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Showing posts with the label intertextuality

What Is Literature about?

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Can literature be about life?When I was teaching a course on American Literature, one of my students, a woman in her twenties, was a mother of five children. I would occasionally see her and her husband with the kids in the park where my son played soccer. One evening her husband was alone with the kids and approached my son and me as we were tossing a Frisbee. He emanated an intensity that I associated with being the young father of five. Nodding hello, he said, "My wife is in your American literature course." Honestly, I assumed I was in trouble and braced myself. "At night we sit at the kitchen table," he said, "and my wife tells me about your course." Then he told me, "I thought a literature course would be just about books, but yours is about life." He went on to express his regret that he couldn't take the course.
The Rules of postmodernism It was a supreme compliment, and I cherish it to this day. But, at the time, I remember…

The Sour Glossary

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actually (adverb) as an actual or existing fact; really. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary) [False cognate warning: Francophones will sometimes mistakenly use “actually” (or actual) 
when they mean currently, presently, at the moment and up to date.]
allegory [. . .] symbolic fictional narrative that conveys a second meaning (or meanings) beyond the explicit, literal details of the story (my definition, adapted from Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature). A simple allegory would be something like a story about Mary Whiteteeth and Johnny Toothbrush and their enemy named Sugar. The story, in this case, is not about these three characters but about the importance of brushing your teeth. "[. . .] the term allegory can refer to specific method of reading a text."
allusion (noun) IIn literature, an implied or indirect reference to a person, event, thing or a part of another text. [. . . ] Allusions to biblical figures and figures from classical mythology are common in Western…