Seeking out scholarly essays for “Coven of the Articulate: Critical Essay Compendium About Anne Rice’s Works”

More about the compendium: Back in early 2013 when I was first putting together my psychoanalytic essay about Anne Rice’s works (currently available for purchase via Amazon), I insanely dreamed about the absurd idea of possibly extending my lone essay into a much larger, more ambitious scholarly volume about Anne Rice’s work. Of course, the sheer dearth of such volumes in either the literary criticism databases like Ebscohost, or volumes published by different colleges and made available for purchase at various bookstores, persuasively proved to me that publishing such a compendium was quickly becoming a necessity.

Even though I knew the idea then would be a rational one, I still filed the idea in the back of my head. After a rather dissatisfying turn of events with trying to find some kind of entry-level job in the publishing industry (and expending all my creative stamina), Anne Rice’s announcement about the forthcoming release of Prince Lestat served as a psychological clarion call to action. I suddenly remembered those ridiculous dreams of publishing a serious collection of critical essays about Anne Rice’s works, and realized that 2014- the same year Prince Lestat was slated for release- was the year that a new critical essay compendium about Anne Rice’s works would be published. I had already formed a very successful group, called Lestat’s Book Coven, that has been helping to provoke deeper analysis of Anne Rice’s earlier Vampire Chronicle books. Now, it was time to release a new scholarly book to hopefully revive even more scholarly or intellectual interest in Anne Rice’s whole oeuvre of  works.

In earnest, I started tinkering with ideas of how to seek out essays. To be perfectly frank, I don’t have much clout in the realm of literary scholars. They are an unreachable pantheon of esteemed luminaries, proffering their well-earned PHDs in some esoteric region of literary study. Then, I realized the one thing that has always irked me, as an undergrad English major, was the fact that all the essays that I was reading were not accessible the public. Now, the academic community was not setting strict boundaries against laymen or laywomen that would deprive them of the chance to access such essays.  Rather, the biggest obstacle, preventing many readers from finding these critical essays, was a slew of stigmas about critical works about books. Some people believe that analyzing literature is indeed an esoteric trade, interesting only to those people that can tease out the ponderous prose of critical essays, riddled with strange, verbose jargon, and discern the core argument of meaning of that essay.

Yet, I have been the person that has read various scholarly books about Jk Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and was a huge fan of the works of John Granger. For those who are unfamiliar with John Granger, he is a lesser known literary critic that has done something very unprecedented in the academic community. The bulk of essays that he produces are written not for the scholarly community, but rather for fans of the works that he is analyzing. He has actually spoke at many Harry Potter fan conventions because of the fact that his well-written scholarly works are read and enjoyed by the fans themselves, and not only some small coterie of literary scholars.

After consulting some of his works again and discerning the way he has make the formerly arcane art of literary criticism appealing and accessible to a much wider audience beyond the boundaries of academia, I knew that it was in my power to draw on my same zeal and passion for Anne Rice’s works, and attempt to bring forth that same kind of intelligent, cogent discussion about the under-explored realm of Anne Rice’s works. When I read nearly all ten or eleven of the Vampire Chronicle books and most of her other noteworthy works in under a year (an impressive feat for a chronically slow reader), I knew that there were wide ocean of deeper meaning that was not being exhumed by literary critics. Instead, the tides of dismissive criticism about Anne Rice’s works- the chidings of silly literary snobs- deprecatingly say that her prose is much too verbose, her characters are far too exaggerated and prosaic, and her plots are either too derivative or are the substance of a campy sixties or seventies horror film.  And, this large wave of snobbish and pretentious criticism has effectively made scholars stay far, far away from Anne Rice’s work.

With the planned release of the tentatively titled Coven of the Articulate: Critical Essay Compendium About Anne Rice’s Works, I want the discussion about the true depth of Anne Rice’s works to return once more to the world of meaning and psychological intrigue that underpins Anne Rice’s works.

In order to make this book become a reality, I am imploring those that have ever envisioned themselves writing a critical essay about Anne Rice’s works to please think about possibly adding an essay to this work in progress. There are a few requirements and several critical essay standards that you must abide by, but I am not looking for all my writers to somehow have a PHD or English Master’s Degree in their possession. If I want this work to be appealing to those that don’t usually read literary criticism, having submissions from anyone that has the ability to write something that has clarity and depth will serve as enough qualifications for me to consider publishing your essay.

