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Lee Gutkind: What is Creative Nonfiction? | Creative Nonfiction
Scenes and stories are the building blocks of creative nonfiction, the foundation and anchoring elements of what we do. This is what I tell people who want to write but have no experience writing. And I tell the same thing to the graduate students in my writing classes—and PhD students. Writing in scenes is one of the most important lessons for you to take from this book—and to learn.

The idea of scenes as building blocks is an easy concept to understand, but it’s not easy to put into practice. The stories or scenes not only have to be factual and true (You can’t make them up!), they have to make a point or communicate information, as I have said, and they have to fit into the overall structure of the essay or chapter or book. It is often a daunting task. But it’s essential.

Writing in scenes represents the difference between showing and telling. The lazy, uninspired writer will tell the reader about a subject, place, or personality, but the creative nonfiction writer will show that subject, place, or personality, vividly, memorably—and in action. In scenes.
writing  quotes 
2 days ago
Understanding historical (im)politeness - Cornell University Library Catalog
See Valentine Pakis' piece on flyting and insult in medieval literature.
iceland  history  medieval  icelandic 
2 days ago
Viking sagas reflect tradition of feminism - The Globe and Mail
"The room that female characters have been given in the Laxdala saga in particular has made people speculate it may have been written by a woman," said scholar Keneva Kunz. "The men are paper tigers, rather hollow and overblown, and there is more emphasis on colour and emotion."
iceland  lit 
4 days ago
Favorite lines of hip-hop braggadocio? : hiphopheads
"Pass me the scalpel, I'll make an incision, I'll cut out the part of your brain that does the bitchin'" - MCA from Beastie Boys' 'Make Some Noise' off of Hot Sauce Committee Part II
music  rap  hiphop 
5 days ago
Project MUSE - A Long Night’s Journey Into Spring: Savoring Thorrablot, Iceland’s Rancid Winter Feast
Kirkjubæjarklaustur sits on the southern fringe of Iceland, three hours east of Reykjavik. There isn’t much to the town—its name means “church-farm-cloister” and that about covers it. Only if you were a natural-disaster geek would you pull off the highway here: Kirkjubæjarklaustur is sandwiched by a fearsome volcano and the largest ice cap in Europe. Laki, the volcano, once erupted so passionately its ash blotted out the moon for months. Vatnajökull, the giant glacier, is ungirded by volcanoes. If there’s a more calamity-prone place on Earth than Kirkjubæjarklaustur, nobody lives there.
iceland  history 
6 days ago
Isaiah 40 KJ21 - "Comfort ye, comfort ye My - Bible Gateway
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.

5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

6 The voice said, “Cry!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.

7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass.

8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
religion  christianity  bible  writing  poetry 
6 days ago
The Best History Books 2018 | History Today
The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages (Cambridge), Geraldine Heng shows repeated cases which would unambiguously be classified as racially motivated hate crimes today, grounded in religion. This book is field-defining and vital in the current climate.
history  read  lit  academic 
8 days ago
The Best Way to Handle Winter Weather - The Atlantic
the Russians still had higher than average metabolic rates, but the indigenous Siberians’ rates were even higher. “With long-term, repeated exposure to cold, all humans have some capacity to increase their acclimatization to cold,” Leonard says. “But those populations with a deep evolutionary history seem to have genetic adaptation.”
health  science  culture 
15 days ago
Divining the Witch of York: Propaganda and Prophecy – The Public Domain Review
The prophetess herself may have been a later invention. Yet Mother Shipton, England’s Nostradamus, the sixteenth-century Sibyl, the Yorkshire prophetess, the Knaresborough witch whose crooked face has stared out from prints hanging on occultist’s walls and in the names of country pubs since the initial printing of her predictions in 1641, should serve as a potent point of reflection for what exactly we talk about when we talk about prophecies.
history  magic 
19 days ago
How to Be Mindful Walking in the Rain - The New York Times
Walking mindfully in the rain is a wonderful opportunity to get closer to nature, and our true nature.” — Ian Banyard,
walking  mindfulness  meditation 
26 days ago
Explorer Erling Kagge on why we walk and the tyranny of tech | Financial Times
With rucksack packed and sturdy walking boots and fleece donned, I head off to meet the first man to walk to all three extremities of the North Pole, South Pole and Mount Everest. Since those feats as an explorer in the 1990s, Erling Kagge has become something of a Renaissance man. A lawyer by training, he studied philosophy after exploring the world, starting his own publishing house, becoming a renowned collector of contemporary art, and latterly an author of slim but thought-provoking tomes.

how radical it has become to actually choose to walk. To move slowly from one place to another has become a privilege, and many people can’t afford it because they need to get from A to B in a fast pace,”

“This is good,” Kagge says, sounding somewhat surprised at first sip. “The moral is that everything tastes either good or fantastic when you have walked first.”

