Freudian Friday: James Geary talks aphorism and Elvis.

The Mathematics of Metaphor.

(I promise that this will probably be the last time I use the word mathematics on this blog).

In this fantastic talk, I is an Other novelist and former editor of Time James Geary discusses metaphor and Elvis. Specifically, the impact of metaphor on our daily lives. I can’t voice how much I enjoy his ideas and enthusiasm. His site hosts such a wealth of creativity and ideas – I want to have his brain babies. Video courtesy of my favorite people at TED.

You can pick up a copy of James Geary’s works I is an Other ($15) and The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of Aphorism ($9) at Book Depository. You can also visit his official site for updates on his research, pictures of his goldfish (no really, I think I’m in love) and general awesomeness. Try not to lick the screen.


Mind Food Monday: Adichie and the Danger of a Single Story.

Culture, assumption and the ‘Single Story’.

I discovered novelist Chimamanda Adichie today. She has the sort of career that makes me nervous as a writer. Her Wiki states that she has three degrees (one of which is from Yale); three fellowships (including one with Harvard), has written countless short stories and three books, two of which have been awarded prizes, she gives regular talks for TED, and teaches writing workshops in Nigeria and the US. Oh, and she’s only 35. No big deal [insert writer’s angst here].

Adichie’s novels include Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sunboth of which were nominated for several awards including the Orange Prize for Fiction, with Purple Hibiscus winning the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize.

In the video below, Adichie talks about cultural assumptions and the danger of ‘single story’ perspectives. Both in the context of human relations and in reference to writing. She discusses how single story perspectives emphasize difference rather than similarity and reinforce stereotypes. At about 17:40 she discusses ambition and the power of a many story perspective saying

Stories matter, many stories matter, stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize…

I think that’s something relevant to everyone but especially relevant to creative people, to be aware of the stories you are creating and become accountable for what they say about a particular place, person or group of people.

Video courtesy of the lovely people at TED.

Click here to buy Adichie’s works.

Click here to annoy her via her Facebook page and Official Sites.

[I promise I will update the citation of this post asap – so don’t birth a four legged herbivore, ok?]