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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Literature, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,068
1. Alice down the microscope

Tomorrow Oxford will celebrate Alice’s Day, with mass lobster quadrilles, artwork and performances, croquet, talks, and teapot cocktails, and exhibitions of photographic and scientific equipment. The diverse ways in which Alice and her wonderland are remembered and recast reveal how both heroine and story continue to speak to many different kinds of audience, 150 years since Lewis Carroll’s book was first published.

The post Alice down the microscope appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. Oxford World’s Classics Reading Group Season 3: Great Expectations

When a mysterious benefaction takes Young Pip from the Kent marshes to London, his prospects of advancement improve greatly. Yet Pip finds he is haunted by figures from his past: the escaped convict Magwitch; the time-withered Miss Havisham and her proud and beautiful ward Estella; his abusive older sister and her kind husband Joe. In time, Pip uncovers not just the origins of his great expectations but the mystery of his own heart.

The post Oxford World’s Classics Reading Group Season 3: Great Expectations appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. Prince Charles, George Peele, and the theatrics of monarchical ceremony

Today marks the forty-sixth anniversary of Prince Charles’s formal investiture as Prince of Wales. At the time of this investiture, Charles himself was just shy of his twenty-first birthday, and in a video clip from that year, the young prince looks lean and fresh-faced in his suit, his elbows resting on his knees, his hands clasping and unclasping as he speaks to the importance of the investiture.

The post Prince Charles, George Peele, and the theatrics of monarchical ceremony appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. The Festival of Insignificance

Milan Kundera's first novel in more than 10 years is a spare, darkly comical book that explores such subjects as art, Stalin, Schopenhauer, the female navel, marionettes, death, and peeing in parks. Deceptively light, The Festival of Insignificance is as profound as it is funny. Books mentioned in this post The Festival of Insignificance Milan [...]

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5. The Mountain Story

Wolf Truly, on his way to commit suicide on a mountain peak, meets a mother, daughter, and grandmother who carry their own emotional secrets. When they get lost and stranded, all bets are off. A fast-paced, page-turning mystery set in a remote and beautiful wilderness, The Mountain Story is an unusual and ferociously addictive read. [...]

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6. Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac

Underneath this unlikely story of Sasquatch hunters, unicorns, ape-mothers, sea monsters, ghosts, and lifelong curses is a commentary on the important things in life: love, family, and forgiveness. Regret, childhood trauma, and obsession come into Shields's focus, and her resulting tale is amusing, with a chunk of bittersweet poignancy thrown in the mix. Books mentioned [...]

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7. Book vs. Movie: Far From the Madding Crowd

A new film adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy was recently released, starring Carey Mulligan as the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene and Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, and Michael Sheen as her suitors.

The post Book vs. Movie: Far From the Madding Crowd appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. Robert Seymour — 13 Pictures

1. Self-Portrait. My new novel, Death and Mr. Pickwick, tells the story of the origins of Charles Dickens's first novel, The Pickwick Papers. Its main character is Dickens's tragic illustrator Robert Seymour, who shot himself while working on the pictures for Pickwick. Something of Seymour's troubled state of mind is surely conveyed in this self-portrait, [...]

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9. Being defaced: John Aubrey and the literary sketch

John Aubrey might have made an excellent literary agent. When Charles II was restored, Aubrey told Thomas Hobbes to come down to London straight away to get his portrait painted. It was a successful bid for patronage. Aubrey correctly calculated that Hobbes would meet the King at the studio of Samuel Cooper, 'the prince' of miniaturists. Cooper painted two watercolour miniatures, 'as like as art could afford'. One the King took away for his 'closet' at Whitehall Palace, and another was not finished.

The post Being defaced: John Aubrey and the literary sketch appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. Six people who helped make ancient Naples great

The city that we now call Naples began life in the seventh century BC, when Euboean colonists from the town of Cumae founded a small settlement on the rocky headland of Pizzofalcone. This settlement was christened 'Parthenope' after the mythical siren whose corpse had supposedly been discovered there, but it soon became known as Palaepolis ('Old City'), after a Neapolis ('New City') was founded close by.

The post Six people who helped make ancient Naples great appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. The Dead Ladies Project at Public Books

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From Nandini Ramachandran’s review of The Dead Ladies Project at Public Books:

The Dead Ladies Project is part of a long literary tradition of single ladies having adventures. As a genre, it has had to contend with the collective energies of late capitalism (which tries to convert all adventure into tourism), patriarchy (which tries to make all single women into threatening and/or pathetic monsters), and publishing (which tries to repackage and flatten all women who write into “women writers”). It does, on the whole, remarkably well, perhaps because it’s written by insightful people who have resisted, for an entire century, the call to cynicism. It’s easy, these days, to be jaded about human relationships, to believe that they have been fabricated and marketed and focus-grouped into torpor and that no one remains capable of an authentic emotion. Jessa Crispin, like so many writers before her, flatly refuses to believe that. She insists on the fleeting, transcendental passion, the abjection of unrequited longing, the thrill and terror of waking up in an alien city. She insists, further, that a woman can revel in all that tumult.

(I choose this excerpt as the best teaser for the book, yet a part earlier on, a sort of prelude in which Ramachandran relays the mise-en-scène of the spinster’s myth, that consuming-qua-shrill narrative surrounding a woman with “too much plot”—I feel you.)