Norwegians say that if you drink liquor to get warm, it is like peeing your pants for the same reason.”

I ask him about one of his main conclusions — that humankind could be changing as we use our feet less and our cars more. “Humans or homo sapiens didn’t invent walking. But walking invented human beings. So, of course, now we go into a time where we walk less and less,” he says, squatting by his cooker.

What I like about the forest is that the terrain is uneven or rugged. And then you have to move with your whole body using your arms, your head, and somehow you feel that you are experiencing with the whole body. And also you make decisions before you feel they have reached your head. It’s whole body and mind balance.”

Kagge says he often chooses to take meetings, like ours, on a walk rather than in the office or at a café, although he is at his happiest when walking alone. -- Like Rousseau

“The thing is, the world remains unexplored because the world is changing all the time but also because there’s always a new way to see everything,” he adds.

“I also believe in making life more difficult than necessary. If I had been born in Sudan obviously I would not think the same way, but as a Norwegian in general you need to have a meaningful life. You need to make it more difficult than it has to be.”

For me to write about silence and about walking was super-difficult because I wanted to use few words and make it breathe and still be meaningful.” He says he was aware of the fine line between deep observations and obvious ones. “I use plain language, no ups and downs, kind of a meditative atmosphere with the words I choose. I write philosophically but I am not a philosopher. I am, first of all, a guy that walked really long distances.”

As if exploring, collecting and philosophising were not enough, he is also head of Kagge Forlag, one of Norway’s biggest publishing houses, and books help feed his curiosity.
scandi  philo  walking 
26 days ago
Cornell Professors Contribute to the Growing Narrative on Slavery and Capitalism | The Cornell Daily Sun
Prof. Edward Baptist, history, focuses his research on the history of enslavement of African Americans in the south. His recent book, The Half Has Never Been Told, examines how the expansion of slavery helped fuel the evolution of the modern United States.

In discussing his approach to the history of capitalism, Baptist explained that history often exists in the form of a Venn diagram, in which the end result comes about from many intersecting factors.

“A lot of the public discussion has focused primarily on three circles that often overlap,” Baptist said. “You have cultural histories of capitalism, histories of finance and then you have histories of slavery.”
history  academic  race 
27 days ago
Young People Are Having Less Sex - The Atlantic
Over the course of many conversations with sex researchers, psychologists, economists, sociologists, therapists, sex educators, and young adults, I heard many other theories about what I have come to think of as the sex recession. I was told it might be a consequence of the hookup culture, of crushing economic pressures, of surging anxiety rates, of psychological frailty, of widespread antidepressant use, of streaming television, of environmental estrogens leaked by plastics, of dropping testosterone levels, of digital porn, of the vibrator’s golden age, of dating apps, of option paralysis, of helicopter parents, of careerism, of smartphones, of the news cycle, of information overload generally, of sleep deprivation, of obesity. Name a modern blight, and someone, somewhere, is ready to blame it for messing with the modern libido.
read  sex 
28 days ago
Opinion | The Alt-Right’s Favorite Meme Is 100 Years Old - The New York Times
According to their delirious foes, “cultural Marxists” are an unholy alliance of abortionists, feminists, globalists, homosexuals, intellectuals and socialists who have translated the far left’s old campaign to take away people’s privileges from “class struggle” into “identity politics” and multiculturalism. Before he executes the professors, the protagonist of Mr. Lind’s novel expounds on his theory to their faces: “Classical Marxists, where they obtained power, expropriated the bourgeoisie and gave their property to the state,” he says. “Where you obtained power, you expropriated the rights of white men and gave special privileges to feminists, blacks, gays, and the like.” It is on the basis of this parallel that the novel justifies carnage against the “enemies of Christendom” as an act showing that “Western culture” is “recovering its will.”
culture  history  conservativeechochamber 
4 weeks ago
1,000-year-old Viking toilet uncovered in Denmark | ScienceNordic
In a Viking settlement on Stevns in Denmark, archaeologists have excavated a two metre deep hole. But it is not just any old hole. This hole, it seems, may be the oldest toilet in Denmark.

Radiocarbon dating of the faeces layer dates back to the Viking Age, making it quite possibly the oldest toilet in Denmark.
iceland  history 
5 weeks ago
A Guide to the Sagas: Icelanders in the Viking Age – The People of the Sagas | Iceland Review
Similarly, the term Viking should be used carefully. It is often used to describe all Nordic people of the saga age, while in fact it only applies to Norse seafarers and warriors.

