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Literature's greatest wizard fights?

What are the best magical duels and battles in literature? Sorcerors blasting each other with lightning bolts, the metaphysical shenanigans of Last Call etc, whatever. I haven't actually read the Harry Potter books, so if there are any particularly good wizard battles in that, do say.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot on Dec 17, 2010 - 38 answers

Looking for Hindi books in the US.

Can anybody direct me to any good resources for purchasing Hindi-language books in the United States? [more inside]
posted by socratic on Dec 13, 2010 - 5 answers

Straight A for the Lit. Majors

How to Get Straight-A in Literature Classes? [more inside]
posted by easilyconfused on Dec 6, 2010 - 28 answers

I want to go to a book to find a library

All great libraries have books in them, but how many great books have libraries in them? I just finished reading "Big Machine" by Victor Lavalle, and am currently reading "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami (yes, finally!), and it's purely coincidental, but they both happen to feature libraries prominently. So now I'd like to know what other really good novels feature libraries in a significant way. [more inside]
posted by taz on Dec 2, 2010 - 31 answers

Novel with shuffleable table of contents?

I remember a college professor telling me about a book, probably Latin American, possibly magical realism, in which the table of contents could be shuffled around according to some provided lists, and the book re-read accordingly, acquiring new meanings and interpretations with each shuffle. What is it called? Also welcome: suggestions for novels with a similar style or feeling, or which play with the medium in a similar way (I've already read House of Leaves).
posted by lhall on Nov 30, 2010 - 16 answers

I Can't Go On. I'll Go On.

A person recently mentioned, as an aside, a Samuel Beckett essay (or play, or story) featuring the "Trade Union", which was described as the thing that conspires against ordinary individuals in the quotidian (i.e. when you forget to take your umbrella and it rains, that's the fault of the "Trade Union"; or when you can't find your car keys, that's down to the "Trade Union".) [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Nov 29, 2010 - 3 answers

A face marked by a lifetime of venal sin?

Trying to identify a line of poetry - possibly written by an Irishman - that goes something like "a face marked by a lifetime of venal sin". [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 23, 2010 - 5 answers

How do you write an argument for AP English Literature?

How do you go about the thought process to make an argument (as opposed to a theme, statement, or observation) about a work of literature for AP English Literature? [more inside]
posted by elaine on Nov 20, 2010 - 3 answers

Please, no more Berenstain Bears.

Please recommend short books (15-35 min from start to finish) for middle schoolers who read at the 3rd through 5th grade level. [more inside]
posted by halogen on Nov 18, 2010 - 10 answers

Best English translation of the Mahabharata?

Please tell me, what is the best English translation of the Mahabharata? I'm not particularly concerned that it be a verse translation. I would prefer something that's available in electronic form (for reading on my Nook). Something that's public domain, and therefore available on Google books, even better. But these are preferences, not hard requirements. I'm more concerned with reliability of the translation. [more inside]
posted by Ipsifendus on Nov 12, 2010 - 5 answers

Need a shakta novel!

I need a book about Shakta (Indian goddess) mysticism! [more inside]
posted by reverend cuttle on Nov 10, 2010 - 1 answer

Midwestern Urban Fiction: Great novels that exemplify the industrialized cities of the U.S. Midwest?

Midwestern Urban Fiction: What are the great novels that exemplify or characterize (as opposed to "are set in") any of the industrialized cities of the U.S. Midwest (St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, the Twin Cities, etc.)? [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj on Nov 3, 2010 - 25 answers

Princesses to the rescue?

Fairy tales for girls? [more inside]
posted by BadMiker on Nov 3, 2010 - 38 answers

Help me love literature.

I'm looking for any advice that will get me excited about literature. [more inside]
posted by piratebowling on Nov 1, 2010 - 29 answers

I want to go back to school. Help me find grants and scholarships.

I want to go back to school. Understatement: I'm a non-traditional student. I've been living below poverty levels for most of my life. I need funding - loans, grants, scholarships. How? [more inside]
posted by loquacious on Oct 26, 2010 - 56 answers

Looking for books on poetry

Can anyone recommend books of essays on poetry that aren't poetry-writing manuals? [more inside]
posted by luke1249 on Oct 20, 2010 - 23 answers

What book should I give to my father-in-law?