Read more about The Dead Ladies Project here.

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12. A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing

It's no surprise that this striking, emotionally charged novel won countless awards last year. Using fractured language betraying the narrator's mental state, McBride deftly relates the story of a girl growing up in a hostile home where everyone must grapple with a pervading cancer, both literally and metaphorically. Books mentioned in this post A Girl [...]

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13. Portia Kane’s ’80s Metal Mix

Two of Love May Fail's main characters, Portia Kane and Chuck Bass — now in their early 40s — still love the metal music that was popular in their youth. Love May Fail isn't about music, but examining what shapes us in our early years. Primarily, I wanted to underscore the difference a single high [...]

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14. How much do you know about Dracula?[quiz]

Now that the second season of the Oxford World's Classics Reading Group is drawing to a close, let's see how much you've learnt from reading Bram Stoker's Dracula. Test your knowledge of all things Vampire with our quiz.

The post How much do you know about Dracula?[quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.

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15. Powell’s Q&A: Owen Sheers

Describe your latest book. I Saw a Man is a contemporary novel set between London, New York, Nevada, and Wales. The book opens with Michael Turner, a young widower, entering the house of his neighbors, the Nelsons, by the back door. Michael believes there is no one at home, but he is wrong. What happens [...]

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16. Before Wolf Hall: How Sir Walter Scott invented historical fiction

Historical fiction, the form Walter Scott is credited with inventing, is currently experiencing something of a renaissance. It has always been popular, of course, but it rarely enjoys high critical esteem. Now, however, thanks to Hilary Mantel’s controversial portraits of Thomas Cromwell (in Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies), James Robertson’s multi-faceted studies of Scotland’s past (in The Fanatic and And the Land Lay Still), and Richard Flanagan’s Narrow Road to the Deep North, winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize, the genre has recovered serious ground, shrugging off the dubious associations of bag-wig, bodice, and the dressing-up box.

The post Before Wolf Hall: How Sir Walter Scott invented historical fiction appeared first on OUPblog.

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17. Roger Luckhurst’s top 10 vampire films

There are many film adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula; many, of course, that are rubbish. If you need fresh blood and your faith restored that there is still life to be drained from the vampire trope, here are ten recommendations for films that rework Stoker’s vampire in innovative and inventive ways.

The post Roger Luckhurst’s top 10 vampire films appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. The real world of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Some reviewers of the first episodes of the current BBC1 adaptation have dismissed it is over-blown fantasy, even childish, yet Clarke’s characters are only once removed from the very real magical world of early nineteenth-century England. What few readers or viewers realise is that there were magicians similar to Strange and Norrell at the time: there really were 'Friends of English Magic', to whom the novel’s Mr Segundus appealed in a letter to The Times.

The post The real world of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell appeared first on OUPblog.

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19. The Sunlit Night

Delightfully quirky and charming, the tale of how Frances and Yasha come to meet on a tiny Norwegian island is both winsome and slightly melancholic. From the reaches of the far north to a Russian bakery in Brighton Beach, Dinerstein transports us to her slightly wacky world. Books mentioned in this post The Sunlit Night [...]

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20. Our Souls at Night

What a blessing it is for Kent Haruf fans to have one last story to savor. In his resonantly lean style, he sheds light on a relationship between two elderly people living alone yet seeking the warmth of companionship in conversation during nights spent in bed together. Here is the essence: lives enhanced by the [...]

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21. Make Something Up

Reading the new Chuck Palahniuk collection is like popping that giant zit on your forehead: it's completely gross and full of bodily fluids, but you just can't leave it alone. After finishing, you step back from the mirror — exhausted, ashamed, and totally satisfied. Books mentioned in this post Make Something Up: Stories You Can't... [...]

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22. Vendela Vida: The Powells.com Interview

Vendela Vida is a force to be reckoned with. She's written four novels and one book of nonfiction; she's a founding editor of the Believer and a cofounder of 826 Valencia, plus she's done some screenwriting. Her newest novel, The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty, is her strongest work yet. In this moving, darkly funny, beautifully [...]

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23. Who was Amelia Edwards?

Surprisingly few people have heard of Amelia Edwards. Archaeologists know her as the founder of the Egyptian Exploration Fund, set up in 1882, and the Department of Egyptology at University College London, created in 1892 through a bequest on her death. The first Edwards Professor, Flinders Petrie, was appointed on Amelia’s recommendation and her name is still attached to the Chair of Egyptian Archaeology.

The post Who was Amelia Edwards? appeared first on OUPblog.

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24. The Sunlit Night

Delightfully quirky and charming, the tale of how Frances and Yasha come to meet on a tiny Norwegian island is both winsome and slightly melancholic. From the reaches of the far north to a Russian bakery in Brighton Beach, Dinerstein transports us to her slightly wacky world. Books mentioned in this post The Sunlit Night [...]

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25. Long Live the Queen of the Bowery

Previous to Saint Mazie, I've only ever written about characters I've made up from scratch before. Then I read an essay by Joseph Mitchell in his wonderful collection Up in the Old Hotel, and I became entranced by the idea of writing about a real person: Mazie Phillips aka The Queen of the Bowery. She [...]

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