Literature

Douglas Preston — Impact — Videos

Posted on February 18, 2017. Filed under: Art, Blogroll, Books, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Entertainment, Family, Geology, Heroes, Homicide, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Literature, media, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Physics, Police, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Science, Security, Strategy, Success, Technology, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , |

Image result for book cover impact preston Image result for  douglas preston

Impact by Douglas Preston–Audiobook Excerpt

Author Interview with Douglas Preston on his book, Blasphemy

Interview with Suspense Author Doug Preston

Douglas Preston: The Lost City of the Monkey God

Ask Amy: Ken Follett- Interview by Douglas Preston

Douglas Preston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Douglas Preston
Born Douglas Jerome Preston
May 20, 1956 (age 60)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Occupation Novelist, journalist
Nationality American
Alma mater Pomona College
Genre Thriller, Techno-thriller, Adventure, Non-Fiction
Notable works Agent Pendergast Series, The Monster of Florence, Wyman Ford series, Gideon Crew series
Spouse Christine Preston
Relatives Richard Preston, David Preston
Website
www.prestonchild.com

Douglas Jerome Preston (born May 20, 1956) is an American author of techno-thriller and horror novels. He has written numerous novels, and although he is most well known for his collaborations with Lincoln Child (including the Agent Pendergast series and Gideon Crew series), he has also written six solo novels, primarily including the Wyman Ford series. He also has authored a number of non-fiction books on history, science, exploration, and true crime.

Life and career

Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A graduate of the Cambridge School of Weston in Weston, Massachusetts, and Pomona College in Claremont, California, Preston began his writing career at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

From 1978 to 1985, Preston worked for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City as a writer, editor, and manager of publications. He served as managing editor for the journal Curator and was a columnist for Natural History magazine.[1] In 1985 he published a history of the museum, Dinosaurs In The Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History, which chronicled the explorers and expeditions of the museum’s early days. The editor of that book at St. Martin’s Press was his future writing partner, Lincoln Child.[2] They soon collaborated on a thriller set in the museum titled Relic. It was subsequently made into a motion picture by Paramount Pictures starring Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, and Linda Hunt.

In 1986, Preston moved to New Mexico and began to write full-time. Seeking an understanding of the first moment of contact between Europeans and Native Americans in America, he retraced on horseback Francisco Vásquez de Coronado‘s violent and unsuccessful search for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. That thousand mile journey across the American Southwest resulted in the book Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest. Since that time, Preston has undertaken many long horseback journeys retracing historic or prehistoric trails, for which he was inducted into the Long Riders’ Guild.[3] He has also participated in expeditions in other parts of the world, including a journey deep into Khmer Rouge-held territory in the Cambodian jungle with a small army of soldiers, to become the first Westerner to visit a lost Angkor temple. He was the first person in 3,000 years to enter an ancient Egyptian burial chamber in a tomb known as KV5 in the Valley of the Kings.[4] In 1989 and 1990 he taught nonfiction writing at Princeton University. Currently, he’s an active member of the Authors Guild,[5] as well as the International Thriller Writers organization.[6]

Writing career

With his frequent collaborator Lincoln Child, he created the character of FBI Special Agent Pendergast, who appears in many of their novels, including Relic, The Cabinet of Curiosities, Brimstone, and White Fire. Additional novels by the Preston and Child team include Mount Dragon, Riptide, Thunderhead, and The Ice Limit. Later, the duo created the Gideon Crew series, which consists of Gideon’s Sword, Gideon’s Corpse, and The Lost Island.

For his solo career, Preston’s fictional debut was Jennie, a novel about a chimpanzee who is adopted by an American family. His next novel was The Codex, a treasure hunt novel with a style that was much closer to the thriller genre of his collaborations with Child. The Codex introduced the characters of Tom Broadbent and Sally Colorado. Tom and Sally return in Tyrannosaur Canyon, which also features the debut of Wyman Ford, an ex-CIA agent and (at the time) a monk-in-training. Following Tyrannosaur Canyon, Ford leaves the monastery where he is training, forms his own private investigation company, and replaces Broadbent as the main protagonist of Preston’s solo works. Ford subsequently returns in Blasphemy, Impact, and The Kraken Project.

In addition to his collaborations with Child and his solo fictional universe, Preston has written several non-fiction books of his own, mainly dealing with the history of the American Southwest. He has written about archaeology and paleontology for The New Yorker magazine and has also been published in Smithsonian, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Natural History, and National Geographic.[7][8][9][10][11]

In May, 2011, Pomona College conferred on Preston the degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa).[12] He is the recipient of writing awards in the United States and Europe.[citation needed]

Involvement in the “Monster of Florence” case

Main article: Monster of Florence

In 2000, Preston moved to Florence, Italy with his young family and became fascinated with an unsolved local murder mystery involving a serial killer nicknamed the “Monster of Florence“. The case and his problems with the Italian authorities are the subject of his 2008 book The Monster of Florence, co-authored with Italian journalist Mario Spezi. The book spent three months on the New York Timesbestseller list and won a number of journalism awards in Europe and the United States.[citation needed] It is being developed into a movie by 20th Century Fox, produced by George Clooney. Clooney will play the role of Preston.[13][14]

Involvement in the Amanda Knox case

Preston has criticized the conduct of Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini[15] in the trial of American student Amanda Knox, one of three convicted, and eventually cleared,[16] of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia in 2007. In 2009, Preston argued on 48 Hours on CBS that the case against Knox was “based on lies, superstition, and crazy conspiracy theories”.[17] In December 2009, after the verdict had been announced, he described his own interrogation by Mignini on Anderson Cooper 360° on CNN. Preston said of Mignini, “this is a very abusive prosecutor. He makes up theories. He’s … obsessed with satanic sex.”[18]

“Operation Thriller” USO Tour

In 2010, Preston participated in the first USO tour sponsored by the International Thriller Writers organization,[19] along with authors David Morrell, Steve Berry, Andy Harp, and James Rollins. After visiting with military personnel at National Navy Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the group spent several days in Kuwait and Iraq, marking “the first time in the USO’s 69-year history that authors visited a combat zone.”[20] Of the experience, Preston said, “As always, we learn a great deal from all of the amazing and dedicated people we meet.”[21]

Authors United

In 2014, during a disagreement over terms between Hachette Book Group and Amazon.com, Inc.,[22] Preston initiated an effort which became known as Authors United.[23] During the contract dispute, books by Hachette authors faced significant shipment delays, blocked availability, and reduced discounts on the Amazon website.[24] Frustrated with tactics he felt unjustly injured authors who were caught in the middle, Preston began garnering the support of like-minded authors from a variety of publishers. In the first open letter from Authors United, over 900 signatories urged Amazon to resolve the dispute and end the policy of sanctions, while calling on readers to contact CEO Jeff Bezos to express their support of authors.[25][26]Not long after, a second open letter, signed by over 1100 authors, was sent to Amazon’s board of directors asking if they personally approved the policy of hindering the sale of certain books.[27]

Describing the motivation behind the campaign, Preston explained: “This is about Amazon’s bullying tactics against authors. Every time they run into difficulty negotiating with a publisher, they target authors’ books for selective retaliation. The authors who were first were from university presses and small presses… Amazon is going to be negotiating with publishers forever. Are they really going to target authors every time they run into a problem with a publisher?”[28]

Bibliography

Novels

  • Preston, Douglas (1994). Jennie. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Tom Broadbent Novels

Wyman Ford Novels

Collaborations with Lincoln Child

Agent Pendergast series
Gideon Crew series
Short fiction
  • “Gone Fishing” from Thriller: Stories to Keep You Up All Night (2006)
  • “Extraction” [eBook] (2012)
  • “Gaslighted: Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy vs. Aloysius Pendergast” [eBook] (2014) [35]

Non-fiction

  • Dinosaurs In the Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History (1986)
  • Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest in Pursuit of Coronado (1992) [36]
  • Talking to the Ground: One Family’s Journey on Horseback Across the Sacred Land of the Navajo (1996)
  • The Royal Road: El Camino Real from Mexico City to Santa Fe (1998)
  • Ribbons of Time: The Dalquest Research Site [photography by Walter W. Nelson, text by Preston] (2006)
  • The Monster of Florence: A True Story [with Mario Spezi] (2008)
  • Trial By Fury: Internet Savagery and the Amanda Knox Case [Kindle Single eBook] (2013)
  • Preston, Douglas (May 6, 2013). “The El Dorado machine : a new scanner’s rain-forest discoveries”. Our Far-Flung Correspondents. The New Yorker. 89 (12): 34–40.
  • The Black Place: Two Seasons [photography by Walter W. Nelson, essay by Preston] (2014)
  • The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story (2017)

See also

ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Preston

Impact (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Impact
Impact-bookcover.jpg

Hardcover edition
Author Douglas Preston
Country United States
Language English
Series Wyman Ford
Genre Thriller, Science fiction
Publisher Forge Books
Publication date
January 5, 2010
Media type Print (hardback)
Pages 368 pp
ISBN 978-0-7653-1768-1
Preceded by Blasphemy
Followed by The Kraken Project

Impact is a science fiction thriller novel by American writer Douglas Preston, published on January 5, 2010 by Forge Books. The novel is the third book in the Wyman Ford series.[1][2] The book was reviewed on All Things Considered in February 2010.[citation needed]

Plot summary

Ex-CIA agent Wyman Ford returns to Cambodia to investigate the source of radioactive gemstones and uncovers an unusual impact crater. A young woman on the other side of the world photographs a meteoroid‘s passage in the atmosphere with her telescope and deduces that it must have struck on one of the islands just offshore from Round Pond, Maine. A NASA scientist analyzing data from the Mars Mapping Orbiter (MMO) spots unusual spikes in gamma ray activity. These threads intersect with discovery of an alien device that has apparently been on Deimos, one of the two moons of Mars, for at least 100 million years. Something has caused it to activate and fire a strangelet at Earth, setting off the events in the novel.

Timeline

The events in this novel follow those of The Codex, Tyrannosaur Canyon, and Blasphemy. As such, Wyman Ford is the protagonist once again (having appeared in Tyrannosaur Canyon and Blasphemy), and the character of Stanton Lockwood III (who debuted in Blasphemy) also returns.

See also

References

External links

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Robert Ludlum — The Bourne Identity — Videos

Posted on August 24, 2016. Filed under: Art, Blogroll, Books, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Entertainment, Fiction, Literature, media, Movies, Music, People, Photos, Politics, Programming, Psychology, Raves, Video, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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Stan Major Show – Robert Ludlum Interview

Entertainment USA interviews 2

Robert Ludlum – The Bourne Mastermind – O Gênio Criativo

Robert Ludlum (Jason Bourne & Bourne Identity Author) with Bill Boggs

Robert Ludlum interview with Don Swaim, March 13, 1984

The Bourne Identity (2/10) Movie CLIP – No Papers (2002) HD

The Bourne Identity (3/10) Movie CLIP – My Name Is Jason Bourne (2002) HD

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Mark Helprin — Memoirs From The Antproof Case — Winter’s Tale — Videos

Posted on July 28, 2016. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Book, Books, Culture, Entertainment, Fiction, Heroes, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Literature, media, Money, Movies, Music, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Politics, Press, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religion, Reviews, Spying, Strategy, Technology, Terrorism, Video, Water, Wealth | Tags: , , , , , , , |

quote winter talememoirs from antproof casewinters tale 2winters talemark-helprin-1-sizedmark-helprin-author-photo-credit-lisa-kennedymark-helprin

This is a photo of Mark Helprin, a novelist, children's book author and editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal. Handout photo. ..OUTSIDE TRIBUNE CO.- NO MAGS, NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV, CHICAGO OUT, NO DIGITAL MANIPULATION...

quote-the-human-race-is-intoxicated-with-narrow-victories-for-life-is-a-string-of-them-like-pearls-that-mark-helprin-82765

The Human Parade: Mark Helprin

Mark Helprin – Five Questions About Iran

Mark Helprin: In Sunlight and In Shadow

Mark Helprin: 2013 National Book Festival

Mark Helprin – A Soldier of the Great War – Part 1

Mark Helprin – A Soldier of the Great War – Part 2

159th Hillsdale College Commencement – Mark Helprin

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Alan Bennet — The History Boys — Videos

Posted on April 20, 2016. Filed under: Art, Art, Blogroll, Books, College, Comedy, Communications, Education, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Fiction, Films, High School, history, Language, liberty, Life, Links, Literature, media, Movies, Music, Music, People, Photos, Plays, Poetry, Raves, Video, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

alan bennet reading momentsthe history Boysfilm the history boys

THE HISTORY BOYS FROM STAGE TO SCREEN

The History Boys – Trailer

2006 The History Boys

Theater Talk: Alan Bennett on “The History Boys”

Theater Talk: Actor Richard Griffiths of “The History Boys”; Bob Martin of “The Drowsy Chaperone”

Alan Bennett in conversation: part one

Alan Bennett in conversation: part two

Alan Bennett The Lady in The Van Interview

A Chip in the Sugar – Alan Bennett – Talking Heads

Alan Bennett – Sunset Across the Bay (TV Play 1975)

Alan Bennett – Telegram

Alan Bennett & John Fortune: “Men’s Talk”

Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller

Oxbridge Philosophy – Alan Bennett & Jonathan Miller

The Lady In The Van – Alan Bennett Featurette – Starring Maggie Smith – At Cinemas Now

The Lady In The Van Trailer #2 – Starring Maggie Smith – At Cinemas November 13

Maggie Smith

Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, CH DBE (born 28th December 1934) is an English actress. She made her stage debut in 1952 and has had an extensive, varied career in stage, film and television spanning over sixty years. Smith has appeared in over 50 films and is one of Britain’s most recognisable actresses. She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 1990 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, and Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to drama.

Dame Maggie Smith’s brilliant career

Beyond the Fringe (Complete)

Beyond the Fringe was a British comedy stage revue written and performed by Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller. It played in London’s West End and then on New York’s Broadway in the early 1960s, and is widely regarded as seminal to the rise of satire in 1960s Britain.

Take A Pew – Alan Bennett

Richard Griffiths (1947-2013)

The History Boys – Broadway

Almost complete recording of the original production during its run on Broadway. Not mine but thanks for sharing whoever it was 🙂

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John Le Carre — Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy –The Honourable Schoolboy — Smiley’s People — Videos

Posted on January 4, 2016. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Business, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitution, Crime, Culture, Documentary, Drug Cartels, Family, Fraud, Literature, Non-Fiction, Radio, Spying, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Part 1

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Part 2

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Part 3

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Part 4

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Part 5

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Part 6

The Honourable School Boy by John Le Carre Audiobook

Smiley’s People 01

Smiley’s People 02

Smiley’s People 03

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

John le Carré- Interview “Spy Who Came In From The Cold” (Merv Griffin Show 1965)

The Genius of John le Carré

British Novelist John le Carré on Democracy Now 2010

DN!!!!! ‘The US Has Gone Mad,’ John le Carré – Democracy Now Amy Goodman

John le Carré

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John le Carré
John le Carré in Hamburg (10 November 2008)
John le Carré in Hamburg, 2008
Born David John Moore Cornwell
19 October 1931 (age 84)
Poole, Dorset, England
Occupation Novelist, former intelligence officer
Language English
Nationality British
Genre Spy fiction
Notable works The Spy Who Came in from the Cold,
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,
The Honourable Schoolboy,
Smiley’s People,
The Constant Gardener
Spouse Alison Sharp (m. 1954–1971)
Valerie Eustace (m. 1972–present)
Children 4 sons
Website
johnlecarre.com
David John Moore Cornwell (born 19 October 1931), pen name John le Carré /lə ˈkɑrˌeɪ/, is a British author of espionage novels. During the 1950s and the 1960s, Cornwell worked for the Security Service and the Secret Intelligence Service, and began writing novels under a pen name. His third novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963) became an international best-seller, and it remains one of his best-known works. Following the success of this novel, he left MI6 to become a full-time author.

Le Carré established himself as a writer of espionage fiction. In 2008, The Times ranked le Carré 22nd on its list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.[1] In 2011, he won the Goethe Medal, a yearly prize given by the Goethe Institute.
Early life and career
On 19 October 1931, David John Moore Cornwell was born to Richard Thomas Archibald (Ronnie) Cornwell (1906–75) and Olive (Glassy) Cornwell, in Poole, Dorset, England. He was the second son to the marriage, the first being Tony, two years his elder, now a retired advertising executive; his younger half-sister is the actress Charlotte Cornwell; and Rupert Cornwell, a former Independent newspaper Washington bureau chief, is a younger half-brother.[2][3] John le Carré said he did not know his mother, who abandoned him when he was five years old, until their re-acquaintance when he was 21 years old.[4] His relationship with his father was difficult, given that the man had been jailed for insurance fraud, was an associate of the Kray twins[4] (among the foremost criminals in London) and was continually in debt. A biographer reports,

“His father, Ronnie, made and lost his fortune a number of times due to elaborate confidence tricks and schemes which landed him in prison on at least one occasion. This was one of the factors that led to le Carré’s fascination with secrets.”[5]

The character “Rick Pym”, the scheming con-man father of protagonist ‘Magnus Pym’ in his later novel A Perfect Spy (1986), was based on Ronnie. When Ronnie died in 1975, le Carré paid for a memorial funeral service but did not attend.[4]

Cornwell’s formal schooling began at St Andrew’s Preparatory School, near Pangbourne, Berkshire, then continued at Sherborne School; he proved unhappy with the typically harsh English public school régime of the time, and disliked his disciplinarian housemaster, Thomas, and so withdrew. From 1948 to 1949, he studied foreign languages at the University of Bern in Switzerland. In 1950 he joined the Intelligence Corps of the British Army garrisoned in Austria, working as a German language interrogator of people who crossed the Iron Curtain to the West. In 1952, he returned to England to study at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he worked covertly for the British Security Service, MI5, spying upon far-left groups for information about possible Soviet agents.[6]

When Ronnie declared bankruptcy in 1954, Cornwell quit Oxford to teach at a boys’ preparatory school; however, a year later, he returned to Oxford and graduated, in 1956, with a First Class Honours Bachelor of Arts degree. He then taught French and German at Eton College for two years, afterwards becoming an MI5 officer in 1958; he ran agents, conducted interrogations, tapped telephone lines, and effected break-ins.[7] Encouraged by Lord Clanmorris (who wrote crime novels as “John Bingham”), and whilst being an active MI5 officer, Cornwell began writing Call for the Dead (1961), his first novel. Lord Clanmorris was one of two models – Vivian H. H. Green[8] being the other – for George Smiley, the spymaster of the Circus. As a schoolboy, Cornwell had first met Green when he was the Chaplain and Assistant Master at Sherborne School (1942–51), and then later as Rector at Lincoln College.

In 1960, Cornwell transferred to MI6, the foreign-intelligence service, and worked under ‘Second Secretary’ cover in the British Embassy at Bonn; he later was transferred to Hamburg as a political consul. There, he wrote the detective story A Murder of Quality (1962) and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), as “John le Carré” (le Carré is French for “the Square” [7]), a pseudonym required because Foreign Office officers were forbidden to publish in their own names. Cornwell left the service in 1964 to work full-time as a novelist, as his intelligence officer career was ended by the betrayal of British agents’ covers to the KGB by Kim Philby, a British double agent (of the Cambridge Five).[6][9] Le Carré depicts and analyses Philby as the upper-class traitor, code-named “Gerald” by the KGB, the mole George Smiley hunts in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974).[10][11] Credited by his pen name, Cornwell appears as an extra in the 2011 film version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, among the guests at the Christmas party seen in several flashback scenes.

In 1964, le Carré won the Somerset Maugham Award, established to enable British writers younger than 35 to enrich their writing by spending time abroad.

Personal life
In 1954, Cornwell married Alison Ann Veronica Sharp; they had three sons—Simon, Stephen and Timothy—and divorced in 1971.[12] In 1972, Cornwell married Valérie Jane Eustace, a book editor with Hodder & Stoughton;[13] they have one son, Nicholas, who writes as Nick Harkaway.[14]

Le Carré has resided in St Buryan, Cornwall, UK, for more than 40 years, where he owns a mile of cliff close to Land’s End.[15]

In 1998, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Letters) from the University of Bath.[16] In 2012, he was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa by the University of Oxford.[17]

Writing style
Le Carré’s first two novels – Call for the Dead (1961) and A Murder of Quality (1962) – are mystery fiction, in which the hero, George Smiley of the SIS (the Circus), resolves the riddles of the deaths investigated. In these first novels his motives are rather more personal than political.[18]

Most of le Carré’s novels are spy stories set in the Cold War (1945–91) and feature Circus agents—unheroic political functionaries aware of the moral ambiguity of their work and engaged in psychological more than physical drama.[19] Le Carré’s books emphasize the fallibility of Western democracy and of the secret services protecting it, often implying the possibility of East-West moral equivalence.[19] Moreover, they experience little of the violence typically encountered in action thrillers and have very little recourse to gadgets. Much of the conflict is internal, rather than external and visible.[19]

A departure from the use of East–West conflict as a backdrop in this era is the spy novel The Little Drummer Girl (1983), which is set against the Israel–Palestine conflict.

A Perfect Spy (1986), which chronicles the boyhood moral education of Magnus Pym and how it leads to his becoming a spy, is the author’s most autobiographical espionage novel, reflecting the boy’s very close relationship with his con man father. Biographer Lynndianne Beene describes the novelist’s own father, Richard Cornwell, as “an epic con man of little education, immense charm, extravagant tastes, but no social values”; le Carré reflected that “writing A Perfect Spy is probably what a very wise shrink would have advised”.[citation needed]

Le Carré’s only non-genre novel, The Naïve and Sentimental Lover (1971)—a story of a man’s post-marital existential crisis—may be thought to be semi-autobiographical.

With the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, le Carré’s writing shifted to portrayal of the new multilateral world. For example, The Night Manager (1993), his first completely post-Cold-War novel, deals with drug and arms smuggling in the murky world of Latin America drug lords, shady Caribbean banking entities, and western officials who look the other way.

As a journalist, le Carré wrote The Unbearable Peace (1991), a non-fiction account of Brigadier Jean-Louis Jeanmaire (1911–92), the Swiss Army officer who spied for the USSR from 1962 until 1975.[20]

In 2009, he donated the short story “The King Who Never Spoke” to the Oxfam “Ox-Tales” project, which included it in the project’s Fire volume.[21]

In a TV interview with Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, Le Carré remarked on his own writing style that, since the facts that inform his work were widely known, he felt it was his job to put them into a context that made them believable to the reader.[22][when?]

