact that people use art to process, integrate and make sense of reality or experience.  And these arts are all forms of virtual reality experience.  ---  12/5/2005

Arts, literature.  ---  Organization.  The various "types of paragraphs" that an English composition textbook describes, is the same as the various "types of essays" that the textbook describe, and is the same as the various "ways of thinking" (i.e., thinking tools) that are discussed in Psychology class.  These types include:  Analysis and Synthesis.  Classification and categories.  Metaphor and analogy.  Abstract and concrete.  Creativity and evaluation.  Cause and effect.  Etc.  ---  8/20/2006  ---  *

Arts, literature.  ---  PART ONE.  What is Literature?  Definitions of literature.  (1) Any writing.  (2) Any good writing.  (3) Any artistic writing.  (4) Any good artistic writing.  PART TWO  Why study Literature?  (1) To see and study good writing.  (2) To see and study good art.  PART THREE.  How study Literature?  (1) Reading the works.  (2) Thinking critically about the works.  (3) Discussing the works.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  People have an inclination to tell stories.  Story telling is one of the oldest arts.  People tell all sorts of stories.  People understand their world by making stories about their world.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy and literature.  (1) Everyone has a philosophy.  The author has a philosophy.  Each character in the story has a philosophy.  The reader has a philosophy.  At base, philosophy consists of metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical views.  Very often the author will create characters to represent different philosophies.  The protagonist, representing the author's philosophy, triumphs over antagonists, representing competing or opposing philosophies.  (2) Each reader has his or her own philosophy.  Everyone's philosophy is slightly different from the next person's.  Readers often read a text to confirm their own philosophy.  Readers are often biased toward their own personal views, and thus readers will often "spin" the interpretation of a text to make it confirm their own views.  Will the author change your views, or will you change the author's views to confirm to your views?  ---  12/29/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy and literature.  (1) People want to see a moral to the story.  People want to see good actions rewarded and bad actions punished.  A moral is an ethical view.  People want to see ethics in a story.  (2) Ethics are a result of epistemological views which form metaphysical views of the world.  (3) Different readers have different interpretations of stories.  Different readers draw different lessons from stories.  ---  12/29/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy and literature.  (1) Philosophical ideas found in literature.  Philosophical fiction.  (2) Philosophical essays about life.  (3) Writings of academic philosophers.  (4) Philosophy of literature.  Philosophical analysis of the concepts found in the art of literature.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy of literature.  Literary criticism attempts help us understand texts.  A criticism of literary criticism however is that it only criticizes, but does not actually do anything.  ---  8/15/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy of literature.  Literary criticism focuses on macro-level phenomena, like the meaning of texts.  Anglo-American philosophy of language focuses on micro-level, sentence level phenomena like grammar.  ---  1/19/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy of literature.  Literary criticism.  Argument against literary criticism.  What has literary criticism accomplished at all?  What useful concepts has developed?  Not many really.  So even though literary criticism concepts could be applied in many other areas, it still has not come up with many useful concepts.  ---  1/19/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy of literature.  Literary criticism.  Argument for literary criticism.  The theories developed by literary critics are not limited to fiction.  They can be applied to all arts.  They can be applied to all writing, including non-fiction.  They can be applied to all communication.  They can be applied to all symbolic representation systems.  And since we think with language, they can be applied to our minds and thus have great psychological value.  And since the major way we learn today is by gathering information, it has great epistemological value.  And since society is based on communication, it has great sociological value.  ---  1/19/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy of literature.  Literary criticism.  Scientific approach to literature.  (1) Descriptive literary criticism: describes what the author wrote.  (2) Explanatory literary criticism: explains what the author meant.  (3) Normative literary criticism: takes an ethical stance by saying what should be.  ---  7/8/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy of literature.  Literary criticism's basic ideas.  Things are not always what they seem.  What you think a thing is (work of art, person, culture, etc.) depends on your situation and point of view.  Interpretation and understanding always occur.  If you are a dullard, it may mean nothing to you.  A more savvy person may be able to "read" things better.  If you are below this level, it appears wondrous.  If you are above this level, it bores you.  If it is foreign it mystifies and attracts in curiosity.  If it is familiar we overlook it.  ---  08/15/1993

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy of literature.  Literary theory = literary criticism and philosophy of literature.  ---  11/15/2001

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy of literature.  Literary theory.  The field of literary theory asks "what is literature?"  But to say that all language (including the exact language of philosophy, science, business, law) should be studied with literary theory, or worse, to say everything (besides writing) should be considered a text and studied with literary theory, is getting carried away.  Because even in the field of literature alone the achievements and accomplishments of literary theory have been minimal.  ---  02/28/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy of literature.  Literature as the study of examples of various artistic styles of writing is bullshit.  However, ideas, thinking, communication of ideas, and writing notes is not bullshit.  ---  12/31/1997

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy of literature.  One view.  Literature is bullshit.  Therefore, literary criticism is bullshit.  Therefore, literary criticism based philosophy is bullshit.  This includes deconstruction, hermeneutics, and other European philosophies.  ---  11/16/1997

