Hidden messages in children’s books


” Adults often find surprising subtexts in children’s literature – but are they really there?

Revisiting kids’ books in adulthood can yield all sorts of weird and wonderful subtexts, some more obvious than others. How could Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas be anything other than a parable of consumerism? Why would it not seem blindingly clear that CS Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia are in fact a fantastical re-imagining of Christian theology?

Similar close readings have rendered the Paddington Bear books fables about immigration and Babar the Elephant an endorsement of French colonialism. Alice’s Wonderland adventures have been seen as everything from a paean to mathematical logic to a satire about the War of the Roses or a trippy caper with drugs as an underlying theme. And what about The Little Engine That Could? You might know it as a story about trains that fosters can-do optimism, but it has also been taken as a you-go-girl feminist tale. (The eponymous little engine is a lady train and when she breaks down, only another female train will stop to help out.) As for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: why, it’s an allegorical representation of the debate surrounding late 19th Century US monetary policy, of course. “

[continue reading]


Hemingway’s Advice to Aspiring Authors


Ernest Hemingway on Writing:

MICE: How can a writer train himself?

Y.C.: Watch what happens today. If we get into a fish see exactly what it is that everyone does. If you get a kick out of it while he is jumping remember back until you see exactly what the action was that gave you the emotion. Whether it was the rising of the line from the water and the way it tightened like a fiddle string until drops started from it, or the way he smashed and threw water when he jumped. Remember what the noises were and what was said. Find what gave you the emotion; what the action was that gave you the excitement. Then write it down making it clear so the reader will see it too and have the same feeling that you had. That’s a five finger exercise.

MICE: All right.

Y.C.: Then get in somebody else’s head for a change. If I bawl you out try to figure what I’m thinking about as well as how you feel about it. If Carlos curses Juan think what both their sides of it are. Don’t just think who is right. As a man things are as they should or shouldn’t be. As a man you know who is right and who is wrong. You have to make decisions and enforce them. As a writer you should not judge. You should understand.

MICE: All right.

Y.C.: Listen now. When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling. Try that for practice. When you’re in town stand outside the theatre and see how the people differ in the way they get out of taxis or motor cars. There are a thousand ways to practice. And always think of other people.

DRIVE Review

Release date: September 16, 2011
Genre:  Action / Drama

Summary: A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong.

My Review: First off, this is not your average mainstream movie, so if your looking for a Transporter-type car flick then your looking in the wrong direction. I keep saying this but no one is listening; people are running out of ideas for movies, therefore, are basing them on books.

Drive is based on the book by James Sallis, and stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and Bryan Cranston. It is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who is known for his graphic and intense movies such as the Pusher trilogy, Bronson and Valhalla Rising. Personally, I have no idea who he is but after Drive I’m sure he’ll be well-credited (Oscar?).

The start of the movie was like a live version of GTA Vice City. The movie had an 80’s feel, the music, the style, even the damn jacket, it was all 80’s inspired which was nice to see. I usually hate slow paced movies, but the acting was on point and it wasn’t too long to lose your interest. It is visually captivating and if you appreciate art, you will appreciate this movie – maybe not the graphic, bloody scenes (RedRum?). With that said, there is not a lot of talking in the movie, which might bore some people but I thought it was creatively done enough to keep me interested. And the way Ryan Gosling portrays the character…oh where art thou Oscar. He was completely transformed and said maybe 5 words yet you could understand all the character’s emotions and thoughts. I loved his performance and I absolutely adore Carey Mulligan, she never fails me. Even though their relationship was short-lived, the chemistry between the two was promising and gave that romantic push to the quiet movie.

My highlight of the movie: one of the best, realistically done, car chases I have seen in a while. I’m pretty sure I held my breath during that car chase after the pawn shop robbery.

It ended on a vague note, but it kept the audience wondering and interpreting what will happen next.

It is in art that we ignite our imagination and this is what I loved about this movie, 9/10

Chris Tucker Post-Rush Hour

Chris Tucker will finally branch out and be known for more than just his Rush Hour movies. Lots of talk going on, but we might be seeing him again in a variety of new movies.  Two potential supporting roles are in the works for Mr. James Carter.

 The Silver Linings Playbook, based on a book by Matthew Quick, will star Bradley Cooper as a man recently released from a mental institution after being there for 4 years and tries to reconcile with his wife. Chris Tucker is in talks to play one of Cooper’s friends in the institution, along with Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro. Is this possibly a too-serious-role for Chris? Maybe…

Who doesn’t love Ben Stiller?

Neighborhood Watch is the other movie Chris Tucker may be co-starring in. A sci-fi flick starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and a skinnier Jonah Hill as a group of neighborhood guys, or bored dads,  who join the neighborhood watch as an excuse to get more time to hang out together and then of course some funny/strange stuff happens (or else why would they label it sci-fi?)

These movies probably won’t be out until 2013, but its great to know that Chris Tucker is back +_O