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Current topics by concept: counterculture - culture - fantastic - fiction - genre - popular - modernism - philosophy - postmodernism - list of sensibilities - subculture - taste - theory

Current research interests: nobrow - visual culture - irrationalism

Currently reading: The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (1970) - Todorov

Web www.jahsonic.com

2006, June 21; 19:05 ::: Breton, surrealism and the Castle of Otranto

Breton was incredibly well read and he mentions Walpole's Otranto not as the beginning of le fantastique but as a precursor to surrealism itself.

Breton sees the Romantic tradition as leading inevitably to its brightest culmination - the Surrealist revolution

Breton says of The Castle of Otranto, The production of such a work approaches, indeed, nothing less than the surrealist method. --Course of English Surrealist Poetry Since the 1930s (1989) - Rob Jackaman

Another mention of gothic horror, Otranto and surrealism:

This leads to the final, and most disturbing, affinity between Fantômas and surrealism: sublime horror. One of the defining qualities of surrealism is convulsive beauty, the "chance meeting of an umbrella and a sewing machine on a dissecting table." The shocking combination of revulsion and pleasure in the invocation of the surrealist conception of the marvelous has a long cultural genealogy, from gothic novels such as Walpole's The Castle of Otranto and the dark humor of Lautréamont's Maldoror, to the escapades of actual criminals and murders such as Germaine Berton, the Bonnot gang of anarchists, Landru (the "Bluebeard" of Gambais), Violette Nozières, and the von Papen sisters. Placed securely within that heritage, Fantômas is an unredeemed tale of unmotivated violence and death. --Robin Walz, 1996, Serial Killings: Fantômas, Feuillade, and the Mass-Culture Genealogy of Surrealism via http://www.fantomas-lives.com/fanto47.htm [Jun 2006]

See also: surrealism - Otranto - Breton - fantastique

2006, June 21; 19:05 ::: Karl Marx and le fantastique

Even Karl Marx was influenced by le fantastique:

"A spectre is haunting Europe," Karl Marx and Frederic Engels wrote in opening sentence of the 1848 Communist Manifesto, "the spectre of Communism."

Please note the use of the words spectre and haunt. Spectre can be used to denote a ghostly apparition, a phantom; haunting means appearing in the form of a ghost or other supernatural being.

See also: ghost - Karl Marx - fantastique - supernatural

2006, June 21; 19:05 ::: Our Ladies of Darkness: Feminine Daemonology in Male Gothic Fiction (1993) - Joseph Andriano

In search of female daemonology

Our Ladies of Darkness: Feminine Daemonology in Male Gothic Fiction (1993) - Joseph Andriano [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Demoness, succubus, female vampire—this “fiend” has been haunting men at least since Lilith and Adam. [...] many male artists in the nineteenth century agonized over the compelling image of the demonic feminine—as Mario Praz, Nina Auerbach, and Camille Paglia have most vividly shown. --page 1

See also: vampire - femme fatale - succubus

2006, June 21; 19:05 ::: Jean-Jacques Ampère, le fantastique and E. T. A. Hoffmann

In search of the French origins of le fantastique

Jazz Age Catholicism: Mystic Modernism in Postwar Paris, 1919-1933 (2005) - Stephen Schloesser [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The fantastique, introduced in France by Jean-Jacques Ampere with his 1829 translation of ETA Hoffmann's Fantasy Pieces in the Manner of Callot (1814). --page 36

Jean-Jacques Ampère (August 12, 1800-March 27, 1864) was a French philologist and man of letters. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Jacques_Amp%C3%A8re [Jun 2006]

(Pierre-Georges Castex, Le Conte fantastique en France de Nodier à Maupassant, Corti, 1951)
The conte fantastique is defined in France as a genre in itself from about 1830, influenced by E. T. A. Hoffmann. What was the role of the young literary critics at the French journal Globe (Jean-Jacques Ampère, Duvergier de Hauranne, Sainte Beuve) in putting this literary phenomenon on the map?

Difference between le fantastique and the traditional marvelous: le fantastique is characterized by a brutal intrusion of mystery in the framework of real life; it is generally linked to morbid states of consciousness which, in phenomena such as the nightmare or delirium, projects images of angst and terror."

