Literary Critic Northrop Frye Teaches “The Bible and English Literature”: All 25 Lectures Free Online

≡ Category: Literature, Religion |Leave a Comment

One reason I’m glad for having had a childhood religious education: it has made me conversant in even some of the most obscure stories and ideas in the Christian Bible, which is everywhere in English literature.


Partisan Review Now Free Online: Read All 70 Years of the Preeminent Literary Journal (1934-2003)

≡ Category: Archives, Art, Literature, Magazines, Poetry, Politics |Leave a Comment

Founded by William Phillips and Philip Rahv in February of 1934, leftist arts and politics magazine Partisan Review came about initially as an alternative to the American Communist Party’s publication, New Masses. While Partisan Review (PR) published many a Marxist writer, its politics diverged sharply from communism with the rise of Stalin.


20 Free Essays & Stories by David Sedaris: A Sampling of His Inimitable Humor

≡ Category: Comedy, Literature |1 Comment

My first exposure to the writing of David Sedaris came fifteen years ago, at a reading he gave in Seattle. I couldn’t remember laughing at anything before quite so hard as I laughed at the stories of the author and his fellow French-learners struggling for a grasp on the language.


Hear David Foster Wallace Read His Own Essays & Short Fiction on the 6th Anniversary of His Death,

≡ Category: Literature |Leave a Comment

Yesterday, of course, marked the 13th anniversary of the horrible attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Today marks the 6th anniversary of David Foster Wallace’s death by suicide.


Bill Murray Gives a Delightful Dramatic Reading of Twain’s Huckleberry Finn (1996)

≡ Category: Literature |Leave a Comment

George Barnard Shaw once called Mark Twain “the American Voltaire,” and like the inspired French satirist, Twain seems to have something to say to every age, from his own to ours.


Georges Bataille: An Introduction to The Radical Philosopher’s Life & Thought Through Film and eTexts

≡ Category: Film, Literature, Philosophy |Leave a Comment

Charles Baudelaire’s decadent visions pushed the Victorian cult of beauty toward modernism, Henry Miller’s lurid epics pushed a then staid modernism toward anarchic beat writing, and Georges Bataille and the surrealists of his arts journal Documents gave us much of the culture we have today, call it what you will if postmodern is too passé.


The First Color Portrait of Leo Tolstoy, and Other Amazing Color Photos of Czarist Russia (1908)

≡ Category: Literature, Photography |3 Comments

A good few people objected to a recent project that colorized old photos of Walt Whitman, Charlie Chaplin, Helen Keller, Mark Twain, and other historical characters. Leave them alone! they grumped. The past, they wanted left in black and white.


Kafka’s Parable “Before the Law” Narrated by Orson Welles & Illustrated with Great Pinscreen Art

≡ Category: Animation, Film, Literature |1 Comment

On Friday, we featured Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose,” adapted in 1963 through the work-intensive but aesthetically stunning means of “pinscreen animation” by Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker.


Nikolai Gogol’s Classic Story, “The Nose,” Animated With the Astonishing Pinscreen Technique (1963)

≡ Category: Animation, Literature |Leave a Comment

A mild-looking barber slices into his morning loaf of bread to find a human nose embedded within. You might imagine this image opening the next David Lynch movie, but it actually sets up a more lighthearted, much older, and much more Russian story: Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose.


Thomas Pynchon Edits His Lines on The Simpsons: “Homer is my role model and I can’t speak ill of him.”

≡ Category: Literature, Television |1 Comment

In 2002, the elusive novelist Thomas Pynchon made two cameo appearances on The Simpsons. Of course, we didn’t actually get to see Pynchon. His cartoon depiction wore, rather humorously, a bag over his head. But, we did get to hear Pynchon’s voice. And apparently that, alone, was a first.


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