**How to have your essay possibly added to this compendium? First, I am developing a Facebook Group, much like Lestat’s Book Coven, which will be aptly named Lestat’s Scholar Club. This is where you will be able to communicate directly with me and others that have an interest in possibly submitting an essay to  Coven of the Articulate. I feel that the format of utilizing a Facebook group will be far more manageable than relying on emails, which sometimes does not lend itself well with free-flowing conversation (that is a requirement, when pondering and discussing deeper things, such as the underlying meaning of Anne Rice’s works, or the subtext of her writing).

For those unaware or need a refresher on how to write literary criticism, I am open to having Google Hangouts with members of the Lestat Scholar Club to give you all very clear explanation on how to write effective literary criticism!

**All questions, concerns can always be emailed to me directly at narniafanatic(at)gmail(dot)com.** 

Requirements for Essays-

   1) All works must pertain to Anne Rice’s works, and discussing this issue or a slew of other issues in a substantive, innovative fashion. Also, the construction of this essay must follow conventional essay standards, and thus include (1) a clear, effective thesis statement,  (2) well-organized body paragraphs that are organized in a logical way,  (3) ample textual evidence from  Anne Rice’s books that you are analyzing, (4) wide array quotes from other literary critics (use critics that you not just agree with, but also critics that you might disagree with to help accentuate the stronger points of your argument).

2) All essays must abide by the guidelines of MLA format, when scholarly quotes are being cited within your essay (quotes that are not cited properly are considered hearsay and plagiarism)- You may consult this wonderfully written packed about MLA format, which I used the majority of the term as a writing tutor in my undergraduate years at my alma matter. I am sure they would appreciate me using this guide, once again, to help insure that all essays for publications are written in a professional manner.

Link to MLA Guide (from Gwynedd-Mercy University’s ARC)

3) Essays that are either too long-winded, inscrutable, messy, and effectively illogical and unpersuasive to the reader will not be accepted. Of course, you will be given the opportunity to revise your work till it is something that is deemed acceptable for publication.

4) All essays must be 10-30 pages in length. Nothing should either be shorter or longer. Also, your bibliography (yes, it is imperative that you have a bibliography with the works and essays you consulted for this essay) will be counted among those pages, so your essay portion should really only be 8-22 pages.

**Any of Anne Rice’s works can be analyzed, including those written by AN Roquelaire and Anne Rampling.**

Information about Due Date for Submissions:

All essays or contributions, for now, are due November 13, 2014 (finalized due date). The due date is not finalized, as of yet,but I wish to have this volume released by January or Feburary 2015, a little after the time Prince Lestat is released.   I am doing this, for the sole purpose of writing a new essay, about Prince Lestat!!

Please contact me through email at narniafanatic(at)gmail(dot)com, if you are interested i n contributing your work here! I have not finalized any details yet about compensation, so for now, you’re going to have to see this project as something done purely for the enjoyment and satisfaction of writing something scholarly. I am not doing this primarily for profit, because this project will probably not be very profitable.

I apologize sincerely that I do not have the financial means to properly compensate everyone for their work. If things fare better for me in the wildly turbulent world of the job market, I could perhaps properly compensate everyone financially for everyone’s work, and that is something I really wish I could do. But unfortunately, this job environment is teaching me that you must slave away for no profit for one-two years, especially if you are endeavoring to pursuit the thing you love most. It is a bitterly disenchanting world for writers these days, and no one has ever decided to write this kind of stuff with the thought that writing critical essays will somehow make them a millionaire.  That is not reality, and I apologize sincerely that I cannot provide that type of compensation. Let it be known, though, that your work will always be valued by not just me, but also I’m sure Anne Rice will be very thrilled by this entire project!

If there are no submissions, I am extending the deadline to another year, and will try writing the whole damn book myself!! Thanks again for your interest in this ridiculously lofty idea! Please fill out the form below, if you are interested in joining the Lestat Scholar Club, or you wish to berate me (in a civil manner) about not settling any clear amount of financial compensation for your work. I hope that this work becomes a reality, and that Lestat will have more reason to stick around longer than just October 28, 2014!

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