Arts, literature.  ---  Philosophy of literature.  What literature gives us is a good balance to analytical philosophy.  It gives us a flexible, associative, multi-meaninged, subjective and expressive way of looking at the world.  That is it.  Literature lets us be playful and creative with words and concepts rather than exact and inflexible (as in philosophy, science, business, law).  ---  02/28/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  Plays versus movies.  (1) Drama has fewer special effects than movies.  Drama has less camera movement than movies, because in drama the viewer is the camera.  Drama has less editing than movies.  (2) Movies have more special effects than drama.  Movies have more camera movement than drama.  Movies have more editing than drama.  ---  8/30/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Plays versus novel.  Drama has less description of setting than novel.  Drama has less physical action than novel.  Dramas are written to be acted in theaters.  ---  8/30/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Plays, Drama.  Drama has more emphasis on character and dialogue.  Drama has less emphasis on the setting.  ---  8/30/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Plays.  (1) Drama in the written form.  Play scripts.  (2) Drama on the stage.  Plays.  (see Arts, theater).  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Plot structure, three views of.  (1) Plot structure as conflict.  Plot climax as resolution of conflict, or failure to resolve conflict.  Good for stories where characters are in conflict with each other.  (2) Plot structure as problem solving.  Plot climax as solution of problem, or failure to solve problem.  Good for stories where characters work together to solve a problem.  (3) Plot structure as a process of change.  Plot climax described as a turning point.  Good for stories that depict the development of a character.  ---  3/14/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Plot structure.  Conflict versus problem.  You can say there is a "conflict" in a story, but sometimes it is more accurate to say there is a "problem" in the story.  The characters can all be united to solve the problem.  For example, the problem in the story can be a plague that is killing the populace.  The plague is not an antagonistic character, nor is there any conflict, rather, there is a problem to be solved.  ---  8/30/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Plot, theme, characters, etc.  (1) Consider characters without plot, actions, events, or even dialogue.  It would amount to people sitting around doing nothing.  That's a bad story.  (2) Consider a story without ideas or themes.  It would be, "I walked to 7-11, and saw a car accident in the parking lot, and a fight broke out, and 7-11 was out of slurpee, so I walked home."  That's a bad story.  (3) Consider a story that has description of setting without characters.  It would be like wheat waving in the wind.  That's a bad story.  (4) Consider a story with much action but little plot.  That would be a lot of running around without any purpose.  That's a bad story.  (5) All the parts of the story should be present and working well together.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Plot.  (1) Main line of the plot.  (2) Red herrings, digressions, tangents, dead ends.  Loose threads, unanswered questions.  ---  8/25/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Plot.  (1) There are basic, universal plots.  Boy meets girl, love story.  Good versus bad, police detective legal story.  Adventure, exploration, journey story.  (2) The plot-less story.  Seemingly random events.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Plot.  Complexity of the plot is based on the number of characters and the number of actions, thus the number of plot lines.  ---  8/25/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Plot.  Modern stories.  Randomness, random actions.  No clear plot.  ---  8/25/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Poems and quotebooks are both short, concise forms.  Poems are more arty than rational.  Quotebooks have no ratings, no sub-categories, no explanation, no commentary, no expansion.  ---  09/26/1997

Arts, literature.  ---  Politicizing stories.  Some people will politicize every story.  Some people will interpret every story through the lens of politics.  Some people primarily use political literary criticism.  Some people understand the world primarily as a political arena.  ---  12/29/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Politics and literature.  Censorship.  Propaganda.  Samizdat.  Author's who criticize the government are jailed in countries like Turkey and China.  America has freedom of speech, but America has a history of banning books.  Literature is a powerful force in politics.  Ideas, transmitted through writing, are a political tool that can change society.  ---  8/31/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Preliminary questions to a study of literature.  Can one learn everything that one needs to know from reading novels?  Can one learn everything one needs to know without reading novels?.  ---  1/17/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Problems.  (1) False or untrue.  (2) Unimportant, meek.  (3) Unclear, vague, inexact.  (4) Disorganized, confusing, illogical, lack of focus.  (5) Boring, too wordy, verbose, long winded.  (6) Above or below audience.  (7) Beating something to death.  (8) Making mountains out of molehills, pedantic.  (9) Not explained enough, quick gloss.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Professional artist has to sell.  Has to please an audience.  He is not free to pick or switch his subject matter, view, medium, etc.  ---  06/05/1997

Arts, literature.  ---  Professional writers dole out a little at a time in order to make money by keeping the audience coming back.  The problem is when you read only part of his vision you get the "blind men and the elephant problem".  I say give it all at once.  I don't write for a living.  I will not pad and fluff to stretch an idea.  I will not be stingy doling out my ideas.  ---  06/05/1997

Arts, literature.  ---  Professional writing, criticisms of.  Professional writers write to sell.  Professional writers write for commercial success.  Professional writers write to please audiences, advertisers and publishers.  Professional writers are limited by their medium.  ---  11/18/2005

Arts, literature.  ---  Quote and my commentary.  Explanation of what author was saying.  Is he right or wrong?  Is the idea important or unimportant?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Quote books organized (1) Alpha by author.  (2) Alpha by subject.  (3) Chronologically.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Quote machine.  (1) Quotes by regular people, rather than quotes by famous people.  (2) Not based strictly on artistic literary merit.  (3) Not based strictly on historical merit.  (4) Up to a page in length, not just one sentence or one paragraph.  ---  6/4/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Quotes and quote analysis.  (1) How much will a book of quotes help you?  (2) For every quote there is a counterquote.  (3) Soundbites, slogans, maxims, epigrams, aphorism, apothegm, short and sweet.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Quotes are usually concise philosophical statements.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Quotes.  "Everything will be wonderful soon (if not immediately)." to quote Audrey.  ---  05/30/1993

Arts, literature.  ---  Quotes.  (1) Contra quotes.  (A) If an idea is not in sound-bite format then it is not usually found in quote-books.  It has to be short (1 or 2 sentences) and catchy, or its no good.  (B) When people constantly quote other people it prevents them from thinking for themselves.     (2) Pro quotes.  (A) Quotes are usually arranged by subject.  (B) Quotes are pithy and concise.  ---  4/28/2001

