Spangler’s From Sentence to Screen: Stardust

Stardust is a 2007 fantasy adventure film directed by Matthew Vaughn and stars an ensemble cast led by Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mark Strong and Robert De Niro, with narration by Ian McKellen. The film is an adaptation of the Neil Gaiman 1999 novel of the same name. The movie opens roughly 19 years years prior to the start of the main character’s, Tristan Thorn (Cox), story with the meeting of his parents in a strange magical land. Baby Tristan is left for his father, Dunstan (Younger: Ben Barnes, Older: Nathaniel Parker) to raise in the fictional English town of Wall. When the story jumps ahead 18 years, Tristan is a rather naive boy who believes himself to be in love with the vain Victoria Forester (Sienna Miller). After seeing a falling star, Victoria agrees to marry Tristian if he retrieves it for her in time for her birthday. The night he is to set off, Tristan learns the origins of his birth in the magical land next to the town of Wall. Using a Babylon candle, which allows a person to instantly travel to the place they are thinking of when it is lit, gifted by his mother (Kate Magowan), Tristan tries to find her. But Tristan gets distracted by his thoughts of Victoria and the star, transporting him into a large crater where he falls onto a young woman (Danes) who he mistakes for his mother. He quickly realizes that the hurt girl is actually the fallen star and sets out to bring her back to Victoria, which leads to a wild journey for Tristan and the star, Yvaine, including run-ins with princes, witches, and even pirates. In this blog post I will look at the backstory established between the two mediums as well as the ways Tristan’s character is developed in the story. 

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McFerron’s Authors of Revolution: Hanya Yanagihara

Welcome back, everyone! I hope you all had a great summer and are enjoying the weather as we transition into autumn. This summer I spent a lot of time, though not as much as I wish I could have, reading and re-reading some of my favorite texts. Some off-the-bat recommendations I have from my new reading list this summer include The Sun Also Rises by Hemmingway, The Stranger by Camus, Immortality by Milan Kundera, and Notes from the Underground by Dostoevsky. Again, I hope you all had a wonderful summer, thank you for joining me again as I delve back into this blog. Without further ado, I’d like to talk about one of the novels I re-read this summer, why I chose to re-read it, and why I think everyone ought to read it. 

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McFerron’s Authors of Revolution: David Foster Wallace’s response to Postmodernism.

David Foster Wallace was an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist. He’s best known for his novel Infinite Jest, which totals at 1,079 pages. He’s widely regarded as one of the best American writers of all time, and Time Magazine awarded Infinite Jest a spot among the top 100 English novels since 1923. Some of his other better-known works include his collection of short stories Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, his essay collections Consider the Lobster and A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, and his final, unfinished novel, The Pale King. His writing is perhaps the closest we’ve gotten to responding to the postmodernists, and I’m sure with time, Wallace will be officially considered to be in a category of his own, but for now, he’s often called a post-postmodernist. 

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Peck’s Programming a Narrative: Jack into the Matrix!

Throughout this blog series, I have discussed various ways a developer can use the unique medium of video games to tell a story. Player choice allows the developer to create levels that reflect player styles or decisions. Through good moments of player choice, it can make them feel as though they are in control and actively contributing to the story. Atmosphere influences the mood of the player and set their expectations. But there is one other more subtle decision that is integral to telling a story through an interactive medium. That is the perspective of the player character themselves. In video games, there are many ways to experience a game. Sometimes you are a faceless entity controlling groups of units from high in the sky. In other games you are locked in a first-person perspective, experiencing events as the character does in graphic detail. These perspectives each factor into the player’s immersion, each one serving a specific purpose depending on the genre and type of game.

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Meet The Editors: Jason Ludtke

Welcome back, everybody! For our last Meet the Editors of this semseter, we’d like to introduce one of our prose editors and author of Jason’s Metal Library, Jason Ludtke! Jason is a Junior at Lewis University majoring in Business Administration. His free time is filled with various hobbies, as he likes to read, listen to music, go to concerts, play various video games, go on runs, and watch all kinds of tv shows and films. Some of his favorite writers include Christopher Paolini, Edgar Allan Poe, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

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Sylvia’s Psychological Summaries: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

