Tag: supernatural

  • Homecoming by Ray Bradbury Short Story Analysis

    Homecoming by Ray Bradbury Short Story Analysis

    “Homecoming” is a short story by American writer Ray Bradbury, first published in 1946. A family of ghouls hosts a big family reunion for Allhallows Eve. Dead relatives return for the occasion. Unfortunately for Timothy, he seems to be the only member of the family who doesn’t have supernatural powers. Some readers pick this up expecting a chilling thriller. This…

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  • Aliens and UFOs in Storytelling

    Aliens and UFOs in Storytelling

    A brief history of aliens, UFOs and otherworldly creatures in art, literature and storytelling more generally.

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  • Donnie Darko Film Study

    Donnie Darko Film Study

    Donnie Darko is a 2001 film set in 1988, in a fictional Virginia town called Middlesex. This genre blend of drama, mystery and science fiction is precisely ambiguous enough to generate much discussion about what is meant to have happened. This is ideal ‘cult-following’ material. Note that Donnie Darko didn’t make much of a splash when first released, but achieved its…

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  • Cryptobotany and Creepy Trees In Stories and Art

    Cryptobotany and Creepy Trees In Stories and Art

    With their roots reaching deep into the earth, trees encapsulate the tense relationship of history and modernity.

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  • A Woggle of Witches by Adrienne Adams Analysis

    A Woggle of Witches by Adrienne Adams Analysis

    A Woggle of Witches is a picture book written and illustrated by American storyteller Adrienne (“Dean”) Adams in 1971. In total, Adams wrote six of her own books; mostly they illustrated for other writers. Adrienne Adams was a prolific illustrator through the 1960s and beyond, and a two-time winner of a Caldecott Medal (1960 and 1962). Adams was born in…

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  • The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy Young Adult Novel Study

    The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy Young Adult Novel Study

    The Tricksters is a young adult novel by New Zealand author Margaret Mahy, first published in 1986. Mahy wrote many stories for children, but The Tricksters seems to be one frequently talked about in scholarship circles, alongside The Changeover and The Haunting, which both won The Carnegie Medal. The Tricksters is a rare example of the new female mythic form, in which a main character (often femme, sometimes not) thinks and feels their way through a problem rather than leaving home to go on a journey and fight a bunch of opponents.

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  • In A Dark, Dark Room And Other Scary Stories

    In A Dark, Dark Room And Other Scary Stories

    In A Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories written by Alvin Schwartz was first published in 1971 for emergent readers ready for scary… but not too scary. I recently looked closely at a modern picture book called Creepy Carrots, another excellent example of a ‘scary’ story perfectly pitched at 4-6 year olds. This collection is for emergent readers and…

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  • How To Make Friends With A Ghost by Rebecca Green Picture Book Analysis

    How To Make Friends With A Ghost by Rebecca Green Picture Book Analysis

    How To Make Friends With A Ghost is a 2017 picture book written and illustrated by Rebecca Green. This cosy supernatural story is written as a non-fictional how-to guide and because this book deals with supernatural subject matter, covertly teaches how to be a good friend.

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  • Vampire Terminology

    Vampire Terminology

    A list of words and concepts related to vampires. First, what do we mean by ‘vampire’?

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  • Zombie Terminology

    Zombie Terminology

    Why all the zombies in stories? Zombies have unlimited potential as metaphor. Historically, storytellers have used zombies to explore tensions between conservative and progressive values. The zombies themselves represent widespread cultural anxieties of their era. Some storytellers use zombie stories to reinforce the status quo while progressive storytellers use zombies to critique it. Watching the anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown protests in other…

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  • Powers by Alice Munro Short Story Analysis

    Powers by Alice Munro Short Story Analysis

    “Powers” is the final story in the Runaway collection by Alice Munro, published 2004. I find this story the most challenging of the lot — as in, what in holy heck was that all about? I’m going to have to write about “Powers” in order to understand it. Here goes my best shot. What can we learn about storytelling from…

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  • Man-Size In Marble by Edith Nesbit Analysis

    Man-Size In Marble by Edith Nesbit Analysis

    “Man-Size in Marble” (1893) is a gothic short story by Edith Nesbit. You can read it at Project Gutenberg, as part of Nesbit’s Grim Tales collection. This tale is her most widely anthologised short story. What must it be like to be ahead of one’s time? It’s happened to scientists over the years. The guy who worked out there are…

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  • A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Analysis

    A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Analysis

    “A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” by Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez is sometimes subtitled “A tale for children”. This short story reminded me of middle grade novel Skellig by British author David Almond. Sure enough, Almond has said in interview that he was influenced by the 1960 Colombian short story, and others have already looked into the relationship…

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  • Werewolves In Storytelling

    Werewolves In Storytelling

    I’ve previously taken a close look at wolves in literature, specifically in children’s stories. Werewolves are a separate archetype from wolves and play a different storytelling role. In folklore and fairytale, werewolves are lunar figures which stand in for cyclic time, alongside. dragons, serpents and related creatures.  THE HISTORY OF WEREWOLVES IN A NUTSHELL Werewolf literally means ‘Man Wolf’. Were…

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  • When Everyone Else Is A Ghost

    When Everyone Else Is A Ghost

    You may not believe in ghosts to enjoy ghost stories. I don’t either. But once you understand how ghost stories work, you’ll understand how tools of persuasion are used in other realms. Studying the ghost story is a fun way to study the techniques of persuasion. Ghost stories have plenty of other functions, too. There is a category of ghost…

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