Pierre-Georges Castex sketches here the history of a genre which has known in the 19th century an almost constant success and which was illustrated in numerous works, from Nodier to Maupassant. -- translated from the French http://www.jose-corti.fr/titreslesessais/conte-fantastique-france.html [Jun 2006]

See also: 1800s literature - French literature - German literature - fantastic literature - 1830s - Jacques Callot - E. T. A. Hoffmann

2006, June 21; 19:05 ::: The Devil in Love (1772) - Jaques Cazotte

"I am the Devil, my dear Alvaro, I am the Devil." -- Biondetta in The Devil in Love (1772) - Jaques Cazotte

Alvaro falls in love with Biondetta, a devil-woman, a she-devil.

The Devil in Love (1772) - Jaques Cazotte [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Le Diable Amoureux (The Devil in Love, 1772) is an occult romance by Jacques Cazotte which tells of a demon, or devil, who falls in love with Alvaro, an amateur human dabbler, and attempts, in the guise of a young woman, to win his affections.

The Le Diable Amoureux started a literary style known as fantastic fiction, where surreal events intrude on reality and the reader is left guessing whether the events actually occurred or were merely the product of the character's imagination.

The book served as inspiration for, and is referred to within, Spanish author Arturo Perez-Reverte's novel The Club Dumas (El Club Dumas, 1993). Roman Polanski's 1999 adaptation of the novel, The Ninth Gate, stars Johnny Depp as rare book dealer Dean Corso. Corso is hired to compare versions of a book allegedly authored in league with the Devil, and finds himself aided by a demon in his adventure. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Diable_amoureux [Jun 2006]

Le Diable Amoureux serves as a point of departure in The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (1970), it is frequently cited as the first text in this genre, following Walpole's 1764 gothic novel Castle of Otranto (of which some say it is not fantastic but rather supernatural.)

See also: 1700s literature - French literature - fantastic literature - 1770s - femme fatale - fantastique - devil - love

2006, June 20; 19:05 ::: Supernatural in Fiction (1952) - Peter Penzoldt

Supernatural in Fiction (1952) - Peter Penzoldt [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Classic study of the genre, mentioned and commented upon in Todorov's The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (1970)

See also: supernatural - gothic novel - fantastic literature - fantastic - fiction

2006, June 20; 19:05 ::: The Rise of Supernatural Fiction, 1762-1800 (1999) - E. J. Clery

The Rise of Supernatural Fiction, 1762-1800 (1999) - E. J. Clery [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Beginning with the notorious case of the Cock Lane ghost, a performing poltergeist who became a major attraction in the London of 1762, and with Garrick's

A genre of supernatural fiction was among the more improbable products of the Age of Enlightenment. This book questions the historical reasons for its growing popularity in the late eighteenth century. Beginning with the notorious case of the Cock Lane ghost, a performing poltergeist who became a major attraction in London in 1762, and with Garrick's spellbinding and paradigmatic performance as the ghost-seeing Hamlet, it moves on to look at the Gothic novels of Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, M. G. Lewis, and others, in unexpected new lights, drawing out the connection between fictions of the supernatural and the growth of consumerism.

'Clery's breadth recalls Raymond Williams who could also have written a powerful statement like this ... The Rise of Supernatural Fiction should be read by an audience far wider than one concerned with Gothic culture alone.' The Wordsworth Circle

See also: supernatural - gothic novel - fantastic literature - fantastic - 1760s - 1800s

2006, June 19; 19:05 ::: Corpus and genre applied to Todorov's definition of the fantastic

Corpus of The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (1970) - Todorov

The concepts of Tzvetan Todorov on fantastic literature, inspired by structuralism, have met with such critical acclaim that today they are part of the national curriculum, at least in France. Many a fan of the genre has been reprimanded some teacher for talking about Dracula or The Fall of the House of Usher. Officially, Dracula belongs to the realm of the marvelous and The Fall of the House of Usher to the fantastic-uncanny. Unfortunately, the famous todorovian concepts are a web of errors and contradictions.

