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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Literature, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 2,213
26. How the stories got their name: Kipling and the origins of the ‘Just-So’ stories

The storyteller has always been a figure of magic, and the circle a magic figure. This is Rudyard Kipling, casting his spell around 1902, the year the Just So Stories for Little Children were published. He is on a liner sailing from Southampton to Cape Town in South Africa, where the Kipling family had taken to spending the winter.

The post How the stories got their name: Kipling and the origins of the ‘Just-So’ stories appeared first on OUPblog.

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27. Dickens, Dickens-Style: How the BBC are making use of the ‘streaky bacon’ effect

‘What connexion can there be between the place in Lincolnshire, the house in town, the Mercury in powder, and the whereabouts of Jo the outlaw with the broom,’ asks Dickens’s narrator in Bleak House. As the novel develops, it offers various possible answers, including disease, family, money, and friendship.

The post Dickens, Dickens-Style: How the BBC are making use of the ‘streaky bacon’ effect appeared first on OUPblog.

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28. Which fairy tale character are you? [quiz]

The magic of fairy tales doesn’t just lie in their romantic landscapes and timeless themes of good against evil. The best fairy tales are always populated with compelling and memorable characters – like the rags-to-riches princess, the gallant prince on horseback set to save the day, or the jealous and lonely evil king or queen. Which famous fairy tale character do you think you’re most like?

The post Which fairy tale character are you? [quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.

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29. Birthday letters from Jane Austen

Happy 240th birthday, Jane Austen! Jane Austen was born this day, 16 December 1775 in Hampshire, England. Birthdays were important events in Jane Austen’s life – those of others perhaps more so than her own.

The post Birthday letters from Jane Austen appeared first on OUPblog.

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30. The freewheeling Percy Shelley

In the week I first read the Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things — the long lost poem of Percy Bysshe Shelley — the tune on loop in my head was that of a less distant protest song, Masters of War. In 1963, unable to bear the escalating loss of American youth in Vietnam, the 22-year-old Bob Dylan sang out against those faceless profiteers of war.

The post The freewheeling Percy Shelley appeared first on OUPblog.

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31. How well do you know Ezra Pound? [quiz]

Ezra Pound was a major figure in the early modernist movement. During his lifetime he developed close interactions with leading writers and artists, such as Yeats, Ford, Joyce, Lewis, and Eliot. Yet his life was marked by controversy and tragedy, especially during his later years.

The post How well do you know Ezra Pound? [quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.

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32. Something of myself: the early life of Rudyard Kipling

‘My first impression is of daybreak, light and colour and golden and purple fruits at the level of my shoulder.’ With this beautiful sentence, so characteristic in its fusion of poetry and physical, bodily detail, Rudyard Kipling evokes the fruit-market in Bombay, the city (now Mumbai) where he was born in 1865.

The post Something of myself: the early life of Rudyard Kipling appeared first on OUPblog.

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33. Shakespeare and Religion

We want to know what Shakespeare believed. It seems to us important to know. He is our most important writer, and we want to know him from the inside. People regularly tell us that they do know what he believed, though mainly by showing what his father believed, or his contemporaries believed or, more accurately, what they said they believed—by demonstrating, that is, what was possible to believe.

The post Shakespeare and Religion appeared first on OUPblog.

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34. The Hunger Games are playing on loop— And I am tired of watching

Say you wanted to take over the world—how would you do it? Let’s agree it looks much like the world we live in today, where some countries hold inordinate power over the lives of people in others; where global systematic racism, the shameful legacy of colonization and imperialism, has contrived to keep many humans poor and struggling.

The post The Hunger Games are playing on loop— And I am tired of watching appeared first on OUPblog.

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35. Shakespeare and Holinshed’s Chronicles

Where did Shakespeare obtain material for his English history plays? The obvious answer would be to say that he drew on the second edition of Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (1587), a massive work numbering no fewer than 3,500,000 words that gave rise to more Renaissance plays than any other book, ancient or modern.

The post Shakespeare and Holinshed’s Chronicles appeared first on OUPblog.

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36. An interview with Jessa Crispin at T + L

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From Molly McArdle’s interview with Jessa Crispin about The Dead Ladies Project at Travel + Leisure

“Though they are not all ladies, her subjects took part in what could be called the creative life, whether they made, published, or fed great works of art. Crispin’s book mixes criticism, memoir, and travel writing into a collection of essays that is brutal and empathetic, languorous and impatient, smart and, well, smart.”

***

What are the responsibilities of a travel writer? How do they differ from the responsibilities of a traveler? Do travelers have any responsibilities at all?

“Of course travelers have responsibilities! You have the responsibility not to be an asshole! Not to see this country as being laid out on a platter for your taking. You are a guest—you have to respect that this place has nothing to do with you. Too often you see travelers looking at a landscape and asking, “What can I take from this?” Even the obnoxious dudes who make a big deal about the difference between the “traveler” and the “tourist.” Travel writers have an even greater responsibility, because then they are telling stories about this place that has nothing to do with them, and there is a very long history of travel writers doing and saying terrible things. Acting like colonialists, lying about what happened, trying to make themselves look like the conquering hero, bringing their home land’s assumptions and value systems to a place where they don’t belong. Just for example, Paul Theroux scanned all of Asia and only found sexually available, complacent, totally submissive women (shocker) in an essay he wrote called “China Dolls.” Or, that guy who claimed he discovered Machu Picchu even though people were living right by there! So as a contemporary travel writer, it is your job to know the sins of your fathers and carry them and not repeat them.”

