Tags : literature

Book Review: Ragtime // E. L. Doctorow

Harry Houdini. Henry Ford. John Pierpont Morgan. Booker T. Washington. Emma Goldman. Archduke Franz Ferdinand. These are just some of the real-life figures who appear in E. L. Doctorow’s historical novel, Ragtime (1974). Through a blend of fact and fiction, Doctorow depicts  New York at the turn of the twentieth century when social, political and […]Read More

Book Review: Seize The Day // Saul Bellow

Seize The Day (1956) follows a desperate day in the life of Wilhelm Adler, or Tommy Wilhelm, as he prefers to be called. Financially ruined yet forced to pay alimony to his wife from whom he is separated, and now living in the Gloriana Hotel along with his father, who views him as a failure, […]Read More

The Revolutionary Muse

Chuck Klosterman once said, “Art and love are the same things: it’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” Perhaps that is sufficient to describe what we feel when we look at a magnificent painting, read heart-warming poetry, or listen to music that moves us; we feel as though we are […]Read More

The Author Is Dead; Long Live The Reader

Any Literature student worth their salt will have Roland Barthes’ ‘The Death of the Author’ tucked into their back pocket, waiting for it to be pulled out at any moment: midway through an exam, when picked on in a seminar, or during a spell of writer’s block. For those of you who studied a more […]Read More

The Whitewashing of Literature in the UK Curriculum

English Literature is a compulsory subject for students across the UK up until the age of sixteen, thus it is not unreasonable to assume that what is taken from these lessons will inform these students’ future understanding of the world. The whitewashing of the UK education system, and specifically the secondary school syllabuses, is therefore […]Read More

Female Empowerment Through Literature: Four Must-Reads

Though literature can provoke and offend, it is likewise capable of acting as a medium of inspiration and empowerment.  Among the four books listed below are feminist non-fiction texts focusing on women’s sexuality and menstruation, encouraging female empowerment through education. Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D.  Centred around women’s sexuality, Dr. Emily Nagoski’s […]Read More

My Journey Through a Literary Labyrinth

The best way to learn someone’s secret is to have them write a story.  “So it really happened?” one reviewer demanded. “The professor made her do. . .that in exchange for raising her boyfriend’s grade?” The author—still under a mandate of silence—shrugged. “Is it based on your life?” someone else slyly asked. Nostrils flared, eyes […]Read More

Book by my Bedside: Love, Nina // Nina Stibbe

Title: Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life Author: Nina Stibbe What I think so far: In 1982, Nina Stibbe moved from Leicester to London to become nanny to Mary-Kay Wilmers’s children. Working (somewhat informally, it has to be said) for the editor of the London Review of Books clearly gave this book’s twenty year old […]Read More

The Irony of the English Lit Degree

Belated happy new year to you all! I hope you’ve got plenty of books ready to read in 2019 – I know I have. And I hope that at least some of these books are being read for pleasure – because mine are not. When I opted to do English literature at Glasgow Uni all […]Read More

Did Heathcliff Get Away With It?

“Heathcliff// it’s me Cathy, I’ve come home // I’m so // cold, won’t you let me in your // window”. We all know the lyrics to the Kate Bush song, the mournful masterpiece taking its name and inspiration from a masterpiece of literature, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. I recently read the book for the first time, prompted […]Read More

Book By My Bedside: The Life and Opinions of Tristram

Title: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Author: Laurence Sterne What Do I Think Of It?: What do you get when you cross Jonathan Swift with Daniel Defoe and throw in a splash of Carrollesque surrealism? You get Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, clergyman-turned-author. This is a riotous, 18th-century mock-autobiography of the fictional wag Tristram Shandy, who […]Read More