Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Poetry has a long history, dating back to prehistorical times with the creation of hunting poetry in Africa, panegyric and elegiac court poetry was developed extensively throughout the history of the empires of the Nile and Volta river valleys; some of the earliest written poetry in Africa can be found among the Pyramid Texts written during the 25th century BCE, while the Epic of Sundiata is one of the most well-known examples of griot court poetry. The earliest Western Asian epic poetry, the Epic of Gilgamesh, was written in Sumerian. Early poems in the Eurasian continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas, Zoroastrian Gathas, the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greek attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama and comedy.
Attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing. Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects; the use of ambiguity, symbolism and other stylistic elements of poetic diction leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Figures of speech such as metaphor and metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm; some poetry types are specific to particular cultures and genres and respond to characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. Readers accustomed to identifying poetry with Dante, Goethe and Rumi may think of it as written in lines based on rhyme and regular meter.
Much modern poetry reflects a critique of poetic tradition, playing with and testing, among other things, the principle of euphony itself, sometimes altogether forgoing rhyme or set rhythm. In today's globalized world, poets adapt forms and techniques from diverse cultures and languages; some scholars believe. Others, suggest that poetry did not predate writing; the oldest surviving epic poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, comes from the 3rd millennium BCE in Sumer, was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets and on papyrus. A tablet dating to c. 2000 BCE describes an annual rite in which the king symbolically married and mated with the goddess Inanna to ensure fertility and prosperity. An example of Egyptian epic poetry is The Story of Sinuhe. Other ancient epic poetry includes the Iliad and the Odyssey. Epic poetry, including the Odyssey, the Gathas, the Indian Vedas, appears to have been composed in poetic form as an aid to memorization and oral transmission, in prehistoric and ancient societies.
Other forms of poetry developed directly from folk songs. The earliest entries in the oldest extant collection of Chinese poetry, the Shijing, were lyrics; the efforts of ancient thinkers to determine what makes poetry distinctive as a form, what distinguishes good poetry from bad, resulted in "poetics"—the study of the aesthetics of poetry. Some ancient societies, such as China's through her Shijing, developed canons of poetic works that had ritual as well as aesthetic importance. More thinkers have struggled to find a definition that could encompass formal differences as great as those between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Matsuo Bashō's Oku no Hosomichi, as well as differences in content spanning Tanakh religious poetry, love poetry, rap. Classical thinkers employed classification as a way to assess the quality of poetry. Notably, the existing fragments of Aristotle's Poetics describe three genres of poetry—the epic, the comic, the tragic—and develop rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry in each genre, based on the underlying purposes of the genre.
Aestheticians identified three major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry, dramatic poetry, treating comedy and tragedy as subgenres of dramatic poetry. Aristotle's work was influential throughout the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age, as well as in Europe during the Renaissance. Poets and aestheticians distinguished poetry from, defined it in opposition to prose, understood as writing with a proclivity to logical explication and a linear narrative structure; this does not imply that poetry is illogical or lacks narration, but rather that poetry is an attempt to render the beautiful or sublime without the burden of engaging the logical or narrative thought process. English Romantic poet John Keats termed this escape from logic "Negative Capability"; this "romantic" approach views form as a key element of successful poetry because form is abstract and distinct from the underlying notional logic. This approach remained influential into t
The Liar (novel)
The Liar was the first novel of British writer and actor Stephen Fry. The story is told out of chronological order but follows the upper-class Englishman Adrian Healey through his years at public school, at Cambridge University, afterwards, he excels at lying and entire chapters are revealed to have been fictions. He ends up teaching at Cambridge as part of an old boys' club in British intelligence, which alleviates its boredom during the decline of the empire and end of the Cold War by partaking in make-believe espionage missions; the book opens as the protagonist, Adrian Healey, his mentor, Professor Donald Trefusis, are at Mozart's birthplace in Salzburg, where Adrian witnesses the murder of their contact. The narrative shifts to Adrian's time at public school, where he has groomed himself to convey the image of a witty extroverted young gay man. Another student, Paul Trotter hangs himself due to his unrequited love for Adrian. Adrian is shown in the novel to be touchy on the subject of suicide as a result.
