BTT~ Kurt Vonnegut Would Fail a Course on Vonnegut

Question suggested by Barbara H:

My husband is not an avid reader, and he used to get very frustrated in college when teachers would insist discussing symbolism in a literary work when there didn’t seem to him to be any. He felt that writers often just wrote the story for the story’s sake and other people read symbolism into it.

It does seem like modern fiction just “tells the story” without much symbolism. Is symbolism an older literary device, like excessive description, that is not used much any more? Do you think there was as much symbolism as English teachers seemed to think? What are some examples of symbolism from your reading?

Honestly, I was a lot like your husband (and still am to a degree) when it came to symbolism. For me, though, I just wanted to read “the story” and not get bogged down by interpretation. I think it’s a device that is used as much today as in olden times. Some writers use it more than others, and some just “tell a story”.

As a writer myself, though, I can tell you I do use symbolism, on purpose even. Because I know the whole arc of the story, I may drop in something in chapter two that points to something in chapter ten. Also, I may use a scene at a restaurant, and the conversation at the table, as a symbol of society at large.

As for whether English Teachers driving students mad and to bibliophobia, I think they are just excited about the book, and years of teaching and re-reading the book with each class, each semester, has given them an insight. Maybe the symbolism wasn’t intended by the author, originally, but maybe it’s like dream interpretation. The author said it and meant it, but maybe unconciously.

Hmm… that begs the question: Do you think an author could learn a lot about him or herself by sitting in on a Lit class teaching his or her books?

Perfect video clip to answer this question (WARNING: there are 2 F-bombs right at the end, at 1:18 and 1:21)

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TSS – Middle-aged Vampire adopts Malevolent Child

The Sunday Salon.com

I’ve been much happier with myself this week. I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something. I finished The Richest Season, registered my 15-year-old for school, read Twilight(my high-schooler was shocked about that. She said, “Everybody in my school’s reading those!” I guess I’m hip?), read and reread and re-reread Cherise the Niece, accomplished my goal today of finishing Book One in Caesar’s The Conquest of Gaul… which may be the death of me, and am almost a fourth of the way through When We Were Romans… which I’m not sure if I like it or not, but at least it’s simple and short.

I also started a meme (even if it’s a meme of two… thanks Suey) this week called Viral Video Wednesday. A lot of people left their videos in the comment section, as well. This weeks was VVW – Numa Numa. A post dedicated to the history and evolution of Numa Numa. bermudaonion gave me the idea for next weeks, so check back in to see. I’m still trying to figure out how to slip Mr. Safety in next week’s post.

As promised, Today is the day I announce the winner of the signed copy of Mishka: An Adoption Tale. Again, I used Research Randomizer because it’s free… Random.org charges money… and the random number is 17, which is The Eighth Art! With only one entry I might add… Buy a lottery ticket, today seems to be your lucky day! So email me your address so I can send you your beautifully illustrated, heartwarming book 🙂 Check in on Monday, when I will announce my next giveaway!

Tuesday Thingers – Me Me Me Meme

Tuesday Thingers

What other weekly memes or round robins do you participate in? Is this the only one? Why Tuesday Thingers and not some other weekly Tuesday meme? Or do you do more than one?

Let’s see… I do Sunday Salon, Tuesday Thingers, Viral Video Wednesday (first one’s tomorrow), Booking Through Thursday, Friday Fill-Ins, and Sunday Salon. Wait, I said that last one twice! Sometimes, I get to feeling like I’ve over-memed though.

Sometimes I get to feeling like all I do is blog and not enough reading. This last week I’ve been super busy with back-to-school *oh, joy! back to school!* I’ve been reading the same book since last Thursday, and I’m only half the way through.

SCHOOL STARTS NEXT WEEK! YAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!

 

Don’t forget to sign up to win a signed copy of Mishka: An Adoption Tale!!  I will post the winner in my Sunday Salon Post!

TSS – Mummies, Mishka, and More!

The Sunday Salon.com

Wow! What a week! It’s Sunday already and I don’t know where the week went! I only read one adult book and on children’s book, but I’m okay with that. I gave away $50 in Borders gift cards, announced a giveaway for a signed copy of Mishka: An Adoption Tale, I helped capture a dangerous sociopath, and more.

This week was the last week for Maggie’s summer school classes. One of her classes was a drama class which held their performances on Wednesday and Thursday. Sammi and I went on Wednesday, and were the only family audience that day, then I took my little actress out for a fish sandwich at Burger King afterwards. Then I went to sign Gwen, my 14-year-old, and Mags up for school. Meg’s happy because she’s got a sweet teacher and all her friends (and none of her enemies) are in her class this year. Sammi’s in 10th grade this year, and high school registration is on Tuesday.

I thought I was excited and ready for them to go back to school… until I went clothes and supplies shopping. YIKES! Three outfits a piece totalled $270. Supplies, backpack, unmentionables for growing girls, and a Hannah Montana outfit I promised to get Mags two weeks ago added up to another $260 at Wal-mart.  We might have to cut back to one meal a day, but at least they’ll look great when they go back to school 😉

Thursday was the last day of the giveaway contest. So Friday I ran the numbers through Research Randomizer and posted the winners: M, The True Confessions of a Book Lover Named M, won the $20 Borders gift card and a bonus gift, then Jessica and Dawn, She Is Too Fond of Books…, won the $10 cards, and Suey, It’s All About Books, and Judy Brittle won the $5 cards. I still haven’t heard from Jessica or Judy Brittle and if they don’t email me their address by 3 pm today, then I will draw two new names for their $10 and $5 cards.

Friday night, while y’all were fighting in line for Breaking Dawn, I haven’t read any off them and have a copy of BD on hold, we went to the movie theater to see the new Mummy movie.

It was an incredible movie. It has something for everyone (except small children I suppose), mummies, dragons, Yetis (is that the right word for more than one Yeti? or is it like the word “fish”), new love, reclaimed love, animal love (yeah, but is strictly platonic), action, battle, immortals and Shangri La. The kids came home and immediately put the first Mummy movie in the DVD player, and they’ve been flipping back and forth between one and two. I want to see this one again!

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THIS WEEK, blogwise that is. Seriously, I can’t say this enough, Mishka: An Adoption Tale is an exceptionally good book. Not only is the book a really wonderful and heartwarming book, but for each book that’s sold, and any other DRT Press book, 5% of the profit is donated to charities that help orphaned children in the EE and Russia. How can you go wrong with that? You get a great book to keep, AND the knowledge you are helping a child, who has no one, eat or get a new pair of shoes. It’s win-win!
Don’t forget to check out my Interview with Adrienne Ehlert Bashista and be sure to enter to win a signed copy of Mishka!

OH, and by the way… tell me what you think of my new look!  I’ve added a “Quote of the Day” to my sidebar, as well as rearranging the widgets (thanks readerville for the text box trick!)