Top 10 Literary Pet Peeves

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Grumpy Cat doesn’t like love triangles either.

Sometimes  you’re reading a perfectly nice novel, really getting into it, enjoying where the plot seems to be headed… And then the writer does something that makes you put down your book and let out an exasperated sigh: “you were doing so well, why would you do this to me?” Everyone has their own list of literary pet peeves, those lines an author can never cross without losing a bit (or a lot) of your respect. No matter how great the rest of the book is, you will always come back to that one thing, roll your eyes, and say “oh no, I really wish you hadn’t done that.” So aspiring authors, start taking notes: here are ten of my biggest literary pet peeves.

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Launch Party Giveaway!

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I know that The Narratologist has been online for a few months now, but still, I think we should have a party! To celebrate the launch of the website and the fact that I can now be found on Tumblr, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter, I have decided to host a giveaway.

What can you win?

If you are the lucky winner, you get to choose between two of my favourite books I read and reviewed this year:

Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (review) and
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (review).

(Note: difficult as it is, you can pick only one. I know. I’m sorry.)

How can you win?

It’s very simple: you leave a comment on a post on The Narratologist. Any post, it doesn’t matter. The more comments you leave, the better your chances, and only comments on the actual website count (so not on Facebook, Tumblr, or any of the other channels). Of course I would love it if you wrote something clever and wonderful that makes me smile, but really, anything goes!

Where do you ship?

Anywhere in the world, thanks to Book Depository! Wherever you live, you can participate in this giveaway.

When will you pick a winner?

January 1st!

If you’ve won, I will contact you and we’ll discuss further details by e-mail.

And finally…

A big thank you to everyone who has encouraged and helped me in setting up this website, I cannot possibly begin to tell you how much all of this means to me. Special thanks goes to Sanne van Let, who has been absolutely instrumental in creating this project and is generally absolutely wonderful. Seriously. Thank you.

Questions? Leave a comment below or on any of the other channels!

10 Best Literary Podcasts

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This last year or so I have become positively addicted to podcasts, especially those that manage to teach me something and be incredibly entertaining at the same time. These past few months, I have spent many a train journey learning about astrophysics, British history, ancient philosophy… It’s educational, fun, and a great way to multitask to boot. Have to spend an afternoon cleaning your room? Long car trip ahead of you? Going grocery shopping? Waiting at the dentist’s? Put on a podcast!

Since there are about a million podcasts out there, it can be difficult for a newcomer to know where to start, which is why I have put together a list of recommendations for you. So put on those headphones and follow me. You might learn something.

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Theatre Review: “The White Devil” (RSC, 2014)

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Vittoria (Kristy Bushell) and Brachiano (David Sturzaker) with Flamineo (Laura Elphinstone) watching in the background.

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Read my book review of The White Devil by John Webster here.

A few hours before we attended the RSC 2014 production of John Webster’s The White Devil (Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon), my fellow students and I attended a lecture by Martin Wiggins at the Shakespeare Centre. He spoke passionately about how these characters are all prisoners of circumstance, driven to crime without the financial means to sustain their honour, and discussed the play’s detached analysis of morality whilest quoting Hamlet (“nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so”). All interesting points, but Wiggins barely touched upon what struck me the most about the play when I first read it: its depiction of brutal misogyny. My professor seemed to agree and raised his hand to ask Wiggins about it: “But what about gender?” Wiggins pulled a “not this again” face, the face of a man who has gotten this question a lot lately and is starting to get a little annoyed. “That is not what Webster’s play is about, though.” Seeing the quick look of skepticism my professor and I exchanged, he added: “you will see that the current production makes much of gender, but it is a jazz riff on the text, not a straightforward representation.”

A number of critics seem to agree with Wiggins: this is director Maria Aberg’s The White Devil, not John Webster’s. But is this really a problem?

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