Prior to Trotter's funeral, Adrian has a sexual encounter with Hugo while pretending to be asleep. Adrian is expelled from school for writing an article discussing the tradition of hidden behaviours that could be considered homosexual at public schools. Adrian claims to have run away from home due to unhappiness, subsequently becoming a rent boy, but it is revealed, in an overheard conversation, that this never occurred. Adrian takes on the role of schoolmaster and has his first sexual encounter with a woman, a fellow member of staff at the school; the school years finish with Adrian's cricket team defeating the team of Hugo Cartwright, to whom Adrian no longer feels attracted. Just as Adrian and his team are about to leave the school at which Hugo is a master he admits to Hugo that he was awake during the incident before Trotter's funeral. Adrian attends the fictional St. Matthew's College, Cambridge and is given a challenge to produce something original by his tutor Professor Donald Trefusis.
With the aid of his girlfriend – and wife and acclaimed producer – Jenny de Woolf, his housemate Gary, he writes and claims to have discovered a lost manuscript by Charles Dickens which dealt with the child sex trade. The discovery brings Jenny and the college fame, but it results in a dialogue between Adrian and Hugo, who has become an alcoholic. Hugo believes that Adrian hates him, points to Adrian's duplicity as proof. Adrian corrects him and the two leave things on a friendly note. After graduation, Adrian attends a farcical meeting where he and other attendees discuss the arrest of Trefusis, arrested on charges of cottaging, sabotaging the footage of an onlooking BBC film crew, it is revealed that he was undertaking a document exchange preceded by two kisses on the cheek as is custom in several European countries, such as Hungary. Adrian joins Trefusis in a forced sabbatical, which they claim to spend studying the fricative shift in English. In actuality, the year is spent in a game of espionage in which they must acquire the parts for Mendax, a lie-inhibiting device from his Hungarian friend Szabó.
A showdown results with Adrian's uncle David and Trefusis, during which it is revealed that Pearce's aide was a double agent working for Trefusis. It is revealed that the murders that Adrian witnessed were staged to scare Trefusis into giving Mendax to MI5, that Mendax was fictional. Subsequently Adrian overhears a conversation between Trefusis and Pearce where it is revealed that the espionage adventure was just a game to counter boredom, meaning that several parts of the story were untrue. Adrian remembers a letter written to him by de Woolf saying that while young girls grew up, young boys did not, making their education irrelevant and just a game; the book concludes with Adrian, now a Cambridge fellow, recruiting a new spy for a new game. The novel is semi-autobiographical and many scenes echo experiences recounted in Fry's memoir, Moab is My Washpot; the character Trefusis was created by Fry for several humorous radio broadcasts on BBC Radio 4's Loose Ends. The espionage portions of the book are written in italics.
The book features a third-person omniscient narrator. The narrator knows, for example, about David Pearce's annoyance at Dickon Lister's ignorance of the story of Helen of Troy. Starting with chapter four, in keeping with popular spy fiction, the characters refer to each other by code names. In a post on his blog, Fry talks about the evolving language, including his interest in "verbing" nouns, he reproaches grammar pedants. In the book there are several experiments with the English language used in the dialogue; these range from several nouns used as verbs, Americanisms to polysyndeton
Stephen Fry's Podgrams
Stephen Fry's Podgrams is a series of podcasts performed and recorded by British comedian and author Stephen Fry. First made downloadable on 20 February 2008, the series of podgrams is a collection of Fry's writings and collective thoughts; the podgrams are not released at any set date. The podgrams are one of the most downloaded podcast series on the internet, have appeared in the top five most downloaded podcasts from iTunes. Critical reception has been positive, as reviewers have engaging; the subject of Stephen Fry's Podgrams differs from episode to episode. Each podgram begins with an update from Fry about what he has been doing his activities since the last podgram, any housekeeping that he needs to do concerning his website, www.stephenfry.com. Fry continues to discuss his recent activities; the text of the podgrams is sometimes published as part of Fry's web logs, or "Blessays". Fry's podgrams consist of anecdotes, such as how he broke his arm while filming a documentary in Brazil, he has presented lectures, discussed certain themes in detail, or argued against things he sees as being wrong in today's society.
