Autumn Culture Round Up

I haven’t done one of these link round-ups in ages, but I’ve been inspired to get back to it by the quantity of good stuff I’ve read recently.

  • From Flavorwire, some more interesting reading suggestions: 10 Essential Alternative Anthologies for the Modern Reader
  • From Yeah, That Needs To Go, a helpful resource for writers who claim that they don’t know how to write characters of color tastefully
  • Here are some Scathing Reviews of Classic Novels  (Via Ted Gioia on twitter).  I love the reviews of for Wuthering Heights, Ulysses and Madam Bovary.  Well, it’s good to know that the odd stinking review won’t necessarily consign your novel to the dustbin of literature.
  • One for the critical theory-minded among you, Sociological Images says Happy Birthday to Louis Althusser 
  • Time for some science fiction.  From the F Word, here’s a post about feminist resonances in the work of Australian science fiction writer Greg Egan.
  • An interview with British science fiction writer, Iain M. Banks (via Little Red Reviewer). I’ve just been getting into his work this year.
  • From The Guardian, a post about one of my all-time favourite writers Ursula K Le Guin: stories for the ages
  • In film, Omar M. Mozaffar writes about why The Wrath of Khan is the best Star Trek movie – for me, it’s really between this one and First Contact and I’m open to persuasion on the point.
  • You may have heard of the TV Trope known as “the black guy dies first”.  i09 has managed to find 10 black characters who survive to the end.
  • As a long-time Sherlock Holmes fan, I was delighted to read this article from a psychologist Stop Calling Sherlock a Sociopath.  I don’t like to hear a character who comforted me when I was a kid being referred to as a sociopath.  I find the   romanticization of psychopathic behaviour in some areas of popular culture very creepy and there does seem to be a certain kind of white, middle-class male writer who thinks being a psychopath is kind of cool and admirable.
  • From Huffington Post, Trampire: Why the Public Slut Shaming of Kristin Stewart matters for young women (via that needs to go)
  • I wasn’t quite sure where to put this one – The Astonishingly Non-Nonsensical Plot of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It reads the film as an allegory about the rise of glam rock.
  • From The Independent, this pleases me: Frankenstein’s Monster: Why Gothic is more Popular than ever (via Ted Gioia on twitter)
  • Speaking of Frankenstein, check out these gorgeous Bernie Wright illustrations for Mary Shelley’s novel. I think Wright really got the meaning Shelley was trying to convey in her book and I love his depiction of the creature – so hideous it’s sort of beautiful.
  • From Anne Bilson’s blog, two posts about the films that give her the creeps: part 1 and part 2.  There are some great films on this list and I couldn’t agree more about The Innocents, The Haunting, Ringu and ‘The Descent.
  • A great (and very funny) post from Genevieve Valentine about horror film The Awakening. I watched this film a while back and thought it was pretty dodgy, but Valentine is far better than I ever could be at articulating why it’s so dodgy.  I particularly like her points about the representation of the rational, skeptical woman who must be proved wrong.
  • This made me laugh: A list of smart people books for smarties.  This is a take-down of all those book lists you see doing the rounds with titles like “The average person has only read 2 of these books! How many have you read?” – lists that play on middle-class insecurities because in middle-class culture, being seen as “average” is pretty much a fate worse than death.
  • Oh, and one more just for the hell of it, Run you fools!

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