Arts, literature.  ---  Quotes.  (1) People try to build life philosophies by collecting quotes.  (2) But for every quote there is an equal and opposite counter-quote.  So how can you go around quoting all day?  (3) There are strengths and weaknesses to short forms like quotes.  (A) Pros.  Quotes are pithy.  Quotes are concise.  Quotes are simplifications in the positive sense, in that make things easier to understand.  (B) Cons.  Quotes are a form of reductionism in the negative sense.  That is, quotes over-simplify.  Quotes are soundbites.  Quotes are slogans, spouted to avoid thought.  ---  11/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Quotes.  (1) Quote books are humans closest attempt at recorded wisdom.  (2) Quotebooks should be arranged by subject, not author.  Who said something is not as important as what they said.  ---  3/21/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  Quotes.  (1) Recorded communication of ideas (true or false ones).  (2) Who said it first, and who repeated the sentiment?  (3) Quotes reveal a lot about a person (for history, biography).  (4) There is a difference between what is thought, said, and done.  (5) Quotes add to knowledge of a subject (philosophy, truth).  (6) Quote criticism.  Analyze each quote for: subject, branch, questions, view, argument.  Judge each quote for truth and importance (theoretical vs. practical usefulness).  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Quotes.  Arguments for and against learning by reading quotes.  PART ONE.  Arguments for learning by reading quotes.  Quotes are quick and short.     PART TWO.  Argument against learning by reading quotes.  (1) Sometimes a person says something that is not pithy, not memorable, not beautifully styled, but still intelligent and important nonetheless.  There is much good information that is not in the form of quotes.  (2) Sometimes people get into picayune quote wars, lobbing one quote against another quote, rather than thinking hard about the important subjects at hand.  (3) The general idea behind the quote is more important than the exact expression of the quote, and more important that who said it.  Sometimes people obsessed with quotes focus too much on exactly who said exactly what, at the expense of general wisdom.  ---  3/3/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Quotes.  Pessimistic view of quotes.  The quotes we like are usually a confirmation of what we already believe.  We relate to the quotes that we understand.  We relate to quotes that support our views.  ---  3/21/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  Quotes.  The importance of idioms.  Bottom line, brass tacks, no b.s., straight forward, face up, up front, what you see is what you get, out in the open kind of guy.  ---  06/30/1993

Arts, literature.  ---  Quotes.  What you think wisdom is depends on what your situation is, what your needs are, and what you need most to know.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Reading novels for entertainment versus reading novels for information.  There is no clear boundary here, just like there is no clear boundary between fiction and non-fiction.  ---  12/29/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Reading the obituaries is like reading biographies.  They are interesting because they show the variety of life experiences; what can happen to you, and what you can do, both good and bad.  ---  12/30/1995

Arts, literature.  ---  Say it with words.  (As opposed to saying it with flowers).  ---  6/01/1994

Arts, literature.  ---  Science fiction.  A good science fiction novel would be written in a new language, with a new logic, about a new world containing new beings.  It would not be about English speaking humans on Earth.  ---  5/15/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Science fiction.  Ultimate sci-fi theme: Hobbits in Space.  ---  10/14/2003

Arts, literature.  ---  Science fiction.  Value of sci-fi is to present hypothetical cases, problems, and questions about life, for us to analyze before they actually occur in the world.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Short forms: The pop song.  Three minutes baby!  ---  10/22/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  Short forms.  Bumper stickers.  T-shirts.  Buttons.  How condensed can you get.  ---  7/18/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  Short forms.  Other short forms besides quotes.  Graffiti, slogans, epitaphs, haiku.  How much can you say in how little time and space.  ---  3/30/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  Short forms.  Television episode synopsis as legitimate fiction.  A one paragraph exposition of setting, characters, motivation and action.  ---  1/10/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Short forms.  The one liner in comedy.  ---  9/15/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  Some people can write well, some people can think well, few can do both well.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Some people have the vocabulary and writing skill, but not the intelligence or life experiences to write anything useful.  Some people have intelligence and life experiences, but not writing skill.  ---  01/13/1989

Arts, literature.  ---  Stages of journal writing.  (1) Simple reporting.  "Today I did this..."  (2) Get into other people's heads.  For example, "What was she thinking when she did that?"  (3) Get inside your own head.  For example, "What was I thinking..."  (4) Get outside your own head.  Talk to self like a friend.  ---  8/5/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Stories or narrative.  Types of stories.  (1) Consider a story that is all description, with no dialogue.  (2) Consider a story that is all dialogue, with no description.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Stories.  (1) People tell stories.  People swap stories.  People collect stories.  (2) Some people hold in high regard the stories that confirm their values.  Other people hold in high regard the stories that expand their values.  ---  12/21/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Stories.  Simple stories and complex stories.  (1) Simple story.  Simple plot.  Simple theme.  One conflict or problem.  One theme.  One setting.  Few characters.  Not profound.  No new ideas.  (2) Complex story.  Multiple themes.  Multiple settings.  Multiple plot lines.  Multiple characters.  ---  8/25/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Summary.  (1) Novels.  We are preconditioned by society to read novels.  (2) Fiction.  Fiction is a lie.  (3) Art literature (belle lettres).  Often called the "great books".  Anyone who educated themselves only by reading the great books would become a strange adult.  By refusing to acknowledge the great amount of "useful, but average quality" writing, we do ourselves a great disservice.  ---  10/28/2001

