1138 posts tagged with Literature.
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Best annotated literary recommendations?

What are some excellent annotated versions of already excellent books? [more inside]
posted by amicamentis on Apr 22, 2016 - 20 answers

What is the weirdest book in the history of English literature?

It could be a novel, a non-fiction book, a diary, poem or play. Bonus question: how about the weirdest book from other global literary traditions?
posted by dontjumplarry on Apr 20, 2016 - 30 answers

Comic recommendations for 10 yr old girl please

I would like to broaden her mind a little and give her a selection of comics to see which she likes best and see if she takes to reading as a life habit. [more inside]
posted by lapsang on Apr 17, 2016 - 37 answers

On The Gothic Tradition and Colonial Guilt

I'm looking for an essay I read in a collection of critical essays on the origins of literary genres - its thesis was that since the gothic tradition often reversed or undermined mainstream Victorian ideals, it could be seen as a sublimated response to colonial guilt that couldn't be expressed in public. The argument tied it into the practice of keeping looted Egyptian mummies in parlors and the first sprouts of Gothic arriving from the idea of something old and dead and foreign in your home that might be out for revenge. Ring any bells?
posted by The Whelk on Apr 13, 2016 - 3 answers

Poem / reading ideas for a 50th anniversary

What poems / readings would you recommend for a 50th Anniversary? My parents have been having health issues so I would prefer to avoid the usual "ha ha you're falling apart" joke poems about pills and getting infirm. They are somewhat stoic but have a good sense of humor.
posted by benzenedream on Apr 9, 2016 - 7 answers

Literature about ugliness

In search of novels, memoirs, and other literary works where physical ugliness (NOT beauty, primarily) is a major subject/theme. Thanks!
posted by thetortoise on Apr 8, 2016 - 32 answers

Idiomatic use of "I can still speak English"

In the first chapter of Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, Marlowe says "I'm thirty-three years old, went to college once and can still speak English if there's any demand for it. There isn't much in my trade." What does he mean by that? [more inside]
posted by 256 on Mar 30, 2016 - 13 answers

What are the most interestingly designed children's books?

What are the most interestingly designed children's books? I am wanting to find ones with holes in the pages, unusual bindings, strange covers, textures inside, or simply unusual illustrations. Any advice?
posted by mortaddams on Mar 25, 2016 - 40 answers

Looking for Info on Secession and Inspiration from Literature, Film, TV

Hey Brilliants, I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of spring! I am researching a new project on secession and am looking for examples in literature, film, tv, etc. of stories that are about a US state or city trying to secede from the union. I'm somewhat aware of Texas' ability to secede but am wondering if anyone has written anything about what would happen if another state or city tried to secede. Thanks so much :) [more inside]
posted by sunnyblues48 on Mar 23, 2016 - 17 answers

Not just an eye of newt. Can you identify this short story?

I remember reading a short story some time ago, about a little girl who was (I think?) trapped in an invisible labyrinth, and had a salamander (possibly two?) that were her companions. The salamander(s) always had to be moving or they would die/turn to stone. Eventually one (or both) saves the girl, sacrificing himself in the process. Where can I find this story?
posted by ananci on Mar 9, 2016 - 4 answers

C. S. Lewis quote about moving lips while reading poetry

I have a faint recollection of reading an essay by C. S. Lewis, in which he discusses reading poetry, and suggests moving one's lips while reading. Does this ring any bells? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Mar 2, 2016 - 7 answers

Is there a short story set on the Golden Gate bridge?

I'm trying to remember the author and title of a story (at least, I think it's a story). All I really remember is a parent, I think a dad but I could be wrong, sitting in traffic on a bridge. I believe there are at least two kids in the car, and there might be some kind of accident or disaster ongoing or impending, hence the traffic. Possibly earthquake related because I think it's in the Bay Area? I'm pretty sure it's the Golden Gate bridge? But it might just be a generic/elsewhere bridge and I made it the Golden Gate in my mind. It could also be an opening/early scene in a novel? But I feel pretty sure about the short story part, at least. I wish I remembered more, but I know this exists and it's driving me crazy. Short story with parent(s) in car with kid(s) on bridge, possibly set in the Bay Area: ringing any bells?
posted by adastra on Feb 24, 2016 - 4 answers

Who are the Roger Eberts of book reviewers?

