Category: Theory

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Maybe He Was Born With It: The Birth of Evil

The source of evil has been a source of inspiration from the earliest literary traditions to even more modern staples, such as film. They range from varied characters such as Grendel’s Mother in “Beowulf” to Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray (paid link) and even more recently, through Lord Voldemort from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter (paid link) series. What makes a fictional character evil? There are many reasons and explanations. As shown with Grendel’s Mother, it could be their birthright, being a member of Cain’s kin. Maybe it was his own vanity that made him so, such as…

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The Best Literary Revenge of All Time: The‌ ‌Betrayal‌ ‌of‌ ‌Adaptations‌

One of my dear friends once posted on Twitter that “Edmond Dantès had one of the best literary revenges of all time.” (paid link) She was mocking the Kanye West debacle at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Dantes was betrayed by those he assumed loved him, and he was a tale of revenge and redemption. One of the more fascinating problems with adaptation studies is that if one is familiar with the source of the adaptation – such as Alexandre Dumas, père’s The Count of Monte Cristo – you have preconceived notions of what would make a successful adaptation.…

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The Hero’s Journey: The Benefits of Children’s Films

Fairy tales have been used to advise and guide children for generations. On a deeper level, so have urban legends. Fairy stories frame their cautionary tales by grounding them in fanciful situations. The lessons they teach children are hidden behind the guise of magic, fairy godmothers, and spinning wheels. Any child born in the twentieth century and beyond will be exposed to fairy tales as told by the Walt Disney Company: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and Cinderella, to name a few. Not many adults choose to look past the musical numbers by examining the metaphors implied by…

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What is Cinematic Absurdism?

I'm not afraid to say that movies have had a bigger impact on me than books. Books absolutely opened the door and reassured me that I can tell a great story. Movies encouraged me to tell a great story in a small amount of space which is how I approach short fiction. There's something magical about shaping a story to be as cinematic as possible. To me, both of these formats are about telling damn good stories. Writing is much easier than trying to get a film made. You can write it, revise it, and throw it out into the…

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