“Not Slytherin, not Slytherin”

            Sam, Just last week, readers in the UK (and outside it) celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In the spirit of Chamber leaving its teenage years behind, I’d like to examine a question that started in Philosopher’s Stone and was answered in Chamber. It deals…

The Authority of Canon

Sam, What decides the canon of story? Does it matter which comes first? Which should hold more weight, book or film? Discerning canon is an important aspect of literary scholarship because the authority of canon decides which stories we will keep telling long after their authors have returned to the dirt. After all, myths have…

Be a Filter, Not a Sponge

Sam, You only have to participate in one writing critique group to understand the vital importance of being a filter, not a sponge. The phrase “everyone is a critic” may as well be engraved on the tombstone of every artist because . . . everyone really is a critic. When it comes to art, every opinion matters…

Regarding ‘Afterlife’ by Stephen King

Sam, ***CAUTION. MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.*** Last fall we had to read a piece and present it to my Short Story literature class. I decided on Steven King’s Afterlife after having read/heard it while searching for interviews of him online. If you aren’t able to purchase a copy of the Tin House issue featuring the story, you can…