Politics
Le Carré feuded with Salman Rushdie over The Satanic Verses stating, “nobody has a God-given right to insult a great religion and be published with impunity”.[23]

In January 2003, The Times published le Carré’s essay “The United States Has Gone Mad”.[24] Le Carré contributed it to a volume of political essays titled Not One More Death (2006). Other contributors include Richard Dawkins, Brian Eno, Michel Faber, Harold Pinter, and Haifa Zangana.[25]

Le Carré wrote a testimonial in The Future of the NHS.[26]

Interviews
John le Carré appeared in an episode of BBC Radio 4’s Book Club broadcast in February 1999, with presenter James Naughtie and an audience in Penzance.[27]

In an interview with John le Carré, broadcast in October 2008 on BBC Four, Mark Lawson asked him to name a Best of le Carré list of books; the novelist answered: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Tailor of Panama and The Constant Gardener.[28]

In September 2010, le Carré was interviewed on Channel 4 News by journalist Jon Snow at his house in Cornwall. The conversation involved a few topics: his writing career generally and processes adopted for writing, specifically about his current book, Our Kind of Traitor, involving Russia and its current global influences, financially and politically; his SIS career, reasoning why, both personally and more generally, one did such a job then, as compared to now; and how the fight against communism then has now conversely moved to the hugely negative effects of certain aspects of excessive capitalism. During the interview he said that it would be his last UK television interview. While reticent as to his exact reasons, those he was willing to cite were that of slight self-loathing (which he considered most people feel), along with a distaste for showing off (he felt that writing necessarily involved a lot of this anyway) and to breaching what he felt was the necessarily solitary nature of the writer’s work. He was also wary of wasting writing time and dissipating his talent in social success, having seen this happen to many talented writers, to the detriment of their later work.[29]

A week after this appearance, le Carré was interviewed for the TV show Democracy Now! in the US. He told interviewer Amy Goodman “This is the last book about which I intend to give interviews. That isn’t because I’m in any sense retiring. I’ve found that, actually, I’ve said everything I really want to say, outside my books. I would just like—I’m in wonderful shape. I’m entering my eightieth year. I just want to devote myself entirely to writing and not to this particular art form of conversation.”[30][31] In December 2010 Channel 4 broadcast John Le Carre: A Life Unmasked, described as ” his most candid television interview”.[32]

Le Carré was interviewed in the February 2011 edition of Sunday Morning, stating that it would be the last interview he would grant.[33] Le Carré was interviewed at the Hay on Wye festival 2013.[34]

Adaptations
Film[edit]
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), directed by Martin Ritt, with Richard Burton as protagonist Alec Leamas
The Deadly Affair (1966), an adaptation of Call for the Dead, directed by Sidney Lumet, with James Mason as Charles Dobbs (George Smiley in the novel)
The Looking Glass War (1969), directed by Frank Pierson, with Anthony Hopkins as Avery, Christopher Jones as Leiser, and Sir Ralph Richardson as LeClerc
The Little Drummer Girl (1984), directed by George Roy Hill, with Diane Keaton as Charlie
The Russia House (1990), directed by Fred Schepisi, with Sean Connery as Barley Blair
The Tailor of Panama (2001), directed by John Boorman, with Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard, a disgraced spy, and Geoffrey Rush as emigre English tailor Harry Pendel
The Constant Gardener (2005), directed by Fernando Meirelles, with Ralph Fiennes as Justin Quayle, set in the slums in Kibera and Loiyangalani, Kenya; the poverty so affected the film crew that they established the Constant Gardener Trust to provide basic education to those areas (John le Carré is a patron of the charity)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), directed by Tomas Alfredson and starring Gary Oldman as George Smiley
A Most Wanted Man (2014), directed by Anton Corbijn and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman
Our Kind of Traitor (2015), directed by Susanna White and starring Ewan McGregor
Radio[edit]
The Russia House (1994 on BBC Radio), features Tom Baker as Barley Blair[citation needed]
The Complete Smiley (2009-2010 on BBC Radio 4), an eight radio-play series, based upon the novels featuring George Smiley, that commenced broadcast on 23 May 2009, beginning with Call for the Dead, with Simon Russell Beale as George Smiley, and concluding with The Secret Pilgrim, in June 2010[35]
A Delicate Truth (May 2013 on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime), recorded by Damian Lewis[36]
Television[edit]
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979), BBC seven-part television mini-series, with Alec Guinness as George Smiley
Smiley’s People (1982), BBC television mini-series, with Alec Guinness as George Smiley
A Perfect Spy (1987), BBC television adaptation directed by Peter Smith, with Peter Egan as Magnus Pym and Ray McAnally as Rick
Gavin Millar directed A Murder of Quality (1991), Gavin Millar directed the Thames Television adaptation, with Denholm Elliott as George Smiley and Joss Ackland as Terence Fielding
The Night Manager (2016), an upcoming AMC and BBC mini-series, directed by Susanne Bier, with Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine and Hugh Laurie as Richard Onslow Roper
Bibliography[edit]
Novels[edit]
Call for the Dead (1961) ISBN 0-143-12257-6
A Murder of Quality (1962) ISBN 0-141-19637-8
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963) ISBN 0-143-12475-7
The Looking Glass War (1965) ISBN 0-143-12259-2
A Small Town in Germany (1968) ISBN 0-143-12260-6
The Naïve and Sentimental Lover (1971) ISBN 0-143-11975-3
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974) ISBN 0-143-12093-X
The Honourable Schoolboy (1977) ISBN 0-143-11973-7
Smiley’s People (1979) ISBN 0-340-99439-8
The Little Drummer Girl (1983) ISBN 0-143-11974-5
A Perfect Spy (1986) ISBN 0-143-11976-1
The Russia House (1989) ISBN 0-743-46466-4
The Secret Pilgrim (1990) ISBN 0-345-50442-9
The Night Manager (1993) ISBN 0-345-38576-4
Our Game (1995) ISBN 0-345-40000-3
The Tailor of Panama (1996) ISBN 0-345-42043-8
Single & Single (1999) ISBN 0-743-45806-0
The Constant Gardener (2001) ISBN 0-743-28720-7
Absolute Friends (2003) ISBN 0-670-04489-X
The Mission Song (2006) ISBN 0-340-92199-4
A Most Wanted Man (2008) ISBN 1-416-59609-7
Our Kind of Traitor (2010) ISBN 0-143-11972-9
A Delicate Truth (2013) ISBN 0-143-12531-1
Non-fiction[edit]
The Good Soldier (1991) collected in Granta 35: The Unbearable Peace
The United States Has Gone Mad (2003) collected in Not One More Death (2006) ISBN 1-844-67116-X
Afterword (2014) – an essay on Kim Philby, published in A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre[37]
Short stories[edit]
Dare I Weep, Dare I Mourn? (1967) published in the Saturday Evening Post 28 January 1967.
What Ritual is Being Observed Tonight? (1968) published in the Saturday Evening Post 2 November 1968.
The Writer and The Horse (1968) published in The Savile Club Centenary Magazine and later The Argosy (& The Saturday Review under the title A Writer and A Gentleman.)
The King Who Never Spoke (2009) published in Ox-Tales: Fire 2 July 2009.
Omnibus[edit]
The Incongruous Spy (1964) (containing Call for the Dead and A Murder of Quality)
The Quest for Karla (1982) (containing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley’s People) (republished in 1995 as Smiley Versus Karla in the UK; and John Le Carré: Three Complete Novels in the U.S.) ISBN 0-394-52848-4
Screenplays[edit]
End of the Line (1970) broadcast 29 June 1970
A Murder of Quality (1991)
The Tailor of Panama (2001) with John Boorman and Andrew Davies
Executive producer[edit]
The Tailor of Panama (2001)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
A Most Wanted Man (2014)
Actor[edit]
The Little Drummer Girl (1984, as David Cornwell)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011, as John le Carré)
Archive[edit]
In 2010, le Carré donated his literary archive to the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The initial 85 boxes of material deposited included handwritten drafts of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Constant Gardener. The library hosted a public display of these and other items to mark World Book Day in March 2011.[38][39]

Awards and honours
1963 British Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold[40]
1964 Somerset Maugham Award for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold[41]
1965 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold[42]
1977 British Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger for The Honourable Schoolboy[40]
1977 James Tait Black Memorial Prize Fiction Award for The Honourable Schoolboy
1983 Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prize for The Little Drummer Girl
1984 Honorary Fellow Lincoln College, Oxford[43]
1984 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Grand Master [42]
1988 British Crime Writers Association Diamond Dagger Lifetime Achievement Award[44]
1988 The Malaparte Prize, Italy[43]
1990 Honorary Degree University of Exeter[45]
1990 The Helmerich Award of the Tulsa Library Trust.[46]
1991 Nikos Kasanzakis prize
1996 Honorary Degree University of St. Andrews[47]
1997 Honorary Degree University of Southampton[48]
1998 Honorary Degree University of Bath[16]
2005 British Crime Writers Association Dagger of Daggers for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold[49]
2005 Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, France[43]
2008 Honorary Doctorate University of Bern[50]
2011 Goethe Medal of the Goethe Institute[51]
2012 Honorary Doctorate University of Oxford[52]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_le_Carr%C3%A9

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Kevin Phillips — American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in The 21st Century — Videos

Posted on December 26, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, British History, Catholic Church, Communications, Constitution, Documentary, Education, Employment, Energy, European History, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literature, media, Middle East, Monetary Policy, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Oil, Oil, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Television, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Kevin Phillips – American Theocracy: Radical Religion, Oil, and Debt

Revelle Forum: Kevin Phillips on Religion Oil and Debt

Kevin Phillips – Bad Money: Crisis of American Capitalism

Kevin Phillips – Bad Money: the Global Crisis of American Capitalism

Which Currency Will Replace the Dollar? Finance and the Crisis of Capitalism (2008)

Former GOP Strategist Kevin Phillips on Roots of American Revolution, Future of US Politics

Kevin Phillips Discusses the Role Played by Money, Debt, & Trade in the American Revolution

WALL STREET MELTDOWN Bill Moyers !!!! FULL 1 of 3

WALL STREET MELTDOWN Bill Moyers !!!! FULL 2 of 3

 

WALL STREET MELTDOWN Bill Moyers !!!! FULL 3 of 3

 

Kevin Phillips (political commentator)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kevin Phillips
Born Kevin Price Phillips
November 30, 1940 (age 75)
Residence Goshen, Connecticut
Alma mater Colgate University (B.A., 1961)
University of Edinburgh (M.A., Geography)
Harvard University (J.D., 1964)
Occupation Pundit, Author, Columnist

Kevin Price Phillips (born November 30, 1940) is an American writer and commentator on politics, economics, and history. Formerly aRepublican Party strategist before becoming an Independent, Phillips became disaffected with the party from the 1990s, and became a critic. He is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, Harper’s Magazine, and National Public Radio, and was a political analyst on PBSNOW with Bill Moyers.

Phillips was a strategist on voting patterns for Richard Nixon‘s 1968 campaign, which was the basis for a book, The Emerging Republican Majority, which predicted a conservative realignment in national politics, and is widely regarded[citation needed] as one of the most influential recent works in political science. His predictions regarding shifting voting patterns in presidential elections proved accurate, though they did not extend “down ballot” to Congress until the Republican revolution of 1994. Phillips also was partly responsible for the design of the Republican “Southern strategy” of the 1970s and 1980s.

The author of fourteen books, he lives in Goshen, Connecticut.

Biography

Phillips was educated at the Bronx High School of Science, Colgate University, the University of Edinburgh and Harvard Law School. After his stint as a senior strategist for the Nixon presidential campaign, he served a year, starting in 1969, as Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General, but left after a year to become a columnist. In 1971, he became president of theAmerican Political Research Corporation and editor-publisher of the American Political Report (through 1998).

In 1982, the Wall Street Journal described him as “the leading conservative electoral analyst — the man who invented the term “Sun Belt” [a phrase also attributed to legendary Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Sam Rayburn, named the New Right, and prophesied ‘The Emerging Republican Majority’ in 1969.”

Later, he became a critic of Republicans from the south and west, the area he had identified as the “Heartland”, the future core of Republican votes. He had also identified the “Yankee Northeast” as the future Democratic stronghold, foreshadowing the current split between Red States and Blue States. More than 30 years before the 2004 election, Phillips foresaw such previously Democratic states as Texas and West Virginia swinging to the Republicans and Vermont and Maine becoming Democratic states.

Southern strategy

Phillips worked for Richard Nixon‘s presidential campaign in 1968, and wrote a book on what has come to be known as the “Southern strategy” of the Republican Party. The book was entitled The Emerging Republican Majority and argued that the southern states of the US would keep the Republicans winning Presidential Elections and more than offset the Northeast states, based on racial politics.[1] As he stated to the New York Times Magazine in 1970,

“All the talk about Republicans making inroads into the Negro vote is persiflage. Even ‘Jake the Snake’ [Senator Jacob Javits of New York] only gets 20 percent. From now on, Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote, and they don’t need any more than that… but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”[1]

Books

American Theocracy (2006)

Allen Dwight Callahan[2] states the book’s theme is that the Republican Party (GOP), religious fundamentalism, petroleum, and borrowed money are an “Unholy Alliance.”[3] The last chapter, in a nod to his first major work, is titled “The Erring Republican Majority.” American Theocracy “presents a nightmarish vision of ideological extremism, catastrophic fiscal irresponsibility, rampant greed and dangerous shortsightedness.”

The New York Times wrote:

He identifies three broad and related trends — none of them new to the Bush years but all of them, he believes, exacerbated by this administration’s policies — that together threaten the future of the United States and the world. One is the role of oil in defining and, as Phillips sees it, distorting American foreign and domestic policy. The second is the ominous intrusion of radical Christianity into politics and government. And the third is the astonishing levels of debt — current and prospective — that both the government and the American people have been heedlessly accumulating. If there is a single, if implicit, theme running through the three linked essays that form this book, it is the failure of leaders to look beyond their own and the country’s immediate ambitions and desires so as to plan prudently for a darkening future.[4]

Phillips uses the term financialization to describe how the U.S. economy has been radically restructured from a focus on production, manufacturing and wages, to a focus on speculation, debt, and profits. Since the 1980s, Phillips argues in American Theocracy,

the underlying Washington strategy… was less to give ordinary Americans direct sums than to create a low-interest-rate boom in real estate, thereby raising the percentage of American home ownership, ballooning the prices of homes, and allowing householders to take out some of that increase through low-cost refinancing. This triple play created new wealth to take the place of that destroyed in the 2000-2002 stock-market crash and simultaneously raised consumer confidence.

Nothing similar had ever been engineered before. Instead of a recovery orchestrated by Congress and the White House and aimed at the middle- and bottom-income segments, this one was directed by an appointed central banker, a man whose principal responsibility was to the banking system. His relief, targeted on financial assets and real estate, was principally achieved by monetary stimulus. This in itself confirmed the massive realignment of preferences and priorities within the American system….

Likewise, huge and indisputable but almost never discussed, were the powerful political economics lurking behind the stimulus: the massive rate-cut-driven post-2000 bailout of the FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) sector, with its ever-climbing share of GDP and proximity to power. No longer would Washington concentrate stimulus on wages or public-works employment. The Fed’s policies, however shrewd, were not rooted in an abstraction of the national interest but in pursuit of its statutory mandate to protect the U.S. banking and payments system, now inseparable from the broadly defined financial-services sector.

Critical reception

American Theocracy was reviewed widely. The New York Times Book Review wrote “It is not without polemic, but unlike many of the more glib and strident political commentaries of recent years, it is extensively researched and frighteningly persuasive…”[5] The Chicago Sun-Times wrote “Overall, Phillips’ book is a thoughtful and somber jeremiad, written throughout with a graceful wryness… a capstone to his life’s work.”[6]

Bad Money (2008)

Kevin Phillips examines America’s great shift from manufacturing to financial services. He also discusses America’s petroleum policies and the tying of the dollar to the price of oil. Phillips suggests that the Euro and the Chinese Yuan/Renminbi are favorites to take the dollar’s place in countries hostile towards America, like Iran. He then tackles the lack of regulatory oversight employed in the housing market and how the housing boom was allowed to run free under Alan Greenspan. The book concludes with the proposal that America is employing bad capitalism and extends Gresham’s Law of currency to suggest that our good capitalism will be driven out by the bad.[7]

Bibliography

  • The Emerging Republican Majority (1969)
  • Mediacracy: American Parties and Politics in the Communications Age (1974) ISBN 0-385-04945-5
  • Electoral Reform and Voter Participation (with Paul H. Blackman, 1975)
  • Post-Conservative America: People, Politics, and Ideology in a Time of Crisis (1982) ISBN 0-394-52212-5
  • Staying on Top: The Business Case for a National Industrial Strategy (1984) ISBN 0-394-53744-0
  • The Politics of Rich and Poor: Wealth and Electorate in the Reagan Aftermath (1990) ISBN 0-394-55954-1
  • Boiling Point: Democrats, Republicans, and the Decline of Middle Class Prosperity (1993) ISBN 0-679-40461-9
  • Arrogant Capital: Washington, Wall Street and the Frustration of American Politics (1994) ISBN 0-316-70618-3
  • The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics and the Triumph of Anglo-America (1998) ISBN 0-465-01369-4
  • William McKinley (2003) ISBN 0-805-06953-4
  • Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (2002) ISBN 0-767-90533-4
  • American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush (2004) ISBN 0-670-03264-6
  • American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century (2006) ISBN 0-670-03486-X
  • Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism (2008) ISBN 0-670-01907-0
  • 1775: A Good Year for Revolution (2012) ISBN 978-0-670-02512-1

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b Boyd, James (May 17, 1970). “Nixon’s Southern strategy ‘It’s All In the Charts'” (PDF). The New York Times.
  2. Jump up^ Rev. Dr. Allen Dwight Callahan’s page at Brown University Archived April 4, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Jump up^ Callahan, Allen Dwight, “Unholy Alliance” Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, No. 1008, October 25, 2006.[dead link]
  4. Jump up^ N.Y.Times review on 3/19/2006.
  5. Jump up^ Alan Brinkley, The New York Times Book Review, March 19, 2006
  6. Jump up^ William O’Rourke, The Chicago Sun-Times, March 12, 2006
  7. Jump up^ Bad Money, 2008

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Phillips_(political_commentator)

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Fawaz A. Gerges — Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy — Videos

Posted on November 23, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Documentary, Economics, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Foreign Policy, Freedom, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literature, media, Middle East, Money, Music, National Security Agency (NSA_, Newspapers, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Poetry, Police, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Programming, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religious, Rifles, Security, Speech, Spying, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Television, Television, Terrorism, Torture, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Journey of JihadistFawaz Gerges

Conversations with History – Fawaz A. Gerges

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Fawaz Gerges, “A Broken Middle East”

World Affairs TODAY: Season 4, Episode 6: Fawaz Gerges

Bridges to the Future: Fawaz Gerges

Dr Fawaz Gerges: How ISIS amassed a fortune “CNN”

 

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Ayn Rand — Atlas Shrugged — Videos

Posted on September 20, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Documentary, Economics, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Friends, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literature, media, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Politics, Radio, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Television, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Atlas-Shrugged-1atlas shrugged AtlasShrugged  Atlas-Shrugged-3

Day at Night: Ayn Rand, author, “Atlas Shrugged”

Ayn Rand First Interview 1959 (Full)

Ayn Rand’s First Appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, 1967

Ayn Rand Phil Donahue Interview

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Ayn Rand’s Last Public Lecture: The Sanction of the Victims

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Ayn Rand – Individual Rights

Yaron Brook: Ayn Rand vs. Big Government

Ayn Rand – The Proper Role of Government

John Stossel – Atlas Shrugged (full)

Atlas Shrugged and the Struggle for Liberty: hosted by John Stossel

John Stossel: Ayn Rand and Business

Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand: A Leading Lady of the Classical Liberal Tradition

The History of Classical Liberalism

Goddess of the Market Author Jennifer Burns on Ayn Rand

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Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged 2011

John Galt Full Speech – Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

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Dr. Yaron Brook | Why Be Selfish? | Full Length HD

Atlas Shrugged Part 1

Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike

Atlas Shrugged: Part 3

Ayn Rand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand.jpg
Born Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum
February 2, 1905
St. Petersburg, Russia
Died March 6, 1982 (aged 77)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Resting place Kensico Cemetery
Valhalla, New York, U.S.
Pen name Ayn Rand
Occupation Writer
Language English
Ethnicity Russian Jewish
Citizenship 1905–22  Russian
1922–31  Soviet
1931–82  American
Alma mater Petrograd State University
Period 1934–1982
Subject Philosophy
Notable works The Fountainhead
Atlas Shrugged
Notable awards Prometheus Award Hall of Fame inductee in 1987 (forAnthem) and co-inaugural inductee in 1983 (for Atlas Shrugged)
Spouse Frank O’Connor (m. 1929;wid. 1979)

Signature Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand (/ˈn ˈrænd/;[1] born Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum, Russian: Али́са Зино́вьевна Розенба́ум; February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982) was a Russian-born American novelist, philosopher,[2] playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism. Born and educated in Russia, Rand moved to the United States in 1926. She had a play produced on Broadway in 1935–1936. After two early novels that were initially unsuccessful in America, she achieved fame with her 1943 novel, The Fountainhead.

In 1957, she published her best-known work, the novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward, she turned to non-fiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own magazines and releasing several collections of essays until her death in 1982. Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected faith and religion. She supported rational and ethical egoism, and rejected altruism. In politics, she condemned the initiation of force as immoral[3] and opposed collectivism and statism as well as anarchism, instead supporting laissez-faire capitalism, which she defined as the system based on recognizing individual rights.[4] In art, Rand promoted romantic realism. She was sharply critical of most philosophers and philosophical traditions known to her, except for some Aristotelians and classical liberals.[5]

Literary critics received Rand’s fiction with mixed reviews,[6] and academia generally ignored or rejected her philosophy, though academic interest has increased in recent decades.[7][8][9] The Objectivist movement attempts to spread her ideas, both to the public and in academic settings.[10] She has been a significant influence amonglibertarians and American conservatives.[11]

Life

Early life

Rand was born Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum (Russian: Али́са Зиновьевна Розенбаум) on February 2, 1905, to a Russian Jewish bourgeois[12] family living in Saint Petersburg. She was the eldest of the three daughters of Zinovy Zakharovich Rosenbaum and his wife, Anna Borisovna (née Kaplan), largely non-observant Jews. Zinovy Rosenbaum was a successful pharmacist and businessman, eventually owning a pharmacy and the building in which it was located.[13] With a passion for the liberal arts, Rand later said she found school unchallenging and she began writing screenplays at the age of eight and novels at the age of ten.[14] At the prestigious Stoiunina Gymnasium, her closest friend was Vladimir Nabokov‘s younger sister, Olga. The two girls shared an intense interest in politics and would engage in debates at theNabokov mansion: while Nabokova defended constitutional monarchy, Rand supported republican ideals.[15] She was twelve at the time of the February Revolution of 1917, during which she favored Alexander Kerensky over Tsar Nicholas II.

The subsequent October Revolution and the rule of the Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin disrupted the life the family had previously enjoyed. Her father’s business was confiscated and the family displaced. They fled to the Crimean Peninsula, which was initially under control of the White Army during the Russian Civil War. She later recalled that, while in high school, she determined that she was an atheist and that she valued reason above any other human virtue. After graduating from high school in the Crimea at 16, Rand returned with her family to Petrograd (as Saint Petersburg was renamed at that time), where they faced desperate conditions, on occasion nearly starving.[16][17]

The Twelve Collegia of what was then Petrograd State University

Rand completed a three-year program at Petrograd State University.

After the Russian Revolution, universities were opened to women, allowing Rand to be in the first group of women to enroll at Petrograd State University,[18] where, at the age of 16, she began her studies in the department of social pedagogy, majoring in history.[19] At the university she was introduced to the writings of Aristotle and Plato,[20] who would be her greatest influence and counter-influence, respectively.[21] A third figure whose philosophical works she studied heavily was Friedrich Nietzsche.[22] Able to read French, German and Russian, Rand also discovered the writers Fyodor Dostoevsky, Victor Hugo, Edmond Rostand, and Friedrich Schiller, who became her perennial favorites.[23]

Along with many other “bourgeois” students, Rand was purged from the university shortly before graduating. However, after complaints from a group of visiting foreign scientists, many of the purged students were allowed to complete their work and graduate,[24] which Rand did in October 1924.[25] She subsequently studied for a year at the State Technicum for Screen Arts in Leningrad. For one of her assignments, she wrote an essay about the Polish-American actress Pola Negri, which became her first published work.[26]

By this time she had decided her professional surname for writing would be Rand,[27] possibly as a Cyrillic contraction of her birth surname,[28] and she adopted the first nameAyn, either from a Finnish name Aino or from the Hebrew word עין (ayin, meaning “eye”).[29]

Arrival in the United States

A brown book cover with black-and-white drawings and text in Russian. The drawing on the left is a portrait of a woman with dark hair; the drawing on the right is of skyscrapers.

Cover of Rand’s first published work, a 2,500-word monograph on femme fatalePola Negri published in 1925.[26]

In the autumn of 1925, Rand was granted a visa to visit American relatives.[30] She departed on January 17, 1926.[31] When she arrived in New York City on February 19, 1926, she was so impressed with the skyline of Manhattan that she cried what she later called “tears of splendor”.[32] Intent on staying in the United States to become a screenwriter, she lived for a few months with relatives in Chicago, one of whom owned a movie theater and allowed her to watch dozens of films for free. She then set out for Hollywood, California.[33]

Initially, Rand struggled in Hollywood and took odd jobs to pay her basic living expenses. A chance meeting with famed director Cecil B. DeMille led to a job as an extra in his film The King of Kings as well as subsequent work as a junior screenwriter.[34] While working on The King of Kings, she met an aspiring young actor, Frank O’Connor; the two were married on April 15, 1929, around the time her last visa extension was set to expire. She became a permanent US resident in July 1929, and became an American citizen on March 3, 1931.[35]Taking various jobs during the 1930s to support her writing, she worked for a time as the head of the costume department at RKO Studios.[36] She made several attempts to bring her parents and sisters to the United States, but they were unable to acquire permission to emigrate.[37]

Early fiction

Rand’s first literary success came with the sale of her screenplay Red Pawn to Universal Studios in 1932, although it was never produced.[38] This was followed by the courtroom drama Night of January 16th, first produced by E.E. Clive in Hollywood in 1934 and then successfully reopened on Broadway in 1935. Each night the “jury” was selected from members of the audience, and one of the two different endings, depending on the jury’s “verdict”, would then be performed.[39] In 1941, Paramount Pictures produced a movie loosely based on the play. Rand did not participate in the production and was highly critical of the result.[40] Ideal is a novel and play written in 1934 which were first published in 2015 by her estate. The heroine is an actress who embodies Randian ideals.[41]

Rand’s first published novel, the semi-autobiographical We the Living, was published in 1936. Set in Soviet Russia, it focused on the struggle between the individual and the state. In a 1959 foreword to the novel, Rand stated that We the Living “is as near to an autobiography as I will ever write. It is not an autobiography in the literal, but only in the intellectual sense. The plot is invented, the background is not…”[42] Initial sales were slow and the American publisher let it go out of print,[43] although European editions continued to sell.[44] After the success of her later novels, Rand was able to release a revised version in 1959 that has since sold over three million copies.[45] In 1942, without Rand’s knowledge or permission, the novel was made into a pair of Italian films, Noi vivi and Addio, Kira. Rediscovered in the 1960s, these films were re-edited into a new version which was approved by Rand and re-released as We the Living in 1986.[46]

Her novella Anthem was written during a break from the writing of her next major novel, The Fountainhead. It presents a vision of a dystopian future world in which totalitarian collectivism has triumphed to such an extent that even the word ‘I’ has been forgotten and replaced with ‘we’.[47] It was published in England in 1938, but Rand initially could not find an American publisher. As with We the Living, Rand’s later success allowed her to get a revised version published in 1946, which has sold more than 3.5 million copies.[48]

The Fountainhead and political activism

During the 1940s, Rand became politically active. Both she and her husband worked full-time in volunteer positions for the 1940 presidential campaign of Republican Wendell Willkie. This work led to Rand’s first public speaking experiences, including fielding the sometimes hostile questions from New York City audiences who had just viewed pro-Willkie newsreels, an experience she greatly enjoyed.[49] This activity also brought her into contact with other intellectuals sympathetic to free-market capitalism. She became friends with journalist Henry Hazlitt and his wife, and Hazlitt introduced her to the Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises. Despite her philosophical differences with them, Rand strongly endorsed the writings of both men throughout her career, and both of them expressed admiration for her. Once Mises referred to Rand as “the most courageous man in America”, a compliment that particularly pleased her because he said “man” instead of “woman”.[50] Rand also developed a friendship with libertarian writer Isabel Paterson. Rand questioned the well-informed Paterson about American history and politics long into the night during their numerous meetings and gave Paterson ideas for her only nonfiction book, The God of the Machine.[51]

Rand’s first major success as a writer came with The Fountainhead in 1943, a romantic and philosophical novel that she wrote over a period of seven years.[52] The novel centers on an uncompromising young architect named Howard Roark and his struggle against what Rand described as “second-handers”—those who attempt to live through others, placing others above themselves. It was rejected by twelve publishers before finally being accepted by the Bobbs-Merrill Company on the insistence of editor Archibald Ogden, who threatened to quit if his employer did not publish it.[53] While completing the novel, Rand was prescribedBenzedrine, a brand of amphetamine, to fight fatigue.[54] The drug helped her to work long hours to meet her deadline for delivering the finished novel, but when the book was done, she was so exhausted that her doctor ordered two weeks’ rest.[55] Her use of the drug for approximately three decades may have contributed to what some of her later associates described as volatile mood swings.[56]

The Fountainhead eventually became a worldwide success, bringing Rand fame and financial security.[57] In 1943, Rand sold the rights for a film version to Warner Bros., and she returned to Hollywood to write the screenplay. Finishing her work on that screenplay, she was hired by producer Hal Wallis as a screenwriter and script-doctor. Her work for Wallis included the screenplays for the Oscar-nominated Love Letters andYou Came Along.[58] This role gave Rand time to work on other projects, including a planned nonfiction treatment of her philosophy to be called The Moral Basis of Individualism. Although the planned book was never completed, a condensed version was published as an essay titled “The Only Path to Tomorrow”, in the January 1944 edition of Reader’s Digest magazine.[59]

Rand extended her involvement with free-market and anti-communist activism while working in Hollywood. She became involved with the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a Hollywood anti-Communist group, and wrote articles on the group’s behalf. She also joined the anti-Communist American Writers Association.[60] A visit by Isabel Paterson to meet with Rand’s California associates led to a final falling out between the two when Paterson made comments to valued political allies, which Rand considered rude.[61] In 1947, during the Second Red Scare, Rand testified as a “friendly witness” before the United States House Un-American Activities Committee. Her testimony described the disparity between her personal experiences in the Soviet Union and the portrayal of it in the 1944 film Song of Russia.[62] Rand argued that the film grossly misrepresented conditions in the Soviet Union, portraying life there as being much better and happier than it actually was.[63] She wanted to also criticize the lauded 1946 film The Best Years of Our Lives for what she interpreted as its negative presentation of the business world, but she was not allowed to testify about it.[64] When asked after the hearings about her feelings on the effectiveness of the investigations, Rand described the process as “futile”.[65]

After several delays, the film version of The Fountainhead was released in 1949. Although it used Rand’s screenplay with minimal alterations, she “disliked the movie from beginning to end”, complaining about its editing, acting, and other elements.[66]

Atlas Shrugged and Objectivism

In the years following the publication of The Fountainhead, Rand received numerous letters from readers, some of whom it profoundly influenced. In 1951 Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City, where she gathered a group of these admirers around her. This group (jokingly designated “The Collective”) included future Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, a young psychology student named Nathan Blumenthal (later Nathaniel Branden) and his wife Barbara, and Barbara’s cousin Leonard Peikoff. At first the group was an informal gathering of friends who met with Rand on weekends at her apartment to discuss philosophy. Later she began allowing them to read the drafts of her new novel, Atlas Shrugged, as the manuscript pages were written. In 1954 Rand’s close relationship with the younger Nathaniel Branden turned into a romantic affair, with the consent of their spouses.[67]

Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, was considered Rand’s magnum opus.[68] Rand described the theme of the novel as “the role of the mind in man’s existence—and, as a corollary, the demonstration of a new moral philosophy: the morality of rational self-interest.”[69] It advocates the core tenets of Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and expresses her concept of human achievement. The plot involves a dystopian United States in which the most creative industrialists, scientists, and artists go on strike and retreat to a mountainous hideaway where they build an independent free economy. The novel’s hero and leader of the strike,John Galt, describes the strike as “stopping the motor of the world” by withdrawing the minds of the individuals most contributing to the nation’s wealth and achievement. With this fictional strike, Rand intended to illustrate that without the efforts of the rational and productive, the economy would collapse and society would fall apart. The novel includes elements of romance,[70][71] mystery, and science fiction,[72] and it contains Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism in any of her works of fiction, a lengthy monologue delivered by Galt.

Despite many negative reviews, Atlas Shrugged became an international bestseller, and in an interview with Mike Wallace, Rand declared herself “the most creative thinker alive”.[73] After completing the novel, Rand fell into a severe depression.[74] Atlas Shrugged was Rand’s last completed work of fiction; a turning point in her life, it marked the end of Rand’s career as a novelist and the beginning of her role as a popular philosopher.[75]

In 1958 Nathaniel Branden established Nathaniel Branden Lectures, later incorporated as the Nathaniel Branden Institute (NBI), to promote Rand’s philosophy. Collective members gave lectures for NBI and wrote articles for Objectivist periodicals that she edited. Rand later published some of these articles in book form. Critics, including some former NBI students and Branden himself, have described the culture of NBI as one of intellectual conformity and excessive reverence for Rand, with some describing NBI or the Objectivist movement itself as a cult or religion.[76] Rand expressed opinions on a wide range of topics, from literature and music to sexuality and facial hair, and some of her followers mimicked her preferences, wearing clothes to match characters from her novels and buying furniture like hers.[77] Rand was unimpressed with many of the NBI students[78] and held them to strict standards, sometimes reacting coldly or angrily to those who disagreed with her.[79] However, some former NBI students believe the extent of these behaviors has been exaggerated, with the problem being concentrated among Rand’s closest followers in New York.[80]

Later years

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Rand developed and promoted her Objectivist philosophy through her nonfiction works and by giving talks to students at institutions such as Yale, Princeton, Columbia,[81] Harvard, and MIT.[82] She received an honorary doctorate from Lewis & Clark College in 1963.[83] She also began delivering annual lectures at the Ford Hall Forum, responding afterward to questions from the audience.[84]During these speeches and Q&A sessions, she often took controversial stances on political and social issues of the day. These included supporting abortion rights,[85] opposing the Vietnam War and the military draft(but condemning many draft dodgers as “bums”),[86] supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 against a coalition of Arab nations as “civilized men fighting savages”,[87] saying European colonists had the right to develop land taken from American Indians,[88] and calling homosexuality “immoral” and “disgusting”, while also advocating the repeal of all laws about it.[89] She also endorsed several Republican candidates for President of the United States, most strongly Barry Goldwater in 1964, whose candidacy she promoted in several articles for The Objectivist Newsletter.[90]

A twin gravestone bearing the name "Frank O'Connor" on the left, and "Ayn Rand O'Connor" on the right

Grave marker for Rand and her husband at Kensico Cemetery inValhalla, New York

In 1964 Nathaniel Branden began an affair with the young actress Patrecia Scott, whom he later married. Nathaniel and Barbara Branden kept the affair hidden from Rand. When she learned of it in 1968, though her romantic relationship with Branden had already ended,[91] Rand terminated her relationship with both Brandens, which led to the closure of NBI.[92] Rand published an article in The Objectivist repudiating Nathaniel Branden for dishonesty and other “irrational behavior in his private life”.[93] Branden later apologized in an interview to “every student of Objectivism” for “perpetuating the Ayn Rand mystique” and for “contributing to that dreadful atmosphere of intellectual repressiveness that pervades the Objectivist movement.”[94] In subsequent years, Rand and several more of her closest associates parted company.[95]

Rand underwent surgery for lung cancer in 1974 after decades of heavy smoking.[96] In 1976, she retired from writing her newsletter and, despite her initial objections, allowed Evva Pryor, a social worker from her attorney’s office, to enroll her in Social Security and Medicare.[97][98] During the late 1970s her activities within the Objectivist movement declined, especially after the death of her husband on November 9, 1979.[99] One of her final projects was work on a never-completed television adaptation of Atlas Shrugged.[100]

Rand died of heart failure on March 6, 1982, at her home in New York City,[101] and was interred in the Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, New York.[102] Rand’s funeral was attended by some of her prominent followers, including Alan Greenspan. A 6-foot (1.8 m) floral arrangement in the shape of a dollar sign was placed near her casket.[103] In her will, Rand named Leonard Peikoff the heir to her estate.[104]

Philosophy

Rand called her philosophy “Objectivism”, describing its essence as “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”[105] She considered Objectivism a systematic philosophy and laid out positions on metaphysics,epistemology, ethics, political philosophy and aesthetics.[106]Main article: Objectivism (Ayn Rand)

In metaphysics, Rand supported philosophical realism, and opposed anything she regarded as mysticism or supernaturalism, including all forms of religion.[107]

In epistemology, she considered all knowledge to be based on sense perception, the validity of which she considered axiomatic,[108] and reason, which she described as “the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses.”[109] She rejected all claims of non-perceptual or a priori knowledge, including “‘instinct,’ ‘intuition,’ ‘revelation,’ or any form of ‘just knowing.'”[110] Rand argued that the requirements of cognition determine the objective criteria of conceptualization, which she summarized in the form of a philosophical razor. Known as “Rand’s razor,” it states that “concepts are not to be multiplied beyond necessity—the corollary of which is: nor are they to be integrated in disregard of necessity.”[111] In her Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Rand presented a theory of concept formation and rejected the analytic–synthetic dichotomy.[112]

In ethics, Rand argued for rational and ethical egoism (rational self-interest), as the guiding moral principle. She said the individual should “exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.”[113] She referred to egoism as “the virtue of selfishness” in her book of that title,[114] in which she presented her solution to the is-ought problem by describing a meta-ethical theory that based morality in the needs of “man’s survival qua man”.[115] She condemned ethical altruism as incompatible with the requirements of human life and happiness,[9] and held that the initiation of force was evil and irrational, writing in Atlas Shrugged that “Force and mind are opposites.”[116]

Rand’s political philosophy emphasized individual rights (including property rights),[117] and she considered laissez-faire capitalism the only moral social system because in her view it was the only system based on the protection of those rights.[4] She opposed statism, which she understood to include theocracy, absolute monarchy, Nazism, fascism,communism, democratic socialism, and dictatorship.[118] Rand believed that natural rights should be enforced by a constitutionally limited government.[119] Although her political views are often classified as conservative or libertarian, she preferred the term “radical for capitalism”. She worked with conservatives on political projects, but disagreed with them over issues such as religion and ethics.[120] She denounced libertarianism, which she associated with anarchism.[121] She rejected anarchism as a naïve theory based in subjectivism that could only lead to collectivism in practice.[122]

Rand’s aesthetics defined art as a “selective re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgments.” According to Rand, art allows philosophical concepts to be presented in a concrete form that can be easily grasped, thereby fulfilling a need of human consciousness.[123] As a writer, the art form Rand focused on most closely was literature, where she considered romanticism to be the approach that most accurately reflected the existence of human free will.[124] She described her own approach to literature as “romantic realism“.[125]

Rand acknowledged Aristotle as her greatest influence[126] and remarked that in the history of philosophy she could only recommend “three A’s”—Aristotle, Aquinas, and Ayn Rand.[127] In a 1959 interview with Mike Wallace, when asked where her philosophy came from, she responded, “Out of my own mind, with the sole acknowledgement of a debt to Aristotle, the only philosopher who ever influenced me. I devised the rest of my philosophy myself.”[128] However, she also found early inspiration in Friedrich Nietzsche,[129] and scholars have found indications of his influence in early notes from Rand’s journals,[130] in passages from the first edition of We the Living (which Rand later revised),[131] and in her overall writing style.[132] However, by the time she wrote The Fountainhead, Rand had turned against Nietzsche’s ideas,[133] and the extent of his influence on her even during her early years is disputed.[134] Among the philosophers Rand held in particular disdain was Immanuel Kant, whom she referred to as a “monster”,[135] although philosophers George Walsh[136] and Fred Seddon[137] have argued that she misinterpreted Kant and exaggerated their differences.

Rand said her most important contributions to philosophy were her “theory of concepts, [her] ethics, and [her] discovery in politics that evil—the violation of rights—consists of the initiation of force.”[138] She believed epistemology was a foundational branch of philosophy and considered the advocacy of reason to be the single most significant aspect of her philosophy,[139] stating, “I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows.”[140]

Reception and legacy

Reviews[edit]

During Rand’s lifetime, her work evoked both extreme praise and condemnation. Rand’s first novel, We the Living, was admired by the literary critic H. L. Mencken,[141] her Broadway play Night of January 16th was both a critical and popular success,[142] and The Fountainhead was hailed by a reviewer in The New York Times as “masterful”.[143] Rand’s novels were derided by some critics when they were first published as being long and melodramatic.[6] However, they became bestsellers largely through word of mouth.[144]

The first reviews Rand received were for Night of January 16th. Reviews of the production were largely positive, but Rand considered even positive reviews to be embarrassing because of significant changes made to her script by the producer.[142] Rand believed that her first novel, We the Living, was not widely reviewed, but Rand scholar Michael S. Berliner says “it was the most reviewed of any of her works”, with approximately 125 different reviews being published in more than 200 publications. Overall these reviews were more positive than the reviews she received for her later work.[145] Her 1938 novella Anthem received little attention from reviewers, both for its first publication in England and for subsequent re-issues.[146]

Rand’s first bestseller, The Fountainhead, received far fewer reviews than We the Living, and reviewers’ opinions were mixed.[147] There was a positive review in The New York Times that Rand greatly appreciated.[148] The reviewer called Rand “a writer of great power” who wrote “brilliantly, beautifully and bitterly”, and stated that “you will not be able to read this masterful book without thinking through some of the basic concepts of our time”.[143] There were other positive reviews, but Rand dismissed most of them as either not understanding her message or as being from unimportant publications.[147] Some negative reviews focused on the length of the novel,[6] such as one that called it “a whale of a book” and another that said “anyone who is taken in by it deserves a stern lecture on paper-rationing”. Other negative reviews called the characters unsympathetic and Rand’s style “offensively pedestrian”.[147]

Rand’s 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged was widely reviewed, and many of the reviews were strongly negative.[6][149] In the National Review, conservative author Whittaker Chambers called the book “sophomoric” and “remarkably silly”. He described the tone of the book as “shrillness without reprieve” and accused Rand of supporting a godless system (which he related to that of the Soviets), claiming “From almost any page ofAtlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: ‘To a gas chamber—go!'”[150] Atlas Shrugged received positive reviews from a few publications, including praise from the noted book reviewer John Chamberlain,[149] but Rand scholar Mimi Reisel Gladstein later wrote that “reviewers seemed to vie with each other in a contest to devise the cleverest put-downs”, calling it “execrable claptrap” and “a nightmare”; they said it was “written out of hate” and showed “remorseless hectoring and prolixity”.[6] Author Flannery O’Connor wrote in a letter to a friend that “The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re fiction. I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail.”[151]

Rand’s nonfiction received far fewer reviews than her novels had. The tenor of the criticism for her first nonfiction book, For the New Intellectual, was similar to that for Atlas Shrugged,[152][153] with philosopher Sidney Hook likening her certainty to “the way philosophy is written in the Soviet Union”,[154] and author Gore Vidal calling her viewpoint “nearly perfect in its immorality”.[155] Her subsequent books got progressively less attention from reviewers.[152]

On the 100th anniversary of Rand’s birth in 2005, Edward Rothstein, writing for The New York Times, referred to her fictional writing as quaint utopian “retro fantasy” and programmatic neo-Romanticism of the misunderstood artist, while criticizing her characters’ “isolated rejection of democratic society”.[156] In 2007, book critic Leslie Clark described her fiction as “romance novels with a patina of pseudo-philosophy“.[157] In 2009, GQ‍ ’​s critic columnist Tom Carson described her books as “capitalism’s version of middlebrow religious novels” such as Ben-Hur and the Left Behind series.[158]

Popular interest

An engraving in all capital letters that reads: "Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision." Ayn Rand

A quote from Rand’s book The Fountainhead, on the wall directly across from the entrance to The American Adventure rotunda at Walt Disney World’s Epcot.

