Literature and Theatre

You are looking at 101 - 110 of 6,996 items for

  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Nicholas Royle
in David Bowie, Enid Blyton and the sun machine
Nicholas Royle

Intro: Bowie, ‘All the Madmen’. This song is about staying underground, ‘day after day’, as one of ‘the sane’. The lecture links Bowie’s music with the sort of creative expedition that Blyton goes on when she writes a Famous Five book: she goes down into the undermind on her typewriter and stays there all day, day after day. A critical overview of Five on a Treasure Island (1942), giving particular attention to: 1) Blyton’s notion of ‘strange happenings’ (strict avoidance of the supernatural, despite consistent flirting with the mysterious and unexplained, the ‘spooky’ and the ‘eerie’); and 2) construing her storytelling as telepathic narration (sharing thoughts and feelings, between children and reader, between the children themselves, and between the children and the dog, Timmy). The lecturer argues for a link between the literary theory of telepathy and the reality of climate emergency. Reflections on saxophony, mourning and telepathy. Outro: Charles Mingus, ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’.

in David Bowie, Enid Blyton and the sun machine
Abstract only
Nicholas Royle
in David Bowie, Enid Blyton and the sun machine
Nicholas Royle

Intro: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor. Critical reflections on the beauty of music and its links to memory and loss. Outline of the ‘undermind’, Enid Blyton’s neologism for the unconscious – where she got her ideas from; and how she went about writing (sometimes more than a book a week). Discussion of chance and coincidence in literature and music. Particular focus on Blyton’s and Bowie’s links with Beckenham in Kent. The lecturer, somewhat to his surprise, finds himself exploring the idea that we might hear in certain early Bowie songs a kind of ‘Blytonic demonic’. Outro: ‘There is a Happy Land’ and ‘When I’m Five’.

in David Bowie, Enid Blyton and the sun machine
Nicholas Royle

Intro: Bowie’s ‘Five Years’. Discussion of the global pandemic and climate emergency: precarity and a sense of the ending. Reflections on Walter Pater’s Conclusion to The Renaissance, especially this short extract: ‘we have an interval, and then our place knows us no more. Some spend this interval in listlessness, some in high passions, the wisest, at least among “the children of this world”, in art and song.’ Account of why art and song matter, and what it might mean to be ‘children of this world’. The lecturer’s involuntary memory of his mother once saying to him: ‘Your grandmother had an affair with Enid Blyton.’ Reflections on the mystery of one’s parents and of their parents. Outro: Bowie’s ‘Prettiest Star’.

in David Bowie, Enid Blyton and the sun machine
Peter Boxall

In the Afterword Peter Boxall explores the question ‘What is a sun machine?’ He contends that David Bowie, Enid Blyton and the sun machine 'does not sit comfortably in any existing genre or form’ but rather belongs to a small group or family of texts (akin to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine, Franz Kafka’s The Burrow and Samuel Beckett’s Company) ‘whose effects rest on the blurred distinction between what they are “about”, and what they “are”’. Accordingly, Boxall suggests, Royle’s book is not just about the concept of the sun machines but is a sun machine itself. The idea of the sun machine develops out of Royle’s reckoning with David Bowie’s ‘Memory of a Free Festival’ and Blyton’s Famous Five books, in particular as a means of seeing – and delighting in – how writing and music generate their own sense of the sun and of the world it illuminates. Boxall foregrounds the painful timeliness of Royle’s book in relation to the ongoing crisis of the university as an institution and, in particular, of the rapidly diminishing role within it of literary studies. He concludes that David Bowie, Enid Blyton and the sun machine is ‘not just about the university’, but ‘it projects an image of the university as it might be’.

in David Bowie, Enid Blyton and the sun machine
Henry Sutton

This chapter builds on the necessity of having strong point-of-view characters, who ultimately determine the narrative drive, along with reader engagement. Ways to build on drive and character are explored. Gender, ethnicity and age are discussed in context, along with fictional responsibility and ideas around appropriate and inappropriate appropriation. The importance of knowing your characters intrinsically, ahead of too much mapping and sketching, is practically articulated. Aspects of violence and capturing murderous characters are explored with reference to fiction centred on serial killers. In particular, works and approaches by Thomas Harris and Val McDermid are analysed, and theoretical and critical approaches to fiction by James Wood and Professor Andrew Cowan are considered. Striving for character originality and authenticity is further examined, with reference to genre and non-genre writers, such as Kazuo Ishiguro and Raymond Chandler, along with a detailed analysis of Sutton’s novel Get Me Out of Here.

in Crafting crime fiction
Abstract only
Endings
Henry Sutton

With particular reference to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty, along with works by Raymond Chandler, this text draws to a conclusion by highlighting how difficult creating endings can be. The conclusion also emphasises the need to enjoy the process of writing so as to create enjoyable and compelling fiction.

in Crafting crime fiction
Abstract only
Henry Sutton

The essence of craft and craft being responsible for pulling all practical and thematic considerations together is explained, with examples. Time-saving devices, such as appropriate and timely planning and outlining, are emphasised, along with the hard work that is always needed to create an effective first draft and subsequent drafts. A number of writers’ approaches are explored, highlighting that there are no right or wrong ways, just hard and considered work. The dangers of being overly prescriptive or imperial are considered, and with reference to Matthew Salesses’s landmark contemporary text, Craft in the Real World. John Banville’s approaches to crime fiction and craft are considered. Practical and appropriate approaches to self-editing are explored and explained, along with the need to be authentic, and true to yourself and your work. Henry Sutton’s twenty-five craft tips are outlined. The work concludes with an emphasis on authorial control.

in Crafting crime fiction
Author:

A practical, critical and personal guide to the craft of crime writing by novelist and professor of creative writing, Henry Sutton. Drawing on exceptional experience and resource, the mystery of creating crime fiction which moves with pace and purpose, menace and motivation, is forensically and engagingly uncovered. The work of the genre’s greatest contributors, and that from many lesser known names from around the world, past and present, is explored with both practical acumen. Sutton also mines his own fiction for lessons learnt, and rules broken. Personal creative successes, struggles and surprises are candidly addressed. In nine entertaining chapters the key building blocks for crafting pertinent and characterful crime fiction, are illustrated and explained. The genre’s extraordinary dynamism, with its myriad and ever-evolving sub-genres, from the cosy to the most chilling noir, the police procedural to the geopolitical thriller, is knowingly captured. However, the individual and originality are given centre stage, while audience and inclusivity continually considered and championed. This is an essential guide for those interested in writing crime fiction that gets noticed and moves with the times, if not ahead of the times.