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""In this story, as the chief character is internally melodramatic, the story itself ceases to be merely melodramatic, and partakes of true drama."" - T. S. Eliot.Like Poe before him and Conan Doyle after, Wilkie Collins shifted easily from rational domains to the ""superrational."" Like them, he is famed for original contributions to ""ratiocinative"" (detective) literature, but often preferred to indulge his occult predilection - a lifelong indulgence. His first published story, ""The Last Stage Coachmen"" (1843), was a supernatural allegory of trains; perhaps his last lucid effort (before ill health and opium drained his powers) was this short novel, The Haunted Hotel.Collins' methods and themes, developed and elaborated in his earlier, massive novels, are streamlined and concentrated here into a tight novelette. The same relentless pace and narrative power, the same attention to plot and backdrop detail that distinguish The Moonstone and The Woman in White are evident here, as is the obsession with destiny and the willful struggle against it.Collins' much-loved Venice provides the scenery and fatal beauty, the grim waterways and palaces the author will haunt with mysterious women, grotesques, and bloody conspiracies. The Countess Narona is one of Collins' cosmopolitan enchantresses; she acts, but as the tool of her doom. T. S. Eliot wrote, ""The principal character, the fatal woman, is herself obsessed by the idea of fatality; her motives are melodramatic; she therefore compels the coincidences to occur, feeling that she is compelled to compel them."" Collins relieves the tension with some wry characterizations and ironies; the theatrics are sustained. Indeed, theatrical motifs figure heavily, Collins himself being much involved with the stage at that period.The Haunted Hotel appears to be loosely based on a case from the annals of French crime; the scene, scenery, players and conflicts, and especially the horror, come straight from Collins' overstimulated, no doubt overwrought, most certainly haunted imagination.
How do visitors immersing themselves in material places such as shopping malls or video sites online make sense of the experience, enabling criticizing - or consenting to content? How is this evident in behaviour? Reflecting on accounts by Chinese, Indian, Malay and Indigenous members of Malaysian society, this book addresses these questions from a practices perspective increasingly adopted by scholars in marketing and media studies.
The volume provides an account of practices theory from its origins in critical hermeneutics (such as Heidegger, Gadamer and Ricoeur), as reflecting on the processes of embodied understanding, developing alongside interpretive and reception theory. Part I draws upon authors as diverse as Heidegger and Henry Jenkins, with a practices perspective on media and mall consuming shown as developing from forty years of theorizing about audience activity. An empirical study of Malaysian blogging and branding on YouTube exemplifies this approach. Part II considers Malaysians absorbed in social media sites, as everyday visitors and the subjects of consumer research. The book then returns to the material world, exploring the horizons of understanding from which Malaysians enter their mediated malls, and concludes by positioning media practices theory within a spectrum of philosophical ideas.
Recognizing the current (re)turn in Consumer and Media Studies to employing hermeneutics as an account of our embodied human understanding, this book presents its major philosophical proponents, showing how close attention to their writing can now inform and shape research on ubiquitous screen users. As such, it will be of particular interest to students and scholars of Media Studies, Asian Studies and Marketing Studies.
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