Archive for the Non-Fiction Reading Category

Terry Eagleton. Literary Theory: An Introduction.

Posted in Non-Fiction Reading with tags , on February 7, 2010 by Richard Farrell

A concise but detailed ‘history’ of literary theory in the 20th Century.  Traces the roots of English literature.

Viktor Shklovsky. Theory of Prose.

Posted in Non-Fiction Reading on January 30, 2010 by Richard Farrell

Difficult, weighty critical work from the father of Russian Formalism.  Some gems here.  His discussion of defamiliarization (estrangement) is powerful and substantial.   “The purpose of art , then, is to lead us to a knowledge of a thing through the organ of sight instead of recognition.  By ‘estranging’  objects and complicating  form, the device of art makes perception long and laborious…Art is a means of experiencing the process of creativity.  The artifact itself is quite unimportant.”

Aristote. Poetics.

Posted in Non-Fiction Reading on January 30, 2010 by Richard Farrell

The master-classic on all things literary.  Only picking my way through at this point.

Damon Knight. Creating Short Fiction.

Posted in Non-Fiction Reading with tags , on August 24, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Very interesting examples and lots of solid exercises.   Covers a wide range of fictional components and has useful, unique exercises.  Talks too about the unconscious aspects of writing.  Would be useful for later work (ie. critical essays), in conjunction with ROB’s book, the Bickham book and Edgertons’ books.

Robert Olen Butler. From Where You Dream.

Posted in Non-Fiction Reading on August 7, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Book explores the sub-concsious mind as the seat of art.  Great essay on art vs. non-art.  Desire & yearning are central.  “Desire is the driving force behind plot.  The character yeans, the character does something in pursuit of that yearning, and some force or other will block the attempt to fulfill that yearning.”  p. 42.

Les Edgerton. Hooked.

Posted in Non-Fiction Reading with tags on August 3, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Book about story/novel openings.  Inciting Incidents.  Story-worthy problems.  Why beginnings are very important.  Good craft primer.  Really gets into the nuts and bolts of openings.

Lynne Sharon Schwartz. Ruined by Reading.

Posted in Non-Fiction Reading on July 21, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Memoir of the author’s relationship with reading and words.