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ONE IN A THOUSAND

My short story ‘One in a Thousand’ received Third Place in Issue #32 for On the Premises. Their prompt was: We challenged contestants to write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which a character (not necessarily the main character, but one important to the story) almost dies.

In the end they received 377 contest entries and chose six stories for prizes.

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GOING UNDER

This piece was originally planned to be my creative submission for a literacy unit: Reading, Writing & Criticism, but was born out of a lecture prompt: write about a near-miss event (something that could’ve been much worse). Pay attention to sensory detail.

During the lecture I decided to write about an experience where I almost had a biking accident in wet weather. I decided to approach the first part of the exercise from a realistic perspective; simply writing what happened from a first person perspective in present tense. I decided on present tense for its feeling of urgency/immediacy, as this was my memory of the near-accident. The next part of the exercise was to change the perspective. For this I decided to write from the perspective of an imaginary onlooker, and decided to also keep this in first person; something I had never attempted before (writing two, first person perspectives in a single narrative). I later decided to complete the piece by experimenting with these multiple angles in a fragmented edit. The end version isn’t 100% linear, as I wanted the reader to experience the near-miss drama (and perhaps doom) from the onlookers perspective, thereby creating more suspense with this back and forth exchange. I have attempted to separate the perspectives by using a back-slash for the onlooker and a forward-slash for the main protagonist.

– Jakob


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Why Haruki Murakami is so Very Japanese

by Jakob Ryce / 5th June, 2018 Haruki Murakami belongs to a new generation of contemporary authors who speak to the eclectic, progressive spirit of Japan, often communicating his theories through popular magazines and resisting traditional literary labels, such as ‘jun bungaku, pure literature, opting instead for the Anglicism fuikkushon, fiction’ (Stretcher 1998). And this indifference with the Japanese literary establishment has sparked debate if this is Murakami’s rejection ‘of literature as “art” in the contemporary period’ (Stretcher 1998). Murakami’s writing style lives in the present and is uncluttered by hyperbolic descriptions; a minimalist who embraces the Japanese concept of Kanso – avoiding accentuation to allow room for simplicity. Comparatively, his writing often features English expressions, which are translated back into Japanese. ‘Murakami writes in Japanese, but his writing is not really Japanese. If you translate it into American English, it can be read very naturally in New York’ (Stretcher 1998). Nonetheless, the ‘internationality’ and transparency of his writing style

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Fahrenheit 451 & Bradbury’s Foresight of Fire

by Jakob Ryce / 28th April 2018 In Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury creates a hedonistic society that thrives on ignorance, is dependent on technology and constantly distracted by ‘TV parlours’ (Bradbury, Ray 1953, p. 31). It’s a novel that’s shockingly prophetic and its concepts go far beyond the author’s own imaginings. Free-thinkers, or individuals in possession of literature, are seen as a threat to peace, as books ‘… are thought only to lead to political and social idealism, which in turn leads to dissent, unrest and unhappiness’ (Rutten, Kris 2011). But what can we learn about our contemporary society from novels such as Fahrenheit 451? Do our social values and cultural practices mimic literature or is it the other way around? ‘Who is predicting this future? From what perspective is this future imagined?’ (Rutten, Soetaert & Vandermeersche 2011). This essay will attempt to analyse how digital distractions connect to social and cultural commentaries found in Bradbury’s classic story. One crucial

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