Literature

Writing the Elemental Narrative

Monday, February 11, 2013

‘An elemental narrative’ is the description we should use for a story that transcends genre. Our understanding of ‘elemental’ relates to what is ‘essential’ or ‘a basic part.’ It means that our elemental narratives always bear the premise that we are writing a ‘basic’ story that touches at the heart of who we are and what we have become. The goal of the writer will be to write a story that is as elemental as a shared humanity, those recognizable qualities that makes us human, and sometimes inhuman.

Notes on Writing from Within

Children in Reindeer Woods

Thursday, November 8, 2012

In the opening scene of Children in Reindeer Woods, Rafael and some fellow soldiers come across a farm. The soldiers murder its civilian occupants (men, women, and children) in cold blood. We learn nothing more of the newly deceased. Rafael then turns on his cohorts, dispatching them with ease and without remorse. This is the last killing he will do, he hopes. Rafael is tired of war.

Houses of Cards

Monday, October 29, 2012

The short-run production of The Builder Association's "House / Divided," directed by Marianne Weems, opens with a narrator reading the captivating introduction to John Steinbeck's masterpiece, the Grapes of Wrath:

The Parameters of Longing

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I will argue for a new Nigerian literary order.

Suppose we call this ‘neo-literariness’, for want of a better word, and because in hyphenation a word acquires two identities. So, neo-literariness is the word to use for a generation of writers and enthusiasts who function despite institutional lapses, and whose artistic engagement thrives of new ways of being, especially web-technology.

I will explain with a few examples.

The Russian Soul Protests

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

by Natasha Yarotskaya

Russia by mind comprehended cannot be

Nor by wide arshins measured:

Its uniqueness be that—

Gambit (The Art of Creating) No. 9 - Ayodele Morocco-Clarke

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ayodele is one of the most consistent Nigerian writers of the last half-decade. She’s the oldest writer in the Gambit series, although I wouldn’t want to ask her if she’s comfortable being grouped with younger colleagues. I figure that question would be answered with a wave of her hand; Ayodele gives the impression that even the most obvious of borders doesn’t exist. Meeting her in person, I was drawn to her infinite knowledge about everyone and everything in the literary world.

Storytelling as Warning

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kei Miller’s second novel, The Last Warner Woman (published in 2010 but released in the United States earlier this year) seems to strike up a dialogue with his first novel The Same Earth (2008), while dismantling the earlier novel’s assump

Fragments of Unquotable Literature

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In 1891 the Icelandic-Canadian poet Stephan Stephansson concluded his poem The Exilewith the following stanza:

Still on spring nights green fields

Are warmed by light sun,

I Need Someone to Go on a Little Journey for Me

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

That is what the Bishop of Reykjavik told the “Undersigned” (from then onwards known as “EmBi”: Emissary of the Bishop) in Halldór Laxness’ strange novel Under the Glacier. I had begun reading the book in 2009 and it took me slightly over three years to finish a “simple” 200-pages novel.

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