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Mormon literature and culture



Last Build Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2017 23:41:25 +0000

 



Comment on States of Deseret is now available by William Morris

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 23:41:25 +0000

Thanks, Lee. One shouldn't respond to reviews, but I will say that I'm gratified that Grabriel got what we're doing with this anthology. And that reminds me: if any readers would be willing to review it on GoodReads and/or Amazon.com, that would be lovely.



Comment on States of Deseret is now available by Lee Allred

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:12:37 +0000

Review of the anthology over on the AML website: http://associationmormonletters.org/blog/reviews/current-reviews/morris-ed-states-of-deseret-reviewed-by-gabriel-gonzalez/



Comment on My 2016 Whitney Awards ballot and observations by K.L.

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 01:05:40 +0000

The New York Times's A.O. Scott re 2017 film version: "[ ... Screenwriter Allan Heinberg has...]synthesized a plausible modern archetype out of comic-book and movie sources that may have seemed problematic to modern sensibilities. Diana is erudite but unworldly, witty but never ironic, supremely self-confident and utterly mystified by the modern world. Its capacity for cruelty is a perpetual shock to her, even though she herself is a prodigy of violence. Her sacred duty is to bring peace to the world. Accomplishing it requires a lot of killing, of course, but that’s always the superhero paradox. [... The film ]gestures knowingly but reverently back to the jaunty, truth-and-justice spirit of an[...]older Hollywood tradition.[ ... ]"



Comment on My 2016 Whitney Awards ballot and observations by K.L.

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:57:55 +0000

[Tangential threadjack, cont.; anecdotal evidence with regard mythic allure of famale protagonists' development of fantastic powers eg Stephanie Meyer's Bella's oddyssey toward marrying into a vampiric coven. Or ... the genesis of Wonder Woman. From Smithsonian magazine: "[ ... ]Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic-book superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no other comic-book character has lasted as long. ... Comic books were more or less invented in 1933 by Maxwell Charles Gaines[ .... ]To defend himself against critics [too much sexuality & violence--K.L.], Gaines, in 1940, hired [Dr. William Moulton] Marston as a consultant. “‘Doc’ Marston[...was ]a lawyer, a scientist and a professor. He is generally credited with inventing the lie detector test[. ... S]ince 'the comics’ worst offense was their blood-curdling masculinity,' Marston said, the best way to fend off critics would be to create a female superhero. 'Well, Doc,' Gaines said, '[ ... ]I’ll take a chance on your Wonder Woman! But you’ll have to write the strip yourself.'[ ... ]Marston[... explain[ed] the 'under-meaning' of Wonder Woman’s Amazonian origins in ancient Greece, where men had kept women in chains, until they broke free and escaped. 'The NEW WOMEN thus freed and strengthened by supporting themselves (on Paradise Island) developed enormous physical and mental power.' His comic, he said, was meant to chronicle “a great movement now under way—the growth in the power of women.'[ ... ]"



Comment on My 2016 Whitney Awards ballot and observations by K.L.

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:06:31 +0000

Did not copy edit above



Comment on My 2016 Whitney Awards ballot and observations by K.L.

Sat, 03 Jun 2017 23:35:17 +0000

Expanding on my 6.117 cmt re "ersatz" characterization: I'm thinking for example of Twilight series' Bella Swan, altho I've not read any of the series. See Meyer to E. Weekly: "I didn’t realize the books would appeal to people so broadly. I think some of it’s because Bella is an everygirl. She’s not a hero, and she doesn’t know the difference between Prada and whatever else is out there. She doesn’t always have to be cool, or wear the coolest clothes ever. She’s normal. And there aren’t a lot of girls in literature that are normal. Another thing is that Bella’s a good girl, which is just sort of how I imagine teenagers, because that’s how my teenage years were." Nevertheless, looking at the Bella protagonist's characteristics, as outlined at BestNotes.com http://thebestnotes.com/booknotes/Twilight_Meyer/Twilight_Study_Guide25.html , it would appear that Bella isn't so very "ersatz" after all, really. And, although, I've heard tell that some say they find Meyer's Twilight heroine rather not-spunky or indecisive, in the final analysis I believe it is more important to appeal enough to some minor swath of the reading public, even perhaps becoming close to their over all No. 1 choice(! Note: the Twilight series' readership reached 70 million book buyers as of 2009, per CNN) than to merely appeal mildly to a super-broad swath, while ending up being their tepid-at-best maybe No. 100th-or-so choice, as they individually walk out of the bookstore with some purchase read in hand, obviously. (According to the same CNN article, Meyer had awoke from a dream of being with a scary-super attractive vampire. She told the journalist, "I didn't think of it [as a book]. I did the dream. And then I wanted to see what would happen with them. It was just me spending time with this fantasy world, and then when it was finished it was like, 'This is long enough to be a book!''" A good omen, that dream, it'd seem. Archtypal, even. Robert Louis Stevenson had awoken from a dream about his becoming drugged into a monstrous "Mr. Hyde," hence his late Victorian n0vella; and, Kafka, who dreamed he awoke as a beetle, prior his Edwardian one _The Metamorphosis_; etc.)