Arts, literature.  ---  Ten people read the same thing and interpret it ten different ways.  Ten people write about same thing and get different results.  (1) Differences due to psychology.  (A) Different interpretations.  (B) Different general concept structures.  (C) Different meanings of specific words.  (2) Differences due to how say.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  That artistic literature, such as novels, is a type of entertaining game-playing is evidenced by the fact that we do not require novel authors to explain their work or justify their work the same way we require philosophers and scientists to.  A novel, in this respect, is like a riddle or crossword puzzle, in that they are read at leisure for fun, not in earnest.  ---  9/26/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  The "Cliff Notes" Debate.  (1) One can read and write books.  One can read and write about books.  Writing and reading about books includes literary theory, literary criticism, book reviews, etc.  Cliff Notes involve reading about books.  (2) One does not have to read a book in order to read about a book.  For example, people read book reviews without having read the book itself.  Cliff Notes, Monarch Notes, Spark Notes are writings about books.  There is nothing wrong with reading Cliff Notes.  (3) There are more books than one person can read in a lifetime.  If one limits one's thought and discussion only to the books one has read, then one will never read another book and will not know about a great many books.  ---  6/19/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  The author as dictator.  (Any author, that is).  When people write there is a pronounced tendency to adopt an attitude that says "This is the way things really happened.", "I am right", "I win and you lose".  That is to say, all writing, all art, all communication is biased toward its creator the author.  We always tell our own side of the story.  This is essentially a political act, or a power play.  Readers, however, suffer from the opposite effect in that they tend to interpret communications as unbiased.  We tend to believe what we see.  Readers tend to believe what they read.  ---  6/17/2001

Arts, literature.  ---  The best writing is about trouble.  ---  10/20/1988

Arts, literature.  ---  The bicycle analogy.  Reasoning and writing is something we learn by doing, much like riding a bicycle is something we learn by doing.  You can explain to another person the steps of riding a bicycle, and the principles of riding a bicycle, and the person then might say they understand how to ride a bicycle, but can a person ride a bicycle using only theoretical knowledge?  No.  Another reason why practicing reasoning and writing is like learning to ride a bicycle is that it is difficult to learn, but once learned you never forget.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  The book is almost always better than the movie.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  The English major is a baloney degree.  If you study literature you are really in the Arts (along with music and painting), not the Humanities.  If you study communication, or writing, or the English language, these are all subjects that are secondary to creating ideas.  If you have a firm grasp on an idea then you can communicate it clearly, and you do not need to study the above subjects.  Plus, I can speak English!  Why study it.  ---  7/11/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  The idea is the most important thing in writing.  ---  08/23/1988

