From My Uni Days

Today I offer an old essay from my uni days, it is an overview of postmodernism, taking a closer analytical look at deconstruction as part of the postmodernist movement. In particular I address the work of Jaques Derrida, how it has developed, is applied and its continuing contributions to the postmodernism. I put forth a brief definition of modernism, as I saw it then, as a kind of historical background and finish up with some reflections of my own.Shel Sweeney  - 1 Continue reading

The Art of Essay Writing

I’m not sure about you, and I have no idea what most schools were doing at the time, but I swear I was never formally taught how to write an essay. Nevertheless, somehow I bumbled through school with reasonable grades. It wasn’t until I was at university that I had to really think about essay structure, and then as a new teacher, I taught others who to write essays. So how do you write an essay?

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Pagan’s Curse

Through careful characterisation, Catherine Jinks positions readers of Pagan’s Crusade to initially dislike the character of Joscelin, an old acquaintance of the protagonist, Pagan. Jinks’ use of flashbacks within a chronological narrative structure, give insight into Joscelin’s shady past and simultaneously implicates Pagan in events that have potential to compromise the readers’ initial admiration of the protagonist. Pagan’s Crusade is a dialogic novel. Mike Cadden argues that, “The dialogic or double-voiced text represents voices as equal and provides alternative interpretation that offer, in their aggregate, no single and final answer for the reader.” (Cadden, M., 2000, pp. 147). Jinks uses time shifts and creates in Pagan a first person unreliable narration, in which the reader discovers a level of comprehension for Joscelin’s situation and an awareness of how difficult life was in Jerusalem in 1187. In presenting a past association between Joscelin and Pagan, Jinks encourages readers to compare these two seemingly contrasting characters. As a result of Jinks’ strategies of double-voicedness, readers see both characters as well-rounded and human, making human decisions and errors; this in turn enables readers to identify with the characters, feel empathy for them, struggle with the same questions and feel as though they are making their own opinions of these characters.

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Did you know that from as early as the 16th century fairytales (originally an oral tradition) were collected in written form: with Le piacevoli notti (The Pleasant Nights 1550-53) by Giovan Francesco? This past week I have been stuck into critiquing different versions of the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale for an essay I am writing. Not much novel writing has taken place, but plenty of other writing.

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