The problem is accentuated by the fact that the choice of the todorovian corpus is aberrant. Present are the French writers situated chronologically between Cazotte and Maupassant (Balzac, Gautier, Mérimée, Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, etc.), the Germans Arnim and Hoffmann, the Americans Poe, Bierce and James, but, paradoxically, since the definition of Todorov is in reality British and even Victorian, not a single British writer, apart from the naturalized Henry James. Not one Victorian (where is Dickens, Collins, Stevenson, Doyle, Kipling, Stoker ?), not one Edwardian (where is Machen, Blackwood, de la Mare, Hodgson, Dunsany ?). Not one single Belgian (Ray, Owen, Ghelderode ?), no modern Americans (Merritt, Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith ?). In addition, the well known 18th century tendencies of Todorov impel him to introduce the gothic novel into his corpus (The Manuscript found in Saragossa, The Monk) and the Arabian Nights, with which he subsequently does not know what to do. --translated from Harry Morgan's French http://www.sdv.fr/pages/adamantine/todorov.htm [Jun 2006]

See also: The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (1970) - Todorov - fantastic literature - fantastique - fantastic - genre theory

2006, June 19; 19:05 ::: Index Translationum's Top 50 Most Translated Authors

Critical acclaim and popularity

Index Translationum's Top 50 Most Translated Authors

1 Walt Disney Productions Inc US
2 Agatha Christie UK
3 Jules Verne France
4 Vladimir Lenin Russia
5 Enid Blyton UK
6 Barbara Cartland UK
7 William Shakespeare UK
8 Danielle Steel US
9 Hans Christian Andersen Denmark
10 Stephen King US
11 Jakob Grimm Germany
12 Wilhelm Grimm Germany
13 The Bible (New Testament)
14 Isaac Asimov US
15 Mark Twain US
16 Alexandre Dumas France
17 John Paul II Poland
18 Georges Simenon Belgium
19 Jack London US
20 Arthur Conan Doyle UK
21 Rene Goscinny France
22 the bible
23 Fyodor Dostoyevsky Russia
24 Robert Louis Stevenson UK
25 Leo Tolstoy Russia
26 Charles Dickens UK
27 Astrid Lindgren Sweden
28 Robert L. Stine US
29 Victoria Holt UK
30 Karl Marx Germany
31 Alistair MacLean UK
32 Oscar Wilde Ireland
33 Sidney Sheldon US
34 Rudolf Steiner Austria
35 Ernest Hemingway US
36 Friedrich Engels Germany
37 Hermann Hesse Germany
38 Honore de Balzac France
39 James Hadley Chase UK
40 Bible (Old Testament)
41 Nora Roberts US
42 Charles Perrault France
43 Ruth Rendell UK
44 Edgar Allan Poe US
45 Robert Ludlum US
46 Rudyard Kipling UK
47 Plato Greece
48 Roman Catholic Church
49 J.R.R. Tolkien UK
50 Franz Kafka Czechoslovakia

In what other list would Lenin rub shoulders with Agatha Christie? Where else would Enid Blyton be ranked two places ahead of William Shakespeare? In what other list of best-selling authors would the top spot be taken by an outfit, Walt Disney Inc, which isn't in the normal sense an author at all?

Meantime, Unesco continues to update its Index. J.K. Rowling will surely make it to the top 50 sometime soon. Dan Brown will surely follow. Rudyard Kipling (46) is probably too unfashionable to hold his place on the list for long.

--Harry Bingham, Jan 2006 http://www.ft.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_Translationum [Jun 2006]

Quote: The pocket-size book was invented in the sixteenth century, and it has proven to be the most convenient and safest means of escapism known to humankind. --Yi-Fu Tuan, 2002

See also: success - world literature - bestseller - translation - greatness

2006, June 19; 19:05 ::: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) - Agatha Christie

In search of unreliable narrators

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (published in 1926) is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It features Hercule Poirot as the lead detective. It is one of Christie's most well-known and most controversial novels, its innovative twist ending having a significant impact on the genre.

