Joan Didion: Exercising Narrative Rights

C-Span Interview with Joan Didion In a 1996 C-SPAN Book TV interview, Joan Didion speaks about her body of written work. Incredibly the interview lasts for three hours and includes a huge space for viewers to call in and ask her questions. (As a side note, it is incredible to see such a large amount of time, audience participation, and interest in writing being dedicated by a network. What does this say about the change in audience participation and attention spans?) In this clip, Didion speaks specifically about her first experience of being published and her first encounter with the … Continue reading Joan Didion: Exercising Narrative Rights

Fairy Tales: Critical Theory and Archetypal Interpretation

The question of how to read a text has been asked and argued by theorists since the first work was offered to an audience for interpretation. Questions of what should be considered separable and inseparable from the review of the text are many, the stronger of which have developed into schools of critical theory. The initial debate in reading a text is over the precedence of form versus content. Though Aristotle began this debate, it became publicly popular in the 20th century because of the cultural critic Susan Sontag. Taking a firm stance, Sontag argued for the supremacy of form, … Continue reading Fairy Tales: Critical Theory and Archetypal Interpretation

Existentialism and Post-Modernism: Value in Lingering

Exhaustion, deconstruction, existential uncertainty–these are some of the qualities associated with post-modernism. Even the name suggests passing from a known state into ambiguity. In “Myth and postmodernist philosophy,” William Doty defines the challenges of postmodernism and mythology, while also provoking the complexity of interaction between the two perspectives as they engage in a conversation with the philosophical tradition. Specifically, these interactions are defined by Doty’s article, synthesized by the question of the role of narrative in philosophy, and actualized by Albert Camus’ 1942 essay “The Myth of Sisyphus”, and Jorge Luis Borges’ short story “The Maker,” published in 1960. The … Continue reading Existentialism and Post-Modernism: Value in Lingering

Narrative and Myth: Exploring Identity through Mythopoesis

Thus my life is a flight and I lose everything and everything belongs to oblivion, or to him. The reshaping of a myth into a contemporary form is one of the great challenges of 20th-century literature. The modernist poet and critic, T.S. Eliot wrote about the mythical method, which gave form and called on the archetypal power of the classics to serve as platforms for new works of art and thought. However, it is impossible to discuss the re-visioning of myth from the modern to post-modern literary periods, it is impossible not to speak of identity. Myth provides a context … Continue reading Narrative and Myth: Exploring Identity through Mythopoesis