American Literary Tourism

"We should question the authenticity of exotic locales that have been tailored to suit American appetites.” …

“Americans are famously reluctant when it comes to reading literature in translation. Only 3% of the books published annually in the United States are translations."…

"While contemporary books may take us to distant places, most of those available are written in English, and penned by writers who live in the English-speaking world. Americans don’t want to be readers of world literature. They want to be literary tourists.”

“This trend has less to do with language than it does with writers’ amenability to act as a tour guide for American readers as they traverse cultural divides. … It’s typically assumed that the reader lacks prior knowledge, so guidebook-like hand-holding is built into the form and narrative of the story.”

“English language writers … treat readers as strangers in a strange land, and the result is world literature that starts to feel like tourism.”

“Slang, jargon, and non-English words must be cushioned in context or explained outright. Descriptions of the setting resemble stage directions, just concrete enough for readers to get their bearings.”

From: policymic.com


How do you know that you are a writer?

"Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a conversation when it suddenly feels like you’re floating above yourself, watching the whole thing unfold? Has that resulted in an awkward pause, as your interlocutor becomes increasingly irate at your obvious lack of attention or respect for what they have to say? Maybe you’ve failed to be entirely in the moment, even in intimate situations, because you’re thinking to yourself, “This is it!” How am I going to describe this later!?” Believe me, this can backfire very quickly. Having a deep and consistent appreciation for the process of life — even when it tosses you around — and a desire to accurately portray that process in language is a sign that writing is the creative outlet for you."

5 more telltale signs that you are a writer, from: policymic.com


Writers are born, not made

“The world goes on creating newer things. Literature is a creation, not theory. The law of nature is to create new things. To neglect creation is to go against nature. In literature a writer goes with an experiment in thought, subject, language, style and so on. Every creator should create new things in a way understandable to the readers whose nature of perceiving things and level of cognition changes in accordance with several social facets. Every creative change brings happiness to man."

"Literature is an endeavour of searching the space of sentiment and feeling. The feeling and sentiment connects one person with another. Science and technology can never and in no age can ignore the feeling and sensibility of the creator. The heartless science and technology can never challenge this truth of a creation."

Some people may argue that literary creation as an outcome of continual endeavour. Creation is essentially an outcome of inherent ingenuity. The living creation cannot be created by an endeavour. Inherent ingenuity is the must. A writer is born not made."

From: mediaforfreedom.com


Emotional Literacy

"many children lack a sophisticated vocabulary for expressing their emotions, and [...] their inability to clearly label their feelings leaves them unable to describe their state of mind in a way that permits teachers to help them."

"Students should learn to find the language to express the full complexity of human emotion, even emotions that they themselves haven’t yet experienced. The best way to achieve that is to make sure that they [...] read and critique poetry, short stories, and novels. Through literature and the arts they will not merely hear and talk about emotions generally, but they will experience and learn to express the interior lives of other people. As a result, they’ll be not only better students, but better people."

From: http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2013/09/for-emotional-literacy-read-literature/


Reading is like food

"When you talk about reading, you should look in the context of food; if you go for a day without eating how do you feel? So that is how we should be hungry for materials to read and that way we will remain healthy mentally. The challenge is to change things from up there. We the adults, if we change, the children will find it very easy to adapt"...

"Reading is not just about novels. It could be any newspaper, and it could books for leisure or any educational material."

"Reading could be compared to food; you only improve the way you think, the way you do things by reading. That is why when you go to school you will be reminded that the teachers' contributions on your ability to pass an exam is just about 40 per cent. The rest you have to read."

From: http://www.postzambia.com