“Ad fara í víking” is to go on a raid, and although some of the early Icelanders certainly participated in such raids, most of them were farmers. The time of the settlement of Iceland is close to the end of the Viking raid period.
iceland  history 
5 weeks ago
Robert Muczynski Interview with Bruce Duffie . . . . .
Oh, no.  I’m not a faucet, but there was a period in the sixties when I was writing quite a bit.  My publisher in New York was a German director of this publishing house and he said, “Ach, my God, you’re like a rabbit!”  But I don’t want to be a rabbit.
music  write  create  novelty  art 
5 weeks ago
Priapus - Wikipedia
In Greek mythology, Priapus (/praɪˈeɪpəs/;[1] Ancient Greek: Πρίηπος, Príēpos) was a minor rustic fertility god, protector of livestock, fruit plants, gardens and male genitalia. Priapus is marked by his oversized, permanent erection, which gave rise to the medical term priapism. He became a popular figure in Roman erotic art and Latin literature, and is the subject of the often humorously obscene collection of verse called the Priapeia.
read  iceland  history  humanities 
6 weeks ago
Weird Writers of History | History Today
There is a widespread myth about the history of the English language, which goes like this: it began as the sturdy, rugged Germanic tongue of the Anglo-Saxons – good for writing about battles, but not much else – and was refined into a decent level of sophistication by the influence of Norman French, which shaped it into a language fit for discussing elegant and cultured topics. This trajectory – from earthy to elegant, coarse to cultured – is a story regularly repeated in popular narratives of English history, usually by those who have not read much Anglo-Saxon literature; the stereotype of Old English as unsophisticated or ‘rude’ (in every sense of that word) falters in the face of contact with the intricate poetry or thoughtful prose written in that language.

In the late Anglo-Saxon period, Old English was developing a sophisticated technical vocabulary, with which to discuss scholarly, scientific and theological subjects. Many of these terms have not survived to the present day, but they are evidence of how carefully some Anglo-Saxon writers thought about their own language and how much consideration went into the production of new words and compounds.

One example is an intriguing word that brings us back to my opening question: wyrdwritere, meaning ‘historian’. This word
history  language  english  linguistics  read 
6 weeks ago
Tales from the Ice Age | History Today
At the turn of the 19th century, Europe was experiencing the end of a ‘Little Ice Age’. The term – coined in 1939 by the Dutch-American geologist François E. Matthes – referred to the period of noticeable cooling which, following the end of the ‘Medieval Warm Period’ in the early 17th century, caused extraordinary change across the Continent. Seas froze, as did many rivers and lakes. Ice became thicker and lasted longer. Shipping became perilous as sea ice expanded further from the coastlines of Iceland and Greenland. Food insecurity became widespread as crop failure prompted immigration to the Americas. Winters were colder and summers were shorter and wetter. Dramatic events, such as the violent eruption of the Indonesian volcano Mount Tambora in 1815, affected the northern hemispheric weather – 1816 became known as the ‘Year Without a Summer’.

Norse legends provide a rich reservoir of stories about ice, snow, darkness and the cold. One of the most famous involving ice is Skadi, the goddess of mountains and ice, who is often depicted as a hunter and an accomplished skier. It was later said to have inspired Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen. During the long polar nights, mysterious creatures ranging from trolls and wizards to ghosts and creatures emerge, able to transform from animals to islands. Stories about being in the grip of supernatural forces complemented the real experience of population decline and crop failure in Iceland and Greenland.
iceland  history 
6 weeks ago
Cod wars to brand battles: Iceland saga points to a happy ending | Financial Times
Once upon a time, war with Iceland was barely a metaphor. British frigates were pitted against Icelandic gunboats in three “cod wars” over fishing rights in the north Atlantic, between the 1950s and the 1970s. The confrontations included collisions, rammings, net-cutting, firing of blank and live rounds, and, more benignly, much playing of “Rule Britannia!” over ship-to-ship radio.

The next major episode in tense UK-Icelandic relations saw the countries at odds over compensation for UK depositors in Landsbanki (coincidentally one of the banks that ended up with shares in Iceland, the company, in 2009). Iceland only made the final payment to customers in January this year, following referendums, lawsuits, and protests.

Then there was the defeat of the England football team by Iceland’s outsiders in the Euro 2016 championships, and finally the current branding “war”. Iceland is sailing to the defence of local businesses it says are hampered from expanding in Europe by Iceland Foods’ ownership of rights to use the country’s name.

We live in unpredictable times.

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I read the whole saga of half a century of Iceland-UK relations positively: as a story of the gradually thawing influence of open trade and globalisation — from fish, through finance, via football, to frozen food.
iceland  history 
6 weeks ago
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