Defining literature as a discipline

Most academic disciplines have a firm sense of themselves as distinct fields, observable in the certainty with which their practitioners define themselves in relation to their subject. Chemists, theoretical physicists, linguists, historians, and philosophers abound in university departments and professional workplaces across the world. But what do we call a student of literature? As is often…… Continue reading Defining literature as a discipline

On Writing · Writing

Writer’s Block: The Hobgoblin of Literary Minds

Anyone who has ever made the decision to set pen to paper – or, more likely, fingers to keyboard – has experienced the struggle of being unable to effectively and continuously produce their work. Writer’s block is the bugbear not only of seasoned litterateurs but of students writing essays, managers compiling quarterly reports, and writers…… Continue reading Writer’s Block: The Hobgoblin of Literary Minds

On Writing · Writing

Why your characters should be flawed

The featured image of this post is lifted from the 1984 film adaptation (dir. Michael Radford) of Orwell’s modern classic. In it, the late Sir John Hurt plays the protagonist Winston Smith, an impoverished middle aged man living under a totalitarian regime. It is a difficult film to watch, in some ways more so than…… Continue reading Why your characters should be flawed

On Writing · Writing

“What Makes You Want To Write?”

I get asked this a lot. Not without good reason, because there are an infinite number of things that can prompt us to write. Major life events, the observation of beautiful (and ugly) sights, friendships, new encounters, and the peculiar minutiae of everyday life. Hell, last week I wrote a poem about a stem of…… Continue reading “What Makes You Want To Write?”