To read more about The Dead Ladies Project, click here.

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37. Meet the cast of Illuminating Shakespeare

Get to know the team behind the Illuminating Shakespeare project as they reveal their stand-out Shakespearean memories, performances, and quotations.

The post Meet the cast of Illuminating Shakespeare appeared first on OUPblog.

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38. Wartime bedfellows: Jack London and Mills & Boon

What do America’s most famous novelist and the world’s largest purveyor of paperback romances have in common? More than you would think. Jack London (1876-1916), author of The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and other classics, was published in the UK and overseas by Mills & Boon, beginning in 1912.

The post Wartime bedfellows: Jack London and Mills & Boon appeared first on OUPblog.

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39. What would Mark Twain make of Donald Trump?

The proudly coifed and teased hair, the desire to make a splash, the lust after wealth, the racist remarks: Donald Trump? Or Mark Twain? Today is Mark Twain’s birthday; he was born on 30 November 1835, and died on 21 April 1910.

The post What would Mark Twain make of Donald Trump? appeared first on OUPblog.

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40. This blasted heath – Justin Kurzel’s new Macbeth

How many children had Lady Macbeth? The great Shakespearean critic L. C. Knights asked this question in 1933, as part of an essay intended to put paid to scholarship that treated Shakespeare’s characters as real, living people, and not as fictional beings completely dependent upon, and bounded by, the creative works of which they were a part.

The post This blasted heath – Justin Kurzel’s new Macbeth appeared first on OUPblog.

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41. Analysing what Shakespeare has to say about gender

Humans are very good at reading from start to finish and collecting lots of information to understand the aggregated story a text tells, but they are very bad at keeping track of the details of language in use across many texts.

The post Analysing what Shakespeare has to say about gender appeared first on OUPblog.

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42. Women onstage and offstage in Elizabethan England

Though a Queen ruled England, gender equality certainly wasn't found in Elizabethan society. Everything from dress to employment followed strict gender roles, and yet there was a certain amount of room for play. There are several cases of (in)famous women who dressed as men and crossed the bounds of "acceptable behavior."

The post Women onstage and offstage in Elizabethan England appeared first on OUPblog.

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43. The life and work of Émile Zola

To celebrate the new BBC Radio Four adaptation of the French writer Émile Zola's, 'Rougon-Macquart' cycle, we have looked at the extraordinary life and work of one of the great nineteenth century novelists.

The post The life and work of Émile Zola appeared first on OUPblog.

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44. What have the Romans ever done for us? LGBT identities and ancient Rome

What have the Romans ever done for us? Ancient Rome is well known for its contribution to the modern world in areas such as sanitation, aqueducts, and roads, but the extent to which it has shaped modern thinking about sexual identity is not nearly so widely recognized.

The post What have the Romans ever done for us? LGBT identities and ancient Rome appeared first on OUPblog.

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45. Spectre and Bond do the damage

The durable Bond is back once more in Spectre. Little has changed and there has even been reversion. M has back-morphed into a man, Judi Dench giving way to Ralph Fiennes. 007 still works miracles, and not the least of these is financial – Pinewood Studios hope for another blockbuster movie. Hollywood roll over and die.

The post Spectre and Bond do the damage appeared first on OUPblog.

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46. Distinctive dress: Martial’s index to life in a crammed metropolis

His books are famous around the world, but their author struggles to get by – two themes that quickly become familiar to any reader. Martial has an eye for fabric. He habitually ranks himself and judges others by the price and quality of their clothing and accessories (e.g. 2.29, 2.57), a quick index in the face-to-face street life of the crammed metropolis.

The post Distinctive dress: Martial’s index to life in a crammed metropolis appeared first on OUPblog.

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47. ‘Tomorrow I’ll start living': Martial on priorities

‘Dear Martial’ – what a strange coincidence that Martial’s soul-mate, who leads the life he himself dreams of living, is called ‘Julius Martial’. In our selection we meet him first at 1.107, playfully teasing the poet that he ought to write “something big; you’re such a slacker”; at the start of book 3, JMa’s is ‘a name that’s constantly on my lips’ (3.5), and the welcome at his lovely suburban villa on the Janiculan Hill 4.64 is so warm, ‘you will think the place is yours’.

The post ‘Tomorrow I’ll start living': Martial on priorities appeared first on OUPblog.

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48. Harriet Jacobs: the life of a slave girl

In 1861, just prior to the American Civil War, Harriet Jacobs published a famous slave narrative – of her life in slavery and her arduous escape. Two years earlier, in 1859, Harriet Wilson published an autobiographical novel, Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, tracing her life as “free black” farm servant in New England.

The post Harriet Jacobs: the life of a slave girl appeared first on OUPblog.

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49. Going to the pictures with Shakespeare

Not so long ago, we ‘went to the pictures’ (or ‘the movies’) and now they tend to come to us. For many people, visiting a cinema to see films is no longer their principal means of access to the work of film-makers. But however we see them, it’s the seeing as much as the hearing of Shakespeare in this medium that counts. Or rather, it's the interplay between the two.

The post Going to the pictures with Shakespeare appeared first on OUPblog.

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50. On Adapting Emile Zola: Notes from a BBC script writer

Why adapt Zola? What’s he got to say to us today? If the novels are so good why not leave them as they are – as novels – and forget it?

The post On Adapting Emile Zola: Notes from a BBC script writer appeared first on OUPblog.

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