Arts, literature.  ---  The Notes are not essays.  I've heard the professors say "The essay is the preferred form for short non-fiction".  I've seen the editors write "These select essays represent the best of the form".  I read some of the essays and said "What the f*ck is this?"  You well-mannered dandies.  You can tend your garden.  You can make your pretty floral arrangements.  I am more ecologically minded.  I say, let the occasional weed live.  Let the wind carry seeds afar.  I am helping to save the wilderness.  ---  10/5/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  The Other Guys: novelists, journalists, poets, essayists and academics.  Objections of them to my work, and my defense.  Objections of mine to their work.  You've tried the rest, now try the best.  (1) Poets.  Poets, will you just say what you mean.  Poets can only allude to it or hint at it.  Stop beating around the bush.  Spit it out.  Stop dropping hints.  You are so coy, delicate, sensitive, flirting, teasing.  You call me crude, unrefined, indelicate and boorish.  (2) Novelists.  Sometimes you remind me of the aged, with their "Let me tell you a story.  When I was a youth we used to blah, blah, blah..."  Sometimes you remind me of office watercooler soap opera gossip.  "Did you hear what she said to him about the other one?  Well let me tell you blah, blah, blah..."  Do you know the flip-books where one furls the pages to make the action move?  That's how much fun your novels are.  (3) Journalists.  You write to please a target market.  You write to sell a product.  Most of you have a well defined beat.  You get your stories assigned to you .  The top of your heap is getting a "column" that you have to produce on command in order to meet a deadline.  And they say you'll do anything for a story.  (4) The point is that many of you above writers conform to your genres just to get money and fame.  You are afraid to be yourself.  You are afraid to say what you think.  You conform to these styles because someone told you it was the right way to do things.  You conform to these styles because everyone else was doing it that way.  You sacrificed yourself for a buck.  You sacrificed life for a buck.  Then you cop a superior attitude.  Then you form your snobbish cliques.  Then you act self-congratulatory.  You ignore or ostracize those who are different.  Blech!  Conformity for a buck.  Formula for a buck.  Repetition and ritual instead of creativity and diversity.  ---  10/6/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Theme.  (1) Is theme the subject of a story?  Is theme an abstract subject as opposed to concrete subject?  (2) Is theme the moral of the story?  Are all themes morals?  Normative stories tell how to act.  Non-normative stores tell what is reality and let you draw your own conclusions.  ---  1/1/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  Theme.  (1) Theme as a word, a topic.  (2) Theme as a sentence, a statement about a topic.  (3) Theme as a paragraph, an more thorough exploration of a topic.  This is a better view of theme.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Theme.  (1) Theme of a story is the message the author is trying to tell us in the story.  The theme is the main idea or main point of the story.  (2) The theme of a story can be a moral or lesson, but it does not have to be a moral or lesson, for example, the theme can be more of a descriptive exploration of a topic rather an a prescriptive statement about a topic.  (3) Theme is more than a single word topic.  In theme the author takes a stand on a topic.  (4) There may be, and frequently is, more than one theme in a story.  (5) The reader may agree or disagree with the theme of the story.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Theme.  A theme has a topic, plus a statement about that topic.  For example, on the topic of death there can be various themes or views about death, for example, death is natural; death is horrible; some deaths are worse than others; etc.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Theme.  Common theme-topics found in literature.  Here is a list of some of the topics about which authors write works of literature.  ( ) Age.  Youth.  Adulthood.  Old age.  ( ) Arts.  Literature.  Music.  Visual arts.  Movies.  ( ) Economics.  Money.  Class.  Business.  ( ) Education.  School.  Learning.  Information.  Media.  ( ) Environments.  City.  Suburban.  Rural.  Wilderness.  ( ) Epistemology.  Knowledge.  Wisdom.  Science.  Philosophy.  ( ) Ethics.  Right and Wrong.  Good and bad.  Justice and injustice.  ( ) Ethnicity.  Black.  Spanish.  Asian.  American Indian.  Minority experiences.  ( ) Health and Illness.  Injury, disease.  Healing.  ( ) History.  Time.  Eras.  ( ) Law.  Crime and Punishment.  ( ) Life and Death.  ( ) Love.  Sex.  Women and Men.  Gender.   ( ) Magic, myth, religion.  ( ) Nature.  Plants and Animals.  The Environment.  Ecology.  ( ) Philosophy.  Metaphysics.  Epistemology.  Ethics.  Values.  Importance.  ( ) Politics.  Government.  Power.  ( ) Psychology.  The Mind.  Sensation.  Emotion.  Memory.  Thought.  ( ) Self, other people, and the world.  ( ) Society.  Culture.  Friends.  Families.  Nation.  World.  Globalization.  ( ) Technology.  Power, tools, materials.  Food, clothing, shelter.  Transportation, information, communication. ( ) War and Peace.  ( ) Women and men.  Sex and gender.  Feminism.  Sexism.  LGBT.  ( ) Work and Leisure.  Industrialization.  Corpratization.  Labor.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Theme.  Dream as a theme in literature.  Types of  dream themes.  (1) Multiple dream roles.  Example:  Character W dreams of character X, who dreams of character Y, who dreams of character Z.  (2) Multiple dreams within a dream.  Example:  Character has a dream.  In that dream the same character has a dream.  In that dream the same character has a dream.  In that dream the same character has a dream.  (3) Multiple concurrent dreams.  Example:  A group of characters who all fell asleep and dreamed their individual dreams.  (4) Dreaming you are someone else, someplace else.  ---  3/18/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Theme.  Movement as a theme in literature.  (1) Journey as a theme in literature.  Journey as moving through space.  Ex., epics.  Travel literature.  The one way journey.  The circular journey.  (2) History as a theme in literature.  History as moving through time.  Ex., sagas.  Narrative usually means moving through time and space.  Story is usually of a character moving through time and space.  Can you have a story of abstract ideas?  ---  3/18/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Theme.  There are basic, universal themes.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Themes.  Literature of revolution, resistance and rebellion.  Gil Scot Heron, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised".  Excellent poetry.  ---  6/15/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Themes.  Literature that deals with celebrating joys.  On the Road by Jack Kerouac.  ---  10/22/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  Themes.  Literature that deals with confronting and solving big problems.  Micro-level problems like personal problems and problems with family and friends.  Macro-level problems like problems with society, culture and global problems.  (1) Poverty.  Rural: Grapes of Wrath.  Urban: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair?  (2) Drugs.  Junkie by William Burroughs.  Basketball Diaries by Jim Carol.  (3) War.  All Quiet on the Western Front.  (4) Mental Illness.  One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.  (5) Overbearing and repressive culture.  Howl by Allen Ginsberg.  Wasteland by T.S. Elliot.  Kafka.  (6) Crime.  Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky.  (7) Love.  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespere.  (8) Work.  Matewan by John Sales.  (9) Racism.  To Kill a Mockingbird.  (10) Death.  All Quiet on Western Front.  ---  10/21/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  There is no clear distinction between music, poetry, rhetoric, prose, and technical writing.  It is a spectrum.  ---  08/14/1994

Arts, literature.  ---  They should down play literature.  Literature is just art.  They should teach only lit theory.  They should not teach specific literature books.  They should play up communication.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Three basic questions.  (1) Why do people write literature?  (2) Why do people read literature?  (3) Why do people study literature?  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Three more psychological perspectives.  (1) Author's state of mind when creating the work of art.  (2) Author's intended effect on the reader's mind.  I.e., the author's conscious goals for the work.  (3) Average reader's perception of the work.  ---  7/14/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Three pairs of questions.  (1)(A) Why read?  (B) What to read?  (2)(A) Why write?  (B) What to write?  (3) (A) Why study literature?  (B) What literature to study?  ---  6/9/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Three types of literature: (1) Literature of ideas.  Literature that makes you think.  (2) Literature of emotions.   Literature that makes you feel. (3) Literature of the senses.  Literature that paints a picture of a setting.  ---  9/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Three types of literature.  (1) Literature describing the environment (natural and manmade).  (2) Literature describing other people and social relationships.  (3) Literature describing self, both the physical self and the psychological self (drives, memories, feelings, thoughts).  ---  1/1/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  Three types of literature.  Literature of ideas.  Literature of emotions.  Literature of the stylistic beauty of words.  ---  12/23/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Three types of writing.  (1) Descriptive writing: documents and records, landscapes, people, and states of mind.  (2) Explicative writing: explains causes and effects to add meaning.  (3) Normative writing: ethical, evaluative, proposes.  ---  3/15/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  To get truth, and great writing, work from the objective to the subjective.  The objective tradition (classicism, hard journalism) is half right.  The subjective tradition (romanticism, editorial) is half right.  Writing is as much feeling as thinking.  It's half and half, not either-or.  ---  12/06/1988

