Writing World Roundup: Literary Forgeries, CliffsNotes and TrumpBookReports

In which we discuss some of the top literary stories of the week. Photo credit: Anne Worner via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Twitter blew up with satirical literary references Thursday in the wake of the final American presidential debate. During an exchange between users Daniel Morrison, who said presidential candidate Donald Trump’s speeches reminded him of a student giving a report on a book he had not read, and Andrew Bad Hombre, who suggested a sample book, this happened:

As it turned out, yes, yes they could.

Writing for the NYU student newspaper Washington Square News, Jack Campbell argues that too many students resorting to summary tools such as CliffsNotes in their literature studies is harming their ability to interpret the written word on their own.

“We do not learn from literature in the same way we learn from a textbook,” Campbell writes. “If our educational ethos continues to perpetuate the idea that we can, we risk unjustly condemning new literary analyses and making reading for pleasure a relic of a bygone era.”

Maggie Cao explores the linkage between literature and art forgeries in an essay for The Gua


“In both The Last Weynfeldt and The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, forgery—an act done in recognition of a painting’s monetary value—evokes its opposite: the intimate, almost magical role that works of art play in people’s emotional and erotic lives,” Cao writes. “Novels about psychically and sexually burdened paintings have a rich literary pedigree; The Picture of Dorian Gray, with its portrait come to life, is only the most familiar. The emphasis on forgery pushes these two recent novels away from Wilde’s occultism to the more contemporary realm of global capitalism, allowing their authors to indulge in suspenseful play between psychosexual drama and market materialism.”

Gamasutra reports on a talk given by Ralph Koster at the University of Alabama Huntsville exploring storytelling concepts in video games. The two-hour video is linked here.

What did we miss? Tell us in the comments.

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