Chris Rock Reads James Baldwin’s Still Timely Letter on Race in America: “We Can Make What America Must Become”

≡ Category: Literature |1 Comment

A black quarterback refuses to stand during the national anthem—a song, incidentally, written by a “patriot” who was also a “bigot” and slaveowner, “vehemently opposed to abolition.” The quarterback declares that he will not “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.


Enter an Archive of 6,000 Historical Children’s Books, All Digitized and Free to Read Online

≡ Category: Archives, Books, e-books, K-12, Literature |6 Comments

We can learn much about how a historical period viewed the abilities of its children by studying its children’s literature.


Free: Hear Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Read by Hans Conried (1958)

≡ Category: Audio Books, Literature |Leave a Comment

Briefly noted: Over on Spotify you can stream a classic audio book of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (iPad/iPhone – Kindle + Other Formats – Read Online).


When James Joyce & Marcel Proust Met in 1922, and Totally Bored Each Other

≡ Category: Literature |7 Comments

When we invoke the names of famous artists of the past, we refer to their most hallowed work—Orson Welles simultaneously means Citizen Kane, for example, or War of the Worlds, and H.G. Wells means The Time Machine or…  War of the Words.


James Joyce: An Animated Introduction to His Life and Literary Works

≡ Category: Literature |2 Comments

So maybe you didn’t take a class on James Joyce’s Ulysses in college with a wizened professor from Dublin who explained in excruciating detail, week after week, why the famed modernist writer is the greatest novelist that ever lived and also some kind of secular sage and conduit of the collective genius of humanity.


In the Only Surviving Recording of Her Voice, Virginia Woolf Explains Why Writing Isn’t a “Craft” (1937)

≡ Category: Literature, Writing |7 Comments

The literary voice of Virginia Woolf comes to us from a life lived fully in the service of literature, a life devoted, we might say, to the “craft of writing.” That earnest expression gets tossed around innocently enough in various grammatical forms.


Hear the 14-Hour “Essential Edgar Allan Poe” Playlist: “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” & Much More

≡ Category: Literature |Leave a Comment

Edgar Allan Poe: anyone with an interest in scary stories—and not just scary, but deeply, whole-other-level scary stories—quickly learns the name. Presumably they also learn the proper spelling of the name: “Allan” with two As, not “Allen” with an E.


Stephen King on the Magic Moment When a Young Writer Reads a Published Book and Says: “This Sucks. I Can Do Better.”

≡ Category: Books, Creativity, Literature, Writing |Leave a Comment

Go to a bookstore.
Tell the clerk you’re an aspiring writer.
You’ll be directed to a shelf—possibly an entire section—brimming with prompts, exercises, formulae, and Jedi mind tricks. Round out your purchase with a journal, a fancy pen, or an inspirational quote in bookmark form.


Ray Bradbury Explains Why Literature is the Safety Valve of Civilization (in Which Case We Need More Literature!)

≡ Category: Literature |Leave a Comment

Ray Bradbury had it all thought out. Behind his captivating works of science fiction, there were subtle theories about what literature was meant to do. The retro clip above takes you back to the 1970s and it shows Bradbury giving a rather intriguing take on the role of literature and art.


Test Your Literary Mettle: Take a 50 Question Quiz from The Strand Bookstore

≡ Category: Books, Literature |13 Comments

Image by Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons
Think you know literature inside and out? If you’re feeling confident, then we’d suggest taking the literary matching quizzes that the great Strand Bookstore (located in New York City, of course) has given to its prospective employees since the 1970s.


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