perjantai 15. tammikuuta 2016

Tribute to Alan Rickman (1946-2016)

To the most talented actor, my favorite Potions Professor and a true hero

I really dont know how a Snape fangirl like myself is supposed to deal with these news. It's like my brain doesn't function right now...

Since I grew up with Harry Potter, these news feel extremely devastating. I decided to write this letter in order to thank Rickman for being the best Severus Snape there could have been. It's clear to me that he was born to play that part, and I'm sure he's the reason why I grew to really love that character so much in the books and in the movies and why I keep going back to Hogwarts again and again by writing fanfiction.

It was always a great pleasure to watch him play Snape, and I'm sure even years can't change the fact he's always going to make me sigh, feel scared or crack me up - possibly all these things at the same time - whenever I watch him play Severus Snape. Also, I'll never forget the way he made me feel by playing Colonel Brandon in the movie "Sense and Sensibility".

However, it seems to me now that these are not real goodbyes. Maybe it's because Harry Potter taught me that the ones we love and care about never really leave us, and at a time like this I'm so glad I learned that. Mr. Rickman keeps on living through his incredible work and in the hearts of everyone whom he influenced, and I can say he really did influence me.

Alan, it's been a pleasure watching you on the screen. May your soul rest in peace. I'll remember you. Always. <3


 PS. Since this post would have been a bit too depressing otherwise, I decided to add a link to one of my favorite scenes with Alan as Professor Snape. I can't really understand how he manages to keep a straight face in this scene, especially after that "Thank you Mr. Malfoy" line, which makes me laugh everytime... Now let's everyone turn the page three-hundred-and-ninety-four (can't count how many times I've been trying to imitate him saying that line with friends and laughed, when I failed) and enjoy the reason he was so magnetic on the screen. His passion. And that voice...

torstai 12. marraskuuta 2015

Edward2: tahdon olla ensimmäinen

tyhjää kohti

miten, miksi tunteet ei muutu tyhjäksi?

miten voi surra sellaista mitä ei ole koskaan saanut?

vereni muuttuu viiniksi, metaforat todeksi.
roikun henkarista, pitäen kiinni
kuulen äänen, juoksen kohti.
vastaan et tule, seinä vastaanottaa.

en juo

tottakai pitää juoda..

Valehtelisin, jos väittäisin, ettei tässä runokirjassa ole jotain tosi häiritsevää. Että sulin sen kyyniselle, vihaiselle maailmalle ensi silmäyksellä. Aluksi taisin miettiä kirjan palauttamista suoraan takaisin hyllyyn, kun olin lukenut alkutekstin, mutta sitten päädyin lukemaan yhden runon, ja toisen... Lopulta huomasin lukeneeni ne kaikki.

Edward2:n tahdon olla ensimmäinen on kyseisen nimimerkin taakse kätkeytyvän helsinkiläisen runoilijan esikoisteos, joka on ilmestynyt vuonna 2007. Se on omaperäinen, riipaisevan realistinen kokoelma sekalaisia runoja, joiden säkeistä huokuu nuoren miehen vodkanhuuruisen katkeruuden paino - kuin avunhuuto. Edward2:n runoja lukiessa tuntuu kuin olisi itsekin käynyt läpi jonkinlaisen tunnehelvetin. Sillä erotuksella, että ahdinko on jonkun muun, ja itse pääsee vain katselemaan sitä kuin kärpänen katossa. Edward2 onnistuu sanomaan rivien välistä sen, miltä tuntuu kun oikeasti rakastaa, kun on tuomittu olemaan ikuinen kakkonen. Rakkauden kaipuu ja kyynisyys ovat selkeästi runoilijalle käsin kosketeltavissa olevia tunnetiloja. Se kaikki on aitoa, mikä tekee teoksesta itselleni jollain surullisella tavalla mieleenpainuvan - niin kuin sekin, että koko teoksessa ei taida olla yhtäkään isoa alkukirjainta.

Suosittelen lämpimästi tutustumaan tähän kirjaan! It's worth it!

- legolatar

keskiviikko 11. marraskuuta 2015

The Hunting of the Thesis~

Trying to come up with an idea for your Bachelor's thesis can be hard as heck. Especially when the innovative part of your brain seems to be as empty as the branches of the trees you gaze at on a serene November afternoon.

For a moment I thought that I had it all figured out already. I knew I wanted to do my research on a familiar book I had grown very fond of, a book which contained nonsensical and fantasy-like elements as well as philosophical questions and social criticism. In another words I wanted to do my research about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll).

