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Posts from the ‘Literature’ Category

5
May

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (Book Review)

“Let’s play real intellectual tennis: this book is my serve, and I welcome serious returns – with the net of reason always up.” – Daniel C. Dennett

Breaking the Spell, by Professor Dennett, takes the reader on a ride, journeying through the evolutionary processes of the memes carried by the transitions of tradition and folklore, to organized religion and fanaticism. He has nothing but inexorable fervour in attempting to discover how world religions came about through natural processes. The spell he attempts to break is the unjustified and supposedly untrumpable defence-mechanism of the so-called sanctity which religion has in the face of examination, no matter how small. How does he do this? By asking a lot of questions, and then trying to answer them, always staying humble, and never claiming facts where none have been affirmed. He is a scientific philosopher through and through, but makes his writings easily accessible to the layman. Read moreRead more

2
May

Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (Book Review)

I recommend this book to anyone interested in both the findings of the Theory of Evolution and its historical, epic struggle, which continues even today, and will continue for years to come. Edward J. Larson begins with the evolutionary theorists, such as the catastrophists, leading up to Charles Darwin (men like Cuvier, Lamarck, Owen, etc.), until the modern synthesis we have today. Larson is an excellent writer, which is why he won the Pulitzer Price for Summer of the Gods in 1998, and makes Darwinism accessible to the layman, while remaining informed and extremely caring about this undeniably significant, controversial scientific theory. Its possible mechanisms for breeding forth all the magnificent diversity of life on this earth have themselves, as Larson meticulously highlights, been a matter of vigorous scientific dispute among evolutionists, and Larson uses the hypotheses and disputes over their certainty as a mechanism to fuel his book forward. Read moreRead more

13
Apr

The Outsider (Book Review)

“Given that you’ve got to die, it obviously doesn’t matter exactly how or when.” The Outsider is a novella which addresses the problem of the nihilist. Given that we all cease to exist one day, as far as Meursault, the protagonist, can see, it doesn’t make a difference when or how that time comes, because afterwards there is only nothingness. And so Meursault embraces nothingness while alive, within the context of what he keeps repeating throughout the novel: “It didn’t really matter.” To him, even getting his head decapitated in his youth doesn’t make a difference in the long run, since he will not be able to dwell on or remember it (or create any new thoughts or ideas, for that matter) immediately after his cranium hits the ground. “Everyone was privileged. There were only privileged people. The others too would be condemned one day,” he says. Indeed, he enjoyed life for all the aesthetics and sensuality it had to offer him, and he knew it was a privilege to be able to experience existing at all. But, to him, in the end, nothing mattered, because we would all eventually be condemned – to death. Read moreRead more

9
Mar

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Book Review)

I recently read this novel by Milan Kundera, written in ’82, published in ’84, and I was very impressed by it. One of the former colleagues of my Master’s Degree recommended it to me last year and I’m glad that she did. It’s a marvelous book. It’s slow, but very real, very philosophical and very well written. Kundera’s intent is on exploring the unbearable lightness of being, that is, the fact that things are fleeting, will never happen again, and, if the human race goes extinct, may as well have never happened at all. Read moreRead more

4
Sep

Fan Expo Canada 2011

FanExpo Canada is a yearly event held in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. It features the best of the worlds of comic books, science fiction / fantasy, horror movies / television, anime / collectible cards and video games. Last year’s event saw more than 60,000 people enter the convention center for a three day event. This year, the event was expanded to four days, and is likely to surpass over one hundred thousand fans. Read moreRead more

21
Mar

Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins (Literature Review)

“Skinny Legs And All” by Tom Robbins is without a doubt one of the best books I have read. This is the story of five inanimate objects: A Conch Shell, a Can O’ Beans, a Painted Stick, a Dirty Sock and a Spoon; which embark on an unlikely adventure that consists of the above mentioned objects heading from America to Jerusalem. Read moreRead more

17
Oct

Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling is Plagiarising?

J.K. Rowling the author of the infamous Harry Potter series has been accused of plagiarism. Surprised? Not really! It was about time! Although she is being accused of taking material from a certain Adrian Jacobs who wrote The Adventures of Willy the Wizard almost all of the Harry Potter books bear some sort of resemblance to other ‘genre’ classics. Read moreRead more

21
Aug

So Dark: Literature Review

So Dark by Agustín Cadena is a novel that burns, indeed; a work full of dark desire, self-destruction, like a black cat who inserts its claws in a beautiful, long, silky-white neck. This novel explores the condition of love as death, as erotic addiction, as mutilation, as unavoidable failure. The three characters are Gregorio Montero, a well-known painter and professor at a plastic arts school; Julia, a model at this plastic arts school, Gregorio’s wife, who is ten years younger than him; and Bodo, Julia’s handsome boyfriend who is two years younger than her. Read moreRead more