There’s something that I wanted to get off of my chest before I start talking about the book for this week’s blog. Recently, the second season of Bridgerton dropped and yes, of course, I binged it within the first two days of it showing up on Netflix. With that being said, I was HIGHLY disappointed in the second season. After reading the book, there was no way that I could enjoy this new season because it was almost completely different from the book. To say I was disappointed is an understatement…I still have faith though! I’m a die-hard Bridgerton fan and I am extremely hopeful that the third season will follow the book’s plotline because the books are PHENOMENAL. Anyways, to get back to my blog, I wanted to warn you that this one is going to be a little bit different than what I typically write about. Is it still a romance novel? There’s a sprinkle of that but the main genre is historical fiction that is based on one of the darkest times of human history; the holocaust. Many people in Ukraine are currently living through a similar type of hell and I wanted to address this because it is barbaric and hits a little too close to home. The way Russia attacked Ukraine and the types of war crimes they are committing in Ukraine right now are frighteningly similar to what Hitler did to Poland (my family’s home country) and MANY other countries/people during World War II. If you are not up-to-date on what is currently happening in Ukraine and you don’t know much about World War II, you need to educate yourself and not just turn a blind eye to it. Now, on to my blog. 

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Peck’s Programming a Narrative: Level Design

Last blog I explored the use of cutscenes in videogames and how they are used or in some cases overused. As I was exploring different cutscenes on the internet and replaying specific levels from my favorite videogames I eventually came across an old nostalgic game that was one of my favorite when I was younger, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. I mentioned this game in the previous blog, but in this particular dive into videogame narratives, I wish to explore an element that this game executes brilliantly: Level design. The reason I want to focus on Fall of Cybertron, in particular, is because as I was walking down memory lane, I realized that this game uses level design in such an effective manner that it made me want to write about it. So I will.

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Lauren’s Etude to Eden: Good Omens, “Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy,” and “39”

Now I will admit, despite being in the ideal target demographic, I never got into Superwholock when I was younger. For any unaware of this unfortunate phenomenon, Superwholock is the fan base created for fans of the shows Supernatural, Dr. Who, and Sherlock. All my friends in middle school seemed to be enamored in these shows, but I somehow dodged the angsty content and media that was perfect for me at this stage in my life. I really should have had the classic “emo” stage. I cannot elaborate on why I did not. However, the internet has brought to my attention that there is a new age of “Superwholock,” and I honestly cannot disagree with them. This new set of shows feels very reminiscent of the themes that enamored many back in the day and overall encapsulates the same feral energy found on Tumblr at its peak when those shows were still airing. The new age of “Superwholock” has presented itself in the following programs: Good Omens, What We Do in the Shadows, and Our Flag Means Death. I can say that while I may not have given in to the first wave of this occurrence, the second time around I am not so lucky. These three shows all come together in such a way that gives a sense of progression in this age, instead of the frantic grasping for scraps that people had to engage in during the age of Superwholock. While many people rallied around shows like Supernatural, Dr. Who, and Sherlock due to their potential for representation of more inclusive relationships and people’s ability to relate to their characters, people now rally behind shows like Good Omens, What We Do in the Shadows, and Our Flag Means Death due to their explicit representation offered in an age that is significantly more accepting.

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McFerron’s Authors of Revolution: Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky is widely regarded as one of the best novelists to ever write, and the best Russian novelist of all time. All in all, Dostoevsky wrote 15 novels before his death in 1881. His first novel: Poor Folk immediately found critical acclaim in Russia and was deemed Russia’s first “social” novel as well as a major socialist work. Poor Folk was written in an entirely epistolary form, told through the letters of an impoverished clerk who wrote to a woman he was wildly in love with, but knew he could never be with. The story attacked classist systems in Russia and the rest of the world and urgently spurred Russia’s socialist movements which at the time sought the eradication of the feudal system. Unfortunately, Dostoevsky’s later works wouldn’t find critical acclaim for nearly 15 years after the release of his first novel. Finding such striking success pretty much right off the bat and immediately returning to obscurity surely tormented Dostoevsky, but this is only one instance of suffering that made him one of the greatest psychological and philosophical novelists of all time.

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Meet The Editors: Haley Leon

Welcome back, everyone! We hope the month of March was kind to you! Today we’d like to introduce our Art and Design editor, Haley Leon. Haley is a junior at Lewis University majoring in Aviation Administration, with a minor in Dispatch and a Technical Writing Non-degree Certificate. While her main goal is to become a future pilot, she wants to pursue a writing career when she is not soaring in the clouds. Haley enjoys writing short stories, listening to music from other cultures, exploring new cultures, and learning new languages. She hopes to use her newfound knowledge in her future works and in her career as she plans to travel the world. Some of her favorite writers include Mindy McGinnis, Langston Hughes, and Victoria Aveyard.

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