On Friday, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment topped our crowdsourced list of Books Intelligent People Should Read. If you haven’t read Dostoyevsky’s classic novel of murder and guilt, you should give it a go.[...]
For the first time, J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1926 translation of the 11th century epic poem Beowulf will be published this May by HarperCollins, edited and with commentary by his son Christopher. The elder Tolkien, says his son, “seems never to have considered its publication.[...]
I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.[...]
Other than Romeo and Juliet and possibly Hamlet, Shakespeare doesn’t exactly lend himself to the elevator pitch. The same creaky plot devices and unfathomable jokes that confound modern audiences make for long winded summaries.
Not to say it can’t be done.
Ask an American or an Englishman who the best Russian poet is, and they’ll genuinely consider the question. The same query, when posed to a Russian, invariably yields a single answer: Alexander Pushkin.[...]
Just a few short years ago, the world of digital scholarly texts was in its primordial stages, and it is still the case that most online editions are simply basic HTML or scanned images from more or less arbitrarily chosen print editions.[...]
Perhaps no one single person has had such widespread influence on the countercultural turns of the 20th century as Cambridge-educated occultist and inventor of the religion of Thelema, Aleister Crowley. And according to Crowley, he isn’t finished yet.[...]
Many of us came across our favorite book serendipitously. No surprise: it’s easiest to be completely blown away by a work of art or literature when you approach it without any pre-existing expectations. For BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow, that book was Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland.[...]
“Everyone’s got to start somewhere,” a banal platitude that expresses a truism worth repeating: wherever you are, you’ve got to get started. If you’re John Updike (who would have been 82 years old yesterday), you start where so many other accomplished figures have, the Harvard Lampoon.[...]
According to Ted Morgan, author of William S. Burroughs biography Literary Outlaw (which Burroughs hated), the hard-living Beat writer added “teacher” to the list of jobs he did not like after an unhappy semester teaching creative writing at the City College of New York.[...]