The murderer is Dr. Sheppard, the story's narrator.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Murder_of_Roger_Ackroyd [Jun 2006]

Agatha Mary Clarissa, Lady Mallowan, DBE (September 15, 1890 – January 12, 1976), better known as Dame Agatha Christie, was an English crime fiction writer. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott.

Agatha Christie is the world's best-known mystery writer and, apart from William Shakespeare, is the all-time best-selling author of any genre. Her books have sold over two billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 103 foreign languages (as of 2006). As an example of her broad appeal, she is the all-time best-selling author in France, with over 40 million copies sold in French (as of 2003) versus 22 million for Emile Zola, the nearest contender. She is famously known as the 'Queen of Crime' and is, arguably, the most important and innovative writer in the development of the English mystery novel.

Her stage play The Mousetrap holds the record for the longest run ever in London, opening at the Ambassadors Theatre on November 25, 1952, and as of 2006 is still running after more than 20,000 performances.

Christie published over eighty novels and stageplays, mainly whodunnits and locked room mysteries, many of these featuring one of her main series characters, Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. Although she delighted in twisting the established detective fiction form - one of her early books, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, is renowned for its surprise denouement - she was scrupulous in "playing fair" with the reader by making sure information for solving the puzzle was given.

Most of her books and short stories have been filmed, some many times over (Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, 4.50 From Paddington). The BBC has produced television and radio versions of most of the Poirot and Marple stories. A later series of Poirot dramatizations starring David Suchet was made by Granada Television. In 2004, the Japanese broadcasting company Nippon Housou Kyoukai turned Poirot and Marple into animated characters in the anime series Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple, introducing Mabel West (daughter of Miss Marple's mystery-writer nephew Raymond West, a canonical Christie character) and her duck Oliver as new characters. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Christie [Jun 2006]


Agatha Christie and Georges Simenon, were both labeled gialli when first published in Italy.

For a long time Lenin, Queen of Crime Agatha Christie, The Bible and Walt Disney jostled for a place among the top four of the 10 most translated authors.

Agatha Christie has conributed to The Strand Magazine

Christie's books are numerous, though her literary reputation has suffered.

Agatha Christie's 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd', Shakespeare's 'Five Great Tragedies', and 'Bambi' were of the first paperbacks published.

See also: 1926 - detective

2006, June 19; 19:05 ::: Paraliterary and paraliterature

Krauss coined the term paraliterary and Jameson the term paraliterature. However, they used it to denote different concepts. With paraliterary, Krauss denotes philosophy that can be read as literature (of which Deleuze is my favourite). With paraliterature, Jameson denotes that literature which became popular after postmodernism dissolved the borders between high and low literature.

Quoting from Krauss:

If one of the tenets of modernist literature had been the creation of a work that would force reflection on the conditions of its own construction, that would insist on reading as a much more consciously critical act, then it is not surprising that the medium of a postmodernist literature should be the critical text wrought into a paraliterary form. And what is clear is that Barthes and Derrida are the writers, not the critics, that students now read. --Rosalind Krauss (1980, 40) quoted in Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction (1980) - Linda Hutcheon

Quoting from Jameson:

The postmodernisms have, in fact, been fascinated precisely by this whole “degraded” landscape of schlock and kitsch, of TV series and Reader's Digest, of advertising and motels, of the late show and the grade-B Hollywood film, of so-called paraliterature. (Jameson: 1984)

See also: paraculture - Rosalind Krauss - Fredric Jameson - paraliterature

2006, June 18; 19:05 ::: Genre theory and tautology

One can argue that genres are tautologies.

When trying to define a genre, we must look for characteristics of the genre.

The characteristics of a genre are found in the corpus of works that belong to the genre.

The corpus can only be found by defining the characteristics.

So genre = characteristics = corpus = genre ----> tautology.

