Readersforum's Blog

May 17, 2013

Three Books about… Machines

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 8:10 am

Inspire your own writing by seeing how three authors take the same material and come up with three entirely different results.

Inspire your own writing by seeing how three authors take the same material and come up with three entirely different results.

By Cath Murphy

“Crash” by JG Ballard

It didn’t start well. The reader’s report was short and to the point:

‘This author is beyond psychiatric help.’

Luckily for the rest of us, Ballard’s publisher did not agree. Crash came out in 1973 to universal outrage/acclaim and has been polarizing readers ever since. It’s not surprising because Crash – which tells the story of scientist Vaughn and his sexual obsession with death by automobile – is a potent mixture. Taken at face value, the book is a landscape of semen splattered dashboards and women having orgasms in that split second before their face hits the windshield. Fap-material, you might say, and that is the way the establishment viewed it. Various attempts have been made to ban it, collars have become tight and hot, letters have been written to august organs predicting the End of Times— or at the very least— sex in the streets if Crash stays on the shelves for one second longer.

At face value, [Crash] is a landscape of semen splattered dashboards and women having orgasms in that split second before their face hits the windshield.
And yet we’re all still fully clothed and living in (relatively) peaceful democracies. Why is this? Because Crash isn’t about sex at all.

Click here to read the rest of this story

Advertisements

March 29, 2013

Three Books About…The Road

the-roadBy Cath Murphy

Books can be about anything – elephants, antimacassars, milk cartons – but generally they are not. Books tend to cluster around certain subjects, old favorites cropping up time and time again, like regulars at a bar. But unlike barflies, who all seem to have learned the same hard luck story by rote, writers (good writers) can take the same base material and make it into something entirely original.

Contrast three writers on the same subject and what you end up with is not just interesting—what you end up with is inspiration.

For example: three books about roads. On the Road by Jack Kerouac, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and The Famished Road by Ben Okri

Click here to read the rest of this story

February 23, 2013

How the Superheroes of Literature can save you from the Grammar Nazis

superman-vs-hitlerBy Cath Murphy

We’ve all met a Grammar Nazi: those people who think it is their iron-clad duty not to comment on the rhythm of your prose or the strength of your arguments, but on the fact that you missed an apostrophe in the second line of paragraph three. I’m not going to delve into the psychology of those who misguidedly think that language has rules and they alone know how to apply them, except to remark that I’ve always been persuaded that there’s a strong correlation between a person’s propensity to correct the grammar and spelling of others and the likelihood that this same person is into weird sex.

The problem with the Grammar Nazis is not only that having a scornful virtual finger pointed at your mistakes is about as pleasant as non-anaesthetized toenail extraction, it’s that even when they’re wrong, they’re right. Even if the ‘rule’ the Grammar Nazi is attempting to enforce is so dead the only examples are found stuffed in museums, all you will get for your attempts to persuade them is carpal tunnel syndrome and a tension headache. It’s at times like these you need a secret weapon: none other than the Superheroes of Literature, authors so mighty and famous that a mere mention of them will, like a well aimed laser beam, reduce a Grammar Nazi to a heap of ash.

Click here to read the rest of this story

November 19, 2012

Would Jane Austen Write A Blog? (and other things writers probably shouldn’t do)

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 6:52 am

By Cath Murphy

Twitter, NaNoWriMo and blogging are activities writers now take for granted. But spin back two decades and blogging would have been easily confused with something people did behind the steamy windshields of cars. It’s hard to imagine how we spent our time in the dark days before WordPress; it’s even harder to work out whether the time and effort spent on some of the activities we take for granted is justified. In the spirit of ‘what would Jesus have done?’ I’m going to pierce this fog of confusion by using three authors as a prism through which the torch of truth may be concentrated.

Click here to read the rest of this story

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: