1111 posts tagged with Literature.
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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

Childhood Reading - Making Up for Lost Time

Help me experience the reading I missed out on as a child. [more inside]
posted by xenization on May 20, 2015 - 60 answers

Recommend books on enchancing poetry and short story craftmanship?

I'm trying to find some valuable works of advice to improve my craftsmanship on writing poetry and short stories. If you can recommend any advice books, poetry, novels, and short stories that can help contribute to better writing in the genre of: science fiction, southern Gothic literature, classic literature, modernism, and modern ligature works, that would be most appreciated. [more inside]
posted by RearWindow on May 19, 2015 - 3 answers

How can I build my book club skills?

I run a book club with a friend, and I'm always impressed by how deeply and thoughtfully other folks interpret the books we read. I'd like to build this skill, but I'm not sure where to start. Examples of what we've read: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, My Antonia by Willa Cather, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, My Notorious Life by Kate Manning. [more inside]
posted by onecircleaday on May 16, 2015 - 5 answers

Diversity training for Acting Teachers

Readings on race and intersectionality in the performing arts? [more inside]
posted by ducky l'orange on May 2, 2015 - 3 answers

Literary Descriptions of Ships

What are some great descriptions of boats and ships from literature? I'm especially looking for descriptions from classic books in the public domain. Novels, stories, plays, poetry etc. are all welcome.
posted by Prunesquallor on May 1, 2015 - 15 answers

Books about magazines?

There are a lot of books about the New Yorker (Gone: The Last Days of the New Yorker; Remembering Mr. Shawn's New Yorker; Here but Not Here; About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made). What behind-the-scenes, inside baseball books are there about New York , the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, the NY Review of Books, Texas Monthly, The Atlantic, and other prominent feature-oriented magazines?
posted by Dr. Send on Apr 19, 2015 - 5 answers

Dramatic irony in movies and TV shows currently popular with teens?

I'm looking for examples of dramatic irony (where the audience knows something that the character doesn't know) to illustrate the concept to a 9th grade literature class. I'd prefer examples from TV shows or movies that they are likely to have seen recently, although popular books might be OK, too.
posted by bardophile on Apr 15, 2015 - 12 answers

Authors and novels recommendations for improving writing craft?

I have always been fond of writing poetry, but lately I seem to want to expand my writing craft towards short stories. I think the most notable clincher for writers to improve their overall craft is simply by reading voraciously; with an eclectic wide range of authors and literary works. What are some wonderful literary works, authors, playwrights, short stories, non-fiction, fantasy work, et cetera. Can you recommend for me? To further my own voice and writing craft. [more inside]
posted by RearWindow on Apr 1, 2015 - 9 answers

Help me read the world

How can I read more about life in countries other than the USA? [more inside]
posted by kristi on Mar 31, 2015 - 21 answers

Getting to know Mark Twain: What are the best resources?

I'm working on a project that involves Mark Twain and I have only a few weeks to get to know his body of work, literary style, philosophy, etc. What are they key works I should be looking at to get a sense of Twain? [more inside]
posted by hamsterdam on Mar 30, 2015 - 8 answers

Meaning of drama terms?

In Somerset Maugham's memoir, The Summing Up, he writes: "Only idolatry can refuse to see the great shortcomings in the conduct and sometimes in the characterization of Shakespeare's plays; and this is very comprehensible since, as we know, he sacrificed everything to effective situation." What do "conduct" and "effective situation" mean in this context in this book published in 1938 by this sometime-playwright?
posted by shivohum on Mar 22, 2015 - 1 answer

YRNMYA - You are not my young adult…

I have a ‘young adult’ in my life who loves the Amulet graphic novel series. We are getting to the final book and I’m looking for some other young adult graphic novels that will keep her reading! There are a couple guidelines though... [more inside]
posted by Toddles on Mar 21, 2015 - 7 answers

Canadian Literature Collection Arranged by Province

Is anyone aware of a good single-volume collection of Canadian literature (short stories, poetry, or essays) in which the contents are arranged by province? Bonus points if the book reads west to east, starting with British Columbia. I'd also be open to recommendations for entertaining non-fiction books that are likewise divided up by province.
posted by northernish on Mar 13, 2015 - 5 answers

So many novels labelled as "a novel"

These days it seems every second novel has a title that is suffixed with the phrase "A Novel". What was the first novel to start this, why has it become so widespread, and does anybody have stats on how prevalent it is?
posted by jedro on Mar 4, 2015 - 3 answers

Books and audiobooks with creole?

