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    The message, in Roman Jakobson’s Theory of Communication, is what you want to communicate to the receiving end of the conversation. The Romans used the words of Cato the Elder to describe its importance: Rem tene, verba sequentur – grasp the concept, and the words will follow. Albert Einstein delved even deeper in the importance ...
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    Irony is defined as the ability to say one thing while meaning another. It’s a subtle technique that implies the risk of not being immediately grasped by the audience, while providing an immensely powerful tool for communication by tapping into the mutual understanding and interpretation of context. Not surprisingly, the use of irony is an ...
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    0

    We can’t expect to have specific understanding of storytelling without knowing how communication works. Without getting too technical, I’ll try to summarize the main elements of how we are capable of sending and interpreting messages coming from the world. We’ll have to start with how the brain functions. One of the most important cerebral circuits ...
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    I read 1984 when I was 18. I haven’t found the guts to read it again ever since. Not because I found it difficult or heavy; rather, every single word seems to have been branded with fire in my mind. Later on I read Animal Farm, which is probably the most quoted of Orwell’s books; probably ...
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    Next time you read a book or watch a film, try this simple test. Answer three questions about women in the story. 1. Are there two or more women with a name in the story? 2. Do they speak one with the other? 3. About something different than a man If the answer is Yes to all ...
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      per cui, bello di fama e di sventura baciò la sua petrosa Itaca Ulisse. after which, exalted by fame and by misfortune, Ulysses did kiss his rocky Ithaca. These two verses from the sonnet A Zacinto by Italian poet Ugo Foscolo hold the essence of an ancient and extremely well defined literary genre, that has left ...
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    The name of Alexandre Dumas is universally associated with his most famous works, like The Three Musketeers or The Count of Montecristo: less known is his The Wolf Leader, a booklet placing him with the first authors to draw the figure of the werewolf in modern literature.   This short novel, much like Polidori’s The Vampyre, contributed greatly to the ...
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    Ulysses lands, exhausted, on the beach of the Island of the Phaeacians. Rescued and welcomed to court by Nausicaa, daughter of king Alcinous and queen Arete, the hero tells his hosts the tale of his long journey and shipwreck. This is the first example of the flashback in Western literature, an extremely successful writing technique ...
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    Writing (and reading) is something we are taught when we are children, just like we learn how to walk or dance. Being a writer is no different from being a professional dancer: creative (and technical) writing is a skill that must be honed with a lot of reading, passion, and hard work. A book or ...
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    I love literature. I also love genres like fantasy and science fiction, which seem to suffer from the stigma of being considered “paraliterature”, as if no true artistic relevance could be found outside the closed borders of realistic fiction. This prejudice against genre literature, which also includes mystery and crime novels, is pretty much absurd ...