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Category Archives: Fiction Fridays

Fiction Friday: Let’s Talk Stories

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Why You Should Read

The un-examined life is not worth living.” -Socrates

 

We all know the first stories were drawings on cave walls, followed by oral story telling, and the ancients chronicaling the lives and accomplishments of their gods and heroes. In these stories can be seen a desire to remember great events and understand the world around us. Stories of war and love and loss were passed down through generations–and can now be read in books and online by anyone with access. Myths and legends sprang up around the unexplainable and seemingly supernatural–and now we study them in classrooms all over the world. As people learned and nations grew, the stories evolved. We began to examine the world through all kinds of new genres of writing, and at multiple levels of society. We increasingly set aside unscientific explanations for the processes of nature and the universe, and turned to the novel for mythologizing. We now look to characters that we know to be fiction, but who teach us who we should and shouldn’t be all the same.

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Fiction Friday: Let’s Start with a Graphic Novel

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While reading Art Spiegleman’s graphic novel, Maus, it is important to remember that the work is essentially the interpretation of a memory, of a traumatic experience, during a particularly dark point in human history. The relationship between Art and his father, Vladek, constantly draws attention to this. Throughout the course of the graphic novel, Art acts as something of an historian, seeking to reconcile History with personal experience. This experience defines Vladek so intensely that both the story and the man seem one-in-the same—a piece of history that must be interpreted to be intelligible. It is through such interpretation and (by extension) artistic expression, that Vladek’s story is able to join the larger, historical Holocaust narrative without losing its singularity.

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