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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Literature, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,005
1. Can’t and Won’t

Something interesting happens while reading Can't and Won't: you'll start to find meaning and nuance in even the most mundane of occurrences. That's the beauty of Davis's deceptively simple, frequently funny stories — they'll teach you to become more observant and to embrace our tendency as humans to overthink things. I guarantee you'll enjoy the [...]

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2. Vergil in Russia: milestones of identity

In 1979, one of the most prominent Russian classical scholars of the later part of the twentienth century, Mikhail Gasparov, stated: "Vergil did not have much luck in Russia: they neither knew nor loved him." Gasparov mostly blamed this lack of interest on the absence of canonical Russian translations of Vergil, especially when it came to the Aeneid.

The post Vergil in Russia: milestones of identity appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. Cinderella science

Imagine a plant that grew into a plum pudding, a cricket bat, or even a pair of trousers. Rather than being a magical transformation straight out of Cinderella, these ‘wonderful plants’ were instead to be found in Victorian Britain. Just one of the Fairy-Tales of Science introduced by chemist and journalist John Cargill Brough in his ‘book for youth’ of 1859, these real-world connections and metamorphoses that traced the origins of everyday objects were arguably even more impressive than the fabled conversion of pumpkin to carriage (and back again).

The post Cinderella science appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. Selfies, Memoir, and the World Beyond the Self

When I was a teenager in Colorado during the late '90s, I liked to climb 14ers — 14,000-foot mountains. I'd often hike with friends, and at the top we'd take a photograph of ourselves standing on the summit. We'd set the camera on a rock and use the timer function, or, if another hiker happened [...]

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5. Jerome: a model scholar?

The Renaissance vision of Jerome (c. 347-420 AD), as depicted by Albrecht Dürer in a world-famous engraving of 1514, seems to represent an ideal type of the scholar: secluded in the desert, far removed from the bustle of ordinary life (with a lion to prove it), well-established in his institution (as shown by the cardinal's hat), and devoted to his studies.

The post Jerome: a model scholar? appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. A Little Life

In an alternate universe, A Little Life would be the love-child of Hanya Yanagihara and Donna Tartt, and this is a beautiful thing. The story setup is reminiscent of The Secret History, but the language and themes are all Yanagihara. Spanning five decades, this is a hefty novel at 700 pages, but one that you [...]

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7. The Book That Refused to Write Itself

I first heard of Fritz Haber in 1998, when I caught a snippet of a TV documentary about 20th-century scientists. The camera zoomed in on an image of a bald man in a military uniform, a pair of pince nez clamped to the bridge of his nose. He looked like a stereotypical German nationalist circa [...]

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8. Who is your favourite character from children’s literature?

In order to celebrate the launch of The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature in March, we invited OUP staff to dress up as their favourite characters from children’s books. The result was one surreal day during which our Oxford offices were overrun with children’s literature characters, ranging from the Cat in the Hat to Aslan, from Pippi Longstocking to the Tiger Who Came to Tea, and from Little Red Riding Hood to the Very Hungry Caterpillar. It was a brilliant and brave effort by all those who attended. Particularly those who commuted to and from work in their costumes!

The post Who is your favourite character from children’s literature? appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. Women

Caldwell is fearless in this tiny memoir; her second after Legs Get Led Astray. After spending her life in relationships with men, she suddenly finds herself, unbelievably, in love with a woman; a woman who already has a partner. Caldwell illustrates all the ugly pain, fear, anger, and aching loneliness of embarking on a relationship [...]

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10. All My Puny Sorrows

Sisters: this relationship is so very complicated — so fraught with missteps. Elf and Yoli are opposites, and while their bond is strong, it's not quite strong enough to keep Elf from continuously contemplating suicide. Yoli has tried everything to maintain the thin grasp she has on her sister. Somewhere along the way, Yoli realizes there is [...]

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11. Required Reading: Books That Inspire Travel

Ahead of a trip, many of us gravitate toward books that depict the history and culture of our travel destination. But it can work the other way around, too. Sometimes a book provides such a powerful sense of place that we find ourselves longing to visit the area we read about. Some of us even [...]