In 1991, a survey conducted for the Library of Congress and the Book-of-the-Month Club asked club members what the most influential book in the respondent’s life was. Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was the second most popular choice, after the Bible.[159] Rand’s books continue to be widely sold and read, with over 29 million copies sold as of 2013 (with about 10% of that total purchased for free distribution to schools by the Ayn Rand Institute).[160] Although Rand’s influence has been greatest in the United States, there has been international interest in her work.[7][161] Rand’s work continues to be among the top sellers among books in India.[162]

Rand’s contemporary admirers included fellow novelists, such as Ira Levin, Kay Nolte Smith and L. Neil Smith, and later writers such as Erika Holzer and Terry Goodkind have been influenced by her.[163] Other artists who have cited Rand as an important influence on their lives and thought include comic book artist Steve Ditko[164] and musician Neil Peart of Rush.[165] Rand provided a positive view of business, and in response business executives and entrepreneurs have admired and promoted her work.[166] John Allisonof BB&T and Ed Snider of Comcast Spectacor have funded the promotion of Rand’s ideas,[167] while Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and John P. Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, among others, have said they consider Rand crucial to their success.[168]

Rand and her works have been referred to in a variety of media: on television shows including animated sitcoms, live-action comedies, dramas, and game shows,[169] as well as in movies and video games.[170] She, or a character based on her, figures prominently (in positive and negative lights) in literary and science fiction novels by prominent American authors.[171] Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of Reason, has remarked that “Rand’s is a tortured immortality, one in which she’s as likely to be a punch line as a protagonist…” and that “jibes at Rand as cold and inhuman, run through the popular culture”.[172] Two movies have been made about Rand’s life. A 1997 documentary film, Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, was nominated for the Academy Award for Documentary Feature.[173] The Passion of Ayn Rand, a 1999 television adaptation of the book of the same name, won several awards.[174] Rand’s image also appears on a 1999 U.S. postage stamp designed by artist Nick Gaetano.[175][176]

Political influence

Although she rejected the labels “conservative” and “libertarian“,[177] Rand has had continuing influence on right-wing politics and libertarianism.[11] Jim Powell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, considers Rand one of the three most important women (along with Rose Wilder Lane and Isabel Paterson) of modern American libertarianism,[178] and David Nolan, one of the founders of the Libertarian Party, stated that “without Ayn Rand, the libertarian movement would not exist”.[179] In his history of the libertarian movement, journalist Brian Doherty described her as “the most influential libertarian of the twentieth century to the public at large”,[159] and biographer Jennifer Burns referred to her as “the ultimate gateway drug to life on the right”.[180]

In a large outdoor crowd, a man holds up a poster with the words "I am John Galt" in all capital letters

A protester at an April 2009 Tea Party rally carries a sign referring toJohn Galt, the hero of Rand’s novelAtlas Shrugged

She faced intense opposition from William F. Buckley, Jr. and other contributors for the National Review magazine. They published numerous criticisms in the 1950s and 1960s by Whittaker Chambers, Garry Wills, and M. Stanton Evans. Nevertheless, her influence among conservatives forced Buckley and other National Review contributors to reconsider how traditional notions of virtue and Christianity could be integrated with support for capitalism.[181]

The political figures who cite Rand as an influence are usually conservatives (often members of the United States Republican Party),[182] despite Rand taking some positions that are atypical for conservatives, such as being pro-choice and an atheist.[183] A 1987 article in The New York Times referred to her as the Reagan administration‘s “novelist laureate”.[184] Republican Congressmen and conservative pundits have acknowledged her influence on their lives and recommended her novels.[185]

The late-2000s financial crisis spurred renewed interest in her works, especially Atlas Shrugged, which some saw as foreshadowing the crisis,[186] and opinion articles compared real-world events with the plot of the novel.[187] During this time, signs mentioning Rand and her fictional hero John Galt appeared at Tea Party protests.[188] There was also increased criticism of her ideas, especially from the political left, with critics blaming the economic crisis on her support of selfishness and free markets, particularly through her influence on Alan Greenspan.[189] For example, Mother Jones remarked that “Rand’s particular genius has always been her ability to turn upside down traditional hierarchies and recast the wealthy, the talented, and the powerful as the oppressed”,[183] while equating Randian individual well-being with that of the Volk according to Goebbels. Corey Robin of The Nation alleged similarities between the “moral syntax of Randianism” and fascism.[190]

Academic reaction

During Rand’s lifetime her work received little attention from academic scholars.[10] When the first academic book about Rand’s philosophy appeared in 1971, its author declared writing about Rand “a treacherous undertaking” that could lead to “guilt by association” for taking her seriously.[191] A few articles about Rand’s ideas appeared in academic journals before her death in 1982, many of them in The Personalist.[192] One of these was “On the Randian Argument” by libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick, who argued that her meta-ethical argument is unsound and fails to solve the is–ought problem posed by David Hume.[193] Some responses to Nozick by other academic philosophers were also published in The Personalist arguing that Nozick misstated Rand’s case.[192] Academic consideration of Rand as a literary figure during her life was even more limited. Academic Mimi Gladstein was unable to find any scholarly articles about Rand’s novels when she began researching her in 1973, and only three such articles appeared during the rest of the 1970s.[194]

Since Rand’s death, interest in her work has gradually increased.[195] Historian Jennifer Burns has identified “three overlapping waves” of scholarly interest in Rand, the most recent of which is “an explosion of scholarship” since the year 2000.[196] However, few universities currently include Rand or Objectivism as a philosophical specialty or research area, with many literature and philosophy departments dismissing her as a pop culture phenomenon rather than a subject for serious study.[197]

Gladstein, Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Allan Gotthelf, Edwin A. Locke and Tara Smith have taught her work in academic institutions. Sciabarra co-edits the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, a nonpartisan peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of Rand’s philosophical and literary work.[198] In 1987 Gotthelf helped found the Ayn Rand Society with George Walsh and David Kelley, and has been active in sponsoring seminars about Rand and her ideas.[199] Smith has written several academic books and papers on Rand’s ideas, including Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist, a volume on Rand’s ethical theory published byCambridge University Press. Rand’s ideas have also been made subjects of study at Clemson and Duke universities.[200] Scholars of English and American literature have largely ignored her work,[201] although attention to her literary work has increased since the 1990s.[202]

Rand scholars Douglas Den Uyl and Douglas B. Rasmussen, while stressing the importance and originality of her thought, describe her style as “literary, hyperbolic and emotional”.[203] Philosopher Jack Wheeler says that despite “the incessant bombast and continuous venting of Randian rage”, Rand’s ethics are “a most immense achievement, the study of which is vastly more fruitful than any other in contemporary thought.”[204] In the Literary Encyclopedia entry for Rand written in 2001, John David Lewis declared that “Rand wrote the most intellectually challenging fiction of her generation”.[205] In a 1999 interview in theChronicle of Higher Education, Sciabarra commented, “I know they laugh at Rand”, while forecasting a growth of interest in her work in the academic community.[206]

Libertarian philosopher Michael Huemer has argued that very few people find Rand’s ideas convincing, especially her ethics,[207] which he believes is difficult to interpret and may lack logical coherence.[208] He attributes the attention she receives to her being a “compelling writer”, especially as a novelist. Thus, Atlas Shrugged outsells not only the works of other philosophers of classical liberalism such as Ludwig von Mises,Friedrich Hayek, or Frederic Bastiat, but also Rand’s own non-fiction works.[207]

Political scientist Charles Murray, while praising Rand’s literary accomplishments, criticizes her claim that her only “philosophical debt” was to Aristotle, instead asserting that her ideas were derivative of previous thinkers such as John Locke and Friedrich Nietzsche.[209]

Although Rand maintained that Objectivism was an integrated philosophical system, philosopher Robert H. Bass has argued that her central ethical ideas are inconsistent and contradictory to her central political ideas.[210]

Objectivist movement

Main article: Objectivist movement

In 1985, Rand’s heir Leonard Peikoff established the Ayn Rand Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Rand’s ideas and works. In 1990, philosopher David Kelley founded the Institute for Objectivist Studies, now known as The Atlas Society.[211] In 2001 historian John McCaskey organized the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship, which provides grants for scholarly work on Objectivism in academia.[212] The charitable foundation of BB&T Corporation has also given grants for teaching Rand’s ideas or works. The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Pittsburgh, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are among the schools that have received grants. In some cases these grants have been controversial due to their requiring research or teaching related to Rand.[213]

Selected works

Novels
Other fiction
Non-fiction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand 

External links

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Richard Paul Evans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people of the same name, see Richard Evans (disambiguation).
Richard P. Evans
Born October 11, 1962 (age 52)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Education Cottonwood High School (Murray, Utah)
Alma mater University of Utah
Genre Novels
Notable works The Michael Vey Series and The Christmas box
Spouse Keri Evans

Richard Paul Evans (born October 11, 1962) is an American author, best known for writing The Christmas Box and, more recently, the Michael Vey series.

Biography

Evans graduated from Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City. He graduated with a B.A. degree from the University of Utah in 1984. While working as an advertising executive he wrote a Christmas story for his children. Unable to find a publisher or an agent, he self-published the work in 1993 as a paperback novella entitled The Christmas Box. He distributed it to book stores in his community.

The book became a local bestseller, prompting Evans to publish the book nationally. The next year The Christmas Box hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, inciting an auction for the publishing rights among the world’s top publishing houses. Evans signed a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster, who paid Evans $4.2 million in an advance.[1] Released in hardcover in 1995, The Christmas Box became the first book to simultaneously reach the number-one position on the New York Times bestseller list for both paperback and hardcover editions. That same year, the book was made into a television movie of the same title, starring Richard Thomas and Maureen O’Hara.

Evans has subsequently written 31 nationally best-selling books,[2] including those for children, with conservative Christian themes and appealing to family values. His 1996 book Timepiece was made into a television movie featuring James Earl Jones and Ellen Burstyn, as were 1998’s The Locket, which starred Vanessa Redgrave, and 2003’s A Perfect Day, which starred Rob Lowe and Christopher Lloyd.

During the Spring of 1997, Evans founded The Christmas Box House International, an organization devoted to building shelters and providing services for abused and neglected children. To date, more than 35,000 children have been served by Christmas Box House facilities. The Christmas Box International].[3]

Evans lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife Keri and five children and one grandson.[4] He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Bibliography

Non-fiction

  • The Christmas Box Miracle: My Spiritual Journey of Destiny, Healing, and Hope (2001)
  • The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me: About Life and Wealth (2004)
  • The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me for Women (2009)

Series

  • The Locket
    1. The Locket (1998)
    2. The Looking Glass (1999)
    3. The Carousel (2001)
  • The Walk
    1. The Walk (2009)
    2. Miles to Go (2011)
    3. The Road To Grace (2012)
    4. A Step of Faith (2013)
    5. Walking on Water (2014)
5. Micheal vey: storm of lightning

Novels

  • Christmas Every Day, adapted from the William Dean Howells short story (1996)
  • The First Gift of Christmas (1996)
  • The Last Promise (2002)
  • A Perfect Day (2003)
  • The Sunflower (2005)
  • Finding Noel (2006)
  • The Gift (2007)
  • Grace (2008)
  • The Christmas List (2009)
  • Promise Me (2010)
  • Lost December (2011)
  • A Winter Dream (2012)
  • The Four Doors (2013)
  • The Mistletoe Promise (2014)

Children’s books

  • The Dance (1999)
  • The Spyglass: A Book About Faith (2000)
  • The Tower (2001)
  • The Christmas Candle (2002)
  • The Light of Christmas (2003)

References

  1. Jump up^ Woo, Elaine (October 13, 2011). “Margaret Tante Burk obituary: The co-founder of the Round Table West literary group was 93”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  2. Jump up^ “KUTV 2News “Person 2 Person: Richard Paul Evans””. KUTV 2News Utah. June 14, 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  3. Jump up^ Richard Paul Evans – author profile on Simon&Schuster http://authors.simonandschuster.ca/Richard-Paul-Evans/706373
  4. Jump up^ “KUTV 2News “Person 2 Person: Richard Paul Evans””. KUTV 2News Utah. June 14, 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  5. Jump up^ Hunt for Jade Dragon (Official website) http://michaelvey.com

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Paul_Evans

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
Michael Vey The Prisoner of Cell 25 paperback book cover.jpg
Author Richard Paul Evans
Original title Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
Language English
Series Michael Vey
Genre Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published Simon Pulse, Mercury Ink
Media type Paperback
Pages 326
ISBN 1442475102
Followed by Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 is a 2011 young-adult/science fictionnovel by Richard Paul Evans, and published by Glenn Beck‘s owned Mercury Ink. The story follows Michael Vey, a teenager who is diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome and has electrical powers.

The story follows Michael Vey, a teenager diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome who has the ability to pulse or surge electricity out of the palms of his hands. One day, Michael gets beat up by bullies as he is leaving school, and a popular cheerleader named Taylor witnesses it. In self-defense, Michael shocks the three bullies and they fall to the ground. The next day at school, Taylor confronts him about the occasion. After he explains, she tells him that she can read minds when she touches someone. They later on discover that they were born in the same hospital near the same date, and a machine, called an MEI, made by a company named Elgen was used during their births. Taylor soon meets Michael’s friend Ostin, a smart but ordinary person who is aware of Michael’s powers, and the three of them form their own group, the Electroclan.

Shortly after, both Michael and Taylor receive scholarships from the prestigious Elgen Academy. When Michael tells his mother about the scholarship, she immediately makes him leave the restaurant where they are eating. On their way to the car, a man attempts to rob them. When Michael shocks him, another man appears accompanied by two teenagers. The man reveals himself to be Dr. Hatch. Michael then passes out after being hit by an unknown electrical pulse from Nichelle, one of the teenagers. When Michael wakes up, he is in a hospital and Ostin’s mother tells him that his mom has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, Taylor has been taken captive to Elgen Academy, where she finds out that she has an identical (but evil) twin, named Tara.

Taylor soon discovers the dark side of Dr. Hatch; he likes to use the teenagers’ powers for his own benefit and pleasure. When given an order by Dr. Hatch, Taylor disobeys him, is tortured by Nichelle, and gets put on Floor D with three other kids: Ian, McKenna, and Abigail who disobeyed Hatch’s orders and suffered the same fate as Taylor. After getting a car ride to Pasadena, Michael unsuccessfully attempts to free Taylor. Dr. Hatch tells Michael after his capture that Michael killed his own father, and makes him choose between his own freedom and his friends. Taylor, Ostin, and the other rebels on Floor D escape their cell only to be caught again. Michael is told to kill Wade to prove his allegiance to Dr. Hatch. He refuses and so his mother is shocked instead. Michael is sent to Cell 25, the torture cell for those who don’t agree with Dr. Hatch’s methods.

After 26 days, Michael is released from Cell 25 and is taken to the same room where he failed his first test by not shocking Wade. Hatch leaves Michael (who is very ill from his treatment in Cell 25) alongside Ostin, and Taylor, who are restrained in chairs. Ostin and Taylor are supposed to be killed by Zeus, but after Michael tricks Zeus into shocking him, he grows more powerful from Zeus’s lightning and pulses, causing an electric wave, knocking both Zeus and Ostin unconscious. He checks on Taylor who is okay, and then Ostin, but finds that his heart has stopped. After applying two shocks in a fashion similar to a defibrillator Ostin’s heart starts up again. Taylor then goes into the mind of Zeus and searches his memories, to find that Hatch tricked him into believing that he killed his family while swimming in a pool at the age of 7. He then sides with Michael and the rest of the Electroclan and helps them break Ian, McKenna, and Abigail out of their cell, and using his powers, disables all the cameras they come across. A lengthy battle between the Electroclan and Dr. Hatch’s loyalists occurs. Michael’s group takes control of the control room and releases the human captives (including Jack and Wade) who overpower the remaining guards. Meanwhile, Dr. Hatch escapes from Elgen Academy in a helicopter with most of the other electric children that are loyal to him.

After the battle, Taylor goes to call her parents, and after dialing three digits walks up to and kisses Michael. Then another electric child, Grace, who supposedly ran away from Hatch, arrives to join the “Electoclan”. With the suspicion that she may be a plant, Taylor reads her mind and confirms that she is against Hatch. Grace also says that she downloaded all the Elgen’s computer files onto herself before they were deleted: her power is being able to upload and download data from computers, like a human flash drive. Nichelle is sent to be a normal human where she can’t hurt anyone after Michael finds out her weakness. The book ends with Ostin proclaiming that “This is the rise of the Electroclan!”

Characters

Dr. C. J. Hatch is the main antagonist of the book. He recruits (or kidnaps), the Glows, to the Elgen Academy and gives them what ever they want (no matter the cost) at first; later, however, he guilt tricks them into using their gifts for his own personal pleasure (using manipulation). He is an evil genius and attempts to capture and kill Michael and his friends several times throughout the book. The poster boy of 21st century fascism.

Jack is one of the bullies that attacks Michael daily. He is also friends with Wade and Mitchell. Jack drives Michael to Pasadena, along with Wade and Ostin, and the four of them eventually bond. Jack has been held back several years and is around age 17.

Wade is one of the bullies that attack Michael daily. He is also friends with Jack and Mitchell, and helps Jack drive Michael to Pasadena. Wade develops a deep gratitude for Michael, after Michael refuses Dr. Hatch’s request to electrocute him.

Michael Vey is fourteen during the book. Michael is the main protagonist of the series. Michael has been diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, which results in him involuntarily blinking and/or gulping when he is stressed or nervous. Due to his small stature Michael has endured many years of being bullied and unable to retaliate from fear of his powers being exposed. Michael’s powers consist of him being able to shock people by contact or if they are connected with something that can be conducted. He can also cause electrical surges that can destroy electrical equipment and stun people. Michael not only is immune to electrical attacks or discharges, he is also able to absorb them which makes him more powerful. According to Hatch, Michael could be the most powerful Glow alive and has hinted that Michael may have killed his own father by accident. His best friend, Ostin, and girlfriend, Taylor, formed the Electroclan and as a group learned that there were fifteen other teenagers like himself and Taylor.

Taylor Ridley is a fifteen-year-old high school cheerleader who is the most beautiful girl in school, smart, popular, and everybody loves her. She was adopted when she was young and did not know that she had a twin sister named Tara. Her abilities are mainly attributed to electrical signals in the brain. These abilities include being able to “reboot” a person’s brain, making them forget what they were doing at that moment. She is also able to read people’s minds, with this ability being stronger if she is touching a person.

Ostin Liss is Michael’s best friend and is considered a genius by everyone. It is said he has a GPA of 4.00 but only because it doesn’t go any higher. His mother named him after the city in Texas but spelled Austin wrong, which Michael finds ironic because Ostin is a genius, but his mom can’t even spell the city they lived in.

Nichelle is a girl who helped kidnap Taylor. Her power is being able to electrically depress the nerve endings to cause pain and pressure comparable to the worst migraines. Nichelle can literally “suck the power” from a Glow the same way mosquitoes suck blood from a host. She is disliked by the other kids at the Elgen Academy and is also gothic in style. Nichelle is looked at as a freak because of this, and the fact that she enjoys torturing others with her dark power. She can only inflict pain upon others when she is in close distance. She could not affect Michael when he was absorbing electricity from a power source as it was too much electricity to handle at one time. This is similar to the way mosquitoes cannot handle excessive blood while drawing it out. In the end, Nichelle is banished to go live in the “real world.” She admits that she would rather die than live there as she is considered a loser. She is recruited by Michael in the fourth book to help fend off Hatch’s Glows. Nichelle slowly begins to grow loyal to the Electroclan and goes so far as to trick Hatch and break everyone out of custody.

Zeus His real name is Frank but he is named Zeus due to his ability to shoot bolts of electricity that are similar in appearance to lightning. He became part of Hatch’s group when Hatch fabricated his memories, saying Zeus killed his whole family by jumping into a pool they were in, thus shocking them to death. Due to his inability to touch water, he never bathes, thus making him sensitive and violent about people commenting about his stench. He joins the Electroclan after the truth about his family is revealed. Zeus also can not touch water because the water makes him shock himself. He starts to fall for Abigail.

Ian is an African American fourteen-year-old who is first introduced in Purgatory when Taylor is sent there. Although he is blind, it is not a weakness, as his ability is what is called electrolocation where he can track anything with an electric current, meaning animals, electric appliances, etc. This is most helpful as he is able to track Glows as well as see through anything.

McKenna is a Chinese-American girl. She has the ability to create light and heat on any part of her body. She can heat herself to more than 3,000 Kelvin. She is also Ostin’s crush. She is very smart.

Abigail is a platinum blonde haired girl who is first introduced in Purgatory. She is also known as Abi. Her ability allows her to relieve pain by contact by stimulating nerve endings. She is very nice and optimistic.

Grace acts as a “human flash drive,” and is able to transfer and store large amounts of electronic data. She quit Dr. Hatch’s group of electric children to join the Electroclan. She is shy to all the kids.

Tanner is a very regretful person, he has the ability to interfere with a plane’s navigation system making it crash. He is forced to murder many people by Dr. Hatch.

Tara is Taylor’s identical (but evil) twin sister that is completely and unmoveably loyal to Dr. Hatch. Like her sister, Taylor, her abilities also deal with the mind, although that is the extent of their similarities. Tara can stimulate different parts of the brain to cause pain or pleasure and everything in between. She is able to make the person she is using her powers on see and feel what she wants them to, as seen when she causes Michael to believe there were black widows crawling on him and a shark was going to attack him. A Fascist.

Quentin, also known as Q., has the ability to produce a small EMP or electromagnetic pulse. He is a bit of a flirt and both Tara and Kylee have a crush on him. A Fascist.

Bryan has the ability to create highly focused electricity that allows him to cut through solid objects such as metal by burning through them. A Fascist.

Kylee was born with the ability to create electromagnetic power, she is basically a human magnet.

Sequels

Mercury Ink released the sequels: Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen on August 14, 2012, Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere on September 17, 2013, Michael Vey: Hunt for the Jade Dragon on September 16, 2014, and now Michael Vey: Storm of Lightning on September 15, 2015!

TV series

On September 15th, 2015 on Glenn Beck’s radio program, Richard Paul Evans announced that he reached a deal with a British producer to make a TV pilot.

Honors

  • Number one book on the New York Times Chapter Book list for the week ending August 28, 2011.[1]
  • Number one selling book in Barnes and Nobles, number 2 in Amazon.com[2] for Michael Vey.
  • On August 25, it was ranked number 38 on USA Today’s best sellers.[3]
  • Michael Vey reached number Seven on the chart for USA Today in August.[4]
  • The Salt Lake Tribune announced that Michael Vey made number seven on the Deseret Book for the week of Aug. 22 through Aug. 27 chart.[5]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Vey:_The_Prisoner_of_Cell_25

Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen
Michael Vey Rise of the Elgen paperback cover art.jpg
Author Richard Paul Evans
Original title Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen
Language English
Series Michael Vey
Genre Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink
Media type Paperback
Pages 352
ISBN 1442475102
Preceded by Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
Followed by Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere

Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen is the second book by Richard Paul Evans in the Michael Vey series. It carries on where the first book (Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25) left off in search for Michael’s mother.

Plot

Michael was born with special electrical powers—and he’s not the only one. His friend Taylor has them too, and so do fifteen other kids their age. With Michael’s friend Ostin, a tecno-genius, they form the Electroclan, an alliance meant to protect them from a powerful group, the growing Order of Elgen, who are out to destroy them. The leader of the Elgen, Dr. Hatch, has kidnapped Michael’s mother, and time is running out.

