The Definition Book is an anthology of essays by authors of fiction and nonfiction in a range of genres.
The book has been published since 2011.
The anthology features essays by a number of distinguished scholars and practitioners in the field of grey literature, including Stephen King, Ursula Le Guin, Urs H. A. van Loon, Liza Minnelli, and more.
Each essay is illustrated with a link to the source and, for those not interested in the language, is accompanied by a short explanation.
The first volume of The Definition book was published in 2012.
This is the second volume, which contains the definition of a number that have been selected by the definition committee to be included in the anthology.
The final volume of the definition book, published in 2017, includes more than 100 essays by leading grey literature scholars, including James Thurber, Thomas L. Patterson, and Christopher G. P. Johnson.
This anthology was made possible by the generous support of the Canadian Heritage Foundation.
The following is a list of the essays in The Definition books first volume, second volume and third volume.
“Grey literature is the art of writing about the real world, the lives of real people, with real emotions.
It is a kind of writing that deals with the world through the lens of a human subject and the experiences of real life.
A writer must write to achieve this goal, but there is no such thing as a bad writing about a person.”
— Ursula K. Le Guine, The Colour Purple (1971) “When I was a teenager I wrote an essay about how to write a romance story in a book called ‘The Colour Purple,’ about a teenage girl who is really an alien.
This essay was a kind and sensitive essay about the meaning of human life.
It was very human.
It had a human touch.”
— Stephen King (1952) “Grey, the first of the genres of literature, is the form in which we experience the world and the lives and the people that we know.
It deals with what is real and what is not real.
It includes the worlds of reality and fiction, and the ways in which people live their lives.
The word is an adjective, and when you are reading a book, you are looking for what is being called or named.”
— John Irving (1922) “I always say that a writer must think, but that is the thing, not that they must think; rather, the thing that is supposed to be the writer’s responsibility, is to create a world that is not so much a story, as it is a world of feelings.”
— Philip Pullman (1934) “In the realm of literature the distinction between fantasy and reality has never been more crucial than it is now.
The question is: How can one define what it is that makes fantasy and how can one write about it?
The answer, of course, is that a great deal of imagination is required.”
— Margaret Atwood (1953) “It is impossible to imagine a more human world.
The more human and the more real a world becomes, the more it is in fact the world of a story.”
— James Thurbers “Grey is a genre in which all that is real is something to be admired and admired is to be loved.
If one cannot love one’s own life, then one cannot know one’s true love.”
— Christopher G P Johnson (1973) “A writer is not a painter or a sculptor.
The writer is a thinker, an artist, a musician, a philosopher, a poet, an activist, a lover of truth, of truth-seeking, of justice, of liberty, and of freedom.”
— Pauline Kael, The Red Woman (1985) “Writing is a journey through the real of life.
The real is always the one that has the greatest value to us and that we should treasure.
The most important thing is that we never lose sight of that.”
— Susan Sontag (1970) “The writer must have some real knowledge of what is happening in his or her world, that is, something about it.
If he or she has no such knowledge, it is possible that his or she may miss something important.”
— Robert Anton Wilson, A Portrait of an American (1938) “We write, we speak, we move, we feel, we dream, and we create.
In a certain sense, the writer is the master of the universe.”
— Mary McCarthy, The Way We Are (1993) “If we look at a novel as a book of words, a book that is composed of words and is written by words, then the author’s life is a story.
If we look in the same direction, at a book as a text, the text is the story of the story.
The text is something that exists in the writer, that happens to him or her.” — Jane