What Does “Kafkaesque” Really Mean? A Short Animated Video Explains

≡ Category: Literature |6 Comments

We derive adjectives from great writers’ names meant to encapsulate entire philosophies or modes of expression. We have the Homeric, the Shakespearean, the Joycean, etc. Two such adjectives that seem to apply most to our contemporary condition sadly express much darker, more cramped visions than these: “Orwellian” and “Kafkaesque.

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Download Issues of “Weird Tales” (1923-1954): The Pioneering Pulp Horror Magazine Features Original Stories by Lovecraft, Bradbury & Many More

≡ Category: Literature, Magazines |3 Comments

We live in an era of genre. Browse through TV shows of the last decade to see what I mean: Horror, sci-fi, fantasy, superheroes, futuristic dystopias…. Take a casual glance at the burgeoning global film franchises or merchandising empires.

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Hear a 64-Hour Playlist of Sherlock Holmes Stories, With Performances by Sir John Gielgud, Sir Ralph Richardson & Many More

≡ Category: Literature, Radio |1 Comment

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Image via Wikimedia Commons
When I first read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, having found them collected in full (not, of course, including last year’s “lost” story) in two old volumes at an antique store, I understood immediately why they’d so quickly become so popular with their first readership in the late 1

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An Animated Introduction to the Life & Literary Works of Charles Dickens

≡ Category: Animation, Literature |1 Comment

The social role of the writer changes from generation to generation, but at no time in the history of literary culture have novelists and poets faced more competition for the attention of their readers than they do today.

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James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake Gets Turned into an Interactive Web Film, the Medium It Was Destined For

≡ Category: Film, Literature |4 Comments

Two radical modernists, James Joyce and Sergei Eisenstein, once met in Paris in 1929 and, “depending on who you read,” writes Dan McGinn, “are purported to have discussed a film version of ‘Ulysses’ and how Karl Marx’s ‘Das Kapital’ could be depicted onscreen.

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Discover the First Horror & Fantasy Magazine, Der Orchideengarten, and Its Bizarre Artwork (1919-1921)

≡ Category: Art, Literature, Magazines |3 Comments

From the 18th century onward, the genres of Gothic horror and fantasy have flourished, and with them the sensually visceral images now commonplace in film, TV, and comic books. These genres perhaps reached their aesthetic peak in the 19th century with writers like Edgar Allan Poe and illustrators like Gustave Dore.

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Bertrand Russell Lists His 20 Favorite Words in 1958 (and What Are Some of Yours?)

≡ Category: English Language, Literature, Philosophy, Poetry, Writing |20 Comments

Image via Wikimedia Commons
Is it possible to fully separate a word’s sound from its meaning—to value words solely for their music? Some poets come close: Wallace Stevens, Sylvia Plath, John Ashbery. Rare phonetic metaphysicians. Surely we all do this when we hear words in a language we do not know.

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Hear a BBC Radio Drama of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov: Streaming Free for a Limited Time

≡ Category: Audio Books, Literature |Leave a Comment

A quick heads up: For the next two weeks, you can stream a BBC Radio 4 dramatization of Fyodor Dostoyevsky‘s final novel, The Brothers Karamazov.

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The Bizarre, Surviving Scene from the 1933 Soviet Animation Based on a Pushkin Tale and a Shostakovich Score

≡ Category: Animation, Film, Literature |2 Comments

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OntYSs5DsJ0″>Who

Hot dumplings! Marinated apples! A barrel of cucumbers!
Want to add some quick color to your performance or film? Slip in a quick non-narrative vendor scene. No need for character or plot development. The audience will be quite content with the hawkers’ musical recitation of their wares.

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Aldous Huxley Predicts in 1950 What the World Will Look Like in the Year 2000

≡ Category: Life, Literature, Magazines, Philosophy, Technology |4 Comments

I’ve been thinking lately about how and why utopian fiction shades into dystopian. Though we sometimes imagine the two modes as inversions of each other, perhaps they lie instead on a continuum, one along which all societies slide, from functional to dysfunctional.

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