Donato Totaro has said almost the same when stating that:

"Admittingly, I am swimming into a tautological sea by assuming a general understanding of the horror genre. But a certain tautology is a necessary evil of genre theory, and I mean the latter more as a categorization rather than definition of the horror genre. Besides, I do agree with Noel Carroll's other not sufficient descriptions of "art-horror" (the quality of being "interstitial," ie. something that can not be categorized, as for example, vampires, mummies, zombies that are neither living nor dead; impurity, disgust, etc.)." --Donato Totaro, 2000 via http://www.horschamp.qc.ca/9710/halloween_anglais/scare.html [Jun 2006]

And repeated here by Jeffrey Sconce who repeats Tudor:

Much of the work in genre theory has devoted itself to avoiding tautological definitions of a group of films (ie westerns are westerns because they are set in the Old West, which means they are westerns — see Tudor 1995). --Esper, the renunciator: teaching ‘bad' movies to good students () Jeffrey Sconce quoted in Defining Cult Movies: The Cultural Politics of Oppositional Taste (2003)

I need to check that Tudor article: Tudor, Andrew (1995 [1973]) Genre, in Barry Keith Grant (Film Genre Reader II.)

See also: tautology - genre theory - fantastic

2006, June 18; 19:05 ::: Unheimlich, uncanny and fantastique

It would appear that the words Unheimlich (German), uncanny (English) and fantastique (French) essentially point to the same artistic genre. In the words of Anneleen Masschelein:

Notre analyse, qui porte sur un corpus de textes fantastiques du 19e siècle, cherche à rapprocher les notions d' « unheimlich » et de fantastique (comme le font implicitement les traductions anglaises, qui utilisent dans les deux cas le mot « uncanny »). --http://www.imageandnarrative.be/uncanny/uncanny.htm [Jun 2006]

The point is lost in her own English translation, so I will re-translate the excerpt:

Our ultimate aim is to reconcile the concepts of the uncanny and the fantastic (as the English translation implicitly does, in both cases the word uncanny is used). --http://www.imageandnarrative.be/uncanny/uncanny.htm [Jun 2006]

As a category of art, uncanny and fantastic are the same. The irony is of course that since some time, the word fantastique has been introduced in the English language. The benefit of the term fantastique is that it does not have the connotation of greatness which is linked with the word fantastic. Another irony is that the Germans have started using the term fantastik. In short, the fantastic as genre is the most complex area of research in genre theory, because of its universal presence and multi-language confusion. [Jun 2006]

See also: uncanny - unheimlich - fantastique - fantastic

2006, June 18; 19:05 ::: When a statue comes to life

I was intrigued by the excerpts from La Vénus d'Ille (1837) by Prosper Mérimée (author of Carmen (1845))in Todorov's study of the fantastic:

The supernatural event in this work occurs when a statue comes to life and kills --The Fantastic (1970) - Todorov, page 80.

La Vénus d'Ille has a similar motif to Corpse Bride. But instead of a corpse bride, it is an Instead ancient statue of Venus which comes to life.

Here is something on French fantastic novellas of the late 1800s.

Simultaneously [with French realism in literature, think Balzac], there is a proliferation of fantastic short stories in France under the influence of the German author E.T.A. Hoffmann, whose work was translated into French in the late 1820s. Among the authors who wrote fantastic stories were Balzac himself (La peau de chagrin; "Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu"; La recherche de l'absolu), Gautier ("Omphale" and "La Morte Amoureuse"), and especially Prosper Mérimée whose "La Vénus d'Ille," published in 1837, figures among the acknowledged masterpieces of the fantastic novella. --http://www.anthropoetics.ucla.edu/Ap0202/MULLER.htm [Jun 2006]

And here is a book on the subject:

The Dream of the Moving Statue (1992) - Kenneth Gross [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Statues and their legends catch for us the gesture of life, life’s animation. Kenneth Gross has drawn their story into a fascinating account of the human spirit, captured and brought to life as the sculptor animates recalcitrant stone. This is a brilliant, beautifully rendered account of art and vision, presented on the highest level of scholarship and intuition." —Angus Fletcher, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the City University of New York Graduate School

"Kenneth Gross conveys with acumen, passion, and originality the fascination that statues have exercised over the imagination since antiquity. His exploration of mythology and legends - from the petrifying stare of the Gorgon Medusa to the figure that comes to life when Pygmalion kisses his handiwork - reveals their psychological complexity and philosophical richness. Effigies, puppets, and replicas open up questions about reality and unreality, and lead us to consider the ontology of representations. Indeed The Dream of the Moving Statue, first published in l992 when computer simulations and virtual reality were still unfamiliar, was prophetic in its concerns." —Marina Warner, novelist, critic, historian, Professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex, author of Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds, and Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media

"Kenneth Gross's The Dream of the Moving Statue is by now a classic work of the literature on ekphrasis. Beautifully written and imaginatively organized, the book addresses the recurring human dream of animating stone through a range of works from the Hebrew Scriptures and classical mythology to 20th century cinema.” —Susan Stewart, Professor of English, Princeton University, author of Poetry and the Fate of the Senses and Columbarium.