The Electroclan heads back to Idaho after forcing Hatch to flee the Elgen center in California. After narrowly escaping an Elgen trap, Ostin’s discovery of bizarre “rat fires” in South America and the Elgen computer files Grace downloaded leads the gang to the jungles of Peru, where the Electroclan finds the Elgen base, which they enter in Elgen uniforms. While there, they discover that Elgen has created electric rats who power the entire building. They also rescue Michael’s mom, and another ‘Glow’ named Tanner, whose power allows him to make aircraft malfunction and fall from the sky, and who suffers with guilt for what he did at Hatch’s command, and is locked up for trying to take down the plane Hatch and the l Michael is captured and after Hatch unsuccessfully attempts to convert him, Hatch sends the loyal Electro Children into Michael’s cell to try to convince him to join them. Michael taunts Torstyn, the most powerful of them, who can create a microwave effect in his victim’s brain, and who refuses to fight him after he is told by the other children that he defeated Nichelle. Michael then reveals that the reason Dr. Hatch has so many guards is because he is afraid of them. Hatch orders the children out, and after a brief time, Michael is put in the rat’s container, as food, but he absorbs the electricity they are putting out, making so much heat and energy that it kills the rats. He then escapes with Taylor’s help, who, by touching metal on the outside of the building, communicates with him, and flees into the jungle to meet up with the gang and his mother. He loses his way, and is nearly killed by Elgen helicopters, but Tanner, who is nearby with the rest of the Electroclan, takes the aircraft down, allowing Michael to continue on his way, ignorant of where he is. He then stumbles across some natives who tell him in the last line of the book, that he cannot go home.[1]

Sequel

The sequel to this book, Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere, was published September 17, 2013.

Main Characters

Michael Vey, Taylor Ridley (his girlfriend), Ostin Liss, Sharon Vey. Jack Vranes, Wade West, Leonard Franklin Smith (Zeus), Ian, McKenna, Abigail, Grace, Tanner, The Voice, Dr. C.J. Hatch, Tara, Quentin, Torstyn, Bryan,and Kylee. Jamie

References

Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere
Michael Vey, Battle of the Ampere paperback book cover.jpg

The cover of the first edition.
Author Richard Paul Evans
Original title Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere
Language English
Series Michael Vey
Genre Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published Simon Pulse, Mercury Ink
Media type Paperback
Pages 320
ISBN 978-1442475113
Preceded by Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen
Followed by Michael Vey: Hunt for the Jade Dragon

Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere is the third book of the seven book Michael Vey series, written by Richard Paul Evans.[1] It was published September 17, 2013 by Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink. The first book in the series,Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25, was #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.[2]

Plot Summary

Following where the previous book left off, Michael is held by tribe of natives. During this time, he meets a new Glow: Tessa, known before as Tesla, who escaped from Hatch and can increase the powers of other electric children. Michael is soon told he and Tessa are going to meet Jaime, the man who helped the Electroclan in the previous book. As they depart, Tessa has a tearful goodbye with one of the tribal women whom she calls her mother. Jaime takes them to his base camp where they are ambushed by Elgen guards. Michael is forced to kill the guards with the camp’s security system to evade capture. Jaime, Tessa, and Michael destroy the camp and hike away to prevent the Elgen from learning anything.

Meanwhile, Taylor and the rest of the Electroclan have been captured by the Peruvian authorities for destroying the Elgen’s power plant. While being interrogated, Taylor inadvertently tells the Elgen about the voice that has been helping them. Ostin leads an escape attempt, but the group is captured by Elgen agents and then re-captured by the Peruvians.

After extensive hiking, Michael, Tessa, and Jaime set a trap to disrupt the convoy carrying the rest of the Electroclan. Michael manages to stop the convoy and frees everyone but Taylor and Jack who were taken by an Elgen bounty hunter. The Clan rescues them, but Wade is killed in the process. After an improvised memorial service, the Electroclan goes to a hotel to meet Jaime.

Jaime takes them to a safe house where they are told that the Hatch plans to use the Elgen fleet to take over a small island country and from there build an arsenal of EMPs to take over the world. The Electroclan is to destroy the fleet’s flagship: the Ampere. However, Ian, Zeus, Abigail, and Tessa, who are tired of running, decide to leave. Michael, Taylor, Ostin, McKenna, and Jack attack the Ampere but are cornered in the ship’s engine room. As they prepare to detonate the bomb manually, the Elgen attack ship, the Watt explodes and Tessa, Zeus, Abigail, and Ian return. The Ampere is then blown up while everyone escapes.

During a celebration for the mission’s success, Taylor and Michael award Wade the “Electroclan Medal of Honor” to commemorate his sacrifice and to ease a grieving Jack. Jaime allows Michael and Ostin to talk to their parents. The joy is cut short when it is revealed that Hatch escaped the ship before it blew and has kidnapped a child prodigy in China who has figured out how to create more electric children. The book ends with the Electroclan preparing to rescue the child.

Main Characters

  • Michael Vey: The main protagonist of the series. Has Tourette’s syndrome, and electrical shocking powers. A 15-year-old Jack Bauer with superpowers. Leader of the electroclan.
  • Taylor Ridley: high school cheerleader and girlfriend of Vey,Scramble brain signals known in the book as “rebooting”. Member of the electroclan.
  • Ostin: best friend of Micheal Vey, no electric powers, super smart.
  • Dr. C. J. Hatch: The main antagonist of the book. Director of the Elgen Academy.
  • Ian: Member of the electroclan. He can see through walls by electrolocation.
  • Abigail: Member of the electroclan. Stimulate nerve endings to take away pain.
  • McKenna: Member of the electroclan. Creates heat and light
  • Jack: Member of the electroclan. Martial arts. Drives
  • Wade: Member of the electroclan. Martial arts. Drives
  • Zeus: Member of the electroclan. Shoots Lightning
  • Tessa: Member of the electroclan. Enhance electricity
  • Tanner: Create mechanical problems, usually brings down planes.
  • Grace: Human flash drive
  • Tara: Is loyal to Hatch. Can affect emotions. Is Taylor’s evil twin.
  • Quentin: Is loyal to Hatch. Can create an electromagnetic pulse.
  • Torstyn: Is loyal to Hatch. Produces microwaves. Sadistic and nasty.
  • Bryan: Is loyal to Hatch. Can cut through items with a concentrated beam.
  • Kylee: Is loyal to Hatch. Magnetic powers which allows her to walk on metal walls.
  • Jaime: A jungle guide who works for the voice.

Reception

A launch party in Salt Lake City, Utah in September 2013 drew approximately 3,000 people.[3] The book debuted as USA Today’s #10 best-selling book in September 2013.[4]

References

  1. Jump up^ Haddock (21 September 2013). “Richard Paul Evans keeps the voltage up in ‘Michael Vey 3: Battle of the Ampere'”. Deseret News. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  2. Jump up^ Kramer, Pamela (10 November 2013). “‘Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere’ by Richard Paul Evans: It’s not over yet”. The Standard Examiner. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  3. Jump up^ Ritz, Erica (16 September 2013). “A Young Adult Book Launch Said to Have Drawn Thousands…And It Wasn’t Harry Potter”. The Blaze. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  4. Jump up^ “Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere”. USA Today. Retrieved 10 January 2014.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Vey:_Battle_of_the_Ampere

Michael Vey: Hunt for the Jade Dragon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Michael Vey: Hunt for Jade Dragon
Michael Vey - Hunt for the Jade Dragon coverart.png
Author Richard Paul Evans
Original title Michael Vey: Hunt for Jade Dragon
Language English
Series Michael Vey
Genre Science Fiction
Published Simon Pulse, Mercury Ink
Media type Paperback, Hardcover
Pages 319
ISBN 978-1-4814-2438-7
Preceded by Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere

Michael Vey: Hunt for Jade Dragon is the fourth book of the seven book Michael Vey series, written by Richard Paul Evans. The first book in the series, Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25, was #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.[1]

Plot

Michael and the Electroclan travel to Timepiece Ranch (a base owned by the Voice). There Michael, Ostin, and Taylor meet their respective parents (with the exception of Taylor’s father) along with fellow Glows Grace and Tanner. The Clan is briefed about their mission to rescue Jade Dragon, a Chinese child prodigy who has figured out how to make more electric children. The resistance tell Michael that he should recruit Nichelle to combat Hatch’s electric children. Michael is at reluctant to seek Nichelle’s help as he cannot trust her, but he ultimately decides to make her an offer.

Michael and the Clan fly back to Pasadena to approach Nichelle. Though at first hesitant, (Michael tempted her with money) Nichelle agrees to help them in order to get her revenge on Hatch for leaving her to die. The Electroclan journey to Taiwan where they are boarded in a hotel until they can rescue Jade. After a brief reconnaissance of the seemingly impenetrable Starxource plant where Jade Dragon is held, they decide to intercept her while the Elgen move onto the research boat, The Volta.

The Electroclan are ordered to stay in their hotel by their handler while Zeus and Tessa are moved to another Starxource plant in order to confuse the Elgen. However, the Clan grows stir-crazy and leave to explore the local market. When they return, both Nichelle and Taylor act strangely. That night, Nichelle goes to see Hatch and seemingly sells out the rest of the Clan.

The Elgen attack and capture the Electroclan at their hotel. It is then revealed that the ‘Taylor’ who returned with them from the market was actually Tara. Michael is tortured by an Elgen assassin until someone who appears to be Michael’s father stops him. After a brief exchange, Michael’s ‘father’ states the “Elgen are the good guys.”

Nichelle visits Michael in his cell, who quickly attacks her. Nichelle reveals that she knew Tara had switched places with Taylor all along, but didn’t say anything because she knew that Hatch would just kill Taylor. Together, Michael and Nichelle free the rest of the Electroclan and escape the compound.

After meeting back up with Zeus and Tessa, the Clan regroups back at a safe house. Ian reveals to Michael that the man he thought was his father was actually Hatch disguised by Tara’s new power. The two then tell their handler that Hatch might know where Timepiece Ranch is with information Michael had given him.

The Clan soon successfully rescues Jade Dragon. On their way back to the safe house, Michael and Taylor learn that Jade’s parents were killed by the Elgen when she was kidnapped. Realizing that he can’t bear the danger of losing those he love anymore, Michael tells Taylor that he intends to leave when they return home. The Clan is shocked to learn that the Elgen have attacked the Ranch and that there are no reported survivors. Michael demands to go to the Ranch despite the danger.

Main Characters

  • Michael Vey: The main protagonist of the series. He is 15 and has Tourette’s syndrome. Power: He can produce high voltages of electricity, as well as absorb it. Michael has also gained magnetic abilities and can also create balls of electricity
  • Taylor Ridley: high school cheerleader and girlfriend of Vey. Power: Scramble brain signals, and telepathy through physical contact
  • Ostin Liss: Unpopular in school, but Michael’s best friend. Power: None, other than his high IQ
  • Dr. C. J. Hatch: The main antagonist of the series. Director of the Elgen Academy. Power: An army of Elgen soldiers, he also commands 5 of the Electric Children.
  • Lung Li: They wear all black and are an elite ninja Elgen force.
  • Ian: Power: Can see everything within a certain area by electrolocation.
  • Jade Dragon: She came up with the algorithm to fix the MEI.
  • Abigail: Power: She can stimulate nerve endings which is used to nullify pain.
  • McKenna: Power: She can produce immense heat and light.
  • Jack: Power: None, except for his strength and fighting skill.
  • Zeus: Power: Can project electricity from his body, and outwards like lightning.
  • Tessa: Power: Enhance the powers of other electric children.
  • Tanner: Power: He can tamper with the electrical signals of machinery.
  • Grace: Power: She can absorb information from electronics.
  • Tara: Twin of Taylor. Power: She can scramble brain signals, induce emotions in others such as fear and joy, and create hallucinations.
  • Quentin: The president of the Elgen Academy. Power: can create an EMP.
  • Torstyn: The only one that does not have to obey Quentin. Power: He can produce microwaves.
  • Bryan: Power: Can focus electricity into a laser in order to cut through materials.
  • Kylee: Power: Magnetic.
  • Ben: He works for “the Voice“.
  • Mrs. Vey: She is at the Ranch and is Michael Vey’s mother.
  • Mrs. Ridley She went to the Ranch, and was told she was going on a business trip instead.
  • Mrs. Liss: Ostin’s Mother. She is at the ranch.
  • Mr. Liss: Ostin’s Father. He is at the ranch.
  • Nichelle: Power: Drains electricity of other Glows. Her weakness is when Michael pulses and overloads Nichelle’s drain.

References

  1. Jump up^ Kramer, Pamela. “‘Michael Vey: Hunt for the Jade Dragon’ by Richard Paul Evans.”.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Vey:_Hunt_for_the_Jade_Dragon

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Ken Follett — The Century Triology: Fall of Giants — Winter of The World — Edge of Eternity — Videos

Posted on August 29, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Book, Books, British History, College, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, European History, Federal Government Budget, Fiction, Fiscal Policy, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literature, media, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Tax Policy, Video, War, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 Eye to Eye: Ken Follett

Ken Follett Discusses Fall of Giants

Fall of Giants – Ken talks about the characters

Book TV: Ken Follett, “Fall of Giants”

Ken Follett: Fall of Giants Source

KEN FOLLETT on WINTER OF THE WORLD

BookTV: Ken Follett, “Winter of the World”

WINTER OF THE WORLD – Characters

WINTER OF THE WORLD – Ken Follett reads from his new book

Winter Of The World Audiobook

Synopsis | Edge Of Eternity: Book Three Of The Century Trilogy By Ken Follett

Author Ken Follett Talks About “Edge of Eternity”

Ken Follett presenting his new novel “Edge Of Eternity”

On The Trail Of History with Ken Follett – Berlin

On The Trail Of History with Ken Follett – London

Ken Follett | “… one day you might want to wright something better” | Skavlan

“Edge of Eternity”: Author Ken Follett bases fiction series on historical events

Peace ‘n’ Pop | Ken Follett

Ken Follett

Kenneth Martin “Ken” Follett (born 5 June 1949) is a Welsh author of thrillers and historical novels. He has sold more than 150 million copies of his works.[1] Many of his books have reached the number 1 ranking on the New York Times best-seller list, including Edge of Eternity, Fall of Giants, The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, Triple, Winter of the World, and World Without End.[2]

Biography

Early life

Follett was born on 5 June 1949 in Cardiff, Wales. He was the first child of Martin Follett, a tax inspector, and Lavinia (Veenie) Follett, who went on to have three more children.[3][4] Barred from watching movies and television by his Plymouth Brethren parents, he developed an early interest in reading but remained an indifferent student until he entered his teens.[3][4] His family moved to London when he was ten years old, and he began applying himself to his studies at Harrow Weald Grammar School and Poole Technical College. He won admission in 1967 toUniversity College London, where he studied philosophy and became involved in centre-left politics.

Marriage and early success

He married Mary, in 1968, and their son Emanuele was born in the same year. After graduation in the autumn of 1970, Follett took a three-month post-graduate course in journalism and went to work as a trainee reporter in Cardiff on the South Wales Echo. In 1973 Ken and Mary’s daughter, Marie-Claire, was born. After three years in Cardiff, he returned to London as a general-assignment reporter for the Evening News. Finding the work unchallenging, he eventually left journalism for publishing and became, by the late 1970s, deputy managing director of the small London publisher Everest Books.[3] He also began writing fiction during evenings and weekends as a hobby. Later, he said he began writing books when he needed extra money to fix his car, and the publisher’s advance a fellow journalist had been paid for a thriller was the sum required for the repairs.[5] Success came gradually at first, but the publication of Eye of the Needle in 1978 made him both wealthy and internationally famous.

Further successes

Each of Follett’s subsequent novels has also become a best-seller, ranking high on the New York Times Best Seller list; a number have been adapted for the screen.

Ken Follett has written 29 books in the past 35 years. The first five best-sellers were spy thrillers: Eye of the Needle (1978), Triple (1979), The Key to Rebecca (1980), The Man from St. Petersburg (1982) and Lie Down with Lions (1986). On Wings of Eagles (1983), was the true story of how two of Ross Perot‘s employees were rescued from Iran during the revolution of 1979. He then surprised readers by radically changing course with The Pillars of the Earth (1989), a novel about building a cathedral in the Middle Ages. It received rave reviews and was on the New York Times best-seller list for 18 weeks. It also topped best-seller lists in Canada, Britain and Italy, and was on the German best-seller list for six years. It has sold 18 million copies so far.

The next three novels, Night Over Water (1991), A Dangerous Fortune (1993) and A Place Called Freedom (1995) were more historical than thriller, but he returned to the thriller genre withThe Third Twin (1996) which in the Publishing Trends annual survey of international fiction best-sellers for 1997 was ranked no. 2 worldwide, after John Grishams The Partner. His next work, The Hammer of Eden (1998) was another contemporary suspense story followed by a cold war thriller Code to Zero (2000).

Ken Follett with his book Eisfieber (English: Whiteout) in October 2005

Follett returned to the World War II era with his next two novels, Jackdaws (2001), a thriller about a group of women parachuted into France to destroy a vital telephone exchange – which won the Corine Prize for 2003 – and Hornet Flight (2002), about a daring young Danish couple who escape to Britain from occupied Denmark in a rebuilt Hornet Moth biplane with vital information about German radar. Whiteout (2004), is a contemporary thriller about the theft of a deadly virus from a research lab.

World Without End (2007) is the sequel to Pillars of the Earth. The book returns to Kingsbridge two hundred years later, and features the descendents of the characters in ‘Pillars’. It focuses on the destinies of a handful of people as their lives are devastated by the Black Death, the plague that swept Europe in the middle of the fourteenth century.

Century trilogy

Follett’s next three novels, Fall of Giants, Winter of the World and Edge of Eternity, make up the Century trilogy. Fall of Giants (2010) followed the fates of five interrelated families – American, German, Russian, English and Welsh – as they moved through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the struggle for women’s suffrage. Fall of Giants, published simultaneously in 14 countries, was internationally popular and topped several best-seller lists.[6]

Winter of the World (2012) picks up where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of theThird Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, to the explosions of the American and Soviet atom bombs and the beginning of the long Cold War.

The third novel in the ‘Century’ trilogy, Edge of Eternity, which follows those families through the events of the last half of the century, was published on 16 September 2014. Like the previous two books, it chronicles the lives of five families through the Cold war and civil-rights movements.[7]

Future project

Ken Follett’s next project is already underway. It will be the third book in the Kingsbridge series, following on from “The Pillars of the Earth” and “World Without End”. This will be set in Kingsbridge in the sixteenth century, the time of Queen Elizabeth I. The book should be released in 2017.[8]

Appearances and adaptations in other media

Eye of the Needle was made into an acclaimed film, starring Donald Sutherland, and six novels have been made into television mini-series: The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, On Wings of Eagles, The Third Twin – the rights for which were sold to CBS for $1 400 000, a record price at the time – and The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. These last two have been screened in several languages in many countries. Ken Follett also had a cameo role as the valet in The Third Twin and later as a merchant in The Pillars of the Earth.

Public life

Ken Follett is a member of various organisations that promote literacy and writing, and is actively involved in various organisations in his home town of Stevenage.

  • Chair of the National Year of Reading 1998-99, a British government initiative to raise literacy levels.[9]
  • Fellow of University College, London (1994)
  • Fellow of Yr Academi Gymreig – the Welsh Academy (2011)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • President, Dyslexia Action (1998-2009)[10]
  • Chair, National Year of Reading (1998–99)
  • Patron, Schools Radio (2007-)
  • Chair of the Advisory Committee, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) UK (2003-)
  • Board Member, National Academy of Writing (2003-)
  • Trustee, National Literacy Trust (1996-)

He is active in numerous Stevenage charities and was a governor of Roebuck Primary School for ten years, serving as the Chair of Governors for four of those years.

On 15 September 2010, Follett, along with 54 other public figures, signed an open letter published in The Guardian stating their opposition to Pope Benedict XVI‘s state visit to the UK.[11]

He has also donated £25,000 to the Yvette Cooper campaign in the Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 2015,[12] as well as another £25,000 from his wife Barbara Follett[13]

Awards

Personal life

Follett became involved, during the late 1970s, in the activities of Britain’s Labour Party. In the course of his political activities, he met the former Barbara Broer, a Labour Party official, who became his second wife in 1984. She was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1997, representing Stevenage. She was re-elected in both 2001 and in 2005, but did not run in the 2010 general election.[18] Follett himself remains a prominent Labour supporter and fundraiser as well as a prominent Blairite. In 2010, he was the largest donor to Ed Balls‘s campaign to become leader of the Labour Party, saying “Ed Balls is the only Labour leadership candidate who offers a path to economic growth; his time at the treasury, with low borrowing and high growth, shows he is the true candidate of the centre in this leadership election. Only Ed offers a broad appeal to all voters and is not afraid to stand up to the left wing of the party, much like Tony Blair.”[citation needed]

Bibliography

Follett statue in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

Apples Carstairs series (as Simon Myles)

  • The Big Needle (1974) (a.k.a. The Big Apple – U.S.)
  • The Big Black (1974)
  • The Big Hit (1975)

Piers Roper series

  • The Shakeout (1975)
  • The Bear Raid (1976)

Kingsbridge series

The Century Trilogy

Standalone novels

Non-fiction

  • The Heist of the Century (1978) (with René Louis Maurice, others) (a.k.a. The Gentleman of 16 July – U.S.) (a.k.a. Under the Stars of Nice) (a.k.a. Robbery Under the Streets of Nice) (a.k.a. Cinq Milliards au bout de l’égout, 1977)[20][21]

References and notes

  1. Jump up^ http://ken-follett.com/faq/. Missing or empty |title= (help)FAQ Page of Ken-Follett.com
  2. Jump up^ “Ken Follett”.New York Times List of Number One Best Sellers
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Ken Follett”. WNYC. 7 December 2003. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “The early years …”. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  5. Jump up^ Itzkoff, Dave (21 July 2010). “No Money to Fix Your Car? Write a Best Seller”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
  6. Jump up^ http://ken-follett.com/downloads/biography/Ken_Follett_biography_en_1209.pdf
  7. Jump up^ http://svetlanalasrado.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/follett-tweaks-beststeller-formula/
  8. Jump up^ [1]
  9. Jump up^ http://www.greatertalent.com/kenfollett/
  10. Jump up^ http://www.nottinghampost.com/Charley-Boorman-s-visit-young-offenders/story-12233012-detail/story.html
  11. Jump up^ “Letters: Harsh judgments on the pope and religion”. The Guardian (London). 15 September 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
  12. Jump up^ . p. The Electoral Commission http://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/English/Donations/C0204458. Retrieved 2015-08-19. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. Jump up^ . p. The Electoral Commission http://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/English/Donations/C0204457. Retrieved 2015-08-19. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. Jump up^ http://www.que-leer.com/19675/maria-duenas-y-ken-follett-premios-que-leer-de-los-lectores.html
  15. Jump up^ http://www.shelfari.com/awards/Hungarian-Libri-Golden-Book-Award
  16. Jump up^ http://www.catedralvitoria.com/ingles/mediateca_videos.php?opc=2_117&pagina=1
  17. Jump up^ http://www.premiobancarella.info/bancarella/albo.php
  18. Jump up^ “MP Follett to repay largest sum”. BBC News. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
  19. Jump up^ “Winter of the World by Ken Follett” CBS News
  20. Jump up^ Follett rewrote this book after two translators had failed to produce a publishable version of the original French work. Follett has tried to keep it from being published under his name and disowns it entirely, entreating readers not to buy it. [2]
  21. Jump up^ Translation from original French version.

Further reading

External links

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the war of the end of the world

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A personal journey: from Marxism to Liberalism by Mario Vargas Llosa

An Evening with Mario Vargas Llosa and John King (The Americas Society).

