Henry James – “Of Course I Was Under the Spell”

Henry James was an American novelist and, as a naturalized English citizen from 1915, a great figure in the transatlantic culture. His fundamental theme was the innocence and exuberance of the New World in clash with the corruption and wisdom of the Old, as illustrated in such works as Daisy Miller (1879), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Bostonians (1886), and The Ambassadors (1903).

“Of course I was under the spell, and the wonderful part is that, even at the time, I perfectly knew I was. But I gave myself up to it; it was an antidote to any pain, and I had more pains than one.”

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, born on this day, April 15, 1843.
Henry James
Henry James Horror writer. Used for mind on fire books.

Although his work did not gain much recognition during his lifetime, Henry James now has a standing amongst the most significant writers of the nineteenth century realism. The Portrait of a Lady and Daisy Miller are his most widely read and best known works. Henry’s critique, short stories and novels are heavily influenced by European history and culture. His interest in Europe’s upper class and their formal traditions is evident in his writing. Henry’s engaging stories of Americans exploring the prim and proper lifestyle of the Europeans have gained him immense popularity. James has to his credit 22 novels, more than a hundred short stories, autobiographical works, several plays and critical essays.

Henry James, OM, son of theologian Henry James Sr., brother of the philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James, was an American-born author, one of the founders and leaders of a school of realism in fiction. He spent much of his life in England and became a British subject shortly before his death.

If you are enjoying this Horror writer feature, we have more great Literary content on The Ritual Blog here.

He is primarily known for a series of major novels in which he portrayed the encounter of America with Europe. His plots centered on personal relationships, the proper exercise of power in such relationships, and other moral questions. His method of writing from the point of view of a character within a tale allowed him to explore the phenomena of consciousness and perception, and his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting.

Here are 6 Novels Written by Henry James that he is most known for:

1. “The Turn of the Screw” (1898)

2. The Portrait of a Lady(1881) 

3. The Golden Bowl (1904)

4. The Tragic Muse(1890)

5. “The Aspern Papers” (1888)

6. The Bostonians (1886)

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Bukowski Philosophy: The Pursuit of Wonder

Bukowski Philosophy derives from Charles Bukowski, the iconic writer from the 20th century known for producing some of the rawest and most honest stories and poems of recent history. His own story included.

Bukowski Philosophy

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Top 10 Works

I was first introduced to Ralph Waldo Emerson in high school. I don’t recall exactly what I first read, I simply remember carrying his collected works around, along with my journal. Writing and Emerson to me were synonymous and my writing wasn’t writing unless it came after reading some Emerson. His essay on Self Reliance was what I needed and desired to hear at that time. I was a young man, coming into age, I was boxing and finding my self. 20 years later and Emerson is still my go to intellectual when I am going through some rough times, or simply stuck inside my head, and not in a productive way.

For those of you who are not familiar with Emerson, his upbringing and philosophy, this video below created by the Pursuit of Wonder provides a wonderful overview of his life and works:

Ralph Waldo Emerson and his top 10 works. Article for Mind on Fire Books

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.

Below are the top ten works produced by this prolific intellect:

  1. Nature (essay): This is the essay in which he put forward the foundation of Transcendentalism, a belief system that espouses a non-traditional appreciation of nature. He believed that one can learn to understand reality by studying nature.
  2. Self Reliance (essay): Emerson says “Trust thyself”. It is about trusting the force within you, working in harmony with your inner self (particularly the laws of nature), doing things naturally instead of mechanically.
  3. Brahma (Poem): Named for the Hindu god of creation, this poem is both religious and not at the same time.
  4. The American Scholar (speech): This is his speech given to the Phi Beta Kappa society at Cambridge University in which he stated the need for America to declare an intellectual independence from Europe and to develop our nation’s own identity.
If you are enjoying this article, we have more great Literary content on The Ritual Blog here.
  1. Politics (essay): This essay lays out his ideas on politics – being in favor of democracy and individualism. He was very opposed to the State and even goes so far as to say, “Every actual state is corrupt.
  2. The Poet (essay): This essay offers a profound look at poetry’s role in society. It was a major influence for Walt Whitman to publish his own book of poetry, Leaves of Grass.
  3. Experience (essay): An essay about the over-intellectualization of life and why utopian societies will never work. Quite astounding for someone of that era.
  1. The Snow Storm (poem): A beautiful rendition of both the fury or a nighttime winter storm as well as the creative artistry it brings. A poem which runs from furious conflict to slow appreciation in the period of a few lines.
  2. Divinity School Address (speech): A speech given to the graduating class of Harvard Divinity School, it argues that moral intuition is more important than religious doctrine.
  3. Uriel (poem): A tale of Gods and Goddesses, lines vs circles in nature, and the difference between “understanding” and “reason”. This poem, while deep and complex, has everything.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Monday Thoughts To Stir The Mind

Just some Monday thoughts from a quick writing prompt I collaborated on, along with two other poets on Haiku Jam to start the week.