In discussing his hatred of dancing, he said of music, "I do not want to use it as an exercise track for a farcical, disgusting, brainless physical public exhibition of windmilling and thrashing in a hot, loud room or hall." The material is original for each podcast, but he may revisit topics that he has discussed. For example, one podgram consisted of a speech he had made concerning public service broadcasting, his apologetic explanation for the repeated subject matter described his busy life, he stated that the podgram was "all I can offer you." Stephen Fry's Podgrams have been well received by critics. The series has been in the list of the top five most downloaded podcasts on iTunes though only a few episodes have been made so far. Chris Campling of The Times said that Fry was smug, "but he has a lot to be smug about, not least the ability to waffle for 30 to 45 minutes about not much without being boring or condescending." The Good Web Guide recommends the series, saying that "whether he is bringing you up to date with his recent adventures of just riffing on something that interests him, he is always compelling company."
The guide states, "Stephen Fry is one of those rare people who are incapable of being boring."Jacques René Zammit of The Malta Independent reviewed one episode in which Fry talked about the problems within journalism. Zammit wrote positively on Fry's comments saying, "I share Stephen's worries completely; every time I sit down to type my excessively long column, I am burdened by the thought that after all this is just a collection of thoughts by someone who may well be perceived as a pompous ass – and if Stephen Fry has these disquisitions I should be doing some worrying myself." The podgrams are released sporadically, with gaps between different podgrams being from one month up to several months. The length of each podgram varies as well; the second series began. The Dongle of Donald Trefusis The New Adventures of Stephen Fry
An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, is thus a writer. More broadly defined, an author is "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created; the first owner of a copyright is the person who created the work i.e. the author. If more than one person created the work a case of joint authorship can be made provided some criteria are met. In the copyright laws of various jurisdictions, there is a necessity for little flexibility regarding what constitutes authorship; the United States Copyright Office, for example, defines copyright as "a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to authors of "original works of authorship". Holding the title of "author" over any "literary, musical, certain other intellectual works" gives rights to this person, the owner of the copyright the exclusive right to engage in or authorize any production or distribution of their work.
Any person or entity wishing to use intellectual property held under copyright must receive permission from the copyright holder to use this work, will be asked to pay for the use of copyrighted material. After a fixed amount of time, the copyright expires on intellectual work and it enters the public domain, where it can be used without limit. Copyright laws in many jurisdictions – following the lead of the United States, in which the entertainment and publishing industries have strong lobbying power – have been amended since their inception, to extend the length of this fixed period where the work is controlled by the copyright holder. However, copyright is the legal reassurance that one owns his/her work. Technically, someone owns their work from the time. An interesting aspect of authorship emerges with copyright in that, in many jurisdictions, it can be passed down to another upon one's death; the person who inherits the copyright enjoys the same legal benefits. Questions arise as to the application of copyright law.
How does it, for example, apply to the complex issue of fan fiction? If the media agency responsible for the authorized production allows material from fans, what is the limit before legal constraints from actors and other considerations, come into play? Additionally, how does copyright apply to fan-generated stories for books? What powers do the original authors, as well as the publishers, have in regulating or stopping the fan fiction? This particular sort of case illustrates how complex intellectual property law can be, since such fiction may involved trademark law, likeness rights, fair use rights held by the public, many other interacting complications. Authors may portion out different rights they hold to different parties, at different times, for different purposes or uses, such as the right to adapt a plot into a film, but only with different character names, because the characters have been optioned by another company for a television series or a video game. An author may not have rights when working under contract that they would otherwise have, such as when creating a work for hire, or when writing material using intellectual property owned by others.
