15 Great Films Adapted From Equally Great Novels

≡ Category: Film, Literature |13 Comments

Warner Bros.
How often does a film adaptation of a novel you love meet your expectations? Circle one: A) Always B) Often C) Rarely D) Never.
I’m guessing most people choose C, with a few falling solidly in the perennially disappointed D camp.


Charles Dickens Gave His Cat “Bob” a Second Life as a Letter Opener

≡ Category: History, Letters, Literature |Leave a Comment

Image via New York Public Library
Increasingly Facebook seems a virtual pet cemetery, with images of recently departed cats and dogs buttressed with words of heartbreak and consolation.


Watch the New Trailer for the Upcoming Joan Didion Documentary, We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live

≡ Category: Film, Literature |1 Comment

It didn’t take long, only 25 hours, for Griffin Dunne and Susanne Rostock to raise enough money on Kickstarter to complete a documentary on novelist and essayist Joan Didion. Initially hoping to raise $80,000, they’ve already received commitments exceeding $211,000, and they still have four days to go.


The Art of Leo Tolstoy: See His Drawings in the War & Peace Manuscript & Other Literary Texts

≡ Category: Art, Literature |1 Comment

Like all great writers, Leo Tolstoy has inspired a great many visual adaptations of his work, of varying degrees of quality. Just this past month, the Volgograd Fine Arts Museum in Russia held an exhibition of “92 graphic works from the collection of the Yasnaya Polyana Estate-Museum,” the author’s country estate and birthplace.


David Foster Wallace’s Syllabus for His 2008 Creative Nonfiction Course: Includes Reading List & Footnotes

≡ Category: Literature, Writing |Leave a Comment

Photo courtesy of Claudia Sherman.
The term “creative nonfiction” has picked up a great deal of traction over the past decade — perhaps too much, depending upon how valid or invalid you find it.


Hear J.R.R. Tolkien Read From The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit

≡ Category: Literature |2 Comments

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In “Epic Pooh,” a lengthy, cantankerous essay on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings that savages the trilogy’s nostalgic, middle-class ideology, fantasy maven Michael Moorcock takes a long quotation from a 1969 review by Clyde S. Kilby as his epigraph.


Mark Twain Predicts the Internet in 1898: Read His Sci-Fi Crime Story, “From The ‘London Times’ in 1904”

≡ Category: Literature, Sci Fi |2 Comments

Most people know that Mark Twain wrote about Jim and Huckleberry Finn navigating down the Mississippi. Less well known is that he occasionally dabbled in the burgeoning genre of science fiction. His 1898 short story “The Great Dark” is about a ship that sails across a drop of water on a microscope slide.


The Complete Ulysses: Alec Baldwin, Garrison Keillor, Bob Odenkirk & Others Read Joyce’s Opus Aloud

≡ Category: Audio Books, Books, Literature |1 Comment

Perhaps you’ve held off on listening to Re:Joyce, Frank Delaney’s line-by-line, episode-by-episode podcast exegesis of James Joyce’s Ulysses, because you want to listen not just to a breakdown of the novel, but to the novel itself.


Stephen King’s Top 10 All-Time Favorite Books

≡ Category: Literature |7 Comments

So you might think that if Stephen King – the guy who wrote such horror classics like Carrie and The Stand – were to rattle off his top ten favorite books, it would feature works by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft or maybe J. R. R.


What Are Literature, Philosophy & History For? Alain de Botton Explains with Monty Python-Style Videos

≡ Category: Education, History, Literature, Philosophy |Leave a Comment

Once upon a time, questions about the use-value of art were the height of philistinism. “All art is quite useless,” wrote the aesthete Oscar Wilde, presaging the attitudes of modernists to come. Explaining this statement in a letter to a perplexed fan, Wilde opined that art “is not meant to instruct, or to influence action in any way.


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