Off Cuts
stray articles and other marginalia from Farah Mendlesohn


*Rhetorics of Fantasy (extract)

*Out of This World

* What We Mean & How We Are Seen

* Denying the Exoticism of the Other

* How to Give a Conference Paper

* Why the Iraq Crisis is on

* Crowning the King

* How I discovered Fandom

* Did you ask any good questions...

* Popular science for children

* Creativity & Essay Writing


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More Farah:

* Intergalactic Playground

* Live Journal

All texts copyright Farah Mendlesohn



This site is a clearing house and central axis for articles and other writing by the academic and critic Farah Mendlesohn.

Articles currently on the site are:

NEW! Rhetorics of Fantasy -- Health warning: This book is not intended to create rules. Its categories are not intended to fix anything in stone. This book is merely a portal into fantasy, a tour around the skeletons and exoskeletons of genre.

Out of This World -- Faced with very limited story lines and a very narrow range of scientific interests in science fiction written for children and teens, I went looking for benchmarks...

What We Mean & How We Are Seen -- The following was written for Chaz Brenchley, who had been asked to edit an issue of the pdf magazine Red Ink. I was asked to write about the way sf is seen from the outside...

Denying the Exoticism of the Other -- Diana Wynne Jones’s construction of the immersive fantasy in the Dalemark Quartet.

How to Give a Conference Paper -- There are essentially two approaches to giving a conference paper. One is to read the paper, the other is to talk to it. Of the two of us, Edward is much more likely to read and Farah more likely to talk to a paper, but we have both used the alternative technique where it seemed appropriate...

Why the Iraq Crisis is on -- The following was a response to an argument on a number of sf and fantasy mailing lists about what it was and was not ok to discuss. It was the height of the pre-war crisis over “intervention” in Iraq and tempers were fraying.

Crowning the King -- Attempting to write a critique of a body of work which is clearly unfinished is a challenge to any academic...

How I discovered Fandom -- I want to start this talk by admitting that to a very large extent, I still haven’t discovered fandom...

Did you ask any good questions... -- The title of this chapter is taken from a Jewish tradition: it is the question you ask a child on his return from school, the idea being to inculcate a critical approach to the world...

Popular science for children -- The majority of these popular science books defy the idea common to the pedagogy that children resist factual information, that they need hands on experience to engage them.

Creativity and Essay Writing -- The following is from Diana Wynne Jones's _The Year of the Griffin_ (2000) and is possibly the best description of creative research and creative writing in academia I've ever read. It is reprinted here with Diana's permission.

Books by/edited by Farah Mendlesohn:

Guilty of Literature
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Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction
(ed James and Mendlesohn)
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Rhetorics of Fantasy
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Diana Wynne Jones: The Fantastic Tradition and Children's Literature
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The True Knowledge of Ken MacLeod
(ed Butler and Mendlesohn)
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(ed Mendlesohn)
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Farah can be contacted at farah.sf at gmail dot com and any questions or suggestions concerning the website can be addressed directly to the webmaster iotar at hotmail dot com.