In literary theory, critics find complications in the term author beyond what constitutes authorship in a legal setting. In the wake of postmodern literature, critics such as Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault have examined the role and relevance of authorship to the meaning or interpretation of a text. Barthes challenges the idea, he writes, in his essay "Death of the Author", that "it is language which speaks, not the author". The words and language of a text itself determine and expose meaning for Barthes, not someone possessing legal responsibility for the process of its production; every line of written text is a mere reflection of references from any of a multitude of traditions, or, as Barthes puts it, "the text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture". With this, the perspective of the author is removed from the text, the limits imposed by the idea of one authorial voice, one ultimate and universal meaning, are destroyed; the explanation and meaning of a work does not have to be sought in the one who produced it, "as if it were always in the end, through the more or less transparent allegory of the fiction, the voice of a single person, the author'confiding' in us".
The psyche, fanaticism of an author can be disregarded when interpreting a text, because the words are rich enough themselves with all of the traditions of language. To expose meanings in a written work without appealing to the celebrity of an author, their tastes, vices, is, to Barthes, to allow language to speak, rather than author. Michel Foucault argues in his essay "What is an author?" that all authors are writers, but not all writers are authors. He states that "a private letter may have a signatory—it does not have an author". For a reader to assign the title of author upon any written work is to attribute certain standards upon the text which, for Foucault, are working in conjunction with the idea of "the author function". Foucault's author function is the idea that an author exists only as a fun
An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film and television; the analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art. In ancient Greece and Rome, the medieval world, the time of William Shakespeare, only men could become actors, women's roles were played by men or boys. After the English Restoration of 1660, women began to appear on stage in England. In modern times in pantomime and some operas, women play the roles of boys or young men. After 1660 in England, when women first started to appear on stage, the terms actor or actress were used interchangeably for female performers, but influenced by the French actrice, actress became the used term for women in theater and film.
The etymology is a simple derivation from actor with -ess added. When referring to groups of performers of both sexes, actors is preferred. Actor is used before the full name of a performer as a gender-specific term. Within the profession, the re-adoption of the neutral term dates to the post-war period of the 1950 and'60s, when the contributions of women to cultural life in general were being reviewed; when The Observer and The Guardian published their new joint style guide in 2010, it stated "Use for both male and female actors. The guide's authors stated that "actress comes into the same category as authoress, manageress,'lady doctor','male nurse' and similar obsolete terms that date from a time when professions were the preserve of one sex.". "As Whoopi Goldberg put it in an interview with the paper:'An actress can only play a woman. I'm an actor – I can play anything.'" The UK performers' union Equity has no policy on the use of "actor" or "actress". An Equity spokesperson said that the union does not believe that there is a consensus on the matter and stated that the "...subject divides the profession".
In 2009, the Los Angeles Times stated that "Actress" remains the common term used in major acting awards given to female recipients. With regard to the cinema of the United States, the gender-neutral term "player" was common in film in the silent film era and the early days of the Motion Picture Production Code, but in the 2000s in a film context, it is deemed archaic. However, "player" remains in use in the theatre incorporated into the name of a theatre group or company, such as the American Players, the East West Players, etc. Actors in improvisational theatre may be referred to as "players". In 2015, Forbes reported that "...just 21 of the 100 top-grossing films of 2014 featured a female lead or co-lead, while only 28.1% of characters in 100 top-grossing films were female...". "In the U. S. there is an "industry-wide in salaries of all scales. On average, white women get paid 78 cents to every dollar a white man makes, while Hispanic women earn 56 cents to a white male's dollar, Black women 64 cents and Native American women just 59 cents to that."
