James Warner

James Warner has placed stories in Ninth Letter, Agni Online, Night Train, and elsewhere. He blogs for Identity Theory at Everything Unfinished. His personal website is JamesWarner.net.

Association of Ideas

“Superior intellect, as Professor Bain has admirably shown, seems to consist in nothing so much as in a large development of the faculty of association by similarity.” This footnote appears early in William James's The Varieties of Religious Experience.Some of my own associations with this:Douglas R. Hofstadter says somewhere – I can't find the quote, …

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Silver-Fork Novels

Figure 9 of Franco Moretti's Graphs, Maps, Trees shows forty-four different novelistic genres that existed at various times between 1740 and 1900 – in many cases, no book from the identified genre is still in print.Silver-fork novels, for example, were a Regency genre, written by the sort of writer who, as William Hazlitt wrote, in …

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Great Story: "Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street" by Herman Melville

In this story, first published in 1853, Melville aptly describes an office as "a building entirely unhallowed by humanizing domestic associations." That "unhallowed" is a great word choice -- Melville knew office life as well as he knew life on ship.Maybe it shouldn't even be possible for a writer to make someone like Bartleby function …

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