Geen categorie

Hi there!

How nice of you to come visit this blog 🙂

Hereby I welcome you to this website!
A little about me would be a good start, right? So here we go:
I am just your average book loving 22 year old. At the moment I own about 400 hundred books (and yes I need to visit IKEA again because I need some more boards for my ever growing stash of books).
The reason why I read (mostly fantasy) is very simple actually: I think there’s already enough reality around me every day and because I want to escape that once in a while I read fantasy. Just imagine how awesome things would be if there’d suddenly be a dragon in front of your home!

Now, how does this site work?
Underneath the logo you’ll see the menu, this is where you’ll find everything there is to find on this site.
For those with no clue to how this whole website works (or you’re just lazy, this is totally okay) there are some short cuts below 🙂
Do you want to know about this site? Click here.
Are you curious about my Rating System? Click here.
If you want to know anything about the series I’ve already read  or in other reviews?
Click here.

There’s also the category Extra.  There you’ll find anything that doesn’t necessarily has to do with reviews but has connections to anything bookish 🙂 (incl. things writen by yours truly… me).

Also, from now on, there’s a category: Other. You might wonder about that a little so here in short: This category will contain everything I want to share with you about my time at University, studying English Language and Culture.

You can contact me via the information on my Contact page. If you want me to review your work, please read my guidelines before emailing me.

Well, have fun and love your books! ❤

p.s. You can now find me on Twitter as well @MybookfileBlog and on mybookfile.booklikes.com

Professional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge

To read

To Read List: June

I’ve been ignoring this for far too long! It has to end! *Dramatic music playing in the background* For over half a year, let’s say about 9 months, I’ve pretended that it was fine for me not to have a To Read List… I was wrong. So now, I’m going to make it up to me, you, and my gigantic pile of books! Here is my To Read List for June *celebration music, balloons, food and drinks* (Just ignore the fact that the 1st week of June has already passed :’))

Venom & Vanilla by Shannon Mayer
Tanza by Amanda Greenslade
Ensnared by Rita Stradling

and if I can read more this month:

The Ninth Circle by C. A. Harland

That’s it for me this month! Now, I’m wondering, what will you be reading this month? And, if you’ve already read one or more of the books I listed above, what did you think?

 

Philology

Highlights of Medieval English Literature #2

Highlights of ME lit

Hi there and welcome to Highlight of Medieval English Literature (part 2)!

Part 1 was about literature from the 12th, 13th and 14th century CE.

This time I’m going to talk about the following three points:

  • 15th-century Literature and Medieval Romance
  • West Midland dialect
  • Middle English Lyrics

For this post I’ll also keep to the schedule I had for my tutorials. The texts and other extras are also the ones that were discussed during my tutorials. Additional sources will be mentioned in the texts, optional citations will come at the end if the post. If I find any other helpful sources I will either give the link to the website or cite the source at the end of the post.
I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on the subject. If you think I made an error somewhere in this post, please leave a comment and I’ll gladly correct my mistake.


15th-century Literature

An example of 15th-century literature we discussed in class was Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory.
One can safely assume that Le Morte d’Arthur is a romance. However, the definition of romance is not that clear cut. Siân Echard’s article helps with this, stating that romance is ” a recognition of non‐English origins, a name for works whose origins are en romanz; that is, in the romance languages which developed from Vulgar Latin. […] many […] English romances are adaptations or translations from French originals, and many vernacular chronicles in both French and English, themselves a ground for romance, depend on Latin material” (Echard 160). This doesn’t make in any easier to make a definition of a romance. (Echard gives more information including language, audience, place, politics, and more. It’s really worth to look at the article if you have access).
The difficulty in creating an exact definition of romance is due to it being a wide ranging genre in general. Melissa Furrow states that it was a long standing given in literary studies that manuscripts or texts, in general, would be seen as romance only when they were put in A Manual of Writings in Middle English 1050-1500 (43). This notion is now seen as wanting, and Expectations of Romance searches for the correct approach to define this broad genre. It is clear that romance cannot be determined by using an exclusion system, as is argued by Furrow (44). If this system would be used by contemporary scholars, some books would no longer fit into the romance genre, while the contemporaries would have regarded it as such, and vice versa (44). Furrow discusses the idea of a Venn diagram (48) in which the romance circle would be large, and surrounded by smaller circles representing other genres that have certain elements in common with romance. Using this diagram to demonstrate the capacity of this genre can result in an overlap. This can be a problem on several levels, for instance when opting to form a complete definition of the genre causing a text to actually belong to several genres. The genre is then determined depending on the signals of scope, narrative shape and focus (Furrow 48-49). After more research on the genre, several common elements of romance can be identified. First of all, romances concern themselves with sexuality, but this is connected to cultural and spiritual ideals (Furrow 50). Secondly, characters are often involved with the secular court (Gaunt 47), follow an ideal (Gaunt 57), and can become separated and reunited in the story (David Salter 30). Thirdly, there’s often a knight, the hero of chivalry, who has a tendency to be passive and to be guided by a higher power (Salter 30). The texts are generally about the legendary or extraordinary adventures (quests) of these knights (“romance” OED). (Note that extraordinary elements are also often present in romances). The last important feature of a romance is what Stephen Greenblatt (a.k.a the Norton Anthology) refers to as “the comic mode: [it] involves a happy ending in which justice is done, the ravages of time are arrested, and that which is lost is found” (A13). From the previous statement can also be derived that romance can be seen as an overarching genre which has changed through time by people’s perception of it. This can be illustrated by saying that a play as we know it from Shakespeare’s time would never have been categorised as a romance in the 14th century. Another example is prose. A romance in prose would never have categorised as such in the early days of the genre. Due to romance being a broad term, it makes it almost impossible to come up with a short definition or list of common features which accounts for each and every manuscript that is seen as romance today, and was seen as such during to time of composition.