Forbes' analysis of US acting salaries in 2013 determined that the "...men on Forbes' list of top-paid actors for that year made 21/2 times as much money as the top-paid actresses. That means that Hollywood's best-compensated actresses made just 40 cents for every dollar that the best-compensated men made." The first recorded case of a performing actor occurred in 534 BC when the Greek performer Thespis stepped onto the stage at the Theatre Dionysus to become the first known person to speak words as a character in a play or story. Prior to Thespis' act, Grecian stories were only expressed in song, in third person narrative. In honor of Thespis, actors are called Thespians; the male actors in the theatre of ancient Greece performed in three types of drama: tragedy and the satyr play. Western theatre developed and expanded under the Romans; the theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, acrobatics, to the staging of situation comedies, to high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies.
As the Western Roman Empire fell into decay through the 4th and 5th centuries, the seat of Roman power shifted to Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire. Records show that mime, scenes or recitations from tragedies and comedies and other entertainments were popular. From the 5th century, Western Europe was plunged into a period of general disorder. Small nomadic bands of actors traveled around Europe throughout the period, performing wherever they could find an audience. Traditionally, actors were not of high status. Early Middle Ages actors were denounced by the Church during the Dark Ages, as they were viewed as dangerous and pagan. In many parts of Europe, traditional beliefs of the region and time period meant actors could not receive a Christian burial. In the Early Middle Ages, churches in Europe began staging dramatized versions of biblical events. By the middle of the 11th century, liturgical drama had spread from Russia to Scandinavia
Bright Young Things (film)
Bright Young Things is a 2003 British drama film written and directed by Stephen Fry. The screenplay, based on the 1930 novel Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, provides satirical social commentary about the Bright Young People: young and carefree London aristocrats and bohemians, as well as society in general, in the late 1920s through to the early 1940s; this was the last film in which John Mills appeared before his death in 2005. The primary characters are his fiancée Nina Blount; when Adam's novel Bright Young Things, commissioned by tabloid newspaper magnate Lord Monomark, is confiscated by HM customs officers at the port of Dover for being too racy, he finds himself in a precarious financial situation that may force him to postpone his marriage. In the lounge of the hotel where he lives, he wins £1000 by performing a trick involving sleight of hand, the Major offers to place the money on the decidedly ill-favored Indian Runner in a forthcoming horserace. Anxious to wed Nina, Adam agrees, the horse wins at odds of 33–1, but it takes him more than a decade to collect his winnings.
Meanwhile and Nina are part of a young and decadent crowd, whose lives are dedicated to wild parties, alcohol and the latest gossip reported by columnist Simon Balcairn, known to his readers as Mr. Chatterbox. Among them are eccentric Agatha Runcible, whose wild ways lead her to being committed in a mental institution; the pastimes of the young, idle rich are disrupted with the onset of World War II, which overtakes their lives in devastating ways. The film marked the feature film screenwriting and directorial debut of actor Stephen Fry. Fry makes a brief cameo appearance in the film as a chauffeur; the assistant director was Stephen Fry's sister who made her debut in television. The film proved to be the last for John Mills, who appears in the non-speaking role of an elderly party guest enthralled by the effects of cocaine; the character of Lord Monomark is based on Lord Beaverbrook, who once employed Evelyn Waugh as a writer for his newspaper, the Sunday Express. Waugh's original name for his character was "Lord Ottercreek".
Monomark, like a Canadian, is played by Dan Aykroyd, a Canadian. Exteriors were shot at various locations in and around London, including the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich and Eltham Palace. Interiors were filmed in Pinewood Studios; the soundtrack features several standards of the era, including "Nina," "Twentieth Century Blues," "Dance, Little Lady," and "The Party's Over Now," all performed by Noël Coward, "Mairzy Doats" by The Merry Macs, "Hear My Song, Violetta" by Victor Silvester and His Orchestra. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2003, was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival before its Royal European Charity Premiere in London on 28 September 2003, it went into theatrical release in the UK on 3 October 2003, the same day it was shown at the Dinard Festival of British Cinema in France. In the US, the film was shown at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, the Portland International Film Festival, the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Philadelphia International Film Festival, the Newport International Film Festival and the Provincetown International Film Festival before going into limited release on 20 August.