Arts, literature.  ---  To too many people, the book is a piece of jewelry, the book is an accessory.  ---  9/1/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Tone and style.  (1) Tone can refer to an emotional reaction.  The emotional reaction can be on the part of the characters, narrator, or reader.  When a reader says, "It was a sad story", or "It was a happy story", the reader can mean, variously, that the story made the reader sad, or that the characters in the story were sad, or that the narrator was sad.  (2) The terms "tone" and "style" do not have to refer merely to emotional reaction.  There are other ways we can describe the tone or style of a story.  A story can be simple or complex in its vocabulary and in its grammar.  A the voice of a speaker can sound formal or informal.  ---  2/19/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Tone and style.  Style refers to the writing style of the author of a story.  Writing styles can be described in a variety of ways.  Writing style can be informal or formal.  Writing style can be simple or complex.  Sentences can be short or long.  Syntax can be rudimentary or complicated.  Vocabulary can be basic or sophisticated.  The narrator has a style.  Each character has a style.  The author also makes stylistic decisions beyond narrator and character, for example, decisions of story structure.  ---  3/14/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Tone.  Tone refers to the emotional tones in the story.  The emotional tones in the story are comprised of the emotional tones of the narrator, the emotional tones of the characters, and the emotional tones of the readers.  Very often readers project their own emotions onto the story.  (2)Setting is another way that the author creates an emotional tone in a story.  For example, "It was a dark and stormy night".  (3) Often there are many emotions in a story, so it does not help to reduce discussion of tone to a single word.  (4) Why is tone important?  Emotional tone is important because emotion adds information.  Knowing how the author, and narrator, and characters feel about the issues at hand gives us a better idea of the themes of the story.  ---  3/14/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Too much attention is paid to the "art of writing" at the expense of thinking about the politics of writing, the economics of writing, and the technology of writing.  ---  11/18/2005

Arts, literature.  ---  Travel writing is popular because it is a metaphor for the journey of life.  Also, it deals with the new, mysterious and exciting.  The supposition being that things are different everywhere.  The contrary view being that there is nothing new under the sun.  Life is the same everywhere, and not just because of the spread and homogenization of western culture.  Also, the idea that one small hamlet can be a metaphor for the entire world.  You can learn all about life in a small town.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Travel writing.  (1) Aware of both scene and self vs. (2) aware of scene only vs. (3) aware of self only vs. (4) aware of neither.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Travel writing.  (1) Most objective and least subjective travel writing vs. (2) most subjective and least objective travel writing.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Travel writing.  Local color.  How does the taste of a place seep into your bones?  Slowly, and by using all your senses and experiences.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Travel writing.  The road is not supposed to be boring, always something new coming.  After a while you realize what's coming is the same old thing.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Travel writing.  To what degree can the reading of travel writing take the place of travel?  To what degree can the reading of any type of writing take the place of any type of experience?  ---  6/27/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Travel writing.  Understand the phenomenon of traveling: rootlessness, transience, movement, change.  Understand the phenomenon of place in time, here now, changelessness, permanence, perpetuity.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Travel writing.  Variety is the spice of life, they say.  Best to have many views.  Pluralism and relativism aid your evaluative powers.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Truth in fiction and non-fiction literature.  (1) Fiction is drawn from experience at some level, that is, drawn from fact at some level, and thus fiction is true to some extent.  (2) Non-fiction, that is, "true stories", are often hopelessly distorted by people telling one side of a story, or by people exaggerating a story, and thus "true stories" tend toward fiction.  ---  12/29/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Truth in fiction.  While not being literally true, good fiction presents situations that are universally recognizable.  Good fiction makes statements about life and the world that are true.  ---  8/31/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Two important questions.  (1) What can be said or written?  Anything can be said or written.  Complete freedom to express.  Language can capture anything.  (2) What is there to speak or write about?  The entire world.  ---  8/30/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Two types of authors.  (1) The author as passive voyeur.  Watcher.  Does not get involved.  (2) The author as active.  Do-er.  Gets involved.  (Ex. Sartre).  ---  6/5/2000

Arts, literature.  ---  Two types of writers.  (1) What is happening to me?  (2) What is happening to my generation, or society, or world?  ---  10/25/1993

Arts, literature.  ---  Two types of writing.  (1) Writing from calmness.  For example, the calmness produced by meditation.  (2) Writing from excitation.  For example, the excitation produced by coffee.  ---  6/1/2003

Arts, literature.  ---  Types of writers.  (1) Writers who record what is.  (2) Writers who dream of what might be.  ---  3/10/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Types of writing.  (1) Technical writing.  Logical.  Causes and reasons.  Premises and conclusions.  Assumptions and implications.  (2) Emotion and rhetoric in writing.  Using humor to make learning fun.  Motivating users to learn.  Motivating customers to buy.  ---  1/14/2002

Arts, literature.  ---  Voice.  (1) Voice of author reflects author's personality.  (2) Voice of author reflects a predisposition in the author's vocabulary, grammar, style, tone, subjects and views.  ---  6/9/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  Voice.  A writers voice is comprised of psychological thinking (minding) style and sociological communication style.  Thinking style is made of learning style and also strengths of eight types of intelligence.  ---  06/05/1997

Arts, literature.  ---  Voice.  Your "voice" is (1) The subject matter you deal with, (2) The writing style you use, (3) Your method of writing (ex. I use synthetic and analytic).  (4) Find the new and useful, but also find what you can do that no one else can or will.  Your unique contribution.  Something where you can say "If I don't do it, it won't get done, because no one else can or will do it".  ---  08/30/1996

