Harma-Mae Smit defends interesting stories—and writes them too. When not writing, she is currently surviving your typical tumultuous twenty-something years, which includes travel and attempting to read every interesting article on the internet.
Jane Austen’s been in the news a lot lately, due to her death happening two hundred years ago. As with most occasions Austen is mentioned, discussion turns to ranking her books. Pride and Prejudice is apparently preferred by the popular vote, while Emma is lauded by the critical vote. And I have no argument with this—I’d put one or the other of those at the top myself, except—what book do I find myself meditating on the most? Which one do I wrestle with, and spend hours studying thematically
Just do things. That’s my answer to that question.
Just do things. That’s my answer to that question. Most advice about finding your passion tends to be either ‘follow your heart,’ or, ‘don’t follow your heart, they’re lying to you.’ What neither of these pieces of advice take into account is—how does your heart know what it loves? How do you know you’ll love being an astronaut if you’ve never done it? And how do you know a career as an archaeologist won’t surprise you?
‘Neglectful’ was the word tossed around by one reviewer of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Apparently the Professor was neglectful of the children he’d taken into his house during the bombings of WWII, letting them run through his house on their own and not over-scheduling every minute of their day with dance class, extra tutoring, or athletics.
Let’s leave aside the fact that a bachelor professor who appears to be entirely unused to children decides, out of the kindness of his
Mary Bennett gets a lot of good press. In Pride and Prejudice, she’s one of heroine Elizabeth Bennett’s three younger sisters, and she’s described as the bookish one. Maybe because readers of Pride and Prejudice tend to be bookish as well, we tend to feel the story overlooks her, and write multiple blog posts and articles and sequel novels bemoaning this. This is in spite of the plentiful evidence Jane Austen herself did not like her. Despite her being bookish, Austen did not mean to point to
C.S. Lewis, by Paulina Van Vliet. All rights reserved.
I’ve been meaning to read Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis for a long time, ever since I discovered Lewis really did write fiction besides the Chronicles of Narnia. Now that I have I can’t resist blogging about it, because it excited me so much to find out how good it was. I rarely review books here, but some books are worth it, and if you’ve been looking for a worthwhile book I’ll write down some things to consider with thi
Classics are usually heavy reading. Even if they’re short, the language is unfamiliar enough that they take a long time to get through. But every once in a while you find one that surprises you, and here are three that surprised me.
Note: I’m not including any classics described as ‘children’s literature’ in this list.
Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne
I just really enjoyed the very punctual and methodical Phileas Fogg racing around the world with his com
I went to see Martin Scorsese’s Silence the other day and was curious about others’ reactions to it, especially considering the way it discusses Christian faith (and I am a Christian). Reactions to the movie were not hard to find, but scattered among these were many who pointed out Scorsese had made another movie about white male protagonists. And honestly, the movie is about Japan from the point of view of two Jesuit priests–this cannot be denied. However, I think to reduce it to that would
We’re told we should either pursue our dreams at all costs, or quit dreaming and face reality. It’s a new year now–what should we actually do?
Open your eyes and take a look around. The truth is, many people do make a living doing what they love, and yes, this even includes the arts. Somehow they support themselves in painting, or writing, or pontificating on architectural theories—how, no one knows, but they don’t look like they’re starving. Many would tell you they knew this was wha
I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month–National November Writing Months–that thing where you try to write a 50 000-word novel in a month. It’s good to write a full novel again. But it also reminds me how excruciating the process of creation actually is.
The minute you try put that thing in your head down on paper, it just sits there dry and lifeless and so, so far from what it was meant to be. The idea you had was good. That’s why you started writing it. But the reality of your
“Rhiannon’s life, compared with mine, seems very wobbly. She can never feel quite safe in her home or work; she is generally anxious and suffers from what her mum calls “impending doom scenarios”. … I’m not surprised. I’m only surprised by her and her friends’ general determination and resilience, and their lack of animosity towards people of my age. They confirm my belief that much of the “antagonism” between our generations has been whipped up by whoever labels us and lumps us all together