Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....
"MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"
From the anonymous author of the Epic of Gilgamesh in ancient Mesopotamia to William Faulkner writing about Mississippi 3,600 years later, many of Western culture's greatest figures have been writers. Their landmark themes, unique insights into human nature, dynamic characters, experimental storytelling techniques, and rich philosophical ideas helped create the vibrant storytelling methods we find reflected in today's authors.
Professor Perl invites you in these eight lectures to abandon your preconceptions and consider some of the most controversial authors of the 20th century: the Modernists.Who were they? How did "classical" Modernists like Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and James Joyce differ from "neo-Modernists" like Gertrude Stein and William Carlos Williams? What made them believe and write as they did? Why were political extremism, war, and self-destructive behavior such defining forces in their writing (and their personal demons)? What do they have to say to us today in the 21st century?These lectures place literary Modernism within the wide-ranging context of the philosophy, literature, politics, and morality of its time. In doing so, they allow you to look more clearly at the writers and works who have contributed to the definition of human culture. You'll see Eliot, Joyce, Pound, Yeats, James, Lawrence, and others spring to life with their radical beliefs about art and their unforgettable novels and stories. These lectures do not shrink from the challenges imposed by exploring Modernism, or from challenging the answers that scholars have routinely accepted. Nor do they shy away from the difficulties of literary Modernism itself; a literary genre that intimidates many. But despite all this, these lectures are brilliantly organized, crystal clear, and an invaluable tool for finally wrapping your brain around a dramatic roster of authors and an enduring canon of literature.
"Fine record of Perl's thinking"
What exactly is the Western literary canon? Why does it contain certain works and not others? And what do particular works in the Western canon tell us about the development of literature and civilization? Explore these and other thought-provoking lectures with a thorough investigation of more than 30 key works of the Western canon and the critical roles they played-and continue to play-in the development of Western literature.
"Nice set of lectures"
What is literary theory? Is there a relationship between literature and culture? These are some of questions addressed by Jonathan Culler in this new edition of his highly popular Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Culler, an extremely lucid commentator and much admired in the field of literary theory, uses easy-to-grasp examples as he outlines the ideas behind schools of criticism that can otherwise be quite daunting, such as deconstruction, semiotics, and postcolonial theory.
C. S. Lewis is the 20th century's most widely read Christian writer and J. R. R. Tolkien its most beloved mythmaker. For three decades they and their closest associates formed a literary club known as the Inklings, which met weekly in Lewis' Oxford rooms and a nearby pub. They read aloud from works in progress, argued about anything that caught their fancy, and gave one another invaluable companionship, inspiration, and criticism.
"A Thorough Moving Tribute"
January 1946 and writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a man in Guernsey, who has found her name written inside a book. As they exchange letters, she is drawn into the eccentric world of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which boasts a charming cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
In this compelling series of lectures on literary journalism, Professor William McKeen delves into the origins of storytelling, the nature of literary journalism, and the ways in which literary journalism has affected culture and modes of expression.
Like his father before him, Arthur Winthrop is the Headmaster of Vermont’s elite Lancaster School. It is the place he feels has given him his life, but is also the site of his undoing as events spiral out of his control. Found wandering naked in Central Park, he begins to tell his story to the police, but his memories collide into one another, and the true nature of things, a narrative of love, of marriage, of family and of a tragedy Arthur does not know how to address emerges. Luminous and atmospheric, the novel is part mystery, part love story and an exploration of the ties of place and family.
"Love, tragedy and descent into madness"
Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen's first novel, is an entertaining tale of flirtation and folly that revolves around two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. Elinor is thoughtful, considerate, and calm; Marianne is emotional and wildly romantic. Both are looking for a husband, but neither Elinor's reason nor Marianne's passion can lead them to happiness - as Marianne falls for an unscrupulous rascal and Elinor becomes attached to a man who's already engaged.
"Interesting historically and literarily."
Over the past decade, our understanding of the cognition of literature has been transformed by scientific discoveries, such as the mirror neuron system and its role in empathy. Addressing questions such as why we care so deeply about fictional characters, what brain activities are sparked when we read literature, and how literary works and scholarship can inform the cognitive sciences, this book surveys the exciting recent developments in the field of cognitive literary studies.
In her tour-de-force first novel, Juliann Garey takes us inside the restless mind, ravaged heart, and anguished soul of Greyson Todd, a successful Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and young daughter and for a decade travels the world giving free reign to the bipolar disorder he's been forced to keep hidden for almost 20 years.
"Gut Wrenching, Realistic and Riveting"
Paris has long been a storied center of art and culture, and of romance, but in the 1920s its magnetism was especially irresistible. From around the world writers, artists, and composers steamed in, to visit or linger, some to reside. This book - a work of immense erudition spiced with anecdotes and gossip - documents their haunts and habits, their comings and goings, their relationships intimate and artistic.
"A rushed and boring affair"
An astonishing collection of fifty of the greatest short stories ever written by some of literature's most highly acclaimed writers. 1. "Odour of Chrysanthemums" by D. H. Lawrence; 2. "Miss Harriet" by Guy de Maupassant; 3. "Twenty-six Men and a Girl" by Maxim Gorky; 4. "Hot Potatoes" by Arnold Bennett; 5. "Rats" by M. R. James; 6. "Zodomirsky’s Duel" by Alexandre Dumas; 7. "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin; 8. "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe; 9. "The Encased Man" by Anton Chekhov.
Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.
"The best I've listened to in years!"
Rescuing the subject from dry abstractions, Clare Connors focuses on the real questions that emerge when we read and study literature - such as how we find meaning and how literature relates to its historical context - before exploring the response of theorists. Using selections from works including poetry by Christina Rossetti and Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain, Connors unites theory with practice, revealing how enjoyable it is to think about reading.
It's 1939, in New York City. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat: smuggling himself out of Hitler's Prague. He's looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a partner in creating the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book.
"Great book, lousy abridgment"
A Gentle Spirit, from 1876, was released in Dostoyevsky's one-man periodical, A Writer's Diary, which was always eagerly anticipated in his contemporary Russia. The short novel is a despairing man's monologue on the night after his young wife's suicide, and through his incoherent speech by her deathbed the background of the tragedy slowly unfolds. The narrator is a retired officer who now earns his living as a pawnbroker.
Peter Galvin was just 17 when Tracy Whitland - the love of his life - vanished without a trace. In the years after her death, he had finally moved on, gotten married, started a family. He is content with his life now - happy, even - until Tracy suddenly and inexplicably returns.
"My least favorite of the three prequels"
Ranging widely from Homer to David Foster Wallace, from What Maisie Knew to Make Way for Ducklings, Wood takes the reader through the basic elements of the art, step by step. He sums up two decades of insight with wit and concision, resulting in nothing less than a philosophy of the novel, which has won critical acclaim nationwide, from the San Francisco Chronicle to the New York Times Book Review.