There is not much known about the author of Le Morte D’Arthur, except that he was called Thomas Malory, that he was a knight and maybe a prisoner at the time. He finished the 9th book in 1470 CE. We discussed this version of the story about King Arthur because it’s the text with the most influence in contemporary adaptations of the story. (Click here and you’ll be redirected to a website with the version of Malory). Earlier versions of the King Arthur story are written by Cretien du Troyes, and Geoffrey of Monmouth. Of course, there were a lot of other poems and texts about Arthur, but these are just two of the bigger names.
Another poem (Gododdin, Welsh) was written around 600 CE in which the hero was not Arthur (so people must have been familiar with the story even then).
Within Le Morte d’Arthur there is also some sort of reference to ‘a French book’. However, the difference between the two works is that Malory is considerably (and consistently) more positive about Arthur as a person in his work than the French book was. This makes Arthur even more worthy of looking up to. Not only is he a just king etc, but he is also a good person who isn’t lead by the feeling of revenge.

Bonus: another 15th-century text; Margery Kempe

Yeeeeeeey, how I love surprises! (Or maybe it’s just because I might have almost forgotten about The Book of Margery Kempe. I should be ashamed…).

An illuminationThe Book of Margery Kempe was ‘written’ by Margery Kempe (shocker). Lynn Staley writes this about the book in her introduction (see the citation for source): “Kempe examines the fundamental conflicts and tensions of that world by describing Margery’s gradual and voluntary movement away from worldly prestige. Margery’s disengagement from conventional female roles and duties — and consequently her daring rejection of the values of her fellow townspersons — is a response to her growing commitment to her spiritual vocation. Her attempt to gain personal, financial, and spiritual autonomy is a tale of radical reversal that touches us on many different levels. Margery does what very few are able finally to do, and the fact that she does so as a woman enhances the force of her story — she breaks away.” (The rest of the introduction offers a sort of summary, information on the way of writing, the manuscript, and the author). Fun fact: the entire manuscript was found about 1934 CE.

Interestingly, this book can be seen an early autobiography and an example of affective piety (meaning that the body actually reacts to the divine). Furthermore, this text helps the reader to discover how people at the time would have looked towards certain religious movements (like the Lollards), or any kind of religious misbehaviour, and how one would have reacted to a woman like Margery Kempe.
The book is said to be an autobiography (because there is some authorship and it is her life’s story), however, there is more evidence to support that it is not. One of the most important arguments for this is the fact that it was never seen as an autobiography at the time. Other arguments are that it was not physically written down by her (she couldn’t write), it was written in the third person, and it is more about feeling and emotions rather than events. This manner of narration makes the book less criticised or at least ‘safer’. It was a man who wrote her story down, which gave the narrative more authority, and thus she distances herself from it. Connected to the fact that another writes down the story is the 2 miracles happen during the composition which makes the book ‘divine’. The book was also introduced as educational for religious purposes. There are also several sets of comments in the manuscript which respond to Margery’s character and create a new chronological order. (More on the comments see Staley’s introduction).

West Midland Dialect

The reasons why I put this in here is the fact that some of the earlier poems that I discussed in the previous post were written in the west midland dialect. So, here are some aspects of the dialect to make those manuscripts a little easier to read:

  • it’s a conservative dialect with many Norman influences which were wholly adopted into the colloquial.
  • key features of the spelling:
    • v instead of f
    • short u instead of i
    • u instead of ou
  • verb endings are reduced

For more on the west midland dialect look at Hasenfratz’s introduction from header ‘spelling’ and onwards.

