I read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school, and I didn’t ‘get’ it, TBH. I understood it, of course, but it didn’t resonate with me in the way my teacher had hoped it would. It wasn’t until watching the new Hulu adaptation that I was really interested in the story. But I couldn’t understand why my memories of the book were so far from what the show was saying, so I dug out my old copy, still covered in post-its and margin scribbles, and forced myself to give it a second chance.
With my first reading, for whatever reason, I had a very obscure picture of the world Atwood was writing about. I wasn’t able to imagine what it would be like. But, after watching the series, I was able to really picture the world of Gilead, and it made me want to understand it better. So I decided to revisit the book, and I re-read it while watching the show. It completely changed my opinion of the novel, and now I love a book that I once hated.
Although I loved both the book and the series, I can’t ignore their differences. Though both are important and relevant, they have different missions and different lessons. The ideal would be for audiences to read and watch both; they inform each other, each provides what the other lacks. Continue reading
Jill McDonough’s book of poetry Reaper is written at a desperate time for humanity. We currently face the very real threats of overpopulation, pollution and global warming, all of which stir up questions of control and technology. McDonough brings awareness to these issues while at the same time providing hope for the future.
McDonough predicts that the loss of our humanity, of nature, and the loss of human nature – the loss of the self – will all be, in part, due to the rise of technology. We, as a species, are becoming numb to our own desires, “wanting … wanting” (10). People are currently content to be “distracted” (16), brainwashed, in a sense, numb to life. We take for granted the little things, things that don’t require technology, like emotions, feelings, or experiences; the more we allow technology to rule our loves, the more we lose sight of our true selves.
Todd Lawton and Jeff LeBlanc, the cofounders of Out of Print, have launched an app that brings together books and social media.
Out of Print, an established literary themed apparel company, brings consumers wearable works of literature, offering men, women and childrens clothing as well as accessories and gifts. Purchases made to Out of Print help to “promote literacy in underserved communities: each purchase helps to fund literacy programs and book donations to communities in need. It also supports the authors, publishers and artists who made these iconic works an integral part of our lives.”
“We see Litsy as an extension of Out of Print’s mission to get people talking about books and starting conversations,” Lawton said. Litsy exists as a sort of amalgam of the current giants of social media, combining elements of Instaram, Twitter and Goodreads into a one-stop-shop for everything book-ish. “What we wanted to do was take the best, the most fun aspects of other social media platforms and back it with an amazing book database.” Continue reading
According to Harris, “digital, electronic, and hypertextual archives have come to represent online and virtual environments” (Katherine Harris, JHGDM 16);
Archiving is “guided by principles of preserving history” (Katherine Harris, JHGDM 16).
Increasingly our possessions and our communications are no longer material, they’re digital and they are dependent on technology to make them accessible. As new technology emerges and current technology becomes obsolete, we need to actively manage our digital possessions to help protect them and keep them available for years to come.
Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl demonstrates how intertextual allusions are used as piecework in order to construct new literatures together from various sources of the past. Presented in hypertext format, Patchwork Girl uses intertextual allusions borrowed from canonical texts such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and L. Frank Baum’s Patchwork Girl of Oz to create a new work inspired by and in reference to Shelley and Baum’s works, reinterpreting their ideas and making them modern. The work of Patchwork Girl proves that literature has always been intertextual – writers have forever been influenced by other writers. We are all only standing on the shoulders of giants.
nov·el /ˈnävəl/ noun
1. a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism.
2. new or unusual in an interesting way.
Poet Ezra Pound once wrote, “The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, or a discovery is of little worth.” The very word “novel” implies innovation; in fact, the first printed novels were thus named for their specific cutting-edge contemporary style of writing. The novel itself (which was different from the other books available at the time of their invention, which included but were limited to *mostly* Bibles, ancient plays or works of poetry, or books of science or history) has gone through many iterations over the years, evolving from Gothic romance stories of the 19th century to modern series’ and now experimental novels.
This work Pry, though it is digital literature, can be considered [a] “novel” by some, in the way that it is taking the tradition of storytelling via literature and “making it new” (“novel” here meaning new, as well as a book) .