Arts, literature.  ---  What can literature (art-writing) do that other forms of art, and other forms of writing can't do at all, or do as well?  Spur imagination?  Raise feelings?  Take you on a long, rich, trip.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?   Literature as gossip.  People like telling stories.  People like hearing stories.  Basically, people like to gossip, and literature can be considered as a form of hypothetical gossip or virtual gossip.  ---  3/14/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  (1) Literature as problem solving.  (2) Literature as the pursuit of truth and justice.  ---  11/10/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  Broad definition of literature: anything written.  ---  12/10/2004

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  Literature as a thinking mechanism, a problem solving mechanism, a coping mechanism.  (1) Literature helps you sort things out.  Writing stories helps you "think through" a topic.  Reading stories helps you come up with solutions to problems.  Reading stories helps you learn about the world.  (2) Literature is psycho-therapeutic.  Literature helps you get things off your chest.   Writing a story helps you "talk out" a problem.  Reading a story helps you see that other people have gone through the same problems and stresses that you are going through.  (3) Literature can let you help other people.  Writing an effective story can help spare someone some trouble.  The strongest form of this argument is that literature can save a life.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  Literature as graffiti.  People like to leave their mark on the world.  People like to say, "I was here."  ---  3/18/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  Literature as hypothetical case study.  The case study method is an effective method of learning about the world.  Most of the time, people study cases of things that actually happened.  But one can also study hypothetical cases.  Literature, fiction, stories, can be considered as hypothetical case studies.  ---  3/14/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  Literature as problem solving.  Some people think, communicate, and learn in the form of literature, or arts more generally, rather than in the form of science or philosophy, and this is often a matter of the person's primary "type of intelligence" or learning style.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  Literature is a case study, much like the case studies used in law school and business school, except that literature uses hypothetical case studies.  Literature is an experiment, much like the experiments done in science, except that literature is a thought experiment.  ---  11/10/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  Literature is about story telling.  People like stories.  Almost everyone enjoys telling stories and listening to stories.  Our daily life is full of story telling, even if it is merely stories about how one's day went.  Humans have a tendency to understand the world by creating stories about the world.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  Literature is an art.  Literature informs other areas of life.  Artists often see things before philosophers and scientists.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  Literature is an art.  Literature is neither math, nor science, nor philosophy.  (1) Math is tight and formal, based on pure logic.  (2) Science are are based on experimentation.  (3) Philosophy is based on reason.  (3) Arts, including literature, are loose and slippery.  ---  9/10/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  Literature is like the news in that both deal with problems.  If the news was all happy events then that would not be useful.  If literature had mostly happy endings then that would not be interesting nor useful.  Literature is about problems and problem solving.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature?  Ways to look at literature.  (1) Literature as graffiti.  (2) Literature as gossip.  (3) Literature as virtual reality.  Literature as an experience of a virtual world.  (4) Literature as case study.  (5) Literature as problem solving.  (6) Literature as psychological coping mechanism.  (7) Literature as a puzzle.  Reading literature as puzzle solving.  (8) Literature as an exercise to build critical thinking skills.  (9) Literature as learning how to deal with ambiguity.  Learning how to deal with uncertainty.  Learning how to deal with situations of limited information.  Learning how to deal with situations that have multiple possible meanings and interpretations.  Its a life skill.  ---  3/14/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  What is Literature?  Why study Literature?  Why do people write Literature?  Why do people read literature?  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature.  Communication (art vs. non-art).  Language.  Spoken language.  Written language (literature broadest definition).  (1) Non-art writing.  Informs primarily.  (2) Art writing (literature narrow definition).  Informs and entertains.  (3) Entertainment writing.  Entertains primarily.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature.  Communication (see sociology: communication).  (1) Nonsymbolic communication: signals (draw attention).  (2) Symbolic communication.  (A) Language.  (i) Verbal.  Standard forms (ex high english).  Folk forms.  (ii) Written.  (B) Non-language.  (i) Verbal: grunts.  (ii) Nonverbal: gesture, image.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature.  Definitions of literature: broad to narrow.  (1) Any writing of any language or culture.  (3) Excellent writing of any type.  (4) Art writing.  (5) Excellent art writing (great ideas, said great).  (6) Give each definition a different name, dammit!.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature.  Four definitions of literature.  (1) Great fiction.  (2) Any fiction.  (3) Great writing of any type.  (4) Any writing of any type.  ---  09/25/1993

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature.  Information literature vs. art literature; i.e. Non-fiction vs. fiction.  Information literature: technical writing, journal articles.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature.  Is art writing a matter of style or quality?  Some say quality: it has to be good to be called art.  Some say style: as long as it is fiction then it is art.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  What is literature.  Literature involves narrative or stories.  ---  12/28/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  What literature tries to do, instead of merely explaining something like textbooks do, is try to make you experience something directly.  The story does not just happen to the main character, it happens to you as well.  You are there.  You are them.  Learning by doing in a virtual reality.  Direct experience.  You experience the story both secondhand and firsthand.  You experience an environment, action, and the character's (and author's) mental state.  ---  10/22/1998

Arts, literature.  ---  What should we read?  There exists a small window between three parameters: (1) Tell me something I don't know.  (2) Not so complicated that I can not understand it.  (3) Tell me something that I can use, that will help me.  ---  1/1/1999

Arts, literature.  ---  What two types of literature result when authors are paid by the word versus when authors have to pay by the word?  ---  11/8/2003

Arts, literature.  ---  What's to be gained (and lost) from saying something (1) as clearly as possible, or (2) in poetic form, or (3) singing acapella in clear prose or in poetry, or (4) singing with a backup band, or (5) saying or singing something rhetorically?  What personality types fall for what styles?  ---  08/14/1994

