An Illustration of Every Page of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

≡ Category: Art, Literature |1 Comment

Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, the work he is most known for in death, had the effect in life of ruining his literary reputation and driving him into obscurity. This is but one of many ironies attending the massive novel, first published in Britain in three volumes on October 18, 1851. At that time, it was simply called The Whale, and as Melville.


Hear the Only Recording of Raymond Carver Reading “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”

≡ Category: Audio Books, Literature |5 Comments

This is surely worth a quick mention: Today we added to our list of Free Audio Books a recording of Raymond Carver reading his most famous story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.


115 Books on Lena Dunham & Miranda July’s Bookshelves at Home (Plus a Bonus Short Play)

≡ Category: Film, Life, Literature, Poetry, Television |Leave a Comment

“Miranda-july-reading” by Alexis Barrera / Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.
Ah, the joys of dining at a new friend’s home, knowing sooner or later, one’s hostess’ bladder or some bit of last minute meal preparation will dictate that one will be left alone to rifle the titles on her bookshelf with abandon.


Dostoevsky Draws a Picture of Shakespeare: A New Discovery in an Old Manuscript

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Dostoevsky, a doodler? Surely not! Great Russian brow furrowed over the meaning of love and hate and faith and crime, diving into squalid hells, ascending to the heights of spiritual ecstasy, taking a gasp of heavenly air, then back down to the depths again to churn out the pages and hundreds of character arcs—that’s Dostoevsky’s style.


Flannery O’Connor to Lit Professor: “My Tone Is Not Meant to Be Obnoxious. I’m in a State of Shock”

≡ Category: Literature |5 Comments

When Flannery O’Connor started writing in the middle of the 20th century, short stories — or at least fashionable short stories that were published in The New Yorker –unfolded delicately revealing gossamer-like layers of experience.


A Dazzling Gallery of Clockwork Orange Tattoos

≡ Category: Film, Life, Literature |1 Comment”>1971

Alex, the protagonist of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange takes teenage rebellion to psychotic extremes, but one act he and his droogs never indulge in is getting tattooed. It doesn’t even seem to be on their radar.


Leo Tolstoy’s Masochistic Diary: I Am Guilty of “Sloth,” “Cowardice” & “Sissiness” (1851)

≡ Category: Literature, Philosophy |1 Comment

1850 was a tough year for Leo Tolstoy. It was a time when his future successes were impossible to see while his past failures were all too obvious. A few years prior, he had been thrown out of the University of Kazan. His teachers wrote him off as “both unable and unwilling to learn.


Haruki Murakami’s Advice Column (“Mr. Murakami’s Place”) Is Now Online: Read English Translations

≡ Category: Literature |10 Comments

Earlier this month, the reading world thrilled to the news that Haruki Murakami would, in a new column on his official site, take on the role of agony uncle. I, for one, had to look up the term “agony uncle,” a term out of British English, a language that surprises me even more often than does Murakami’s native Japanese.


Ayn Rand Writes a Harsh Letter To Her 17-Year-Old Niece: “I Will Write You Off As a Rotten Person” (1949)

≡ Category: Literature, Philosophy, Politics |7 Comments

Image via Wikimedia Commons
I recently happened upon the Modern Library’s “100 Best Novels” list and noticed something interesting. The list divides into two columns—the “Board’s List” on the left and “Reader’s List” on the right.


William Blake’s Last Work: Illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy (1827)

≡ Category: Art, Literature |1 Comment

Just over a year ago, we featured John Milton’s Paradise Lost as illustrated by William Blake, the 18th- and 19th-century English poet, painter, and printmaker who made uncommonly full use of his already rare combination of once-a-generation literary and visual aptitude.


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