Mario Vargas Llosa – PRI Perfect Dictatorship – English Subs

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Mario Vargas Llosa Interview | Part 1 | Skavlan

Mario Vargas Llosa Interview | Part 2 | Skavlan

Mario Vargas Llosa Nobel Prize Literature

Mario Vargas Llosa: sobre el Varón de Caña Brava (“La guerra del fin del mundo”)

vargas_llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Vargas and the second or maternal family name is Llosa.
Mario Vargas Llosa
Vargas Losa Göteborg Book Fair 2011b.jpg
Mario Vargas Llosa in Gothenburg Book Fair, Thursday 22 September 2011.

BornJorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa
March 28, 1936 (age 79)
Arequipa, Arequipa, PeruCitizenshipPeru, Spain[1]Alma materNational University of San Marcos
Complutense University of MadridLiterary movementLatin American boomNotable awardsMiguel de Cervantes Prize
1994
Nobel Prize in Literature
2010ChildrenÁlvaro Vargas Llosa
Gonzalo Vargas Llosa
Morgana Vargas Llosa


SignatureWebsitewww.mvargasllosa.com

Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa (/ˈvɑrɡəs ˈjsə/;[2]Spanish: [ˈmaɾjo ˈβaɾgas ˈʎosa]; born March 28, 1936) is a Peruvian writer, politician, journalist, essayist, college professor, and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature.[3] Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America’s most significant novelists and essayists, and one of the leading writers of his generation. Some critics consider him to have had a larger international impact and worldwide audience than any other writer of theLatin American Boom.[4] Upon announcing the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy said it had been given to Vargas Llosa “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat”.[5]

Vargas Llosa rose to fame in the 1960s with novels such as The Time of the Hero (La ciudad y los perros, literally The City and the Dogs, 1963/1966[6]), The Green House (La casa verde, 1965/1968), and the monumental Conversation in the Cathedral (Conversación en la catedral, 1969/1975). He writes prolifically across an array ofliterary genres, including literary criticism and journalism. His novels include comedies, murder mysteries, historical novels, and political thrillers. Several, such as Captain Pantoja and the Special Service (1973/1978) and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (1977/1982), have been adapted as feature films.

Many of Vargas Llosa’s works are influenced by the writer’s perception of Peruvian society and his own experiences as a native Peruvian. Increasingly, however, he has expanded his range, and tackled themes that arise from other parts of the world. In his essays, Vargas Llosa has made many criticisms of nationalism in different parts of the world.[7] Another change over the course of his career has been a shift from a style and approach associated with literary modernism, to a sometimes playfulpostmodernism.

Like many Latin American writers, Vargas Llosa has been politically active throughout his career; over the course of his life, he has gradually moved from the political lefttowards liberalism or neoliberalism. While he initially supported the Cuban revolutionary government of Fidel Castro, Vargas Llosa later became disenchanted with his policies. He ran for the Peruvian presidency in 1990 with the center-right Frente Democrático coalition, advocating neoliberal reforms, but lost the election to Alberto Fujimori. He is the person who, in 1990, “coined the phrase that circled the globe”,[8] declaring on Mexican television, “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship”, a statement which became an adage during the following decade.

Early life and family

Mario Vargas Llosa was born to a middle-class family[9] on March 28, 1936, in the Peruvian provincial city of Arequipa.[10] He was the only child of Ernesto Vargas Maldonado and Dora Llosa Ureta (the former a radio operator in an aviation company, the latter the daughter of an old criollo family), who separated a few months before his birth.[10] Shortly after Mario’s birth, his father revealed that he was having an affair with a German woman; consequently, Mario has two younger half-brothers: Enrique and Ernesto Vargas.[11]

Mario Vargas Llosa’s thesis«Bases para una interpretación de Rubén Darío», presented to his alma mater, the National University of San Marcos (Peru), in 1958.

Vargas Llosa lived with his maternal family in Arequipa until a year after his parents’ divorce, when his maternal grandfather was named honorary consul for Peru in Bolivia.[10] With his mother and her family, Vargas Llosa then moved to Cochabamba, Bolivia, where he spent the early years of his childhood.[10] His maternal family, the Llosas, were sustained by his grandfather, who managed a cotton farm.[12] As a child, Vargas Llosa was led to believe that his father had died—his mother and her family did not want to explain that his parents had separated.[13] During the government of Peruvian President José Bustamante y Rivero, Vargas Llosa’s maternal grandfather obtained a diplomatic post in the Peruvian coastal city of Piura and the entire family returned to Peru.[13] While in Piura, Vargas Llosa attended elementary school at the religious academy Colegio Salesiano.[14] In 1946, at the age of ten, he moved to Lima and met his father for the first time.[14] His parents re-established their relationship and lived in Magdalena del Mar, a middle-class Lima suburb, during his teenage years.[15] While in Lima, he studied at the Colegio La Salle, a Christian middle school, from 1947 to 1949.[16]

When Vargas Llosa was fourteen, his father sent him to the Leoncio Prado Military Academy in Lima.[17] At the age of 16, before his graduation, Vargas Llosa began working as an amateur journalist for local newspapers.[18] He withdrew from the military academy and finished his studies in Piura, where he worked for the local newspaper, La Industria, and witnessed the theatrical performance of his first dramatic work, La huida del Inca.[19]

In 1953, during the government of Manuel A. Odría, Vargas Llosa enrolled in Lima’s National University of San Marcos, to study law and literature.[20] He married Julia Urquidi, his maternal uncle’s sister-in-law, in 1955 at the age of 19; she was 10 years older.[18] Vargas Llosa began his literary career in earnest in 1957 with the publication of his first short stories, “The Leaders” (“Los jefes”) and “The Grandfather” (“El abuelo”), while working for two Peruvian newspapers.[21] Upon his graduation from the National University of San Marcos in 1958, he received a scholarship to study at the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain.[22] In 1960, after his scholarship in Madrid had expired, Vargas Llosa moved to France under the impression that he would receive a scholarship to study there; however, upon arriving in Paris, he learned that his scholarship request was denied.[23] Despite Mario and Julia’s unexpected financial status, the couple decided to remain in Paris where he began to write prolifically.[23] Their marriage lasted only a few more years, ending in divorce in 1964.[24] A year later, Vargas Llosa married his first cousin, Patricia Llosa,[24] with whom he had three children: Álvaro Vargas Llosa (born 1966), a writer and editor; Gonzalo (born 1967), a businessman; and Morgana (born 1974), a photographer.

Writing career

Beginning and first major works

Vargas Llosa’s first novel, The Time of the Hero (La ciudad y los perros), was published in 1963. The book is set among a community of cadets in a Lima military school, and the plot is based on the author’s own experiences at Lima’s Leoncio Prado Military Academy.[25] This early piece gained wide public attention and immediate success.[26] Its vitality and adept use of sophisticated literary techniques immediately impressed critics,[27] and it won the Premio de la Crítica Española award.[26] Nevertheless, its sharp criticism of the Peruvian military establishment led to controversy in Peru. Several Peruvian generals attacked the novel, claiming that it was the work of a “degenerate mind” and stating that Vargas Llosa was “paid by Ecuador” to undermine the prestige of the Peruvian Army.[26]

In 1965, Vargas Llosa published his second novel, The Green House (La casa verde), about a brothel called “The Green House” and how its quasi-mythical presence affects the lives of the characters. The main plot follows Bonifacia, a girl who is about to receive the vows of the church, and her transformation into la Selvatica, the best-known prostitute of “The Green House”. The novel was immediately acclaimed, confirming Vargas Llosa as an important voice of Latin American narrative.[28]The Green House won the first edition of the Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize in 1967, contending with works by veteran Uruguayanwriter Juan Carlos Onetti and by Gabriel García Márquez.[29] This novel alone accumulated enough awards to place the author among the leading figures of the Latin American Boom.[30] Some critics still considerThe Green House to be Vargas Llosa’s finest and most important achievement.[30] Indeed, Latin American literary critic Gerald Martin suggests that The Green House is “one of the greatest novels to have emerged from Latin America”.[30]

Vargas Llosa’s third novel, Conversation in the Cathedral (Conversación en la catedral), was published in 1969, when he was 33. This ambitious narrative is the story of Santiago Zavala, the son of a government minister, and Ambrosio, his chauffeur.[31] A random meeting at a dog pound leads the pair to a riveting conversation at a nearby bar known as “The Cathedral”.[32] During the encounter, Zavala searches for the truth about his father’s role in the murder of a notorious Peruvian underworld figure, shedding light on the workings of a dictatorship along the way. Unfortunately for Zavala, his quest results in a dead end with no answers and no sign of a better future.[33] The novel attacks the dictatorial government of Odría by showing how a dictatorship controls and destroys lives.[26] The persistent theme of hopelessness makes Conversation in the Cathedral Vargas Llosa’s most bitter novel.[33]

He lectured Spanish American Literature at King’s College London from 1969 to 1970.[34]

1970s and the “discovery of humor”

In 1971, Vargas Llosa published García Márquez: Story of a Deicide (García Márquez: historia de un deicidio), which was his doctoral thesis for the Complutense University of Madrid.[35][36] Although Vargas Llosa wrote this book-length study about his then friend, the Colombian Nobel laureate writer Gabriel García Márquez, they did not speak to each other again. In 1976, Vargas Llosa punched García Márquez in the face inMexico City at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, ending the friendship.[37] Neither writer had publicly stated the underlying reasons for the quarrel.[38] A photograph of García Márquez sporting a black eye was published in 2007, reigniting public interest in the feud.[39] Despite the decades of silence, in 2007, Vargas Llosa agreed to allow part of his book to be used as the introduction to a 40th-anniversary edition of García Márquez’sOne Hundred Years of Solitude, which was re-released in Spain and throughout Latin America that year.[40]Historia de un Deicidio was also reissued in that year, as part of Vargas Llosa’s complete works.

Following the monumental work Conversation in the Cathedral, Vargas Llosa’s output shifted away from more serious themes such as politics and problems with society. Latin American literary scholar Raymond L. Williams describes this phase in his writing career as “the discovery of humor”.[41] His first attempt at a satirical novel was Captain Pantoja and the Special Service (Pantaleón y las visitadoras), published in 1973.[42]This short, comic novel offers vignettes of dialogues and documents about the Peruvian armed forces and a corps of prostitutes assigned to visit military outposts in remote jungle areas.[43] These plot elements are similar to Vargas Llosa’s earlier novel The Green House, but in a different form. As such, Captain Pantoja and the Special Service is essentially a parody of both The Green House and the literary approach that novel represents.[43] Vargas Llosa’s motivation to write the novel came from actually witnessing prostitutes being hired by the Peruvian Army and brought to serve soldiers in the jungle.[44]

From 1974 to 1987, Vargas Llosa focused on his writing, but also took the time to pursue other endeavors.[45] In 1975, he co-directed an unsuccessful motion-picture adaptation of his novel, Captain Pantoja and the Secret Service.[45] In 1976 he was elected President of PEN International, the worldwide association of writers and oldest human rights organisation, a position he held until 1979.[45] During this time, Vargas Llosa constantly traveled to speak at conferences organized by internationally renowned institutions, such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Cambridge, where he was Simón Bolívar Professor and an Overseas Fellow of Churchill College in 1977–78.[46][47][48]

In 1977, Vargas Llosa was elected as a member of the Peruvian Academy of Language, a membership he still holds today. That year, he also published Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (La tía Julia y el escribidor), based in part on his marriage to his first wife, Julia Urquidi, to whom he dedicated the novel.[49] She later wrote a memoir, Lo que Varguitas no dijo (What Little Vargas Didn’t Say), in which she gives her personal account of their relationship. She states that Vargas Llosa’s account exaggerates many negative points in their courtship and marriage while minimizing her role of assisting his literary career.[50]Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter is considered one of the most striking examples of how the language and imagery of popular culture can be used in literature.[51] The novel was adapted in 1990 into a Hollywood feature film, Tune in Tomorrow.

Later novels

Vargas Llosa in 1982

Vargas Llosa’s fourth major novel, The War of the End of the World (La guerra del fin del mundo), was published in 1981 and was his first attempt at a historical novel.[52] This work initiated a radical change in Vargas Llosa’s style towards themes such as messianism and irrational human behaviour.[53] It recreates the War of Canudos, an incident in 19th-century Brazil in which an armed millenarian cult held off a siege by the national army for months.[54] As in Vargas Llosa’s earliest work, this novel carries a sober and serious theme, and its tone is dark.[54] Vargas Llosa’s bold exploration of humanity’s propensity to idealize violence, and his account of a man-made catastrophe brought on by fanaticism on all sides, earned the novel substantial recognition.[55] Because of the book’s ambition and execution, critics have argued that this is one of Vargas Llosa’s greatest literary pieces.[55] Even though the novel has been acclaimed in Brazil, it was initially poorly received because a foreigner was writing about a Brazilian theme.[56] The book was also criticized as revolutionary and anti-socialist.[57] Vargas Llosa says that this book is his favorite and was his most difficult accomplishment.[57]

After completing The War of the End of the World, Vargas Llosa began to write novels that were significantly shorter than many of his earlier books. In 1983, he finished The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta (Historia de Mayta, 1984).[52] The novel focuses on a leftist insurrection that took place on May 29, 1962 in the Andean city of Jauja.[52] Later the same year, during the Sendero Luminoso uprising, Vargas Llosa was asked by the Peruvian President Fernando Belaúnde Terry to join the Investigatory Commission, a task force to inquire into the massacre of eight journalists at the hands of the villagers of Uchuraccay.[58] The Commission’s main purpose was to investigate the murders in order to provide information regarding the incident to the public.[59] Following his involvement with the Investigatory Commission, Vargas Llosa published a series of articles to defend his position in the affair.[59] In 1986, he completed his next novel, Who Killed Palomino Molero (¿Quién mató a Palomino Molero?), which he began writing shortly after the end of the Uchuraccay investigation.[59] Though the plot of this mystery novel is similar to the tragic events at Uchuraccay, literary critic Roy Boland points out that it was not an attempt to reconstruct the murders, but rather a “literary exorcism” of Vargas Llosa’s own experiences during the commission.[60] The experience also inspired one of Vargas Llosa’s later novels, Death in the Andes (Lituma en los Andes), originally published in 1993 in Barcelona.[61]

It would be almost 20 years before Vargas Llosa wrote another major work: The Feast of the Goat (La fiesta del chivo), a political thriller, was published in 2000 (and in English in 2001). According to Williams, it is Vargas Llosa’s most complete and most ambitious novel since The War of the End of the World.[62] Critic Sabine Koellmann sees it in the line of his earlier novels such as “Conversación en la catedral” depicting the effects of authoritarianism, violence and the abuse of power on the individual.[63] Based on the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, who governed the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961, the novel has three main strands: one concerns Urania Cabral, the daughter of a former politician and Trujillo loyalist, who returns for the first time since leaving the Dominican Republic after Trujillo’s assassination 30 years earlier; the second concentrates on the assassination itself, the conspirators who carry it out, and its consequences; and the third and final strand deals with Trujillo himself in scenes from the end of his regime.[62] The book quickly received positive reviews in Spain and Latin America,[64] and has had a significant impact in Latin America, being regarded as one of Vargas Llosa’s best works.[62]

In 2003 he wrote The Way to Paradise where he studies Flora Tristan and Paul Gauguin.

In 2006, Vargas Llosa wrote The Bad Girl (Travesuras de la niña mala), which journalist Kathryn Harrison argues is a rewrite (rather than simply a recycling) of Gustave Flaubert‘s Madame Bovary (1856).[65] In Vargas Llosa’s version, the plot relates the decades-long obsession of its narrator, a Peruvian expatriate in Paris, with a woman with whom he first fell in love when both were teenagers.

Later life and political involvement

Like many other Latin American intellectuals, Vargas Llosa was initially a supporter of the Cuban revolutionary government of Fidel Castro.[28] He studied Marxism in depth as a university student and was later persuaded by communist ideals after the success of the Cuban Revolution.[66] Gradually, Vargas Llosa came to believe that Cuban socialism was incompatible with what he considered to be general liberties and freedoms.[67] The official rupture between the writer and the policies of the Cuban government occurred with the so-called ‘Padilla Affair’, when the Castro regime imprisoned the poet Heberto Padilla for a month in 1971.[68] Vargas Llosa, along with other intellectuals of the time, wrote to Castro protesting the Cuban political system and its imprisonment of the artist.[69] Vargas Llosa has identified himself with liberalism rather than extreme left-wing political ideologies ever since.[70] Since he relinquished his earlier leftism, he has opposed both left- and right-wing authoritarian regimes.[71]

With his appointment to the Investigatory Commission on the Uchuraccay massacre in 1983, he experienced what literary critic Jean Franco calls “the most uncomfortable event in [his] political career”.[61]Unfortunately for Vargas Llosa, his involvement with the Investigatory Commission led to immediate negative reactions and defamation from the Peruvian press; many suggested that the massacre was a conspiracy to keep the journalists from reporting the presence of government paramilitary forces in Uchuraccay.[59] The commission concluded that it was the indigenous villagers who had been responsible for the killings; for Vargas Llosa the incident showed “how vulnerable democracy is in Latin America and how easily it dies under dictatorships of the right and left”.[72] These conclusions, and Vargas Llosa personally, came under intense criticism: anthropologist Enrique Mayer, for instance, accused him of “paternalism”,[73] while fellow anthropologist Carlos Iván Degregori criticized him for his ignorance of the Andean world.[74] Vargas Llosa was accused of actively colluding in a government cover-up of army involvement in the massacre.[59] US Latin American literature scholar Misha Kokotovic summarizes that the novelist was charged with seeing “indigenous cultures as a ‘primitive’ obstacle to the full realization of his Western model of modernity”.[75] Shocked both by the atrocity itself and then by the reaction his report had provoked, Vargas Llosa responded that his critics were apparently more concerned with his report than with the hundreds of peasants who would later die at the hands of the Sendero Luminoso guerrilla organization.[76]

Vargas Llosa at the founding act ofUPD, September 2007

Over the course of the decade, Vargas Llosa became known as a “neoliberal“, although he personally dislikes the term and considers it “pure nonsense” and only used for derision.[77] In 1987, he helped form and soon became a leader of the Movimiento Libertad.[78] The following year his party entered a coalition with the parties of Peru’s two principal conservative politicians at the time, ex-president Fernando Belaúnde Terry (of the Popular Action party) and Luis Bedoya Reyes (of the Partido Popular Cristiano), to form the tripartite center-right coalition known as Frente Democrático (FREDEMO).[78] He ran for the presidency of Peru in 1990 as the candidate of the FREDEMO coalition. He proposed a drastic economic austerity program that frightened most of the country’s poor; this program emphasized the need for privatization, a market economy, free trade, and most importantly, the dissemination of private property.[79] Although he won the first round with 34% of the vote, Vargas Llosa was defeated by a then-unknown agricultural engineer, Alberto Fujimori, in the subsequent run-off.[79] Vargas Llosa included an account of his run for the presidency in the memoir A Fish in the Water (El pez en el agua, 1993).[80] Since his political defeat, he has focused mainly on his writing, with only occasional political involvement.[81]

A month after losing the election, at the invitation of Octavio Paz, Vargas Llosa attended a conference in Mexico entitled, “The 20th Century: The Experience of Freedom”. Focused on the collapse of communist rule in central and eastern Europe, it was broadcast on Mexican television from 27 August to 2 September. Addressing the conference on 30 August 1990, Vargas Llosa embarrassed his hosts by condemning the Mexican system of power based on the rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which had been in power for 61 years. Criticizing the PRI by name, he commented, “I don’t believe that there has been in Latin America any case of a system of dictatorship which has so efficiently recruited the intellectual milieu, bribing it with great subtlety.” He declared, “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship. The perfect dictatorship is not communism, not the USSR, not Fidel Castro; the perfect dictatorship is Mexico. Because it is a camouflaged dictatorship.”[82][8] The statement, “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship” became a cliché in Mexico[83] and internationally, until the PRI fell from power in 2000.