Middle English Lyrics

Middle English lyrics are short (sometimes very short) poems written in the 13th, 14th, and some in the 15th century CE, in which one theme (love, nature, or religion) is in focus. It has a rhyming structure and within the poem itself, there is no room for individual expression (only general). There are around 2000 different lyrics preserved in about 450 manuscripts and most have no known author.
Lyric poetry can be about religious or secular themes (even a combination of both). It becomes a mixture of both when the author discusses a religious theme, but also talks about secular themes in order to make the church jargon relatable (or at the least recognisable). It is true that more religious lyrics have been preserved, but that doesn’t mean that there were no secular lyrics. Since texts, and also poems, were written by the clergy and thus those lyrics might not have been preserved.

Bonus (again?! Yes): Manuscript Culture

Stephen G. Nichols writes an informative piece on manuscript culture. He states that manuscripts are seen as artefacts, but scholars do not appear to register the importance of these documents in shaping the culture of their time, they are archaic precursors of the printed documents (34). The idea that they are primitive is because of three reasons: 1. they’re handwritten, so every manuscript is unique, 2. they lack uniformity and thus accuracy, and 3. the manuscript isn’t necessarily the same as the original (the author’s original intention) (34). Because manuscripts were handwritten and copied by scribes, it is logical to assume that they would end up doing more than just copying. It was not even expected from them not to leave their mark on their copy (35). Therefore philologists wrote critical copies, attempting to restore the original of the author and so ignoring all elements that make a manuscript (illuminations, commentaries, margins etc) (35). Manuscripts differ from printed sources in many ways and so people can only understand the importance of the manuscript when one realises how they differ from printed sources.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor medieval scriptoriumWhile at first manuscripts were copied in monasteries in a scriptorium (the image we all know and love), manuscripts would also be copied in workshops in city centres from the 13th century onwards (35). “This means that manuscript books were products of an urban microculture where every aspect of the production was carried out by artisans living in the same or nearby streets”(36).
All the non-textual components create a different reception and perception per manuscript (since manuscripts are all unique) because manuscripts situate their text in contemporary history (36). In a way, this makes manuscript culture a way of representing the world in accord with the contemporary perception, which creates the opportunity for ‘history’ to support current belief (37).  All the non-textual elements within the manuscripts were originally meant to an active participation on the reader’s part, these non-textual elements contribute to the meaning of the whole.

Now that we know this, let’s quickly discuss an example of the importance of manuscript context with the lyrics. It is true that some manuscripts are put together just because it could be done. However, some manuscripts have been compiled deliberately, such as Cambridge, Trinity College B. 14.39. No, no fancy illuminations. But there are more than a 140 religious and didactic texts in here, together with more secular texts which can indicate the importance of religious and didactic texts (for either the compiler, the client, or the time period). This proves that the context, in means of compilation, also belongs to the non-textual components of a manuscript.


Works Cited

Echard, Siân. “Insular Romance,” The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English, ed. E. M. Treharne and Greg Walker, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 160-179.

Furrow, Melissa. “The Name and the Genre.” Expectations of Romance: The Reception of a Genre in Medieval England. Boydell & Brewer, 2009. 43-94.

Gaunt, Simon. “Romance and Other Genres.” The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance. Ed. Roberta L. Krueger. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 45-59.

Greenblatt, Stephen, gen. ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 9th ed. Vol. A. New York: Norton, 2012. 142, A1-A26.

Hasenfratz, Robert. “Introduction” in Ancrene Wisse, Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2000

Nichols, Stephen G. “What is a Manuscript Culture? Technologies of the Manuscript Matrix,” The Medieval Manuscript Book: Cultural Approaches, ed. Michael Johnston and Michael Van Dussen Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, 34-40.

“romance, n. and adj.1.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2017.

Salter, David. “Kinds of Romance”. The Edinburg Introduction to Studying English Literature. Ed. Dermot Cavenaugh, et al. 2nd Ed, Edinburg University Press, 2014. 25-34.

Staley, Lynn The Book of Margery Kempe: Introduction’ The Book of Margery Kempe, Kalamazoo, Medieval Institute Publications, 1996.

Image Sources:

Arthur

Margery Kempe

Scriptorium


This was the second and last post. I hope it was informative and, as usual, if you have any feedback or something nice to say; leave your thoughts in the comment section below ^_^

Philology

Highlights of Medieval English Literature #1

Highlights of ME lit

Hello there!  🙂

This post will be about some works of Medieval English Literature. The period in this post in from 1066 until the end of the middle ages (why not middle ages before 1066? I kinda forgot to write a summary about that in the first part of the semester… that info is no longer relevant for the coming exam and thus that part will appear somewhere in the summer holiday… I hope :D).

Continue reading “Highlights of Medieval English Literature #1”

Geen categorie · Movie & TV Show Reviews

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge – Film Review

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor pirates of the caribbean 5 salazar's revenge

Released in the Netherlands 24 May 2017.
Viewed 25 May 2017.

Storyline (by IMDB)

Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artefact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

This Review can contain spoilers.