Comment on My 2016 Whitney Awards ballot and observations by K.L.

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 19:45:38 +0000

[More]: "In the spring of 1957, a 31-year-old aspiring novelist named Harper Lee — everyone called her Nelle — delivered the manuscript for 'Go Set a Watchman' to her agent to send out to publishers, including the now-defunct J. B. Lippincott Company, which eventually bought it. "At Lippincott, the novel fell into the hands of Therese von Hohoff Torrey — known professionally as Tay Hohoff — a small, wiry veteran editor in her late 50s. Ms. Hohoff was impressed. '[T]he spark of the true writer flashed in every line,' she would later recount in a corporate history of Lippincott. "But as Ms. Hohoff saw it, the manuscript was by no means fit for publication. It was, as she described it, 'more a series of anecdotes than a fully conceived novel.' During the next couple of years, she led Ms. Lee from one draft to the next until the book finally achieved its finished form and was retitled "To Kill a Mockingbird.' ..." * * * (&cetera etc. ...)



Comment on My 2016 Whitney Awards ballot and observations by K.L.

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 19:29:11 +0000

>>>>>Wm. said, "...I don’t work in publishing and don’t understand the constraints and decisions made in producing viably commercial work. But I’ll say this: I believe that with better editing those authors could have produced books that went from just okay to very good or even excellent." Well, yes certainly from the anecdotal evidence this principle holds true. (Eg I just googled up the genesis of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind): "... Mitchell and [Macmillan Co.'s 24-y.0. Atlantan new-hire, assoc. ed. Lois] Cole had remained close throughout the 1930s, and Cole had clearly been involved in every aspect of GWTW’s [1939] acquisition and development. In fact, Cole had been courting Mitchell for years by the time Latham swooped in and got his hands on the manuscript. Even before Cole moved to New York she had encouraged Mitchell to submit her work to Macmillan, and in the years since, had made Mitchell promise that the firm could have first dibs on any manuscript she produced. "While it is true that [Ms. Cole's ed.-in-chief, Harold] Latham physically took custody of the manuscript from Mitchell, he did not have much else to do with it. Latham gave it only a cursory glance before shipping it off to Cole to sort through and assess. And what a job that was. Mitchell’s manuscript was a tatterdemalion mess—nothing more than an enormous stack of disorganized chapters. There were multiple drafts of many sections. There were significant gaps in the storyline. There was no first chapter; Mitchell had provided only a rough outline of what she had in mind for the opening scene. Cole spent hours, many on nights and weekends, wading through the pages and organizing them into a readable, if incomplete, narrative. She then prepared a detailed editorial overview of the manuscript’s attributes and deficiencies. By the time Latham made it back to New York from his scouting tour that spring of 1935, the manuscript was in order, and Cole already had determined that Mitchell’s work, even in its incomplete state, was a gem of unquestionable quality. Latham agreed with Cole’s assessment and, in July 1935, Macmillan offered Mitchell a publishing deal. Here again, Cole played a determinative role. The novice author trusted Cole implicitly and never considered shopping the manuscript to other firms. ..."



Comment on States of Deseret is now available by Th.

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 18:59:13 +0000

. And we can't wait to hear what you think!



Comment on States of Deseret is now available by SteveP

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 16:50:50 +0000

Excellent! I can't wait to read it.