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Inside Junot Díaz’s class at MIT: What the writer wants his students to read


This is an incredible reading list.

World BuildingSome things to consider always when taking on a new world: What are its primary features—spatial, cultural, biological, fantastic, cosmological? What is the world’s ethos (the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize the world)? What are the precise strategies that are used by its creator to convey the world to us and us to the world? How are our characters connected to the world? And how are we the viewer or reader or player connected to the world?

A Princess of Mars by ER Burroughs
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin
Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (Recommended)

Advanced FictionNo sign of Alice Munro or Francine Prose here. As Díaz told Salon: “If race or gender (or any other important social force) are not part of your interpretive logic—if they’re not part of what you consider the real—then you’re leaving out most of what has made our world our world. This is a long way of saying that it’s not the books you teach, but how you teach them.”

Clara by Roberto Bolaño
Hitting Budapest by NoViolet Bulawayo
Whites by Julie Otsuka
Ghosts by Edwidge Danticat
My Good Man by Eric Gansworth
Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li
Bounty by George Saunders

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how to absolutely not depict lesbian sex: a one-page summary

is this not how it works. what have i been doing wrong


Laya Raki

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"I don’t want to film a ‘slice of life’ because people can get that at home, in the street, or even in front of the movie theater. They don’t have to pay money to see a slice of life. And I avoid out-and-out fantasy because people should be able to identify with the characters. Making a film means, first of all, to tell a story. That story can be an improbable one, but it should never be banal. It must be dramatic and human. What is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out. The next factor is the technique of film-making, and in this connection I am against virtuosity for its own sake. Technique should enrich the action. One doesn’t set the camera at a certain angle just because the cameraman happens to be enthusiastic about that spot. The only thing that matters is whether the installation of the camera at a given angle is going to give the scene its maximum impact. The beauty of the image and movement, the rhythm and the effects—everything must be subordinate to the purpose."

Alfred Hitchcock
August 13, 1899 — April 29, 1980

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my kind of skyrim

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Study for Lady Macbeth by Gustave Moreau, 1851

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Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797), Bridge through a Cavern at Moonlight - 1791

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