Are there any book reviewers out there who have great reputations as book reviewers? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Feb 23, 2016 - 12 answers

Literature on verbal and emotional abuse in romantic relationships

Looking for fiction, lyric essays, poetry, or theoretical texts that discuss emotional and verbal abuse in romantic relationships. Interested in both fiction and non-fiction, but not interested in self-help, psychology, life coach-y type lit, nor YA novels. [more inside]
posted by hollypolly on Feb 21, 2016 - 24 answers

I need a Great [not necessarily American] Novel, damn it.

[Book recommendation filter] Must be literary. Must be wildly absorbing. Ensemble casts of characters preferred but not required. The longer, the better. Did it sweep YOU off your feet? Tell me about it! [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings on Feb 6, 2016 - 56 answers

Experiencing a narrative work by identifying with the protagonist

I am casually aware of the idea that some people experience some works of narrative fiction by identifying with the protagonist of the story, and by experiencing the protagonist's story as if it were their own. What is the formal name or definition of this idea, and what are some canonical writings about it? [more inside]
posted by dan_of_brainlog on Jan 24, 2016 - 7 answers

Good places to post writing online?

You'd think Google would be best for this, but help me out: I have pieces of writing that I would like to share online (non fiction, poetry, short stories, etc.). I have joined various post-your-stuff sites, but I find most of them to be full of teens (which is great! Seems like the kids these days are just cranking stuff out...) posting teen type writing or fan fiction. I'm talking about Wattpad and similar sites. Do you know of any good writer's sites with a social/interactive element (ratings, following, etc.) that have a more mature/literary bent? Thanks! Happy new Year
posted by bobbyno on Dec 27, 2015 - 9 answers

Smart, witty "thoughts for the day"?

I am thinking about starting my morning radio show with a very brief "thought for the day," as I have about 20 seconds to fill each morning. Looking for both individual ideas, and sites. More details inside. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Dec 23, 2015 - 8 answers

A Vaguely Menacing Poem About Lions and Great White Hunters?

I'm trying to remember a poem I read in my British Authors class, which, I believe, was written in the first person (maybe even epistolary). It was about a White British hunter somewhere in Colonial East Africa (I believe it was in Kenya?), and I think he was hunting lions, but also metaphorically it was about love... [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Dec 12, 2015 - 6 answers

Help me find a YA/Children's book series

I am trying to remember a series of books I read as a child, as I want to buy some of them for my niece. Can anyone help me find this supernatural, colonial themed book series? [more inside]
posted by coreywilliam on Nov 28, 2015 - 9 answers

Characters who incidentally have an illness or disability?

Can anybody give me some examples of characters in film, television, or literature who incidentally have an illness or disability (i.e., their illness or disability does not somehow become a central plot device)? [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit on Nov 17, 2015 - 69 answers

What Pride & Prejudice quote am I thinking of? (No, not the first line)

A long time ago, on another forum, someone wrote a quote that came from Pride & Prejudice, or some other work by Jane Austen. The quote criticized women who put down other women in an attempt to appeal to men. [more inside]
posted by picklenickle on Nov 9, 2015 - 5 answers

Myths -cultural books for 5 year old with advanced reading level

Hi My nephew is 5, starting school in 2016 January (southern hemisphere semester.) He reads above the average for his age, and his interests vary greatly week to week. Neither of his parents, or Grandparents or extended family have any interest in Mythology or literature at all. He does have some though. He grasps the narrative structures of cartoons and TV shows he likes. He also really enjoys books of classic Fairy Tales like Grimm and Aesop, told for children. He seems like he is ready for Roald Dahhl... [more inside]
posted by esto-again on Nov 5, 2015 - 19 answers

Southern Gothic (400 level seminar, not 101)

I have always held a deep love and excitement for the Southern Gothic literary tradition and its sundry themes. But I've long ago exhausted the likes of Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy and most of the well known folks in between. I'm looking for more obscure or unexpected works, like Fred Chappell's "Dagon". Books as well as films. Does not have to be "traditional" Southern Gothic (see below fold). The more psychologically unsettling, the better. [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings on Oct 31, 2015 - 52 answers

Information on S.A.N.E. nurses

Hi Brilliants! Can anyone point me in the direction of a novel, article, documentary, film, tv show, etc. that is about Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners or S.A.N.E. nurses? I am doing research for a written piece. I'm mostly interested in what their lifestyle is like, any challenges they face, etc. Thanks so much for your help!
posted by sunnyblues48 on Oct 29, 2015 - 4 answers

Recommendations for "Recovery-Related" Lit?

