19 July, 2014

#GuestPost :: Can you define yourself with a work of art? by Michael Pritsos

Michael Pritsos studied English with emphases in both Literature and Creative Writing at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. Currently, Michael serves in the infantry of the U.S. Marine Corps. Short-Lived is his sophomore release, with Hoplite being the first. In spite of a constricting work schedule, he is currently working on other projects due in 2014.

Website : www.nyxsyndicate.com




Can you define yourself with a work of art? I would venture to bet that in some aspects you can. As individuals we tend to have guidelines and expectations from ourselves that can help us grow, whether or not they are seen as inflated views or simply a desire to be better people overall. Many of us will utilize pieces of art as a means of attempting to define ourselves. 
Think about it. What are those age-old questions asked on so many first dates? “What’s your favorite movie?” “What’s your favorite book?” “Who’s your favorite character?” You don’t want to be the one to answer Harry Potter to all three of those questions, so here’s a list of great authors and their great books that everyone should have on their shelves. 

1. Aldous Huxley – Brave New World. Huxley was one of the top authors to define the dystopian genre and really bring about a daunting potential future for our world. With memorable characters and an ending that you’ll never forget, Huxley sets the bar exceptionally high with his most famous piece.
2. John Steinbeck – Of Mice and Men. There are few literary characters as iconic as the pair Lennie and George from one of Steinbeck’s most famous novels chronicling the bond between two companions.
3. Homer – The Iliad. With themes and virtues still prevalent in our modern society, Homer’s epic set in antiquated Troy is a must-read. His characters are well-defined in their individual struggles and connect well with the reader. Perhaps most interestingly, The Iliad outlines that as a race we have not changed as much in the past 3,000 years as some would hope.
4. Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment. Possibly one of the more disturbing trips into the human psyche, Dostoyevsky’s famous novel takes its readers on a trip of greed, murder, and love.
5. William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet. Arguably Shakespeare’s most famous play, Romeo and Juliet has been regarded throughout history as one of the best love stories ever told. Star-crossed lovers with doomed fates? Yes, we all know the story. But have you read it?
6. Ayn Rand – Anthem. A short novel, this piece is not exactly Rand’s most famous work but it does summarize her writing style very well with existentialist views and an unforgettable ending. Perhaps Atlas Shrugged is your favorite book of Rand’s, or of all time, but long before John Galt there was Equality 7-2521.
7. Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wilde knew how to lace comic relief and lightheartedness into the serious matters of this novel. With unforgettable characters like Henry, the monstrous Dorian Gray’s moral collapse can be absorbed a little easier. 
8. J.D. Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye. One of the most profound works delving into adolescent angst, Salinger’s most notable work is told through the eyes of a sixteen year old boy struggling to find and understand himself. Holden Caulfield is a name that remains more recognizable today than many famous names. And he did not even exist.
9. George Orwell – Animal Farm. A novel written as a satire of the Russian Revolution, Orwell’s Animal Farm remains an influential piece to this day. There are few lines more memorable, or moments in a novel as you come to them, as what was finally written on the side of the barn. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” 
10. William Golding – The Lord of the Flies. Thought to be a great influence on modern thinking, as well as literature as a whole, Golding’s most famous novel chronicles a small period of time where a group of schoolboys are marooned on an island together. The primordial nature of man is exemplified through these boys, who begin to lose their grip on reality in their struggle for survival.

Now this by no means is an end all, be all, approach to literature. There are many and more that I wish I could have included but alas I set my bar at ten. The list simply represents a small portion of some works that have been deemed influential over multiple generations, and with good reason. It is an attempt to get those gears turning in your head. Think about your own top ten and see what kind of works have had influences in your life.



 Eighteen years into the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta finds a Devanian soldier named Maxites flung into the catastrophic events of war and destiny. Hoplite: Torch of Prometheus is a historical fiction novel taking place in Greece nearly two and a half millennia ago. Torch of Prometheus begins in 413 B.C. Maxites is a twenty-year old warrior of the fictional town of Devanum, sworn allegiance to the Athenian League, and is eager to join the war between an advanced Athens and bloodthirsty Sparta. Devanum is able to send out a small force of men to aid the Athenians, led by Maxites' oldest brother Dioxiphos. In a string of bloody battles, conversations with the gods, an untimely marriage, journeys on land and voyages by sea, Maxites must learn to deal with bonds forged and severed, what the difference is between Athenians and Spartans, the truth of his past, and the loss of those he loves.





Short-Lived is a dark novella set amidst the grittier areas of Phoenix, Arizona. Nine stories tell tales of money, power, life, and death. Short-Lived intricately weaves the lives of a drug addict, his love interest, dealers, and those struggling for power in the streets. Who will come out on top, and who will get left in the dust? 



Get Short-Lived for free on Amazon. Offer till tomorrow - 20th July

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