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It’s a rare–and highly interesting–phenomenon when the success of a character overwhelms even its creator.
A. A. Milne found Winnie the Pooh’s popularity a source of profound annoyance. Despite his credentials as an established author and playwright, few took his “adult” work seriously after the success of Pooh.
J. M. Barrie had the same troubles with Peter Pan, who entirely overshadowed Barrie’s other works, past and future.
Better-known are the woes of Arthur Conan Doyle. The writer absolutely hated Sherlock Holmes, whom Conan Doyle believed was distracting him from his more important literary pursuits. So plagued by the stature of his own creation, Conan Doyle resorted to throwing Holmes off a cliff in 1893. Public demand and financial need prompted Conan Doyle to revive the famous detective a decade later. The detective has not died since. Read more »
Just one of many negative perspectives of the Twilight saga.
An ambitious sophomore in high school three years ago, I checked out Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Striving to seem mature and sophisticated, I lugged the book around for over a month. It was the hardest read of my entire life. The worst part is I had no clue as to its significance. Grasping the bare bones of the plot, I knew there was more the novel wanted to communicate.
Sure, one reason I didn’t catch the significance was because I was a sophomore in high school. In my first year of college though, I’ve discovered I’m not the only person confused. There are whole courses devoted to Dostoyevsky and The Brothers Karamazov; the underlying significances, symbols, motifs and so on.
Maybe I should’ve stuck to Harry Potter like the rest of my classmates.
In my short time, it seems the literary world places most value on novels with human messages, even more so on novels taking long intricate routes to get to those messages. However, it seems the literary world also tends to cast novels not adhering to such standards as a “literature of diversion” as Jonathan Franzen puts it.
At school, literary high brows’ nostrils flare at the sight of a Twilight or Harry Potter novel. “That’s not real literature,” they say. I’m not a fan of genre novels myself, but I think my fellow undergrads and the literary community are wrong for totally writing off such novels. Read more »
Bella was wandering through the forest, talking to herself as she went, till, on turning a sharp corner, she came upon two little men, so suddenly that she could not help starting back, but in another moment she recovered herself, feeling sure they that they must be real.
They were standing under a tree, each with an arm round the other’s neck, and though they had looked very nearly the same from far away, now that she was closer Bella could see that they were rather different indeed, for one of them very pale-skinned and had large, pointy teeth, and the other’s face was covered entirely in russet-coloured fur. “Oh, my!” Bella said to herself. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stranger-looking pair in all my life!”
The little man with the sharp teeth stood very still, and if it wasn’t for his twin distractedly scratching his own fur—”As though he has fleas!” Bella thought with a shudder—she would have quite forgot they were alive. She was just inching her way past the pair, doing her best to keep well away from the flea-ridden one, when she was startled by a voice coming from the little man with the very sharp teeth.
“My name is Edward. And this is Jacob. Who are you?” he said. “And would you tell me, please, why do you smell so very good?” Read more »
I wore his shirt – crisp and fresh from the laundry basket as I hung my own rain-soaked clothes to dry. The conversation was sparse but the air was gravid with an intangible emotion. By the end of the day, we had not touched once and he saw me off at the door, wearing my own clothes again.
He was merely an acquaintance but years after that moment he still represents the most romantic day of my life. Those who know me know that I have trouble accepting traditional notions of romance and the labeling of anything as “romantic” is kind of a big deal for me. Guys I’ve dated can tell you that I have wrinkled my nose at their many attempts to be romantic. Guys I’ve dated can also tell you that my response to the first “I love you” is usually shoving something in my mouth that takes a really long time to chew. It’s something that I’ve always felt really bad about – especially as a writer. Falling in love is such a common theme in storytelling that the Anti-Romantic can really feel left out.
Over coffee with a friend earlier this week, we discussed the impracticality and inconvenience of falling in love. Science has found falling in love akin to mental illness so… yikes – what do I need that for? My friend and I conceded to the fact that like any common virus, lovesickness will find its way to us one day regardless of how ready we are for it. He added that the only thing we really have to fear regarding falling in love is if it were unrequited. Read more »