Monday Thoughts
Monday Thoughts

If you are enjoying this article, we have more great Literary content on The Ritual Blog here.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Kafka and Being Kafkaesque

Kafka being Kafka- his work and views are often dark and disorienting. Yet they connect with a great many readers. The works of Franz Kafka provide a paradoxical comfort in its confrontation with the inexplicable discomfort we can often all feel in life. The emotion of Wonder is the feeling of curiosity and/or appreciation inspired by something that is beautiful or unfamiliar. At Pursuit of Wonder, they produce content with the goal to stimulate that feeling of the absurd.

Kafka and the philosophy of being kafkaesque

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Happy Freelance Writers Week: 5 Ways To Say Thank You!

Do you work as a freelance writer? Celebrate, my colleagues, for this is our week–National Freelance Writers Appreciation Week. The second week of February is National Freelance Writer Appreciation Week. While it’s always a good idea to show gratitude to anyone who contributes to the success of your organization, this week is a great time to reach out to the writers who drive your content marketing or other projects.

#1 – Write a Blog Post Highlighting Freelancer Efforts

Consider highlighting the role of freelancers in your organization if it’s appropriate for your brand. Write a blog post or create a video thanking your writers or sharing some fun behind-the-scenes information about how writers help you achieve your goals.

#2 – Share the Details of Success with Writers and Editors

Freelancers often work with little feedback or understanding of how their work contributes to your organization. Many of the best writers take ownership of their work, though, and when you let them know how they can help you succeed – or share what’s already working – you might be surprised at the response you get.

Take time this month to share feedback, statistics, and goals with your freelancers. Let a writer know the landing page they wrote helped you earn 10 percent more revenue last quarter, or tell your SEO writing team that their efforts resulted in an increase in page traffic. These little details make freelancers feel like part of something bigger, and it often spurs them to continue creating excellent content for you.

#3 – Send a Physical Thank You Card

With so much information exchanged in digital format, a physical mailing catches the attention. A hand-written thank you card shows that you cared enough to make a special effort. If you work with a crowd of freelancers, a preprinted thank you card in the mailbox can also make a writer smile.

#4 – Run a Giveaway to Celebrate the Week

If your budget won’t cover individual gifts or you work with a large freelance group, consider running a giveaway. When running a giveaway, keep things as simple and transparent as possible, and have fun with the entire premise.

#5 – Shout out on Social Media

Don’t be afraid to tag all of your writing friends and let them know how important you are to them. Writers love recognition, it’s how we make a living, so please share our work.

#6 – Hold a Digital Party for Freelancers

Invite freelancers to join you in a forum, Facebook group, or on Skype at a certain time, but avoid making video streaming a requirement since many writers choose to freelance because they value their privacy. Play some fun online party games, introduce various members of your in-house team, or present information about how your freelance team made an impact to your organization recently. Incorporate giveaways or awards to get freelancers excited and involved.

Thanking your freelancers doesn’t take a huge effort, but the impact of showing your gratitude can be enormous.

Writer Wednesday : The Four Types of Writers

For this writer Wednesday, I would like to share with you all a video produced by professional fiction editor, Ellen Brock. In this video she breaks down the four types of writers that she has experienced in her career:

The Plotter: A writer who plans their story before writing the first draft.

The Pantser: A writer who “flies by the seat of their pants” when writing the first draft (doesn’t plan).

The Intuitive: A writer who bases their story and edits on their gut feelings and instincts.

The Methodological: A writer who bases their story and/or edits on techniques, methods, and theories.

Personally, I think I am more of an Intuitive when I’m writing fiction. But when I write copy or non-fiction, I am definitely Methodological. Which are you, and what do you think of this quadra break-down of the writer archetypes?

Happy Birthday Lewis Carrol, born on this day in 1832.

To wrap up our many January celebrations, we wish Lewis Carroll a happy birthday! He was born this day in 1832. How many of you are Alice in Wonderland fans? Below is the infamous “Jabberwocky” poem.

Jabberwocky

Art by Salvador Dali

BY LEWIS CARROLL

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

Art by Camille Rose Garcia