Figure 1 Killer Jeff (Sessuer)
Creepypastas are an internet horror story originating on blog posts and internet chat forums. The first creepypastas were usually the forum equivalent of chain emails, where people would post what were essentially campfire stories in the middle of the forum in the hopes that someone would see it. Sometimes these would take the form of internet curses, telling users to repost to a different board or site in order to break the curse and pass it on to someone else, in much the same way one breaks the curse in the ring movies. Other times they would simply be scary stories about monsters or serial killers posted randomly as an attempt at trolling. One of the first creepypastas to ever be posted and archived was Jeff the Killer, a creepypasta about a young man who got his face burned off and then proceeded to kill people. (Sessuer) It was originally posted to the Newgrounds forum site and contained an image that has remained popular ever since. The story was not very well written as it was simply a blog post written on the internet in the early 2000s, as were many other creepypastas.
A group of girls busy reading books while some of them are relaxing after reading.
Reading has a vast history. In the manuscript era, scribes copied manuscripts. So there were limited copies and not everybody knew how to read. Also, the reading materials were prized and difficult to afford for most of the population. In those times, a person used to read aloud the text to other people, and they remembered what they listened. Later, in the era of printing press, reading became popular as people had access to more copies of the text. Moreover, literacy started growing slowly. A time came when people used to read all the time and carried their novels or books everywhere. In other words, people became addicted to reading. This whole situation led to an increase in the number of libraries and bookshops. (Bon) Continue reading
Questions about the ethics of publication and copyright have been discussed at length for centuries regarding printing and publication in general. There are two substantially ethical forms that a work can take on when using another author’s work in their own: Commentary and criticism, and parody. Furthermore, the new work must use the old one in a way that is clearly transformative and/or gives direct reference to it that clearly notes it as being from another author. What these stipulations particularly require is subjective in most cases, as one person’s opinion on a particular matter could very easily differ from another’s. This is far more of a problem when it comes to parody, especially when the reference to the original work is not abundantly clear to all. The main issue with this, of course, is that one could misconstrue this reference as being an original piece of the work. This is troublesome because obviously not everyone will understand or be able to know what exactly is being referenced, such as if the viewer had never seen the original. If we let this get carried to an extreme, then media would never be able to have such references or parodies because just a single person taking the new work at face value would be unethical towards the creator of the original work. Therein lies the issue of subjectivity: What is clear to one person might be something totally out of place to another.
Fox Broadcasting Company, and Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC. Blue Harvest Episode Poster. September 2007. PREVIEWSworld.
In the life of an English major the question “what is your favourite book?” comes up often. This question can be quite difficult to answer and inevitably leads to thinking about why, as readers, we become attached to books and our own personal copies of them. The attachment to a specific copy of a book, for me, is determined a variety of different ways. I have those that I loved when I was young and have not read in years, but the attachment remains. I do not see myself returning to these books and yet I also cannot imagine getting rid of them because I maintain an emotional attachment to the stories and the copies of them that I read so many times as a kid. There is a part of those books and the person that I was when I read them, as well as what I took from them, that holds a nostalgic sense of comfort. The attachment goes beyond the feelings I have towards the text itself to how I feel about my own personal copy of a book.
How often does a reader pause to contemplate their chosen reading interface? How often does the writer lift their pen or let their hands linger just above the keyboard to consider their writing substrate? In failing to consider the various modern and historic forms of information and communication technology, we fail to understand just how vital a role these devices and their evolution have played, and continue to play, in the preservation and transmission of knowledge across time and space.
Figure 1: An image of a poetry fragment written by Sappho in a collection of her works, entitled Sappho, translated by Mary Barnard. Image: Myna Campbell, 2020.
Image: Chelsea Hill.
As an avid reader, I have always had a peripheral interest in reading Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. I’m not sure if this is because of the cultural and literary significance of Anne’s writing, my interest in World War II, or because my maternal grandparents were born and lived in Holland before immigrating to Canada in 1958. Realistically, it is probably a combination of all three. I became even more interested in this text in late 2015 when, while helping clean my Oma and Opa’s apartment, I found a tattered copy of The Diary of a Young Girl. Although I knew that my Oma and Opa grew up during the war and experienced both Holland’s occupation by Germany in 1940 and its liberation by Allied forces in 1945, it had never fully occurred to me that they were sharing a very similar geographic, political, and temporal environment with Anne. As my Oma and Opa were born in 1924 and 1926, respectively, and Anne was born in 1929, only a few years separated them.