Continue reading “Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge – Film Review”

Series · Tina Gower: The Outlier Prophecies

Tina Gower: The Outlier Prophecies; Correlation of Fate

34944381Author: Tina Gower
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Kindle edition 304 pages, published 27 April 2017

Goodreads synopsis
The accidental death case of a woman hanging upside-down is the last thing Kate Hale wants on her plate. Too close to the tampered cases she’s had to deal with from the fall out of the anti-fate groups of New Karma and Wyrd. Too risky with her ex, Kyle Dillingham, at her heels. And is her partner Ian Becker ready for the challenge? Or is it Kate that’s unable to accept her own unpredictable future?
But when the case reveals more questions that connect it to her real target, finding out what happened to the elusive Michelle Kitman, Kate can’t resist cracking it open and coming clean to her pack. Even if it means she’s playing right into her enemy’s plan and fulfilling the Outlier Prophecy.


I voluntarily received a copy from the author.
This does not affect the contents of my review or my opinion.

“There shouldn’t have been anything sinificant about the dead woman hanging upside down from a clothesline over Market Street, yet according to my calculations there is.” – First lines Chapter 1.

Last time, Shifter Variance left me a little conflicted because I had the feeling that it was a good book, but just there to be the bridge between book four and this final book.

Correlation of Fate was not at all like this.

You know the feeling you get when everything seems to be over, but you know that it really isn’t? Well, this book proved that this happens. There was action, drama, personal history, family bonding, and a lot of unexpected events. (Yes, this book has it all).
It took me a little while to get into the book, probably because I was a little distracted myself so don’t blame the book, but once I was in I wasn’t able to put it down.

At this point, I’m finding it difficult to organise my thoughts and put them into writing. On the one hand, there is just so much I want to say (but won’t because spoilers) and on the other, I’d rather not say anything because I want you guys to read this book for yourself. All I will tell you from here onwards is the things that I liked, things that I wasn’t that fond of, and lastly some great new that made me really happy.

As usual, there was nothing but love for the character development and the writing. Not only did the important characters develop on their own, but they were also able to develop as a group in order to work together and support each other. Again, Gower provided more information about the characters and their personal history, which was a great touch because it helped me to understand some particular actions in this book and books that came before. Some minor characters were introduced, which came as a little surprise to me since I figured this was the last book in the series, but luckily each seemed to have a part to play in the book. Although some of them didn’t really have a big part to play, and for some reason that felt off, they were no hindrance to the book.

As far as the characters go (aside from my undying love for Ali) the complexity of one in particular really got to me. This person is our villain (if you can really call her that). Yes, she seems like a cold hearted lady, but there is so much more going on. While Kate is trying to figure out what is to come, she discovers more and more about Kitman, and it is only in this book that her true intentions are exposed. In a strange way, her actions even seem to make sense, though this will probably depend on the view of the reader. I will not say more about this but do bear it in mind when reading the book and try to show a little sympathy.

Honestly, the rest just lived up to my standards. It’s that simple. Since I started this series I’ve come to expect a certain standard and Gower hasn’t let me down yet. I was as captivated as ever by the surprises, the characters, their development, and the ever growing world that this series brings. It seems that with every book the world within expands and provides ever more space for new adventures and cases which can be solved by this team. I’m going to give this book 4 stars because it is worth it.

BUT, before you will see those four stars in my post, I want to mention something which I noticed in my copy: THE SERIES ISN’T GOING TO END!!! *Balloons, fireworks, chocolate, happiness all around*. There’s going to be more Ali! I’m so excited! 😀

rating systemrating systemrating systemrating system


Have you read this book? If yes; what are your thoughts? If not; would you like to give it a shot? and why? Do leave your comments in the comment section below! See you next time 🙂

Extra · Geen categorie

Almost there!

Hello there lovely people who still visit my blog despite my prolonged absence,

(that’s a long sentence… just imagine that I’m saying “Hi”).

It’s exam season and we all know what that means… unfortunately no more procrastinating, and no more joking around, because procrastinating got me where I am today: crying in a corner wishing I had done my work beforehand.

Now, the good news is: It’s nearly over!
Yes, I still have a couple of weeks to go, but then it’s summer holiday and I’ll be able to read whatever I want and whenever I want *smiles absently while remembering the good old days*. I’ll be having a couple of reviews out here in the near future. Until then: folks, hang in there. We can get through this.

But, I also have something else to say because it’s official now and that means I can share it with the world: I’m going to start another bachelor next year!
But WHUT?! you might think. SAY WHUT?! Yes, I’m going to start another bachelor: Archeology. Why? Because it’s freaking awesome and I want to give it a go while I still can. (I will mention this in a happy moments post when I have the time hihi). I’m so excited!!!! *does happy dance*

See you next time and good luck everyone!

Love,
Cindy