Topic: Literature

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๐Ÿ”— Chekhov's gun

๐Ÿ”— Russia ๐Ÿ”— Literature ๐Ÿ”— Russia/performing arts in Russia ๐Ÿ”— Russia/language and literature of Russia

Chekhov's gun (Russian: ะงะตั…ะพะฒัะบะพะต ั€ัƒะถัŒั‘) is a dramatic principle that states that every element in a story must be necessary, and irrelevant elements should be removed. Elements should not appear to make "false promises" by never coming into play. The statement is recorded in letters by Anton Chekhov several times, with some variation:

  • "Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."
  • "One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn't going to go off. It's wrong to make promises you don't mean to keep." Chekhov, letter to Aleksandr Semenovich Lazarev (pseudonym of A. S. Gruzinsky), 1 November 1889. Here the "gun" is a monologue that Chekhov deemed superfluous and unrelated to the rest of the play.
  • "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there." From Gurlyand's Reminiscences of A. P. Chekhov, in Teatr i iskusstvo 1904, No. 28, 11 July, p.ย 521.

Ernest Hemingway mocked the interpretation given by English instructors to the principle. He gives in his essay "The Art of the Short Story" an example of two characters that are introduced and then never again mentioned in his short story "Fifty Grand". Hemingway valued inconsequential details, but conceded that readers will inevitably seek symbolism and significance in these inconsequential details.

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๐Ÿ”— A True Story

๐Ÿ”— Ancient Near East ๐Ÿ”— Novels ๐Ÿ”— Novels/Science fiction ๐Ÿ”— Science Fiction ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Literature ๐Ÿ”— Classical Greece and Rome ๐Ÿ”— Greece ๐Ÿ”— Comedy ๐Ÿ”— Assyria

A True Story (Ancient Greek: แผˆฮปฮทฮธแฟ† ฮดฮนฮทฮณฮฎฮผฮฑฯ„ฮฑ, Alฤ“thฤ“ diฤ“gฤ“mata; Latin: Vera Historia or Latin: Verae Historiae) is a novel written in the second century AD by Lucian of Samosata, a Greek-speaking author of Assyrian descent. The novel is a satire of outlandish tales which had been reported in ancient sources, particularly those which presented fantastic or mythical events as if they were true. It is Lucian's best-known work.

It is the earliest known work of fiction to include travel to outer space, alien lifeforms, and interplanetary warfare. As such, A True Story has been described as "the first known text that could be called science fiction". However the work does not fit into typical literary genres: its multilayered plot and characters have been interpreted as science fiction, fantasy, satire or parody, and have been the subject of much scholarly debate.

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๐Ÿ”— Oblique Strategies

๐Ÿ”— Literature ๐Ÿ”— Psychology

Oblique Strategies (subtitled Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas) is a card-based method for promoting creativity jointly created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt, first published in 1975. Physically, it takes the form of a deck of 7-by-9-centimetre (2.8ย in ร—ย 3.5ย in) printed cards in a black box. Each card offers a challenging constraint intended to help artists (particularly musicians) break creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking.

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๐Ÿ”— 90 percent of everything is crap

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Science Fiction ๐Ÿ”— Literature ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Epistemology

Sturgeon's revelation (as expounded by Theodore Sturgeon), referred to as Sturgeon's law, is an adage cited as "ninety percent of everything is crap." The sentence derives from quotations by Sturgeon, an American science fiction author and critic; although Sturgeon coined another adage he termed "Sturgeon's law", the "ninety percent crap" remark became Sturgeon's law.

The phrase was derived from Sturgeon's observation while science fiction was often derided for its low quality by critics, the majority of examples of works in other fields could equally be seen to be of low quality, and science fiction was thus no different in that regard from other art forms.

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๐Ÿ”— Belling the Cat

๐Ÿ”— Literature

"Belling the Cat" is a fable also known under the titles "The Bell and the Cat" and "The Mice in Council". Although often attributed to Aesop, it was not recorded before the Middle Ages and has been confused with the quite different fable of Classical origin titled The Cat and the Mice. In the classificatory system established for the fables by B. E. Perry, it is numbered 613, which is reserved for Mediaeval attributions outside the Aesopic canon.

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๐Ÿ”— Intentionally Blank Page

๐Ÿ”— Literature ๐Ÿ”— Typography

An intentionally blank page or vacat page (from Latin: vacare for "being empty") is a page that is devoid of content and may be unexpected. Such pages may serve purposes ranging from place-holding to space-filling and content separation. Sometimes, these pages carry a notice such as "This page [is] intentionally left blank." Such notices typically appear in printed works, such as legal documents, manuals, and exam papers, in which the reader might otherwise suspect that the blank pages are due to a printing error and where missing pages might have serious consequences.

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๐Ÿ”— Stanisล‚aw Lem

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— Science Fiction ๐Ÿ”— Literature ๐Ÿ”— Poland ๐Ÿ”— Biography/arts and entertainment

Stanisล‚aw Herman Lem (Polish:ย [staหˆษฒiswaf หˆlษ›m] (listen); 12 or 13 September 1921 โ€“ 27 March 2006) was a Polish writer of science fiction, philosophy, and satire. Lem's books have been translated into 41 languages and have sold over 45ย million copies. From the 1950s to 2000s, he published many books, both science fiction and philosophical/futurological. Worldwide, he is best known as the author of the 1961 novel Solaris, which has been made into a feature film three times. In 1976, Theodore Sturgeon wrote that Lem was the most widely read science fiction writer in the world. The total print of Lem's books is over 30 million copies.

Lem's works explore philosophical themes through speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of communication with and understanding of alien intelligence, despair about human limitations, and humanity's place in the universe. They are sometimes presented as fiction, but others are in the form of essays or philosophical books.

Translating his works is difficult due to passages with elaborate word formation, idiomatic wordplay, alien or robotic poetry, and puns.

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๐Ÿ”— The Awful German Language

๐Ÿ”— Germany ๐Ÿ”— Literature ๐Ÿ”— Linguistics

"The Awful German Language" is an 1880 essay by Mark Twain published as Appendix D in A Tramp Abroad. The essay is a humorous exploration of the frustrations a native speaker of English has with learning German as a second language.

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๐Ÿ”— Barbara Newhall Follett

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— Literature ๐Ÿ”— Women writers ๐Ÿ”— Biography/arts and entertainment

Barbara Newhall Follett (March 4, 1914 โ€“ disappeared December 7, 1939) was an American child prodigy novelist. Her first novel, The House Without Windows, was published in January 1927, when she was twelve years old. Her next novel, The Voyage of the Norman D.w, received critical acclaim when she was fourteen.

In December 1939, aged 25, Follett reportedly became depressed with her marriage and walked out of her apartment, never to be seen again.

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