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12. Paying Guests

Part erotic thriller, part psychological study, part murder mystery, The Paying Guests is an intricate tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Frances and her mother live in a large estate in a small English village, but after having lost all the male members of their family in the war, they are [...]

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13. Dept. of Speculation

What started out as a really sweet family study turned into a pretty painful read. Offill has been there ("there" being the depths of marital disaster) — that's clear — and has captured this slice of domestic drama with something that I can only describe as an aching tenderness. Small and slight vignettes are layered [...]

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14. All the Birds Singing

Carefully spooling out its story, both forwards and backwards, All the Birds, Singing tells the tale of Jake Whyte, a woman on the run who finds herself on an Australian sheep farm. Jake's past is slowly inching into the light of discovery, while her present is haunted by something that is systematically killing her sheep. [...]

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15. Forever Girl

Alexander McCall-Smith delivers a sweet story here, but it is not without some angst. Clover has loved James all of her life, but she feels him drifting away from her as they both leave their home in the Cayman Islands for boarding school in England. At the same time, Clover's parents seem to be drifting [...]

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16. Adam

I really liked this book. The characters are complex and the gender/sexuality confusion is extremely interesting. Not for the squeamish, there is a lot of explicit sex here, but it is important to the story, and Schrag is quite matter-of-fact about it. Adam seems like a real teenage boy to me: willing to do whatever it [...]

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17. Everything I Never Told You

After you read this book, if you're a parent, be prepared to call your children and apologize for everything you've ever done. When death rips apart the Lee family, it becomes quite clear that Marilyn and James have not been the parents they imagined themselves to be. Lydia, Nathan, and Hannah have been molded, bent, [...]

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18. Buried Giant

A sometimes quiet, sometimes tense quest novel, The Buried Giant weaves the pastoral with the magical. An elderly couple start a journey to visit the son they haven't seen in years. Anticipating an easy trip, they soon become entangled with a warrior, a knight, and a sleeping dragon, not to mention pixies and slightly sinister [...]

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19. How much do you know about Wuthering Heights? [quiz]

Centuries after its 1847 publication, Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë's breathtaking literary classic, remains a seminal text to scholars, students, and readers around the world. Though best known for its depiction of romance between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, it is also largely multidimensional, grappling with themes such as religious hypocrisy, the precariousness of social class, and the collision of nature and culture. But how much do you know about this famous work of English literature?

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

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20. Spool of Blue Thread

Tyler's story of three generations of the Whitshank family has all the typical hallmarks for which she is so well known. There is family drama and dysfunction and sorrow aplenty, but Tyler also has an amazing way of exposing family in all its ugly and beautiful glory. These characters love each other, except when they don't, [...]

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21. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

My advice on this book: do not read any reviews, blurbs, synopses, or even the back cover (or front, for that matter)! Just read the book! It's one of those rare books that you need to approach blind; just dive in and experience it. The less you know, the better. You will fall under its [...]

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22. Untamed State

An Untamed State is the kind of book that just slices into you — forcing you to feel all its emotions. Gay digs deep and tells a story so searing, so awful, and so beautiful, it's hard to even describe. Set in modern day Haiti and America, this harrowing tale of a woman held captive for [...]

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23. The Sun Also Rises

I read this book during my senior year of college to take a break from my business reading requirements. It inspired me to buy a plane ticket to Spain as a graduation present to myself. I went and ran with the bulls in Pamplona and felt like I was living out a story. I will [...]

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24. On the Road

I was never much of a traveler until I read Kerouac's classic. Soon after reading On the Road, I took my first solo road trip from St. Paul to San Diego. It wasn't long after that I was driving all around the states, and my travel itch did not go away. I eventually joined the [...]

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25. Between terror and kitsch: fairies in fairy tales

This story may or may not be a fairy tale, though there are certainly fairies in it. However, unlike any of his Victorian forebears or most of his contemporaries, Machen manages to achieve, only a few years before the comfortably kitsch flower fairies of Cicely Mary Barker, the singular feat of rendering fairies terrifying. With James Hogg’s 'Confessions of a Justified Sinner', Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Thrawn Janet’ and several of M. R. James’s marvellous ghost stories, ‘The White People’ is one of only a handful of literary texts that have genuinely unnerved me.

The post Between terror and kitsch: fairies in fairy tales appeared first on OUPblog.

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