It grossed $931,755 in the US and £869,053 in the UK. A. O. Scott of The New York Times said, "Mr. Fry revels in the chaos of the plot, the profusion of arch one-liners and zany set pieces gives the picture a hectic out-of-control feel. Sometimes you lose track of, who, where the various characters are going—but so do they. Subplots and tangents wander into view and fade away, in the end it all comes together and makes sense, more or less…Period dramas set on the eve of World War II are a dime—or maybe a shilling—a dozen, but what distinguishes this one is its dash and vigor, it does not seem to have been made just for the sake of the vintage cars. The camera, rather than composing the action into a presentable pageant, plunges in, capturing the madness of the era in a swirl of colors and jolting close-ups, and Mr. Fry's headlong style helps rescue the movie from the deadly trap of antiquarianism". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said the film has "a sweetness and tenderness" and observed that Stephen Fry was "the obvious choice to direct this material."
He added, "He has a feel for it. He supplies a roll-call of supporting actors who turn up just long enough to convince us entire movies could be made about their characters". Carla Meyer of the San Francisco Chronicle called the film a "witty, energetic adaptation" but thought "Fry, so deft with lighthearted moments, seems uncomfortable with Waugh's moralizing, more serious scenes fall flat", she added, "Bright Young Things is like a party girl on her fourth martini. What had been fun and frothy turns irretrievably maudlin". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone felt Fry was "clever" for adapting Waugh's novel "into a movie that would make Paris Hilton feel at home," although "By the time lets darkness encroach on these bright young things…the fizz is gone, so is any reason to make us give a damn". Derek Elley of Variety called the film "a slick, no-nonsense adaptation…an easy-to-digest slice of literat
The Dongle of Donald Trefusis
The Dongle of Donald Trefusis is "a mixture of podcast and radio monologue" written and read by Stephen Fry. It stars Fry as himself, who receives an inheritance from his former university tutor, Donald Trefusis, who has died; the inheritance includes a USB drive or "dongle", which contains messages from Trefusis to Fry from beyond the grave. The series began in 2009 and was planned to run to 12 episodes, but only three episodes were released; the series is the first to feature the character of Trefusis, who appeared as a character in Fry's first novel, The Liar, made a series of appearances on the BBC Radio 4 programme Loose Ends. The first episode was made available to download on 26 May 2009. Episodes were scheduled to be released on Tuesdays every fortnight in 2009, from the 26 May to the 27 October. However, Fry announced at the beginning of Episode 3 that he was too busy to maintain a fortnightly schedule, removed the release date information from his website; as of March 2016, there had been no further news on release dates of subsequent episodes.
In the first episode, Fry talks about the life of Trefusis, his former tutor and professor of Philology at the fictional St Matthew's College and the relationship shared by the two. After The Liar and Loose Ends, the two made little contact, with Fry sending him emails and Trefusis writing postcards in return. While Fry was filming in Madagascar, he learnt that Trefusis has died and has left him something in his will. Fry goes to the solicitors in charge of the will, "Hodgman, Hodgman and Hodgman" - none of whom are related to each other, discovers that what is left to him is Trefusis' collection of essays and the books in his vast library. Fry is given a key, which he uses to open a drawer of a desk in Trefusis' library which contains an 8Gb USB drive. Fry puts the dongle into his computer and finds a collection of mp3 files, which contain messages by Trefusis to Fry, it is revealed that messages are part of a puzzle which Trefusis is guiding Fry and those listening through. Each episode features a series of clues, with extra information being posted on a Twitter account Trefusis has created.
The series is made by Fry's own production company SamFry Ltd. and hosted by the Independent Online Distribution Alliance. Stephen Fry's Podgrams Official website Donald Trefusis on Twitter