Arts, literature.  ---  Why do people read?  (1) Psychological needs.  Its fun.  Its informative.  Get new ideas and attitudes.   (2) For escape.  Versus.  For engagement.  (3) Sociological influences.  Society tells. them to.  For example, READ campaigns.  Advertisers selling books.  NYT book review and bestseller list.  Amazon reviews.  (4) They have time to read.  They access to books.  They have money to buy books.  (5) They are literate.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Why do people write?  (1) Psychological needs.  Need to sort out thoughts and attitudes.  Need to save thoughts and attitudes.  (2) Sociological influences.  Society tells them to.  Hopes of economic  success.  Hopes of status.  (3) To influence society.  Ex. Political books.  (4) The person knows how to write.  They have time to write.  They value words and ideas.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Why is artistic literature important?  (1) Some think it comes closest to life.  I say it is a disorganized, simple, mess.  (2) Some say it transmits values.  I say values can be better transmitted in ethics class.  (3) Some say the emotional content is important.  I say too often it is emotional at the expense, not addition, of reason.  (4) How important are these ideas if you only write, if you only read, or if you do both?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Why literature?  (1) Why do people write?  (2) Why do people read?  (3) Why study and practice writing?  Arguments for and against each.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Why literature?  (1) Why read literature?  One can read literature, like one can enjoy all the arts, in order to gain knowledge through indirect experience, a type of virtual reality.  Avoid the problems of directly experiencing bad things.  Avoid the problems of an emotionless lecture.  (2) Why study literature?  Study literature to be a better reader of literature.  Study literature to get more out of your reading of literature.  ---  4/2/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Why literature?  Arguments against literature.  No one reads any more.  Literature is losing ground to audio/video, movies, computer games.  ---  8/31/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Why literature?  Like any other art, to entertain and inform.  Its fun, entertaining, enjoyable.  Its informative, educational, growthful.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Why literature?  Literature to solve problems.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Why literature?  Why write?  And more broadly, why do artists create art?  (1) To sell, to make money, to make a living.  Economic reasons.  (2) To solve problems.  Artists live in a world that has problems to solve.  To see wrongs righted.  A statement of ethics.  (3) Artists, like other people, value certain things.  Art to say, "This is good and valuable."  To celebrate the good.  To shame the bad.  Art as a statement of ethics.  (4) To say, "This is my world.  This is the way I see the world."  Art to make a statement of metaphysics.  To describe.  (5) Art is a way of thinking and knowing about the world, and thus, art is a type of epistemological statement.  (6) Artists make art because its pleasurable to make art.  Its enjoyable, fun.  For example, music.  (7) Personal reasons.  To work out personal problems.  (8) Social reasons.  To improve society.  (9) To teach.  To show and tell.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Why literature?  You may be asking yourself how studying literature is going to help you in your life?  That's a good question.  How will studying literature help you on the job?  How will studying literature help you off the job?  The answer is that people tell stories all the time, everywhere.  The better you can analyze and interpret the stories you hear, the better you will communicate with others, and the better you will do in life.  The better you can create compelling stories, the better you will be able to communicate with others, and the better you will do in life.  Literature is about stories.  People often use stories to think and communicate.  Studying literature helps develop thinking and communication skills.  ---  1/20/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Why study literature?  How study literature (see literary criticism)?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Why study literature?  Literature is a form of art.  Art is a way of thinking.  Art is a form of knowledge.  Knowledge is good and useful.  Knowledge helps humans pursue truth and justice.  There are various types of knowledge, varying in their degree of ambiguity.  Math is a type of knowledge that has no ambiguity.  For example, one plus one always equals two, and never three or four.  Science is a type of knowledge that relies on experiment in addition to rational argument.  Philosophy is a type of knowledge that relies on rational argument.  Art is a type of knowledge that relies on indirect experience.  For example, in literature, you experience the story through your identification with the characters.  Art also often relies on a loose style of metaphorical thinking rather than on strict logical argument.  ---  4/2/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Why study literature?  Literature is an art.  Many people think in an artistic mode.  Many people produce and consume art.  The world is full of art.  There is much good art, and good literature.  Many good ideas and attitudes are found in literature.  ---  4/2/2007

Arts, literature.  ---  Why study literature?  To study literature is to read closely and critically.  There are several reasons to study literature.  (1) To develop arguments about what a book means.  To develop arguments about why a book is good, and how good it is.  To build a canon of what books are considered good.  (2) To learn how to write well.  To learn to communicate well.  To learn to think well.  (3) Literature, one of the arts, is an emotional education.  (4) A wider question is, "Why the arts?".  Art is a mode of thinking and communicating.  People tell stories.  (4) To get new perspectives on life.  To learn more about life.  To gain new views on the problems of life and possible solutions.  ---  8/16/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  Why write (purpose)?  (1) To record.  (A) More permanent: easier to remember and teach.  (B) More readers, bigger audience.  (C) As a historical document.  (D) Makes it easier to process information.  (2) To communicate.  (A) To inform, to entertain, to persuade.  (B) To make people feel.  (C) To show, to tell.  (D) To state, to reply, to argue, to communicate.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Why write artistic literature?  To make people feel.  To impart emotional knowledge.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, literature.  ---  Why write literature?  Why write novels, short stories, plays and poems?  (1) Psychological reasons.  Sometimes literature is how the idea comes to the individual.  That is, sometimes the individual thinks of an idea in the form of a story or poem.  Its possible that the idea is new and fuzzy.  Its possible the person is repressing somewhat, and an image comes burbling up from the subconscious.  (2) Sociological reasons.  Sometimes literature is the most effective way to communicate an idea to other people.  Sometimes people want to be entertained as well as informed.  ---  8/20/2006

Arts, literature.  ---  You must recognize and write about your own faults, as well as the faults of the world.  ---  11/06/1988

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.