"Exploring a perennial fascination with the idea an animated statue and its converse (petrifaction of living individuals), Gross both delights and instructs the reader through an exploration of a quite astonishing number of significant examples that include poetry, film, drama, psychoanalysis, and philosophy, to say nothing of a few famous statues themselves" —Froma I. Zeitlin, Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature Princeton University, author of Playing the Other: Gender and Society in Classical Greece

We live among the images we have made, and those images have an uncanny life. They seduce, challenge, trap, transform, and even kill us; they speak and remain silent. Kenneth Gross's The Dream of the Moving Statue offers a far-ranging and probing exploration of how writers, artists, and filmmakers have imagined the power and life of statues, real and metaphoric, taking up examples from antiquity to modernity, from Ovid, Michelangelo, and Shakespeare to Freud, Rilke, and Charlie Chaplin. The book is about fate of works of art and about the fate of our fantasies, words, and bodies, about the metamorphoses they undergo in our own and others’ minds. --from the publisher

See also: Pygmalion - fantastic

2006, June 18; 19:05 ::: La Fura dels Baus

In search of theatre

La Fura dels Baus is a Spanish theatrical group founded in 1979 in Barcelona known for their violent urban theatre, making use of unusual settings and doing away with the boundaries separating audience and actors. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Fura_dels_Baus [Jun 2006]

See also: La Fura dels Baus

2006, June 18; 19:05 ::: Jess Franco

In search of Jess Franco

Hilarious Jess Franco mini-documentary

See also: Jess Franco

2006, June 18; 19:05 ::: The Intruder (1962) - Roger Corman

In search of Roger Corman

This film is about a racist who drifts from one small Southern town to another inciting townspeople to riot against court-ordered school integration. The best Roger Corman film, and the only one he lost money on.

See also: The Intruder (1962) - Roger Corman - Roger Corman - 1967

2006, June 18; 19:05 ::: Carmen

In search of Carmen

Carmen, Baby (1967) - Radley Metzger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Two directors, Max Pécas and José Bénazéraf, were the most prolific of the French sexual revolution wave of the 1960s.

Their films were imported to the U.S. by Radley Metzger and Ava Leighton, through their company, Audubon Films. Radley would slightly recut and retrim his French imports for American tastes. He then mimicked the style of Pécas and Bénazéraf and brought it home to America with his own highly successful movies like Carmen Baby and The Lickerish Quartet. --text after Bill Landis and Michelle Clifford

Carmen (1845) - is a famous novella by Prosper Mérimée describing an unfaithful gypsy girl who is killed by the soldier who loves her (made into an opera by Georges Bizet in 1875). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosper_M%C3%A9rim%C3%A9e [Jun 2006]

While we're at it, also check the trailers to Deadly Weapons, Bad Girls Go to Hell, Nude on the Moon, all by Doris Wishman.

See also: 1845 - Radley Metzger - 1967

2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: Fiction

In search of faction

See also: The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: Hyperfocus

Hyperfocus describes an intense form of mental concentration or visualization that focuses consciousness on a narrow subject, or beyond objective reality and onto subjective mental planes, daydreams, concepts, fiction, the imagination, and other objects of the mind. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperfocus [Jun 2006]

See also: ADHD - attention

2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: Factoids

In search of the nature of Wikipedia

Factoid can refer to a spurious (unverified, incorrect, or invented) "fact" intended to create or prolong public exposure or to manipulate public opinion. The term was coined by Norman Mailer in his 1973 biography of Marilyn Monroe. Mailer himself described a factoid as "facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper". Mailer created the word by combining the word "fact" and the ending "-oid" to mean "like a fact". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factoid [Jun 2006]

In philosophy, a fact is the state of affairs in reality that corresponds to a true proposition in a human language. The relationship between non-trivially true statements (i.e. not tautologies) and facts is one of the provinces of epistemology.

