I should probably keep in mind, as I prepare this summary of the works cited in each Conference, that the custom of including footnotes listing the source documents for statements made in a text is relatively recent, and depends a lot on the preferences of the speaker and the expectations of the audience. Fifty years ago these footnotes were extremely unusual and 100 years ago they were unheard of.
Not that the discourses of 50 or 100 years ago didn’t include references to other works. They did, the custom just wasn’t to put that information in footnotes. The items from General Conference in my Sunday Literary Criticism Sermon series makes that clear.
Even today conference talks sometimes mention works that aren’t included in the footnotes. more →
What Mormon art projects are drawing attention? Does the Mormon community donate to worthy projects? What Mormon projects attract Mormons?
Off and on I’ve been looking at Kickstarter, the crowd-funding website for artists of all kinds who are looking for seed money to get their projects completed. I’ve even funded a project and I’m looking forward to the results of my small contribution. When Kickstarter launched a few years ago it drew a lot of press because it promised to make raising money for small projects easier. A number of similar sites that have launched, and it looks like some good projects are getting funded.
Note: Stories often circulate about the three Nephites who were translated. Members of the Church should be careful about accepting or retelling these stores. You should not discuss them in class.
I won’t be surprised to find that this statement has been in the various Book of Mormon manuals for some time. And I understand why. Telling Three Nephite stories could easily change the lesson from something spiritual to something like an episode of the Twilight Zone.
It probably follows that the most academically-oriented speakers cite the most sources for their discourses. And when such speakers discuss a subject that requires a lot of outside sources, the list reported here gets long. This General Conference three speakers, Elder Oaks, Elder Christofferson and Elder Cook, cited outside sources at a rate that exceeds anything I’ve seen in the 5 years that I’ve been compiling these lists. Overall, the number of works cited rose to 93 from 62 in the Spring and 51 last year. Just 6 works cited I consider literary works, and only one of those, Pratt’s Autobiography, is a Mormon literary work.
Ran into this book in the New! section of my local library a couple weeks ago and decided to bring it home for a looksee. It’s part of ABDO Publishing’s “Essential Critiques” series which include books on how to write about everyone from Stephen King to Paul McCartney to Sylvia Plath to George Lucas to C.S. Lewis to Toni Morrison to Quentin Tarantino to Virginia Woolf to Andy Warhol to Georgia O’Keeffe—it’s an eclectic group of subjects, to be sure. more →
A friend asked yesterday if I knew any works of Mormon literature that dealt with disabilities, especially those that treat mental disabilities. I was only able to come up with one title off the top of my head, Margaret Blair Young’s stunning play Dear Stone, so I thought readers here might help put together a more extensive list.
A few days I came across a link to a blog post about what to read this summer: 101 Books To Read This Summer Instead of ’50 Shades of Grey.’ I thought it was a clever way of suggesting classic books to read and classifying those books. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to do the same thing for Mormon books?
Was literature an afterthought for early Mormons? Looking at the first few years of Mormonism, I get the idea that for most church members it was. For the first few years poetry was the only literary work published (except for scripture and perhaps some sermons, although I don’t want to include these as literary for this analysis) and poetry was initially intended for the hymnal. When the first LDS hymnal was published in 1835, that emphasis waned, and even the LDS periodicals published fewer poems. After the initial burst of activity, 1836, 1837 and 1838 weren’t very fertile years for Mormon literature.