I'm a newly recovering addict, and I just did something stupid- left inpatient rehab 5 days into the program- for a fairly good reason: Patients at this particular institution aren't allowed to READ "non-recovery-related material" during free time. Good news in, I'm going back tomorrow- but not before a trip to the discount bookstore to pick up any and all readable "recovery-related material" I can put my hands on. Problem: This is not a genre with which I am familiar. Help? [more inside]
posted by zeichen des tieres on Oct 15, 2015 - 26 answers

"Like when a bell sounds and then leaves a whole countryside waiting"

Looking for poetry that is warm, thoughtful, deceptively plainspoken, esp. if very rooted in place? Examples: poets like Naomi Shihab Nye, Ellen Bass, Wendell Berry, William Stafford, Hayden Carruth [more inside]
posted by grokfest on Oct 12, 2015 - 17 answers

Recommendations for enjoyable, easy-to-comprehend short stories

I’m looking for recommendations for conventional short stories that are reasonably easy to read and have some literary merit. When I say “conventional”, I mean stories that have a distinct plot, with recognizable characters, and some kind of clear resolution at the end. [more inside]
posted by akk2014 on Sep 13, 2015 - 18 answers

Help me plan my Under the Skin themed dinner

I'm hosting my bookclub's discussion of Under the Skin and per tradition providing dinner inspired by the food themes of the book. I'm looking for suggestions about what food to use to represent various comestibles mentioned in the text. [more inside]
posted by Cogito on Sep 9, 2015 - 4 answers

The Footprint on Crusoe's Island & its use in critical theory

The single appearance of the footprint in Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel, Robinson Crusoe, is perhaps one of the most famous events in all of literature. I am interested in who has referenced it, and for what ends, especially in critical theory. I also wonder whether Michel Foucault's famous closing lines to 'The Order of Things' is a subtle reference to the appearance of that footprint? Can other allusions to 'the figure of man' and marks in the sand be traced back to Defoe's novel?
posted by 0bvious on Sep 9, 2015 - 3 answers

An Education

How do I get a good grounding in the study of literature while not a full-time student? What resources (Great Courses, books, textbooks, seminars, courses, etc.) would help? The purpose is to add depth, symbolism, and allusion to my own writing. [more inside]
posted by 3491again on Sep 6, 2015 - 10 answers

Books like Schulz, Babel, Bulgakov?

Please can you recommend books similar to Bruno Schulz's, Isaac Babel's and Bulgakov's Master & Margarita? [more inside]
posted by maiamaia on Sep 2, 2015 - 14 answers

What Novel Is This Quote/Comparison From?

My Search-Fu is utterly failing me. Where did I read the line (paraphrased): "He was like a tennis player who mistakes his best game for his everyday game [or natural level or basic capability]". I want to say it was in a novel by a female author,: Lessing, Christie or Woolf maybe? I might be completely wrong. Fairly sure the narrator's voice was female. Can anyone help?
posted by comealongpole on Aug 30, 2015 - 1 answer

For Norwegian Readers About Per Petterson

In Per Petterson's great novel, Out Stealing Horses, there is a moment when baby animals appear outside a home. The English translation that is current calls them "fauns". This disturbs me and I have read and re-read the passage to determine if we are talking about "fawns" which would make sense, or goat-footed children, which would be something different. Although others have noted this translation difficulty, no major critic seems to take notice. So, I want to know: "fauns" or "fawns"? [more inside]
posted by CCBC on Aug 28, 2015 - 6 answers

The dream of the 90's is alive in literature?

I'm looking for books that capture the feel, culturally, politically, and/or otherwise, of the 1990's in America. Can y'all help me out?
posted by holmesian on Aug 25, 2015 - 30 answers

Ultra-Violence Through the Ages

Can anyone recommend a good historical examination of literary and performed works throughout all of human history that stood out from their contemporaries for containing exceptionally violent/disturbing imagery, even for their own time? (more 'recent' examples being Titus Andronicus, the various Penny Dreadfuls, de Sade, Milton, etc) [more inside]
posted by chambers on Aug 22, 2015 - 8 answers

What's a "paper brick house"? And what are the "cars" in "The River"?

Two questions about Flannery O'Connor's "The River". 1) What's a "paper brick house"? 2) What kind of public transportation are the "cars"? [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Aug 19, 2015 - 4 answers

Examples of authors/musicians who began their work in their 40s?

I'm looking for examples of authors and musicians who lived artistically unremarkable lives for their first four decades, only beginning to express themselves creatively in their 40s, and who subsequently received critical or popular acclaim for the work they produced during that fifth decade. [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Aug 9, 2015 - 17 answers

Best Kindle literary fiction under $2?

