Incurable Curiosity

In-cur-able: (adj.) Not likely to be changed. Cu-ri-os-i-ty: (n) A desire to know.

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How to Write Like Jane Austen

Since reading through Jane Austen’s novels, I’ve started to notice all of the ‘Austen-inspired’ books, novellas, and short story collections that are published every year. With dramas, mysteries, romances, Austen-lit should be a genre in and of itself.

There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by a favorite author. But if you really want to write like Jane Austen, write like Jane Austen! She didn’t write about the Regency era like we do, as if it were in the past; no, she wrote about current society, the world in which she was living, with all of it’s fashion and foibles. She wrote stylized social commentary, not historical fantasy. Her literary world was based on observations of life, not the footnotes of someone else’s research paper. That’s what makes her work so timeless. Perhaps today’s authors would have more success if they wrote about their world, their observations of society. Historical fiction has it’s place, but there should be a difference between ‘inspired by’ and ‘in the style of’. That said, shouldn’t we expect something more contemporary when a book is labeled as ‘Austen-inspired’?

It is my opinion that authors would do their inspiration much more honor by writing in her spirit – with insight, humor, and relevance – than in her words. 


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The Matter of Memory

Where do memories go when they die?

Science has never been my strong suit. Oh, I can rattle off terms and theories and such, but the actual application of science doesn’t click for me.

One thing I never understood was the concept of matter. Specifically that everything is made of matter. What about memories? What makes up those things that are so vital to our very identities?

If they are made of some mysterious stuff that has always been and always will be, then where do they go when lost? When the electricity ceases to pulse through the gray matter or a disease steals the combination code?

Is there a graveyard of recollection, or a cemetery where trauma is laid to rest?

Just a recent random thought. 

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The Art of Argument (Quotes)

A few (ok, so maybe more than a few) favorite quotes on the art of debate:

“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.” – Joseph Joubert

“The aim of a debate or argument is not victory, but progress.” – Joseph Joubert

“Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth.” – Joseph Joubert

“Don’t take the wrong side of the argument just because your opponent has taken the right side.” – Baltasar Gracian

“In heated argument we are apt to lose sight of the truth.” – Publilius Syrus

“There is no conversation so boring than the one where everybody agrees.” – Michel de Montaigne

“I have always felt that a person’s intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.” – Abigail Adams

“To talk to each other is but a more animated and audible thinking.” – Charlotte Bronte

“It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” – Thomas Paine

“It is unnerving to be proven wrong, particularly when you are right and the person who is really wrong is proving you wrong, and proving himself, wrongly, right.” – Lemony Snicket

“The most important tactic in an argument next to being right is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without an embarrassing loss of face.” – Stephen Jay Gould