Any non-trivial true statements about reality is necessarily an abstraction composed of a complex of objects and properties or relations. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact [Jun 2006]

See also: epistemology - fact - tautology - bias - reality

2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: The question of reliability

In search of the nature of Wikipedia

There are many ways in which factual errors can be introduced into reports. Keep in mind that many articles are about characterizing the various factions in a dispute. This means that you will be looking for reliable published reports of people's opinions. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Reliable_sources [Jun 2006]

See also: opinion - reality - Wikipedia - unreliable narrator

2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: The question of notability

In search of the nature of Wikipedia

A topic has notability if it is known outside a narrow interest group or constituency, or should be because of its particular importance or impact. It is an extension of the notion of prominence for biographical articles. It differs, however, from fame and importance; while all articles on "famous" and "important" subjects are notable, not all notable subjects are famous or important.

There is no official policy on notability. However, there are a number of consensual guidelines regarding notability within a limited subject field, such as for bands, for characters from fiction, and for websites – and some others are under development. See the template to the right. An article's failure to meet these suggested requirements is frequently used as an argument to delete said article on WP:AFD.

Lack of notability is often designated by the phrase "non-notable" or the abbreviation "nn". Whenever using the term or its abbreviation, please explain briefly why you consider the subject to be not notable (e.g. "has written a book but it was never published").

Although notability is not formal policy (and indeed the whole concept of notability is contentious), it is the opinion of some editors that this is what is meant by Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information (which is a formal policy). Many editors also believe that it is fair test of whether a subject has achieved sufficient external notice to ensure that it can be covered from a neutral point of view based on verifiable information from reliable sources, without straying into original research (all of which are formal policies). Failure to meet these criteria does not mean that a subject must not be included; meeting one or more of these criteria does not mean that a subject must be included. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability [Jun 2006]

See also: Wikipedia - fame

2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: No original research

In search of the nature of Wikipedia

Wikipedia is not the place for original research. Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: the only way to demonstrate that you are not doing original research is to cite reliable sources which provide information that is directly related to the topic of the article, and to adhere to what those sources say. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Cite_your_sources [Jun 2006]

See also: Wikipedia - source - origin - fiction

2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: Check your fiction

In search of the nature of Wikipedia

The advice about factual articles also applies to articles on fiction subjects. Further considerations need to be made when writing about fictional topics: they are inherently not real. It is important to keep these articles verifiable and encyclopedic. [Jun 2006]

It is generally discouraged to add fictional information from sources that cannot be verified or are limited to a very small number of readers, such as fan fiction and online role playing games. In the latter case, if you absolutely have to write about the subject, please be especially careful to cite your sources. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Guide_to_writing_better_articles#Check_your_fiction [Jun 2006]

See also: encyclopedia - citation - fiction

2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: Encyclopedic fiction

In search of the nature of Wikipedia

A work of fiction employing a variety of forms to explore its subject exhaustively.

    While ostensibly a romantic novel, Moby Dick can also be viewed as an encyclopedic fiction.

Definition by wiktionary

See also: encyclopedia - fiction

2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: Wikipedia is a work of fiction

In search of the nature of Wikipedia

I have often wondered why Ayn Rand appears to be one of the earliest Wikipedia articles. I Speak of Dreams says:

Wikipedia is a work of fiction, not fact, because its founder, Jimmy Wales, admires Ayn Rand. "Wales admires novelist Ayn Rand's Objectivist Philosophy, which the American Heritage Dictionary defines as a doctrine "holding that all reality is objective and external to the mind and that knowledge is reliably based on observed objects and events." So he believes that contributors should "write about what people believe, rather than what is so." --http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2004/11/reliability_and.html [Jun 2006]

The Wikipedia entry for Rand dates September 30, 2001, one month before I decided to start blogging. [Jun 2006]

See also: Wikipedia - interactive fiction

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