Book recommendations for a retired anthropologist? [more inside]
posted by TheGoodBlood on Oct 19, 2010 - 8 answers

Help me reference my thesis!

Please help me find an article or book I would like to use for my literary theory thesis. This is all I know about it: 1) It was authored by two french males. 2) It is about tragedy in 5th century BC Athens. 3) It introduces the phrase 'tragic moment' 4) It is from the 20th century. [more inside]
posted by rigby99 on Oct 18, 2010 - 7 answers

Hell is other people, and that's okay

My sister is turning 18. Help me build an Adolescent Crisis Prep Kit! [more inside]
posted by Turkey Glue on Oct 8, 2010 - 48 answers

Seeking a road map to the periodical world.

What are good resources for magazine/journal literacy, maps of the terrain of the periodical world? [more inside]
posted by RogerB on Oct 7, 2010 - 3 answers

Stilled Life

What are some literary works that depict or are written in the voice of someone who is paralyzed or who, for medical and/or existential reasons, cannot move his/her body without great effort? [more inside]
posted by taramosalata on Oct 7, 2010 - 14 answers

Good reads for dietitians

Recommend books to broaden the mind of a future dietitian. [more inside]
posted by sively on Oct 5, 2010 - 17 answers

black gold texas tea

What are your favorite literary texts about oil and oil capitalism? I'm looking for anything from traditional realism to noir to science fiction, from poetry to film to comic books to video games to philosophy and theory. Anything could work. Bonus points if the focus is on globalization and/or Peak Oil and resource scarcity. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Sep 24, 2010 - 18 answers

Finding "A Common Reader" Again

I miss the Common Reader catalog. Have you missed it too, and do you know where to find a list of what was in the inventory?
posted by msamye on Sep 16, 2010 - 4 answers

What are some texts about work?

I'm looking for good books (or movies, poems, plays, songs, etc.) that have to do with work - any and all kinds of workplaces and kinds of labour. Work doesn't have to be the exclusive concern, but it should be an important part. [more inside]
posted by Bergamot on Sep 15, 2010 - 49 answers

Wuthering Heights... original movie adaptation?

All-time favorite movie is "Wuthering Heights" with Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier. I've red the (long, incredibly boring) book, but I would like to read an adaptation made from the original movie. Amazon search turns up nothing... Can someone help me find this? (Bonus if it's in eBook format... ANY eBook format). Caveat: I DO NOT want to read a script of the movie!
posted by Master Gunner on Sep 10, 2010 - 6 answers

That's right, limning and lapidary...

What are your favorite epic, challenging, literary novels that weren't written by white males? Particularly interested in long books (400+ pages) or books with multiple voices/protagonists, but I'm open to all suggestions. [more inside]
posted by acidic on Sep 8, 2010 - 56 answers

Help a picky reader find more authors

I have a very narrow taste in fiction, and I'm running out authors. Overall, I like how things are written more than what they say. But even given that, I'm terribly picky. Help me find more authors to love! [more inside]
posted by hopeless romantique on Sep 3, 2010 - 48 answers

Favorite passages to read aloud?

What are your favorite passages to read aloud to someone? [more inside]
posted by incandescentman on Sep 3, 2010 - 65 answers

What in the hell is the name of this book?

Yet another I-can't-recall-what-book-this-is question. Vague details inside. [more inside]
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith on Aug 29, 2010 - 5 answers

No sir, YOU say potato, now you've ruined the suspension of disbelief!

Is there a word similar to anachronism for when a writer uses a dialect or jargon in the wrong person, ethnic group or similar? [more inside]
posted by xetere on Aug 24, 2010 - 24 answers

How to attract potential writers

What can we offer to attract locals, part-time locals and/or tourists to our tiny literary arts space? [more inside]
posted by viva viola on Aug 23, 2010 - 6 answers

What was this Japanese novel?

