How to Choose a Novel: Read Page 69

The Marshall McLuhan Test

Marshall McLuhan, (July 21, 1911 – December 31, 1980) was a Canadian philosopher of communication theory. His work is viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory, as well as having practical applications in the advertising and television industries.[1][2] McLuhan is known for coining the expressions the medium is the message and the global village, and for predicting the World Wide Web almost thirty years before it was invented. (from wikipedia).

I came across the so-called Marshall McLuhan test while reading and browsing through the Guardian web page. Charlotte Stretch mentions it in her post on the Guardian’s books blog. Since there are so many novels, new ones being published every day, how do we choose which ones to read? Our time is limited. Even if we spent all of it reading… I once calculated how many books I could manage to read in the rest of my remaining days if I, say, for example, read two 300 pagers a week. Continue reading

Guess the Classic (2)

Classic (1) was the beginning of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1897. The Irish author created the character of the noble vampire in the 19th century and until today it has inspired many works of fiction, the latest (I think) being the Twilight series. My personal favorite film adaptation is Roman Polanski’s by now classic Dance of the Vampires (or: The Fearless Vampire Killers) from 1967, a more humourous uptake of the theme.

Now the next: Continue reading

The Seven Deadly Sins

adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a classification of objectionable vices (part of Christian ethics) that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct Christians concerning fallen humanity’s tendency to sin. The currently recognized version of the sins are usually given as Continue reading

Guess the Classic (1)

Research has shown that the vast majority of words are learned in and from context. So the more you expose yourself to the language, the more your vocabulary will grow. Besides listening, reading is one of the keys to vocabulary growth. So read, read, read – especially things that interest you, that you enjoy, or that are in any way meaningful to you.

I personally enjoy fiction. Though I know not everybody does, I do like to integrate fictional literature into my classes every once in a while. One of my favorite ‘exercises’ is ‘Guess the novel’: I copy pages from well-known classics and have the group read and guess what novels or stories the pages are from. Interestingly, even if they haven’t read the book, in most cases they are able to come up with the correct answer as those I pick seem to have their place in something like a collective consciousness.

Below is one such exerpt. One word in the text proved to be a total give-away, so I shortened it to two initial letters. Continue reading

TED and other youtube favorites

Youtube has evolved from being a forum for private videos to a platform where all kinds of institutions publish their visual material. Here one of my favorites is TED.

A student of mine showed me a talk given by Colin Stokes (How Movies Teach Manhood). Our classroom has access to the internet and we watched and discussed it together. In the mean time I have shown it to other groups as well.

Colin Stokes talks about his experience as a father Continue reading