From Time to Time 1: Present Tense and Past Tense Narratives

18 Aug

Read the first in my series of Blogs about TIME in Narrative:

http://jeanelevy.com/comments/from-time-to-time-1-present-tense-and-past-tense-narratives/

Active or Passive: What a Daft Debate

5 Jul

Jean E Levy

Everybody knows what the words active and passive mean. However there is occasionally confusion when using these terms to refer to grammatical voice (not to be muddled with the unique creative voice that distinguishes a writer’s style). In this post I am going to talk about grammatical voice that describes the relationship between the action of a verb and its subject and object.

So, a sentence which demonstrates active voice has the subject as the doer:

John stroked the cat

John is the subject carrying out the action and is therefore the agent of the action. The cat is the object of the action. Two passive sentences are embedded within this active sentence:

The cat was stroked

Here the cat is the passive subject of the sentence and the agent of the action is not mentioned.

The cat was stroked by John

Here, also, the cat is the…

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Trees

22 Jun

Until recently, an ancient larch stood in the meadow behind my house. Then one Sunday morning, without notice, the electricity board came and chopped it down. Because some of its branches were swaying too close to their overhead power lines. The larch is our only native deciduous conifer, and, for well over a hundred years, that tree had told the seasons. It was felled and disintegrated within two hours. Now all that remains of it are a few large pieces of trunk which defied maceration. They now lie in the meadow as a daily reminder that we treat nature very badly.

John Keats, 1795-1821

8 Apr

In 1821 John Keats died of tuberculosis, having nursed his mother and younger brother through this same sickness. He was only twenty-five years old, yet in those few years Keats penned some of the most beautiful words ever written. There might have been other more beautiful words, but for this terrible disease. A disease that recognized no social boundaries, no genius. Many years after his death, TB is once more a cause for concern – its resistance to antibiotics, its predilection for the closed ventilation of long-haul flights.

Hyperion was a work Keats abandoned, but returned to, dissatisfied yet seeking completion. This ballad, The End of Hyperion, was written as part of a degree assignment. The subject was a matter of choice. So I chose Keats unfinished masterpiece. And I chose to consider those dark moments when one is forced to challenge the fates and to accuse them of poor judgement . . .

A curse for all eternity! John Keats should never have died that young.

Isla’s Tale – A WARNING NOT TO READ

8 Apr

This short narrative was written as a cross-genre experiment. It is a psychological horror story in a realist context. Many horror stories involve things that are unreal and unlikely but the really horrible horror stories are those that describe things that can actually happen. Things that actually do happen . . .

Anna’s Tale -Another not to read

8 Apr

These unpleasant tales contribute to a longer text, all of which will eventually appear on this site.

Josie’s Tale – And Another

8 Apr

This is the Third of the First Generation.