The thing is the book is a bit old. And I'm sure many people have already studied it a lot - which a little bit of Googling also made clear for me. The book is well-loved and well-read, and obviously not without a reason, because it contains so many interesting elements and plot structures and themes and characters you'd just love to know more about. Also, it is scary as heck as I witnessed when I first read it for my English class. I remember how I found it so agonizing at times that I had to read it in one sitting, because I was afraid I could not continue if I stopped and opened it again. A thing which hardly ever happens for me - especially with children's books. I think it is the psychological and "non-logical" aspects of the book which make it so disturbing, but I also think that Carroll made a good job using those aspects when trying to make readers recall how agonizing it feels having to grow up in a mad world.

One criterion for making a research in literary studies is that you need to have a certain research approach (like structuralist, Marxist or feminist) to mold and support your study. Since my last try on Marxist research approach on Jane Eyre didn't play out as I'd have wished I'm left to wonder what kind of approach I should be using. Reception aesthetics, which studies the way readers interpret literary texts, surely seems interesting. One area in literary studies which definitely needs more research in my opinion is the emotional effect literature has on its readers. I mean, wouldn't it be interesting to know what creates a good book able to move a reader? Is it the way the author describes certain things, or the way the plot is structured, or the story itself, or the language? What is it in some books that lead readers to catharsis? I think the beauty in Alice in Wonderland consists vastly of the language, but also of the use of fantasy elements.

Another interesting topic of research in my opinion would be unreliable narration. I first came across the term when I read David Herman's Narrative Theory: Core Concepts and Critical Debates (2012), and I thought that it seemed extremely interesting. Unreliable narrator is a narrator in a book (or film or play), who is revealed to have been untrustworthy in the course of the story. If you think about it you might have read many books, where the narrator (the subject who tells the story) seems to be untrustworthy or even morally dubious. You might have had a feeling like the narrator is not telling you the truth, or that he is somewhat naïve. There are usually at least some kind of signs pointing to unreliable narrator, but sometimes your only clue can be the feeling that 'something is kept hidden' from you. I think that unreliable narration is a very common phenomenon nowadays in literature and cinema, because it creates the atmosphere of suspense (think about Bret Easton EllisAmerican Psycho [1991] for example) and can make a reader feel awed when she realizes she's been "lied" to all along (for example I felt extremely stupid after I finished reading Isabel Allende's Zorro [2006]). The use of an unreliable narrator is a one way for an author to test his readers. To trick well-read readers however needs a lot of work, and it's because of that I admire writers who can use it without getting (easily) caught.

Studying unreliable narration could be extremely thrilling. Choosing a book which contains a good unreliable narrator is however problematic. Usually you find it in books where the main character/narrator acts in a morally dubious way, like Alex DeLarge in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange (1962). Needless to say A Clockwork Orange would also be very interesting book to study - especially when you think about the social criticism and the language in the book. However, I'm starting to think I will need to find a newer book which hasn't really gotten many researches done about it, so it will be more exciting to explore.

- legolatar

maanantai 26. lokakuuta 2015

Oh, November, where art thou?

Yes, I've been a bad girl.

I just couldn't help myself... This idea came to my mind about a month ago, and since then I've had troubles waiting 'til November's NaNoWriMo challenge. I just couldn't.

I opened my computer, shook the dust off my keyboard and did it. First I wrote a sentence. Then another. Suddenly a whole paragraph had appeared to my screen. Now, I have two pages of text and a very bad conscience. Well, I guess what matters is that I started.

Some days I feel stressed about my choice of genre. Is it too dark? Can I do this? What if I end up losing my sleep because of diving too deep into my story? After all I chose to write a suspense story with some really dark topics...

For me writing has always been about the right mood. Before I can write anything I need to adjust to the mood in the story. It is clear that when you write about something as dark as death and fear it might make you feel unwell. Listening to instrumental horror music can really give you the creeps... Luckily I have watched quite a many horror movies. (Thinking there's a camera man in every scene helps a lot!) Watching movies has really helped evolve my imagination a lot and has given me some insight to the basic plot structures as reading has also done. At least I have a sense of what kinds of scenes I do not want in my story. Lol.

Still, it's a bit different when you write than when you watch it. When I watch a movie I typically try to enjoy and forget about my stress. When I write I have to really imagine the things I'm writing about. Make them real. Feel what the main characters feel. Go back into those memories where I'd rather not go.

It's challenging. It's scary. But I wouldn't trade anything about it. Writing can teach so many things about the world we are living in, but most importantly it teaches about yourself. Sometimes writing is like a journey inward. It's therapeutic to process even the unwanted memories and experiences - to give those a new life in a story, which hopefully shows a reader another view on things. Your view.