Looking for the title of a Japanese novel that involved a cat murder. [more inside]
posted by norabarnacl3 on Aug 22, 2010 - 6 answers

Please help me remember a book.

Please help me remember a book I read as a child/teenager. [more inside]
posted by KChasm on Aug 14, 2010 - 9 answers

A short list of short lists?

I'd like to focus my next year or two of reading on award-nominated literary fiction. I'm aware of the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Awards. These two lists together could easily more than fill up that year or two, but what other prestigious national or international literary awards/prizes have a short list of nominated works? [more inside]
posted by cog_nate on Aug 13, 2010 - 16 answers

Creative or English Literature masters?

I'm currently finishing my last English Literature Honors paper and aim to continue academic study. My dilemma is that I am unsure of whether to apply for an English Literature MA or a Creative Writing MA. [more inside]
posted by New England Cultist on Aug 12, 2010 - 18 answers

How should I prepare to read The Recognitions?

How should I prepare myself to read The Recognitions by William Gaddis? Should I just dive right in? Any tips or advice that will help me get through all 956 pages?
posted by Houyhnhnm on Aug 11, 2010 - 6 answers

Recommend me some great South American fiction

Less magical, more realism. Recommend me some great South American fiction. [more inside]
posted by sleepy boy on Aug 10, 2010 - 16 answers

Psych Me Up

Can you recommend a few strong lady stories? [more inside]
posted by *s on Aug 4, 2010 - 34 answers

Help me create a list of epics that either destroy - or transform - students in college Lit classes...

I'm trying to make a list of epics that kill most people in college Lit - the really great ones that for many people are impossible to get through, but can be so worthwhile if they do. Here's a rough list so far: [more inside]
posted by soulbarn on Jul 28, 2010 - 65 answers

What be a pirate's favourite novel?

I'm looking for suggestions for novels and short stories about piracy, with some specifications. [more inside]
posted by synecdoche on Jul 28, 2010 - 7 answers

Some books are more equal than others

Recommend me titles that will get me to love literature again. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Jul 28, 2010 - 68 answers

Hurts Like the Dickens

How do I read and comprehend older literature? [more inside]
posted by makethemost on Jul 27, 2010 - 30 answers

Fellow literature nerds, help me out here

Yet another reading recommendation request. Fellow literature nerds, help me out here. Specific requirements inside. [more inside]
posted by Lobster Garden on Jul 26, 2010 - 45 answers

A book I loved, I now hate.

What book(s) did you once adore and now cannot stand? And why? [more inside]
posted by mizrachi on Jul 19, 2010 - 96 answers

Graduate lit pep talk.

Fellow English (and other language) lit graduate students: recommend me what you think is the best online source for getting up to speed on either common terminology or current trends in the discipline. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 15, 2010 - 3 answers

A depressing life

BookFilter. Looking for this book. Written by an American. It's about a girl, born in the 30s, I think. She goes to Barnard College and her life turns out to be rather depressing and meaningless (amongst other things becomes promiscuous, drinks, ends up alone). I remember it being depressing but not cruel, but not much else. Any ideas?
posted by MrMisterio on Jul 14, 2010 - 2 answers

Words of Love: Please Help Me Find This Website

Needle-In-Haystack-Filter: Where is the pink website with quotes on the various stages of love? [more inside]
posted by Atrahasis on Jul 12, 2010 - 2 answers

Exhaustion of art forms/artists

Not long ago I was reading a criticism of the notion that certain artistic styles become "exhausted" after which new styles have to be found that centered on the sensible claim that it is artists who come to find styles exhausted, not styles that in themselves become exhausted; it quoted at length from a scholar of Chinese art who made much the same point in regards to some period of Chinese painting (and perhaps poetry?). I can't at all remember where it was, though, and I would like to recover it. [more inside]
posted by kenko on Jul 7, 2010 - 3 answers

So this law, it's eternal?

It's the third largest religion in the world, and I don't know a darn thing about it. [more inside]
posted by Squid Voltaire on Jul 7, 2010 - 24 answers

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