On Evaluative Criticism

Imagine yourself wearing a pair of latex gloves, scraping some dust off the surface of your favourite book or movie with a scalpel and tapping it into a glass vial of clear fluid. Now seal the vial and shake it, stare into its contents. When little Venus symbols to start floating in the solution you can declare to all … Continue reading On Evaluative Criticism

The Ludic Rashomon

A Rashomon, named after Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film, is a story repeated several times from different characters’ perspectives. Each retelling adds more information from each character until, in the end, a full story emerges. The Rashomon effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein multiple witnesses view the same event but describe it with different or even … Continue reading The Ludic Rashomon

Imagine the Power: Disembodied Violence in Fantasy Traditions

Violence is paramount to maintaining fantasy fiction and disembodied violence is a pillar of the fantasy genre. Disembodied violence is the celebration of violent power, or the expression of violent power against unthinking but vaguely human-shaped antagonists; it’s the kind of violence that isn’t really violent because it doesn’t take place against another person. Take Iron Man 2: in … Continue reading Imagine the Power: Disembodied Violence in Fantasy Traditions

Cities of Magic

I’m not sure how to define cyberpunk. Oh, I can recognize it, but I’m not sure if I know how to pare it down to a digestible one-sentence review. I know that I can easily look the answer up online, but I’m more interested in how people categorize it not as a list of features … Continue reading Cities of Magic

Life at the Grindstone: the small significance of grinding

The Magus by John Fowles follows an entitled, selfish English graduate as he escapes his failed ambitions and relationships to a Greek island. There he meets Maurice Conchis, a billionaire intellectual who may be (but probably isn’t) connected to a supernatural force. The novel, set just after the Second World War, explores post-war masculine anxiety, … Continue reading Life at the Grindstone: the small significance of grinding