I'd like to stock up my Kindle relatively inexpensively (and am also a little overwhelmed by the phenomenal quantity of cheap public domain books available). What are the best works of literary fiction under $2 available for the Kindle? Preferences/requirements inside. [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl on Aug 6, 2015 - 21 answers

Looking for children’s books that tell a non-standard narrative

I’m ordering 300ish books for a children’s library. After reading this thread asking for books featuring feminist-anti-racist-queer-ally characters I realised that our collection is full of books focusing on straight, white (usually male) youth in nuclear families and it’s seriously lacking. Can you folks recommend any books to help me improve our collection? [more inside]
posted by eisforcool on Jul 27, 2015 - 32 answers

Help me find a quote like this?

I'm trying to find a quote that fits a romantic (but not overly saccharine) mood that basically says "I do this because of my love for you, I believe in it because you believe in it, I stand by your side against adversity because I know I am with you."
posted by cyrusw8 on Jul 21, 2015 - 13 answers

Anna Akhmatova expert needed, stat.

I am working on an article that's due today. My editor wanted me to get some quotes from those who were influenced by/familiar with the work of Anna Akhmatova. Somehow, all but one of my contacts didn't work out, and I only have a couple lines. I am looking for a writer, scholar, translator, etc. who can answer a few questions in complete sentences for a general audience and can do so via email or phone today. Any suggestions?
posted by mermaidcafe on Jul 20, 2015 - 4 answers

Literature with a hook for a science class?

My cousin needs ideas for a joint class she'll be teaching for a college--she teaches literature, her teaching partner teaches science. (Which science, I don't know, but she says it's not relevant and he can touch on most scientific topics to the required degree.) They need suggestions of literature--poetry, short stories, novellas, or short novels--that she can have the class read, and then he can take them through the science of it. [more inside]
posted by theatro on Jul 19, 2015 - 27 answers

Who suggested that multinational corporations are highest life forms?

Who was the anthropologist who suggested that multinational corporations are the highest life forms on Earth? Author William Gibson has recounted going to a lecture by a female anthropologist at the University of British Columbia in the late 70s. The anthropologist posited the idea that multinational corporations were the highest life form on Earth, which had a profound influence on Gibson's world view, and therefore on literature influenced by Gibson. Who was this anthropologist? I haven't been able to find out who she was.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 5, 2015 - 11 answers

Denise Levertov's poem Beginners: year?

Denise Levertov's poem Beginners: specifically in what year did she write it? I know it was published in 1982 or earlier, and I know it's dedicated to two activists who died "in the mid-70s" (although I don't know whether it was dedicated to them posthumously).
posted by kalapierson on Jul 4, 2015 - 4 answers

Help me identify this old New Yorker article?

I'm trying to find a vaguely-remembered New Yorker article from the 1990s about a young, struggling writer. [more inside]
posted by lunasol on Jun 25, 2015 - 2 answers

Trans women writers for a high school women's lit class?

I am looking for suggestions for works by trans women (or non-binary) writers for a high school English class entitled "Social Issues in Women's Literature." I am especially interested in shorter pieces (poems, short stories, essays), although excerpts from longer things would be all right too. I am trying to take as intersectional an approach as possible, so I would really value a diversity of voices (trans women of color, non-American, both contemporary and older, etc.). [more inside]
posted by jfaulkner on Jun 22, 2015 - 12 answers

Looking For Short, Fun and Smart Fiction

I currently work such long hours that I don't have much time to read. I can't read the types of books that I normally would want to - literary fiction - because I am too exhausted to really concentrate at night and I just don't have the time. I also don't want to be stuck in a 400 page novel for 3 months. details inside [more inside]
posted by kbbbo on Jun 17, 2015 - 24 answers

Elena Ferrante: Why no Catholic Church in the Neapolitan Novels?

Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels are set in post-war Naples, and the Catholic Church shows up only peripherally, if at all. There is a wedding in the first novel, and the religious aspects of even this event are hardly acknowledged. Why might this be? [more inside]
posted by kensington314 on May 25, 2015 - 3 answers

What are some works of SFF that use extraordinarily beautiful language?

What are some works of SFF that showcase beautiful language on a par with All The King's Men, Gilead, and Raymond Chandler's detective novels? I've read plenty of SFF that has transported me, but little that's struck me as gorgeously written. Thanks!
posted by Going To Maine on May 24, 2015 - 32 answers

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