14 posts tagged with literature by shivohum.
Displaying 1 through 14 of 14.
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?
Which writers and artists self-consciously regard their work as a deliberate, mystical diving into and charting of the depths of the unconscious mind? Cites/links to evidence of these views, either within their work or outside it in interviews, etc., would be much appreciated.
I love conversing with people who know history and are sparkling, highly opinionated storytellers. Often these are foreigners or emigrants speaking about their country. They're unafraid to draw sharp, outspoken conclusions that frame major situations (e.g. that some leader was an incompetent fool or that an accident of geography is what will ensure conflict between two groups continues). What are some book equivalents of that conversational experience? They can be on any period or region. I do not want a magisterial treatise. I want a keen-eyed, slicing talk with someone really well-informed and cynical over several drinks who's gonna say what's what.
Where can I go to find publicly accessible (preferably online) and well-thought-out basic interpretations and commentary on books? I don't mean reviews, and I don't mean ultra-scholarly theoretical or historical work. I mean commentary and explanation. For example, if I just read The Trial and I wanted to know what some of the standard opinions about its meaning were, where could I reliably go?
What are examples, in the last 20 years, of musicians, artists, dancers, writers, and so on who labored long in obscurity and only achieved success, financial and otherwise, after the age of 40? And for those people, how did their success finally come about?
What are some great articles, websites, discussion forums, magazines, or books that would orient me to the state of the modern poetry and poetics -- the different artistic schools of thought, the competing aesthetic theories, what's considered avant garde, the culture, the gossip, the key small presses and publications, the place of MFA programs in it, and so on? Positive views, critiques, objective commentary -- all of it would be welcome.
Which works published anytime in the last century are Platonic-style dialogues on philosophical themes?
The Communist Manifesto. The 95 Theses. The Cluetrain Manifesto. Dogme 95. What are some other influential manifestos, political, religious, sociological, artistic, or otherwise, either past or present?
Kierkegaard's Either/Or, Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Nathalie Sarraute's Tropisms, Roland Barthes' A Lover's Discourse - what other authors or works consist of this kind of smattering collection of short, plotless, hybrid essay-prose poems?
What fantasy/SF/steampunk/cyberpunk novels feature guns or other modern or futuristic weapons with enchantments or magical effects on them?
In what literary tradition is the work of Ian McEwan? Which authors, past or present, are stylistically related?
What books feature characters who realize that they are characters in a book, or related concepts of that sort?
Proust's In Search of Lost Time and Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom seem to me to share deep artistic affinities: heavy reliance on often hallucinogenically long sentences, innovative and almost esoteric metaphor, and an almost mythical mode of storytelling. They both violate the show-not-tell rule like crazy as they give off reams of psychological and sociological opinion. What else is in this literary vein?
Where can you get online -- preferably free -- video lectures of professors/experts explicating, in detail, major literary works? For example, is there an online course where an excellent professor walks through The Divine Comedy or Finnegan's Wake?