Women and writing

This is the first of a series of essays on writing and literature where we deliberately set out to make you think – the consequences are that some of what you might read from us will be controversial – you won’t agree. That is good. Let us know if you agree or not and any other thoughts you have about the subject. Written by David Dennis – edited by Isabel Dennis When writing fact or fiction is there a special role for women that is not available to male writers? Could it be that women are better at discerning the emotional…

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The end or the beginning?

We have arrived at Z – the end of our alphabet journey to 2016. If we stop for a moment to look at Z – we discover that it is the least used letter of the English alphabet.  It can be traced back to the Romans, who got it from the Greeks, who got it from the Phoenicians, who perhaps got it from the Semitic alphabet – but whoever and however it arrived, it is interesting that it ended up at the end.  All of this got me wondering why our alphabet is ordered in the way it is. It…

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Writing is what we are all about

It’s great that we have arrived at W, because we are all about words and writing. Back at D of our alphabet journey, we looked at the discovery of writing. If you remember, we explained that the very earliest writing so far discovered is European in origin – written on the Amulet called the Tărtăria tablet dating to 5300-5500 BC and devised by the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture of the Carpathians and the Moldova-Romania region. How incredible to think about all the words that have been written since those early times.  It seems that mankind needed to create permanence for their words.  We know that many stories were…

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N is for Novel, of course

It stands to reason that we should choose novel for the N of our alphabet journey. The OED definition of a novel is interesting: a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action, with some degree of realism But, in fact, if we look at the derivation of the word we discover it can be traced back to Middle English (and Latin, of course) and where it meant a novelty or a piece of news. How many of our novels represent a novelty?  Do you struggle to find something truly novel on bookshop bookshelves?  And what is the news that our novels bring us? Is that the realism that the…

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Language and literature

As we are all about words, then we can’t pass L on our alphabet journey without pausing to think about language and literature. It would seem that one of the trickiest questions to answer for scientists is ‘When did language first occur?’  Looking through any internet searches you will find scores of theories, spanning centuries, with linguists, anthropologists, sociologists, and archaeologists all throwing their hat into the ring, so to speak.  Was it inevitable that mankind should develop speech?  Plenty to read up about if you are inclined.

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