Ideas and Theories

The category called Ideas and Theories deals with backgrounds to fiction, i.e. anything that makes up the worlds of characters and influences them (or us) such as time function, types of characters and their world such psychocology, philosophy, etc.

Literature and Identity

Posted on 3 min read 242 views

Reading fiction provides a foundation that initiates in us greater awareness of ourselves and of our culture; that helps to liberate us from provincialism;  that provides the potential for personal growth that leads to identity. We learn through familiarity, through repeated exposure, and it’s important to expose ourselves to the best that has been thought and said. Such exposure fosters open-mindedness and a respect for the integrity of systems of thought. Exposure to literature helps alleviate our own moral ambiguity by developing in us a disinclination to accept a relativism which tends to ignore moral issues. If we learn by example, …

Indifference: Does Life Have Meaning?

Posted on 3 min read 264 views

An existential philosopher once wrote about the benign indifference of the universe, i.e. the meaning in life, and the dread that idea caused in most people, the existentialist excepted, of course.  Richard Dawkins has taken that one step further suggesting that if the universe is not only indifferent but also has no purpose, then human life must be equally meaningless and without purpose. That doesn’t preclude, I don’t think, the obvious drive in life to become, to realize potential. We see that every spring in renewal. We see it in the drive in everything to reach full potential. Perhaps that isn’t …

Cyclic Theory

Posted on 2 min read 212 views

Every Heard of Cyclic Theory? When I was teaching classes in literary structure, one of the things I looked at was the idea that seasonal and solar flux impacted literature whether writers intended it to or not.  If one stood back a little from the narrative, one could sense the structure of images on which the narrative depended. Each of the seasons, then, provided a kind of objective correlative for abstractions like the feelings and inner nature of characters. At its simplest, villains were always dark, heroes always blue-eyed and blond. At its most complex, the story produced a rain of …