This may be a longshot question, but I am looking for books (and ideally audiobooks) with extensive and well-done use of English creole (eg Jamaican Patois, Sierra Leonian Krio, Gullah, etc) or Spanglish, as well as Haitian Creole, though I don't really speak it, and I'm open to other linguistic options. [more inside]
posted by Dip Flash on Feb 23, 2015 - 5 answers

Book Recommendations, Please!

Please help me find some new reading material! [more inside]
posted by I_love_the_rain on Feb 19, 2015 - 11 answers

Short story identification post number one million or so

I'm trying to hunt down two grim short stories. Gory details (and spoilers) below the fold! [more inside]
posted by hilatron on Feb 15, 2015 - 8 answers

Novel recommendations, part 121947432

I recently enjoyed The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer and am searching for similar novels. By which I mean novels that are about people living their lives, and the growth and change that naturally happens as they do. Engaging, but not particularly dramatic. Difficulty level: reading that helps me fall asleep. A couple of snowflakes inside... [more inside]
posted by dry white toast on Jan 28, 2015 - 16 answers

Should I self-publish my poetry book?

I am a well-published poet in journals but have no books out yet. The manuscript I’ve been circulating since 2011 has come very close, though, and has been a finalist in a number of prize contests held by some of the bigger small presses. Almost all of the poems in it have been published individually, and a handful have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. I had been committed to the idea of one of those small presses but am now thinking of self-publishing. More inside. [more inside]
posted by mermaidcafe on Jan 24, 2015 - 11 answers

Smart books, 10 minutes at a time?

Baby #3 is coming soon and I'm looking for books to read during maternity leave. I know from experience that I need quick, light material that can be read in very short bursts - nothing that relies on subtle atmospherics or requires sustained attention to 'get in to'. But I'd also like something well-written and smart enough that I don't feel like I'm letting my brain turn into nothing but mush and breast milk. Only other stipulations - not too bro-centric (eg. not revolving entirely around the sexual frustrations of an egocentric middle-aged dude); nothing prominently featuring ill/dying/suffering children and/or parents (hormones, yo). Fiction or non-fiction OK, all genres welcome!
posted by Ausamor on Jan 1, 2015 - 31 answers

Did Arthur C. Clarke change the ending to Imperial Earth?

A Facebook discussion about good books by well-known authors passing into undeserved obscurity had me looking up reviews of Arthur C. Clarke's Imperial Earth. In the comments on Jo Walton's review there's a discussion about the ending, specifically whether he wrote two distinct endings, replacing the an earlier one in later editions. Did Clarke rewrite the ending? Spoilers below the cut. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 29, 2014 - 5 answers

Take me armchair traveling: your favorite works of travel writing?

I won't be able to afford much travel in the next year or two. In the meantime, I'd love to be swept away with rich and vivid descriptions of faraway places. The more introspective, the better. Can be either non-fiction or fiction; essays/short stories or longer format writing; graphic novels are fine; am open to any locations. Bonus points if it also focuses on local food, and/or has an ethnographic approach, and/or is written from a woman's perspective. [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings on Dec 28, 2014 - 36 answers

Nasty, harsh, scathing literary criticism

I enjoy reading erudite yet caustic criticism of literature. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Dec 16, 2014 - 33 answers

Italian Culture, in and out of translation

Recommendations, please, on current Italian popular music, literature in English translation, and subtitled media. [more inside]
posted by Mngo on Dec 7, 2014 - 5 answers

Microbial Culture

Does anyone have any recommendations on some excellent media about microbes in general, and human microbiota specifically? [more inside]
posted by rhooke on Dec 3, 2014 - 5 answers

What is the most efficient way to do lit review?

When you consume multiple books on one topic, what does your notebook look like afterwards? Does making a wiki, or a concept map, or a relational diagram help? [more inside]
posted by rebent on Dec 3, 2014 - 2 answers

East of Eden filter: Help me solve a literary medical mystery

One of the characters in East of Eden dies under circumstances that have always baffled me. I turn to the Steinbeck scholars and armchair physicians of Metafilter to help me figure out what happened. (Steinbeck spoilers below). [more inside]
posted by oryelle on Nov 25, 2014 - 5 answers

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