Vargas Llosa has mainly lived in Madrid since the 1990s,[84] but spends roughly three months of the year in Peru with his extended family.[79] He also frequently visits London where he occasionally spends long periods. Vargas Llosa acquired Spanish citizenship in 1993, though he still holds Peruvian nationality. The writer often reiterates his love for both countries. In his Nobel speech he observed: “I carry Peru deep inside me because that is where I was born, grew up, was formed, and lived those experiences of childhood and youth that shaped my personality and forged my calling”. He then added: “I love Spain as much as Peru, and my debt to her is as great as my gratitude. If not for Spain, I never would have reached this podium or become a known writer”.[85]

In 1994 he was elected a member of the Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy)[86] and has been involved in the country’s political arena. In February 2008 he stopped supporting the People’s Party in favor of the recently created Union, Progress and Democracy, claiming that certain conservative views held by the former party are at odds with his classical liberal beliefs. His political ideologies appear in the bookPolítica razonable, written with Fernando Savater, Rosa Díez, Álvaro Pombo, Albert Boadella and Carlos Martínez Gorriarán.[87] He continues to write, both journalism and fiction, and to travel extensively. He has also taught as a visiting professor at a number of prominent universities.[88]

On November 18, 2010, Vargas Llosa received the honorary degree Degree of Letters from the City College of New York of the City University of New York, where he also delivered the President’s Lecture.[89]

On 4 February 2011, Vargas Llosa was raised into the Spanish nobility by King Juan Carlos I with the hereditary title of Marqués de Vargas Llosa (English: Marquis of Vargas Llosa).[90][91]

In April 2011, the writer took part in the Peruvian general election, 2011 by saying he was going to vote for Alejandro Toledo (Peruvian former president 2001–2006). After casting his vote, he said his country should stay in the path of legality and freedom.[92][93]

As for hobbies, Vargas Llosa is very fond of association football, and is a renowned supporter of Universitario de Deportes.[94] The writer himself has confessed in his book A Fish in the Water since childhood he has been a fan of the ‘cream colored’ team from Peru, which was first seen in the field one day in 1946 when he was only 10 years old.[95] In February 2011, Vargas Llosa was awarded with an honorary life membership of this football club, in a ceremony which took place in the Monumental Stadium of Lima.[96][97]

Style of writing

Plot, setting, and major themes

Vargas Llosa’s style encompasses historical material as well as his own personal experiences.[98] For example, in his first novel, The Time of the Hero, his own experiences at the Leoncio Prado military school informed his depiction of the corrupt social institution which mocked the moral standards it was supposed to uphold.[25] Furthermore, the corruption of the book’s school is a reflection of the corruption of Peruvian society at the time the novel was written.[27] Vargas Llosa frequently uses his writing to challenge the inadequacies of society, such as demoralization and oppression by those in political power towards those who challenge this power. One of the main themes he has explored in his writing is the individual’s struggle for freedom within an oppressive reality.[99] For example, his two-volume novel Conversation in the Cathedral is based on the tyrannical dictatorship of Peruvian President Manuel A. Odría.[100] The protagonist, Santiago, rebels against the suffocating dictatorship by participating in the subversive activities of leftist political groups.[101] In addition to themes such as corruption and oppression, Vargas Llosa’s second novel, The Green House, explores “a denunciation of Peru’s basic institutions”, dealing with issues of abuse and exploitation of the workers in the brothel by corrupt military officers.[41]

Many of Vargas Llosa’s earlier novels were set in Peru, while in more recent work he has expanded to other regions of Latin America, such as Brazil and the Dominican Republic.[102] His responsibilities as a writer and lecturer have allowed him to travel frequently and led to settings for his novels in regions outside of Peru.[45]The War of the End of the World was his first major work set outside Peru.[26] Though the plot deals with historical events of the Canudos revolt against the Brazilian government, the novel is not based directly on historical fact; rather, its main inspiration is the non-fiction account of those events published by Brazilian writer Euclides da Cunha in 1902.[54]The Feast of the Goat, based on the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, takes place in the Dominican Republic;[62] in preparation for this novel, Vargas Llosa undertook a comprehensive study of Dominican history.[103] The novel was characteristically realist, and Vargas Llosa underscores that he “respected the basic facts, [. . .] I have not exaggerated”, but at the same time he points out “It’s a novel, not a history book, so I took many, many liberties.”[104]

One of Vargas Llosa’s more recent novels, The Way to Paradise (El paraíso en la otra esquina), is set largely in France and Tahiti.[105] Based on the biography of former social reformer Flora Tristan, it demonstrates how Flora and Paul Gauguin were unable to find paradise, but were still able to inspire followers to keep working towards a socialist utopia.[106] Unfortunately, Vargas Llosa was not as successful in transforming these historical figures into fiction. Some critics, such as Barbara Mujica, argue that The Way to Paradise lacks the “audacity, energy, political vision, and narrative genius” that was present in his previous works.[107]

Modernism and postmodernism

The works of Mario Vargas Llosa are viewed as both modernist and postmodernist novels.[108] Though there is still much debate over the differences between modernist and postmodernist literature, literary scholar M. Keith Booker claims that the difficulty and technical complexity of Vargas Llosa’s early works, such as The Green House and Conversation in the Cathedral, are clearly elements of the modern novel.[30]Furthermore, these earlier novels all carry a certain seriousness of attitude—another important defining aspect of modernist art.[108] By contrast, his later novels such as Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta, and The Storyteller (El hablador) appear to follow a postmodernist mode of writing.[109] These novels have a much lighter, farcical, and comic tone, characteristics of postmodernism.[43] Comparing two of Vargas Llosa’s novels, The Green House and Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, Booker discusses the contrast between modernism and postmodernism found in the writer’s works: while both novels explore the theme of prostitution as well as the workings of the Peruvian military, Booker points out that the former is gravely serious whereas the latter is ridiculously comic.[43]

Mario Vargas Llosa, actor in his play “Los cuentos de la peste”, withAitana Sánchez-Gijón, Teatro Español, Madrid (2015).

Interlacing dialogues

Literary scholar M. Keith Booker argues that Vargas Llosa perfects the technique of interlacing dialogues in his novel The Green House.[43] By combining two conversations that occur at different times, he creates the illusion of a flashback. Vargas Llosa also sometimes uses this technique as a means of shifting location by weaving together two concurrent conversations happening in different places.[110] This technique is a staple of his repertoire, which he began using near the end of his first novel, The Time of the Hero.[111] However, he does not use interlacing dialogues in the same way in all of his novels. For example, in The Green House the technique is used in a serious fashion to achieve a sober tone and to focus on the interrelatedness of important events separated in time or space.[112] In contrast, Captain Pantoja and the Special Service employs this strategy for comic effects and uses simpler spatial shifts.[113] This device is similar to both Virginia Woolf‘s mixing of different characters’ soliloquies and Gustave Flaubert’s counterpoint technique in which he blends together conversation with other events, such as speeches.[110]

Literary influences

Vargas Llosa’s first literary influences were relatively obscure Peruvian writers such as Martín Adán, Carlos Oquendo de Amat, and César Moro.[114] As a young writer, he looked to these revolutionary novelists in search of new narrative structures and techniques in order to delineate a more contemporary, multifaceted experience of urban Peru. He was looking for a style different from the traditional descriptions of land and rural life made famous by Peru’s foremost novelist at the time, José María Arguedas.[115] Vargas Llosa wrote of Arguedas’s work that it was “an example of old-fashioned regionalism that had already exhausted its imaginary possibilities”.[114] Although he did not share Arguedas’s passion for indigenous reality, Vargas Llosa admired and respected the novelist for his contributions to Peruvian literature.[116] Indeed, he has published a book-length study on his work, La utopía arcaica (1996).

Rather than restrict himself to Peruvian literature, Vargas Llosa also looked abroad for literary inspiration. Two French figures, existentialistJean-Paul Sartre and novelist Gustave Flaubert, influenced both his technique and style.[117] Sartre’s influence is most prevalent in Vargas Llosa’s extensive use of conversation.[118] The epigraph of The Time of the Hero, his first novel, is also taken directly from Sartre’s work.[119]Flaubert’s artistic independence—his novels’ disregard of reality and morals—has always been admired by Vargas Llosa,[120] who wrote a book-length study of Flaubert’s aesthetics, The Perpetual Orgy.[121] In his analysis of Flaubert, Vargas Llosa questions the revolutionary power of literature in a political setting; this is in contrast to his earlier view that “literature is an act of rebellion”, thus marking a transition in Vargas Llosa’s aesthetic beliefs.[122] Other critics such as Sabine Köllmann argue that his belief in the transforming power of literature is one of the great continuities that characterize his fictional and non-fictional work, and link his early statement that ‘Literature is Fire’ with his Nobel Prize Speech ‘In Praise of Reading and Writing’.[123]

One of Vargas Llosa’s favourite novelists, and arguably the most influential on his writing career, is the American William Faulkner.[124] Vargas Llosa considers Faulkner “the writer who perfected the methods of the modern novel”.[125] Both writers’ styles include intricate changes in time and narration.[118][125] In The Time of the Hero, for example, aspects of Vargas Llosa’s plot, his main character’s development and his use of narrative time are influenced by his favourite Faulkner novel, Light in August.[126]

In addition to the studies of Arguedas and Flaubert, Vargas Llosa has written literary criticisms of other authors that he has admired, such as Gabriel García Márquez, Albert Camus, Ernest Hemingway, and Jean-Paul Sartre.[127] The main goals of his non-fiction works are to acknowledge the influence of these authors on his writing, and to recognize a connection between himself and the other writers;[127] critic Sara Castro-Klarén argues that he offers little systematic analysis of these authors’ literary techniques.[127] In The Perpetual Orgy, for example, he discusses the relationship between his own aesthetics and Flaubert’s, rather than focusing on Flaubert’s alone.[128]

Impact

Mario Vargas Llosa is considered a major Latin American writer, alongside other authors such as Octavio Paz, Julio Cortázar, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes.[129] In his book The New Novel in Latin America (La Nueva Novela), Fuentes offers an in-depth literary criticism of the positive influence Vargas Llosa’s work has had on Latin American literature.[130] Indeed, for the literary critic Gerald Martin, writing in 1987, Vargas Llosa was “perhaps the most successful [. . . and] certainly the most controversial Latin American novelist of the past twenty-five years”.[131]

Most of Vargas Llosa’s narratives have been translated into multiple languages, marking his international critical success.[129] Vargas Llosa is also noted for his substantial contribution to journalism, an accomplishment characteristic of few other Latin American writers.[132] He is recognized among those who have most consciously promoted literature in general, and more specifically the novel itself, as avenues for meaningful commentary about life.[133] During his career, he has written more than a dozen novels and many other books and stories, and, for decades, he has been a voice for Latin American literature.[134] He has won numerous awards for his writing, from the 1959 Premio Leopoldo Alas and the 1962 Premio Biblioteca Breve to the 1993 Premio Planeta (for Death in the Andes) and the Jerusalem Prize in 1995.[135] The literary critic Harold Bloom has included his novel The War of the End of the World in his list of essential literary works in the Western Canon. An important distinction he has received is the 1994 Miguel de Cervantes Prize, considered the most important accolade in Spanish-language literature and awarded to authors whose “work has contributed to enrich, in a notable way, the literary patrimony of the Spanish language”.[136] In 2002, Vargas was the recipient of the PEN/Nabokov Award. Vargas Llosa also received the 2005 Irving Kristol Award from the American Enterprise Institute and was the 2008 recipient of the Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholar and Writers Award at Dickinson College.[137]

A number of Vargas Llosa’s works have been adapted for the screen, including The Time of the Hero and Captain Pantoja and the Special Service (both by the Peruvian director Francisco Lombardi) and The Feast of the Goat (by Vargas Llosa’s cousin, Luis Llosa).[138]Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter was turned into the English-language film, Tune in Tomorrow. The Feast of the Goat has also been adapted as a theatrical play by Jorge Alí Triana, a Colombian playwright and director.[139]

Awards and honors

Selected works

Fiction

Non-fiction

  • 1958 – Bases para una interpretación de Rubén Darío (The basis for interpretation of Ruben Dario)
  • 1971 – García Márquez: historia de un deicidio (García Márquez: Story of a Deicide)
  • 1975 – La orgía perpetua: Flaubert y “Madame Bovary” (The Perpetual Orgy)
  • 1990 – La verdad de las mentiras: ensayos sobre la novela moderna (A Writer’s Reality)
  • 1993 – El pez en el agua. Memorias (A Fish in the Water)
  • 1996 – La utopía arcaica: José María Arguedas y las ficciones del indigenismo (Archaic utopia: José María Arguedas and the fictions of indigenismo)
  • 1997 – Cartas a un joven novelista (Letters to a Young Novelist)
  • 2000 – Nationalismus als neue Bedrohung (Nationalism as a new threat)[7]
  • 2001 – El lenguaje de la pasión (The Language of Passion)
  • 2004 – La tentación de lo imposible (The Temptation of the Impossible)
  • 2007 – El Pregón de Sevilla (as Introduction for LOS TOROS)
  • 2009 – El viaje a la ficción: El mundo de Juan Carlos Onetti
  • 2011 – Touchstones: Essays on Literature, Art, and Politics
  • 2012 – La civilización del espectáculo
  • 2012 – In Praise of Reading and Fiction: The Nobel Lecture
  • 2014 – Mi trayectora intelectual (My Intellectual Journey)
  • 2015 – Notes on the Death of Culture

Drama

  • 1952 – La huida del inca
  • 1981 – La señorita de Tacna
  • 1983 – Kathie y el hipopótamo
  • 1986 – La Chunga
  • 1993 – El loco de los balcones
  • 1996 – Ojos bonitos, cuadros feos
  • 2007 – Odiseo y Penélope
  • 2008 – Al pie del Támesis
  • 2010 – Las mil y una noches

Vargas Llosa’s essays and journalism have been collected as Contra viento y marea, issued in three volumes (1983, 1986, and 1990). A selection has been edited by John King and translated and published asMaking Waves. 2003 – “The Language of Passion”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Vargas_Llosa

The War of the End of the World

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

First Spanish edition
(publ. Seix Barral)

The War of the End of the World (Spanish: La guerra del fin del mundo) is a 1981novel written by Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa. It is a novelization of the War of Canudosconflict in late 19th-century Brazil.

Plot summary

In the midst of the economic decline — following drought and the end of slavery — in the province of Bahia in Northeastern Brazil, the poor of the backlands are attracted by the charismatic figure and simple religious teachings of Antonio Conselheiro, the Counselor, who preaches that the end of the world is imminent and that the political chaos that surrounds the collapse of the Empire of Brazil and its replacement by a republic is the work of the devil.

Seizing a fazenda in an area blighted by economic decline at Canudos the Counselor’s followers build a large town and defeat repeated and ever larger military expeditions designed to remove them. As the state’s violence against them increases they too turn increasingly violent, even seizing the modern weapons deployed against them. In an epic final clash a whole army is sent to extirpate Canudos and instigates a terrible and brutal battle with the poor while politicians of the old order see their world destroyed in the conflagration.

Analysis

It is generally believed that Vargas Llosa’s three milestone novels are La Ciudad y Los Perros (The Time of the Hero), La Casa Verde (The Green House) and Conversación en la Catedral (Conversation in the Cathedral), though many critics agree that The War of the End of the World should also be included among these three. The author is famously known for considering this his most accomplished novel — an opinion shared by the Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño, as well as the American critic Harold Bloom, who even includes the novel in what he calls the “Western canon.”

As he did later on with La Fiesta Del Chivo (The Feast of the Goat), Vargas Llosa tackles a huge number of characters and stories caught during a time of strife, interweaving these in way that gives us a picture of what it was to live in those times.[citation needed]

Characters

  • Antônio Conselheiro
  • The Little Blessed One
  • The Lion of Natuba
  • João Abade (Abbot João)
  • The Dwarf
  • Father Joaquim
  • Baron de Canabrava
  • Pajeú
  • Rufino
  • Galileo Gall
  • Maria Quadrado
  • Moreira César
  • Jurema
  • The Near-Sighted Journalist
  • João Grande (Big João)
  • Pires Ferreira
  • Antônio Vilanova
  • Antônio o Fogueteiro

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of_the_End_of_the_World

THE WAR OF THE END OF THE WORLD

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated by Helen Lane

Picador

Deep within the remote backlands of nineteenth-century Brazil lies Canudos, home to all the damned of the earth: prostitutes, bandits, beggars, and every kind of outcast. It is a place where history and civilization have been wiped away. There is no money, no taxation, no marriage, no census. Canudos is a cauldron for the revolutionary spirit in its purest form, a state with all the potential for a true, libertarian paradise–and one the Brazilian government is determined to crush at any cost.

In perhaps his most ambitious and tragic novel, Mario Vargas Llosa tells his own version of the real story of Canudos, inhabiting characters on both sides of the massive, cataclysmic battle between the society and government troops. The resulting novel is a fable of Latin American revolutionary history, an unforgettable story of passion, violence, and the devastation that follows from fanaticism.

http://us.macmillan.com/thewaroftheendoftheworld/mariovargasllosa

THE WAR OF THE END OF THE WORLD

KIRKUS REVIEW

With few of the sly narrative flourishes that distinguish most of his fiction, Vargas Llosa now offers a vast historical novel tightly focused on an 1890s rebellion in the Bahia state of Brazil–by followers (called jagunÇos) of an apocalyptic religious figure, dubbed “The Counselor,” in the little town of Canudos. And though much of this novel is surprisingly drab and flat, the extraordinarily punishing, unremitting scenes of battle and carnage bring the book’s lesson home all too vividly: the madness that can horribly grow out of any small fanaticism and power-base. The Counselor’s followers in Canudos are both poor peasantry and societal dregs–bandits, circus geeks, failures, whores–but his manifest saintliness harmonizes them. When the republican-government officials of Brazil, however, learn that money is no longer being used at Canudos, they foolishly suspect that this is a monarchist plot that is merely using the people at Canudos as pawns; furthermore, this myopia–which utterly ignores the religious basis of the very Christian experiment there–is compounded by the hysterical influence of an important newspaper publisher. Inevitably, then, Canudos will be crushed–yet not without resistance: one, then two massive and bloody government assaults fail. Then a third succeeds–and since it occurs after The Counselor’s natural death, it leads to a terrible decision by the holdout jagunos to slaughter their own innocents, women and children and the aged, rather than allow them to face the depredations of the “Freemason” soldiers who are attacking so successfully. What is ultimately sacrificed, murdered, therefore, is the spiritual quality of Canudos; extremity turns it into ideology–and more death. But this powerful conclusion, unfortunately, is a very long time in coming; in its first hundreds of pages, the novel is often stiff, dull in dialogue, precisely detailed but with little aura of atmosphere and scene. In sum, then: an odd combination of cardboard and passionate horror–with grim, rich rewards for those readers willing to plow through the book’s early, stodgy chapters.
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The Secret Agent — Videos

Posted on July 28, 2015. Filed under: Blogroll, Bomb, Book, Books, British History, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Culture, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Fiction, Friends, government spending, history, Literature, Movies, Terrorism, Video, War, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , |

The Secret Agent (David Suchet, Patrick Malahide, Peter Capaldi, 1992)

The Secret Agent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Secret Agent (disambiguation).
The Secret Agent
SecretAgent.jpg

First US edition cover
Author Joseph Conrad
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Spy fiction
Publisher Methuen & Co
Publication date
September 1907
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 442

The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale is a novel by Joseph Conrad, published in 1907.[1] The story is set in London in 1886 and deals with Mr. Verloc and his work as a spy for an unnamed country (presumably Russia).The Secret Agent is notable for being one of Conrad’s later political novels. In these later novels, Conrad has moved away from his former tales of seafaring.

The novel deals broadly with anarchism, espionage, and terrorism.[2] It also deals with exploitation of the vulnerable, particularly in Verloc’s relationship with his brother-in-law Stevie, who has an intellectual disability.

The Secret Agent was ranked the 46th best novel of the 20th century by Modern Library.[3]

Because of its terrorism theme, it was noted as “one of the three works of literature most cited in the American media” two weeks after the September 11 attacks.[4]

Plot summary

The novel is set in London in 1886 and follows the life of Mr. Verloc, a secret agent. Verloc is also a businessman who owns a shop which sells pornographic material, contraceptives, and bric-a-brac. He lives with his wife Winnie, his mother-in-law, and his brother-in-law, Stevie. Stevie has a mental disability, possibly autism,[5] which causes him to be very excitable; his sister, Verloc’s wife, attends to him, treating him more as a son than as a brother. Verloc’s friends are a group of anarchists of which Comrade Ossipon, Michaelis, and “The Professor” are the most prominent. Although largely ineffectual as terrorists, their actions are known to the police. The group produce anarchist literature in the form of pamphlets entitled F.P., an acronym for The Future of the Proletariat.

The novel begins in Verloc’s home, as he and his wife discuss the trivialities of everyday life, which introduces the reader to Verloc’s family. Soon after, Verloc leaves to meet Mr. Vladimir, the new First Secretary in the embassy of a foreign country. Although a member of an anarchist cell, Verloc is also secretly employed by the Embassy as an agent provocateur. Vladimir informs Verloc that from reviewing his service history he is far from an exemplary model of a secret agent and, to redeem himself, must carry out an operation – the destruction of Greenwich Observatory by a bomb explosion. Vladimir explains that Britain’s lax attitude to anarchism endangers his own country, and he reasons that an attack on ‘science’, which he claims is the current vogue amongst the public, will provide the necessary outrage for suppression. Verloc later meets with his friends, who discuss politics and law, and the notion of a communist revolution. Unbeknownst to the group, Stevie, Verloc’s brother-in-law, overhears the conversation, which greatly disturbs him.

The novel flashes forward to after the bombing has taken place. Comrade Ossipon meets The Professor, who discusses having given explosives to Verloc. The Professor then describes the nature of the bomb which he carries in his coat at all times: it allows him to press a button which will blow him up in twenty seconds, and those nearest to him. After The Professor leaves the meeting, he stumbles into Chief Inspector Heat. Heat is a policeman who is working on the case regarding a recent explosion at Greenwich, where one man was killed. Heat informs The Professor that he is not a suspect in the case, but that he is being monitored due to his terrorist inclinations and anarchist background. Knowing that Michaelis has recently moved to the countryside to write a book, the Chief Inspector informs the Assistant Commissioner that he has a contact, Verloc, who may be able to assist in the case. The Assistant Commissioner shares some of the same high society acquaintances with Michaelis and is chiefly motivated by finding the extent of Michaelis’s involvement in order to assess any possible embarrassment to his connections. He later speaks to his superior, Sir Ethelred, about his intentions to solve the case alone, rather than rely on the effort of Chief Inspector Heat.

The novel then flashes back to before the explosion, taking the perspective of Winnie Verloc and her mother. At home, Mrs. Verloc’s mother informs the family that she wishes to move out of the house. Mrs. Verloc’s mother and Stevie use a hansom which is driven by a man with a hook in the place of his hand. The journey greatly upsets Stevie, as the driver’s tales of hardship coupled with his menacing hook scare him to the point where Mrs. Verloc must calm him down. On Verloc’s return from a business trip to the continent, his wife tells him of the high regard that Stevie has for him and she implores her husband to spend more time with Stevie. Verloc eventually agrees to go for a walk with Stevie. After this walk, Mrs. Verloc notes that her husband’s relationship with her brother has improved. Verloc then tells his wife that he has taken Stevie to go and visit Michaelis, and that Stevie would stay with him in the countryside for a few days.

As Verloc is talking to his wife about the possibility of emigrating to the continent, he is paid a visit by the Assistant Commissioner. Shortly thereafter, Chief Inspector Heat arrives to speak with Verloc, without knowing that the Assistant Commissioner had left with Verloc earlier that evening. The Chief Inspector tells Mrs. Verloc that he had recovered an overcoat at the scene of the bombing which had the shop’s address written on a label. Mrs. Verloc confirms that it was Stevie’s overcoat, and that she had written the address. On Verloc’s return, he realises that his wife knows her brother has been killed by Verloc’s bomb, and confesses what truly happened. A stunned Mrs. Verloc, in her anguish, then fatally stabs her husband.

After the murder, Mrs. Verloc flees her home, where she chances upon Comrade Ossipon, and begs him to help her. Ossipon assists her while confessing romantic feelings but secretly with a view to possess Mr Verloc’s bank account savings. They plan to run away and he aids her in taking a boat to the continent. However, her instability and the revelation of Mr. Verloc’s murder increasingly worry him, and he abandons her, taking Mr Verloc’s savings with him. He later discovers in a newspaper that a woman had disappeared, leaving behind her a wedding ring, before drowning herself in the English Channel.

