Quick note: Earlier this year, J. K. Rowling began writing new stories about the 2014 Quidditch World Cup Finals for Pottermore, the website for all things Harry Potter.[...]
In the mid-20th century, the two big dogs in the American literary scene were William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. Both were internationally revered, both were masters of the novel and the short story, and both won Nobel Prizes.[...]
Norman Mailer wrote prolifically, but that didn’t mean cranking out insubstantial volumes. The books whose names we all remember always feel, when we take them down off the shelf, somewhat weightier than we remember: Advertisements for Myself at 532 pages, The Naked and the Dead at 731, The Executioner’s Song at 1072.[...]
Just above, in what seems to be the second in a series of five lectures Susan Sontag delivered at the 92nd St. Y in 1964, hear the novelist, filmmaker, and literary critic discuss what she calls “classical pornography”—which is not, in her definition, porn from ancient Greece.[...]
A great deal of mythology has built up around the life of Jack Kerouac, and especially around the experiences that went into his best-known work, the 1957 novel On the Road.[...]
With regard to writing, Ernest Hemingway was a man of simple tastes. Were I to employ a metaphor, I’d describe Hem as the kind of guy who’d prefer an unadorned plum from William Carlos Williams’ icebox to Makini Howell’s Pesto Plum Pizza with Balsamic Arugula.
Don’t mistake that metaphor for real life, however.
In a 2013 blog post, the great Ursula K. Le Guin quotes a London Times Literary Supplement column by a “J.C.,” who satirically proposes the “Jean-Paul Sartre Prize for Prize Refusal.” “Writers all over Europe and American are turning down awards in the hope of being nominated for a Sartre,” writes J.C.[...]
Read nearly any critical commentary on James Joyce’s Dubliners, his 1914 collection of short stories that chronicle the lives of ordinary Irish residents of the title city, and you’re sure to come across the word “epiphany.[...]
In 1874, Stepan Andreevich Bers published The Cookbook and gave it as a gift to his sister, countess Sophia Andreevna Tolstaya, the wife of the great Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy.[...]
I will admit it: I’m one of those oft-maligned non-sports people who becomes a football (okay, soccer) enthusiast every four years, seduced by the colorful pageantry, cosmopolitan air, nostalgia for a game I played as a kid, and an embarrassingly sentimental pride in my home country’s team.[...]