Characters]

  • Mr. Adolf Verloc: a secret agent who owns a shop in the Soho region of London. His primary characteristic, as described by Conrad, is indolence. He has been employed by an unnamed embassy to spy on revolutionary groups, which then orders him to instigate a terrorist act against the Greenwich Observatory. Their belief is that the resulting public outrage will force the English government to act more forcibly against emigre socialist and anarchist activists. He is part of an anarchist organisation that creates pamphlets under the heading The Future of the Proletariat. He is married to Winnie, and lives with his wife, his mother-in-law, and his brother-in-law, Stevie.
  • Mrs. Winnie Verloc: Verloc’s wife. She cares deeply for her brother Stevie, who has the mental age of a young child. Of working class origins, her father was the owner of a pub. She is younger than her husband and married him not for love but to provide a home for her mother and brother. A loyal wife, she is deeply disturbed upon learning of the death of her brother due to her husband’s plotting, and kills him with a knife in the heart. She dies, presumably by drowning herself to avoid the gallows.
  • Stevie: Winnie’s brother has the mental age of a young child and is very sensitive and is disturbed by notions of violence or hardship. His sister cares for him, and Stevie passes most of his time drawing numerous circles on pieces of paper. Verloc, exploiting both Stevie’s childlike simplicity and outrage at suffering, employs him to carry out the terrorist attack on the Greenwich Observatory. However, Stevie stumbles and the bomb explodes prematurely.
  • Mrs. Verloc’s mother: Old and infirm, Mrs Verloc’s mother leaves the household to live in an almshouse, believing that two disabled people (herself and Stevie) are too much for Mr Verloc’s generosity. The widow of a publican, she spent most of her life working hard in her husband’s pub and believed Mr Verloc to be a gentleman because she thought he resembled patrons of business houses (pubs with higher prices, consequently frequented by higher classes).
  • Chief Inspector Heat: a policeman who is dealing with the explosion at Greenwich. An astute and practical man who uses a clue found at the scene of the crime to trace events back to Verloc’s home. Although he informs his superior what he is planning to do with regards to the case, he is initially not aware that the Assistant Commissioner is acting without his knowledge. Heat knew Verloc before the bombing as Verloc had supplied information to Heat through the Embassy. Heat has contempt for anarchists who he regards as amateurs, as opposed to burglars who he regards as professionals.
  • The Assistant Commissioner: of a higher rank than the Chief Inspector, he uses the knowledge gained from Heat to pursue matters personally, for reasons of his own. The Assistant Commissioner is married to a lady with influential connections. He informs his superior, Sir Ethelred, of his intentions, and tracks down Verloc before Heat can.
  • Sir Ethelred: the Secretary of State (Home Secretary) to whom the Assistant Commissioner reports. At the time of the bombing he is busy trying to pass a bill regarding the nationalisation of fisheries through the House of Commons against great opposition. He is briefed by the Assistant Commissioner throughout the novel who he often admonishes to not go into detail.
  • Mr. Vladimir: the First Secretary of an embassy of an unnamed country. Though his name might suggest that this is the Russian embassy, the name of the previous first secretary, Baron Stott-Wartenheim, is Germanic, as is that of Privy Councillor Wurmt, another official of this embassy. There is also the suggestion that Vladimir is not from Europe but Central Asia.[6] Vladimir thinks that the English police are far too soft on émigré socialist and anarchists, which are a real problem in his home country. He orders Verloc to instigate a terrorist act, hoping that the resulting public outrage will force the English government to adopt repressive measures.
  • Michaelis: a member of Verloc’s group, and another anarchist. The most philosophical member of the group, his theories resemble those of Peter Kropotkin while some of his other attributes resemble Mikhail Bakunin.
  • Comrade Alexander Ossipon: an ex-medical student, anarchist and member of Verloc’s group. He survives on the savings of various women he seduces, mostly working class. He is influenced by the theories on degeneracy of Cesare Lombroso. After Mr Verloc’s murder he initially helps, but afterwards abandons Winnie leaving her penniless on a train. He is later disturbed when he reads of her suicide and wonders if he will be able to seduce a woman again.
  • Karl Yundt: a member of Verloc’s group, commonly referred to as an “old terrorist”.
  • The Professor: another anarchist, who specialises in explosives. The Professor carries a flask of explosives in his coat that can be detonated within twenty seconds of him squeezing an india rubber ball in his pocket. The police know this and keep their distance. The most nihilistic member of the anarchists, the Professor feels oppressed and disgusted by the rest of humanity and has particular contempt for the weak. He dreams of a world where the weak are freely exterminated so that the strong can thrive. He supplies to Mr Verloc the bomb that kills Stevie.

Background: Greenwich Bombing of 1894

Royal Observatory, Greenwich c. 1902 as depicted on a postcard

Conrad’s character, Stevie, is based on the French anarchist, Martial Bourdin, who died gruesomely in Greenwich Park when the explosives he carried prematurely detonated.[7] Bourdin’s motives remain a mystery as does his intended target, which may have been the Greenwich Observatory.[8] In the 1920 Author’s Note to the novel, Conrad recalls a discussion with Ford Madox Ford about the bombing:[9]

[…] we recalled the already old story of the attempt to blow up the Greenwich Observatory; a blood-stained inanity of so fatuous a kind that it was impossible to fathom its origin by any reasonable or even unreasonable process of thought. For perverse unreason has its own logical processes. But that outrage could not be laid hold of mentally in any sort of way, so that one remained faced by the fact of a man blown to bits for nothing even most remotely resembling an idea, anarchistic or other. As to the outer wall of the Observatory it did not show as much as the faintest crack. I pointed all this out to my friend who remained silent for a while and then remarked in his characteristically casual and omniscient manner: “Oh, that fellow was half an idiot. His sister committed suicide afterwards.” These were absolutely the only words that passed between us […].[10]

Major themes

Terrorism and anarchism

Terrorism and anarchism are intrinsic aspects of the novel, and are central to the plot. Verloc is employed by an agency which requires him to orchestrate terrorist activities, and several of the characters deal with terrorism in some way: Verloc’s friends are all interested in an anarchistic political revolution, and the police are investigating anarchist motives behind the bombing of Greenwich.

The novel was written at a time when terrorist activity was increasing. There had been numerous dynamite attacks in both Europe and the US, as well as several assassinations of heads of state.[11] Conrad also drew upon two persons specifically: Mikhail Bakuninand Prince Peter Kropotkin. Conrad used these two men in his “portrayal of the novel’s anarchists”.[12] However, according to Conrad’s Author’s Note, only one character was a true anarchist: Winnie Verloc. In The Secret Agent, she is “the only character who performs a serious act of violence against another”,[13] despite the F.P.’s intentions of radical change, and The Professor’s inclination to keep a bomb on his person.

Critics have analysed the role of terrorism in the novel. Patrick Reilly calls the novel “a terrorist text as well as a text about terrorism”[14] due to Conrad’s manipulation of chronology to allow the reader to comprehend the outcome of the bombing before the characters, thereby corrupting the traditional conception of time. The morality which is implicit in these acts of terrorism has also been explored: is Verloc evil because his negligence leads to the death of his brother-in-law? Although Winnie evidently thinks so, the issue is not clear, as Verloc attempted to carry out the act with no fatalities, and as simply as possible to retain his job, and care for his family.[15]

Politics

The role of politics is paramount in the novel, as the main character, Verloc, works for a quasi-political organisation. The role of politics is seen in several places in the novel: in the revolutionary ideas of the F.P.; in the characters’ personal beliefs; and in Verloc’s own private life. Conrad’s depiction of anarchism has an “enduring political relevance”, although the focus is now largely concerned with the terrorist aspects that this entails.[16] The discussions of the F.P. are expositions on the role of anarchism and its relation to contemporary life. The threat of these thoughts is evident, as Chief Inspector Heat knows F.P. members because of their anarchist views. Moreover, Michaelis’ actions are monitored by the police to such an extent that he must notify the police station that he is moving to the country.

The plot to destroy Greenwich is in itself anarchistic. Vladimir asserts that the bombing “must be purely destructive” and that the anarchists who will be implicated as the architects of the explosion “should make it clear that [they] are perfectly determined to make a clean sweep of the whole social creation.”[17] However, the political form of anarchism is ultimately controlled in the novel: the only supposed politically motivated act is orchestrated by a secret government agency.

Some critics, such as Fredrick R. Karl,[18] think that the main political phenomenon in this novel is the modern age, as symbolised by the teeming, pullulating foggy streets of London (most notably in the cab ride taken by Winnie and Stevie Verloc). This modern age distorts everything, including politics (Verloc is motivated by the need to keep his remunerative position, the Professor to some extent by pride), the family (symbolised by the Verloc household, in which all roles are distorted, with the husband being like a father to the wife, who is like a mother to her brother), even the human body (Michaelis and Verloc are hugely obese, while the Professor and Yundt are preternaturally thin). This extended metaphor, using London as a center of darkness much like Kurtz’s headquarters in Heart of Darkness,[19] presents “a dark vision of moral and spiritual inertia” and a condemnation of those who, like Mrs Verloc, think it a mistake to think too deeply.[20]

Literary significance and reception

Initially, the novel fared poorly in both the United Kingdom and the United States, selling only 3,076 copies between 1907 and 1914. The book fared slightly better in Britain, yet no more than 6,500 copies were pressed before 1914. Although sales increased after 1914, the novel never sold more than “modestly” throughout Conrad’s lifetime. The novel was released to favourable reviews, with most agreeing with the view of The Times Literary Supplement, that the novel “increase[d] Mr. Conrad’s reputation, already of the highest.”[21] However, there were detractors, who largely disagreed with the novel’s “unpleasant characters and subject”. Country Life magazine called the story “indecent”, whilst also criticising Conrad’s “often dense and elliptical style”.[21]

In modern times, The Secret Agent is considered to be one of Conrad’s finest novels. The Independent calls it “[o]ne of Conrad’s great city novels”[22] whilst The New York Times insists that it is “the most brilliant novelistic study of terrorism”.[23] It is considered to be a “prescient” view of the 20th century, foretelling the rise of terrorism, anarchism, and the augmentation of secret societies, such as MI5. The novel is on reading lists for both secondary school pupils and university undergraduates.[24][25][26]

Influence on Ted Kaczynski

The Secret Agent is said to have influenced the Unabomber—Theodore Kaczynski. Kaczynski was a great fan of the novel and as an adolescent kept a copy at his bedside.[27] He identified strongly with the character of “the Professor” and advised his family to readThe Secret Agent to understand the character with whom he felt such an affinity. David Foster, the literary attributionist who assisted the FBI, said that Kaczynski “seem[ed] to have felt that his family could not understand him without reading Conrad.”[28]

Kaczynski’s idolisation of the character was due to the traits that they shared: disaffection, hostility toward the world, and being an aspiring anarchist.[29] However, it did not stop at mere idolisation. Kaczynski used “The Professor” as a source of inspiration, and “fabricated sixteen exploding packages that detonated in various locations”.[30] After his capture, Kaczynski revealed to FBI agents that he had read the novel a dozen times, and had sometimes used “Conrad” as an alias.[31] It was discovered that Kaczynski had used various formulations of Conrad’s name – Conrad, Konrad, and Korzeniowski, Conrad’s original surname – to sign himself into several hotels in Sacramento. As in his youth, Kaczynski retained a copy of The Secret Agent, and kept it with him whilst living as a recluse in a hut in Montana.[11]

Adaptations

See also

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Agent

Joseph Conrad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Joseph Conrad (disambiguation).
Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad.PNG

1904
Born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski
3 December 1857
Terekhove near Berdychiv, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire
Died 3 August 1924 (aged 66)
Bishopsbourne, England
Resting place Canterbury Cemetery,Canterbury
Occupation Novelist, short-story writer
Language English
Nationality Polish
Citizenship British
Period 1895–1923: Modernism
Genre Fiction
Notable works The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’(1897)
Heart of Darkness (1899)
Lord Jim (1900)
Typhoon (1902)
Nostromo (1904)
The Secret Agent (1907)
Under Western Eyes (1911)
Spouse Jessie George
Children Borys, John

Signature

Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski; 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924) is regarded as one of the greatest novelists in English.[1] He was granted British nationality in 1886, but always considered himself a Pole.[2][note 1] Though he did not speak English fluently until he was in his twenties (and always with a marked accent), he was a master prose stylist who brought a distinctly non-English sensibility into English literature.[note 2][3] He wrote stories and novels, many with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit.

Joseph Conrad is considered an early modernist, though his works still contain elements of nineteenth-century realism.[4] His narrative style and anti-heroic characters[5] have influenced many authors, including T.S. Eliot,William Faulkner,[6] Graham Greene,[6] and more recently Salman Rushdie.[note 3] Many films have been adapted from, or inspired by, Conrad’s works.

Writing in the heyday of the British Empire, Conrad drew on his Polish heritage and on his experiences in the French and British merchant navies to create short stories and novels that reflect aspects of a European-dominated world, while profoundly exploring human psychology. Appreciated early on by literary critics, his fiction and nonfiction have since been seen as almost prophetic, in the light of subsequent national and international disasters of the 20th and 21st centuries.[7]

Contents

 

Life

Early years

Conrad’s writer father, Apollo Korzeniowski

Nowy Świat 47, Warsaw, where three-year-old Conrad lived with his parents in 1861. In front: a “Chopin’s Warsaw” bench.

Joseph Conrad was born on 3 December 1857 in Berdychiv, in a part of Ukraine that had belonged to the Kingdom of Poland before 1793 and was at the time of his birth under Russianrule.[8] He was the only child of Apollo Korzeniowski and his wife Ewa Bobrowska. The father was a writer, translator, political activist, and would-be revolutionary. Conrad was christenedJózef Teodor Konrad after his maternal grandfather Józef, his paternal grandfather Teodor, and the heroes (both named “Konrad”) of two poems by Adam Mickiewicz, Dziady andKonrad Wallenrod. He was subsequently known to his family as “Konrad”, rather than “Józef”.

Though the vast majority of the surrounding area’s inhabitants were Ukrainians, and the great majority of Berdychiv’s residents were Jewish, almost all the countryside was owned by the Polish szlachta (nobility), to which Conrad’s family belonged as bearers of the Nałęcz coat-of-arms.[9] Polish literature, particularly patriotic literature, was held in high esteem by the area’s Polish population.[10]:1

The Korzeniowski family played a significant role in Polish attempts to regain independence. Conrad’s paternal grandfather served under Prince Józef Poniatowski during Napoleon’s Russian campaign and formed his own cavalry squadron during the November 1830 Uprising.[11] Conrad’s fiercely patriotic father belonged to the “Red” political faction, whose goal was to re-establish the pre-partition boundaries of Poland, but which also advocated land reform and the abolition of serfdom. Conrad’s subsequent refusal to follow in Apollo’s footsteps, and his choice of exile over resistance, were a source of lifelong guilt for Conrad.[12][note 4]

Because of the father’s attempts at farming and his political activism, the family moved repeatedly. In May 1861 they moved to Warsaw, where Apollo joined the resistance against the Russian Empire. This led to his imprisonment in Pavilion X (Ten) of the Warsaw Citadel.[note 5] Conrad would write: “[I]n the courtyard of this Citadel – characteristically for our nation – my childhood memories begin.”[2]:17–19 On 9 May 1862 Apollo and his family were exiled to Vologda, 500 kilometres (310 mi) north of Moscow and known for its bad climate.[2]:19–20 In January 1863 Apollo’s sentence was commuted, and the family was sent to Chernihiv in northeast Ukraine, where conditions were much better. However, on 18 April 1865 Ewa died of tuberculosis.[2]:19–25

Apollo did his best to home-school Conrad. The boy’s early reading introduced him to the two elements that later dominated his life: in Victor Hugo‘s Toilers of the Sea he encountered the sphere of activity to which he would devote his youth; Shakespeare brought him into the orbit of English literature. Most of all, though, he read Polish Romantic poetry. Half a century later he explained that “The Polishness in my works comes fromMickiewicz and Słowacki. My father read [Mickiewicz’s] Pan Tadeusz aloud to me and made me read it aloud…. I used to prefer [Mickiewicz’s] Konrad Wallenrod [and] Grażyna. Later I preferred Słowacki. You know why Słowacki?… [He is the soul of all Poland]”.[2]:27

In December 1867, Apollo took his son to the Austrian-held part of Poland, which for two years had been enjoying considerable internal freedom and a degree of self-government. After sojourns in Lwów and several smaller localities, on 20 February 1869 they moved to Kraków (till 1596 the capital of Poland), likewise in Austrian Poland. A few months later, on 23 May 1869, Apollo Korzeniowski died, leaving Conrad orphaned at the age of eleven.[2]:31–34 Like Conrad’s mother, Apollo had been gravely ill with tuberculosis.

Tadeusz Bobrowski, Conrad’s uncle and mentor, to whom Conrad owed so much

The young Conrad was placed in the care of Ewa’s brother, Tadeusz Bobrowski. Conrad’s poor health and his unsatisfactory schoolwork caused his uncle constant problems and no end of financial outlays. Conrad was not a good student; despite tutoring, he excelled only in geography.[2]:43 Since the boy’s illness was clearly of nervous origin, the physicians supposed that fresh air and physical work would harden him; his uncle hoped that well-defined duties and the rigors of work would teach him discipline. Since he showed little inclination to study, it was essential that he learn a trade; his uncle saw him as a sailor-cum-businessman who would combine maritime skills with commercial activities.[2]:44–46 In fact, in the autumn of 1871, thirteen-year-old Conrad announced his intention to become a sailor. He later recalled that as a child he had read (apparently in French translation) Leopold McClintock‘s book about his 1857–59 expeditions in the Fox, in search of Sir John Franklin‘s lost ships Erebus and Terror.[note 6] He also recalled having read books by the American James Fenimore Cooper and the English Captain Frederick Marryat.[2]:41–42 A playmate of his adolescence recalled that Conrad spun fantastic yarns, always set at sea, presented so realistically that listeners thought the action was happening before their eyes.

In August 1873 Bobrowski sent fifteen-year-old Conrad to Lwów to a cousin who ran a small boarding house for boys orphaned by the 1863 Uprising; group conversation there was in French. The owner’s daughter recalled:

He stayed with us ten months… Intellectually he was extremely advanced but [he] disliked school routine, which he found tiring and dull; he used to say… he… planned to become a great writer…. He disliked all restrictions. At home, at school, or in the living room he would sprawl unceremoniously. He… suffer[ed] from severe headaches and nervous attacks…[2]:43–44

Conrad had been at the establishment for just over a year when in September 1874, for uncertain reasons, his uncle removed him from school in Lwów and took him back to Kraków.

On 13 October 1874 Bobrowski sent the sixteen-year-old to Marseilles, France, for a planned career at sea.[2]:44–46 Though Conrad had not completed secondary school, his accomplishments included fluency in French (with a correct accent), some knowledge of Latin, German and Greek, probably a good knowledge of history, some geography, and probably already an interest in physics. He was well read, particularly in Polish Romantic literature. He belonged to only the second generation in his family that had had to earn a living outside the family estates: he was a member of the second generation of the intelligentsia, a social class that was starting to play an important role in Central and Eastern Europe.[2]:46–47 He had absorbed enough of the history, culture and literature of his native land to be able eventually to develop a distinctive world view and make unique contributions to the literature of his adoptive Britain.[10]:1–5 It was tensions that originated in his childhood in Poland and grew in his adulthood abroad that would give rise to Conrad’s greatest literary achievements.[10]:246–47 Najder, himself an emigrant from Poland, observes:

Living away from one’s natural environment – family, friends, social group, language – even if it results from a conscious decision, usually gives rise to… internal tensions, because it tends to make people less sure of themselves, more vulnerable, less certain of their… position and… value… The Polish szlachta and… intelligentsia were social strata in which reputation… was felt… very important… for a feeling of self-worth. Men strove… to find confirmation of their… self-regard… in the eyes of others… Such a psychological heritage forms both a spur to ambition and a source of constant stress, especially if [one has been inculcated with] the idea of [one]’s public duty…[2]:47

Citizenship

Conrad was a Russian subject, having been born in the Russian part of what had once been the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In December 1867, with the Russian government’s permission, his father Apollo had taken him to the Austrian part of the former Commonwealth, which enjoyed considerable internal freedom and a degree of self-government. After the father’s death, Conrad’s uncle Bobrowski had attempted to secure Austrian citizenship for him – to no avail, probably because Conrad had not received permission from Russian authorities to remain abroad permanently and had not been released from being a Russian subject. Conrad could not return to Ukraine, in the Russian Empire – he would have been liable to many years’ military service and, as the son of political exiles, to harassment.[2]:41

In a letter of 9 August 1877, Conrad’s uncle Bobrowski broached two important subjects:[note 7] the desirability of Conrad’s naturalisation abroad (tantamount to release from being a Russian subject) and Conrad’s plans to join the British merchant marine. “[D]o you speak English?… I never wished you to become naturalized in France, mainly because of the compulsory military service… I thought, however, of your getting naturalized in Switzerland…” In his next letter, Bobrowski supported Conrad’s idea of seeking citizenship of the United States or of “one of the more important Southern Republics”.[2]:57–58

Eventually Conrad would make his home in England. On 2 July 1886 he applied for British nationality, which was granted on 19 August 1886. Yet, in spite of having become a subject of Queen Victoria, Conrad had not ceased to be a subject of Tsar Alexander III. To achieve the latter, he had to make many visits to the Russian Embassy in London and politely reiterate his request. He would later recall the Embassy’s home at Belgrave Square in his novel The Secret Agent.[2]:112 Finally, on 2 April 1889, the Russian Ministry of Home Affairs released “the son of a Polish man of letters, captain of the British merchant marine” from the status of Russian subject.[2]:132

Merchant marine

In 1874 Conrad left Poland to start a merchant-marine career. After nearly four years in France and on French ships, he joined the British merchant marine and for the next fifteen years served under the Red Ensign. He worked on a variety of ships as crew member (steward, apprentice, able-bodied seaman) and then as third, second and first mate, until eventually achieving captain’s rank. Of his 19-year merchant-marine career, only about half was spent actually at sea.

Most of Conrad’s stories and novels, and many of their characters, were drawn from his seafaring career and persons whom he had met or heard about. For his fictional characters he often borrowed the authentic names of actual persons. The historic trader William Charles Olmeijer, whom Conrad encountered on four short visits to Berau in Borneo, appears as “Almayer” (possibly a simple misspelling) in Conrad’s first novel, Almayer’s Folly. Other authentic names include those of Captain McWhirr (in Typhoon), Captain Beard and Mr. Mahon (Youth), Captain Lingard (Almayer’s Folly and elsewhere), and Captain Ellis (The Shadow Line). Conrad also preserves, in The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’, the authentic name of the Narcissus, a ship in which he sailed in 1884.

Conrad’s three-year appointment with a Belgian trading company included service as captain of a steamer on the Congo River, an episode that would inspire his novella, Heart of Darkness.

John Galsworthy, whom Conrad met on the Torrens

During a brief call in India in 1885–86, 28-year-old Conrad sent five letters to Joseph Spiridion,[note 8] a Pole eight years his senior whom he had befriended at Cardiff in June 1885 just before sailing for Singapore in the clipper ship Tilkhurst. These letters are Conrad’s first preserved texts in English. His English is generally correct but stiff to the point of artificiality; many fragments suggest that his thoughts ran along the lines of Polish syntax andphraseology. More importantly, the letters show a marked change in views from those implied in his earlier correspondence of 1881–83. He had departed from “hope for the future” and from the conceit of “sailing [ever] toward Poland”, and from his Panslavic ideas. He was left with a painful sense of the hopelessness of the Polish question and an acceptance of England as a possible refuge. While he often adjusted his statements to accord to some extent with the views of his addressees, the theme of hopelessness concerning the prospects for Polish independence often occurs authentically in his correspondence and works before 1914.[2]:104–5

When Conrad left London on 25 October 1892 aboard the clipper ship Torrens, one of the passengers was William Henry Jacques, a consumptive Cambridge graduate who died less than a year later (19 Se