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: , , , , , , |

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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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Scott Sigler — Infected — Videos

Posted on February 4, 2017. Filed under: American History, Art, Art, Articles, Biology, Blogroll, Books, Chemistry, Communications, Congress, Culture, Entertainment, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Medical, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Radio, Raves, Science, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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Image result for scott sigler infected

Image result for scott sigler contagious

INFECTED Trailer from the novel by Scott Sigler (Book I of the INFECTED Trilogy)

Scott Sigler: “Rewriting Publishing with Podcasts” | Talks At Google

Scott Sigler Interview

PANDEMIC Trailer (Book III in the INFECTED Trilogy)

NOCTURNAL book trailer, novel by Scott Sigler

Scott Sigler Extended Bonus Interview from Sword & Laser Ep 1

Interview with Scott Sigler at San Diego Comic Con 2012

“The Writing Process” with Scott Sigler (from Joe Rogan Experience #437)

How To Write Your First Novel (So You Wanna Be A Writer #1)

The Big-Ass Binder (So You Wanna Be A Writer #2)

Should You Outline? (So You Wanna Be A Writer #3)

Should You Outline? (So You Wanna Be A Writer #4)

Should You Outline? (So You Wanna Be A Writer #5)

Should You Outline? (So You Wanna Be A Writer #6)

So You Want to Write a Novel

Scott Sigler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scott Sigler
Scott Sigler (4772655043).jpg
Born Scott Carl Sigler
Cheboygan, Michigan, USA
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Genre Science fiction/Horror
Literary movement The Podiobook (Podcast Novel)
Website
scottsigler.com

Scott Carl Sigler is a contemporary American author of science fiction and horror as well as an avid podcaster. Scott is the New York Times #1 bestselling author of sixteen novels, six novellas, and dozens of short stories. He is the co-founder of Empty Set Entertainment, which publishes his young adult Galactic Football League series. He lives in San Diego.

Life and work

Raised in Cheboygan, Michigan Sigler’s father passed his love of classic monster films along to his son. His mother, a school teacher, encouraged his reading offering him any book he wanted.[1] Sigler wrote his first monster story, “Tentacles”, at the age of eight.[2] Sigler didn’t travel far for college having attended Olivet College (Olivet, MI) and Cleary College (Ann Arbor, MI) where he earned a BA in Journalism and a BS in Marketing. Scott has had a varied career path having worked fast food, picking fruit, shoveling horse manure, a sports reporter, director of marketing for a software company, software startup founder, marketing consultant, guitar salesman, bum in a rock band,[3] and currently as a social media strategist. He now resides in San Diego, California with his dog, Reesie.

EarthCore was originally published in 2001 by iPublish, an AOL/Time Warner imprint.[4] With the novel doing well as a promotional ebook, Time Warner was planning on publishing the novel. With the economic slump following September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Time Warner did away with the imprint in 2004. Scott then decided to start podcasting his novel in March, 2005 as the world’s first podcast-only novel[5] to build hype and garner an audience for his work. Sigler considered it a “no brainer” to offer the book as a free audio download. Having searched for podcast novels and finding none, Sigler decided to be the first.[6][7] Sigler was able to get EarthCore offered as a paid download on iTunes in 2006.[8] After EarthCore’s success (EarthCore had over 10,000 subscribers[9]), Sigler released Ancestor, Infected, The Rookie, Nocturnal, and Contagious via podcast.[10]

Sigler released an Adobe PDF version of Ancestor in March 2007 through Sigler’s own podcast as well as others. Ancestor was released on April 1, 2007 to much internet hype and, despite having been released two weeks earlier as a free ebook, reached #7 on Amazon.com‘s best-seller list and #1 on Sci-Fi, Horror and Genre-Fiction on the day of release.[11] Sigler is leveraging new media to keep in-touch with his fans, regularly talking with them using social networking sites, via email, and IM. Scott Sigler was featured in a New York Times article on March 1, 2007 by Andrew Adam Newman, which was covering authors using podcasting innovations to garner a broader audience.[12]

In March 2014, Executive Editor Mark Tavani at Ballantine Bantam Dell bought World Rights to a science fiction trilogy by Sigler. In the first book, Alive, a young woman awakes trapped in a confined space with no idea who she is or how she got there. She soon frees other young adults in the room and together they find that they are surrounded by the horrifying remains of a war long past … and matched against an enemy too horrible to imagine. Further adventures will follow in two more books, Alight and Alone. The books will be published under the Del Rey imprint.[13] On Wednesday, July 15, 2016, it was announced that Alive made #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list in the Young Adult E-Book category.[14]

Sigler calls Stephen King a “‘master craftsman’, who writes from the ‘regular guy’ strata from which he hails. His older stuff had no pretense, no ‘higher message,’ no ‘I’m extremely important’ attitude, just rock-solid storytelling and character development. He also would whack any character at any time, and that’s what hooked you in – when characters got into trouble, you didn’t know if they’d live, unlike 99% of the books out there that are trying to develop franchise characters.” According to Sigler, Jack London‘s “The Sea Wolf totally changed my views on life”. Sigler saw King Kong (1976 version) when he was a little kid. He said it, “Scared the crap out of me. I hid behind my dad’s shoulder and begged to leave the theatre. As soon as we were out, I asked when we could see it again – that was the moment I knew I wanted to tell monster stories. I wanted to have that same impact on other people.”

Awards

Sigler has been a runner up in both the 2006 and 2007 Parsec Awards. In 2006 Sigler was a runner up for his short story Hero in the Best Fiction (Short) category and for Infected in the Best Fiction (Long) category. In 2007 Sigler was a runner up for The Rookie in the Best Speculative Fiction Story (Novel Form) category. In 2008 Sigler’s Contagious, the sequel to Infected was listed at 33 on the New York Times best sellers list.

In 2008 Sigler broke through and won the Parsec Award for Red Man in the Best Speculative Fiction Story (Short Form) category. He followed up with another win in 2009 for Eusocial Networking in the Best Speculative Fiction Story (Novella Form) category. 2010 saw him continue to win in the Best Speculative Fiction Story (Short Form) category with his podcast, The Tank, and in 2011 he again took out the Best Speculative Fiction Story (Novella Form) category with Kissyman & the Gentleman.

On July 31, 2015, Scott was inducted into the inaugural class of the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas.[15]

Bibliography

Stand-alone novels

Infected Trilogy

Galactic Football League Series

Generations Trilogy

Other works

  • See the Scott Sigler bibliography page for more detailed information about the above novels and his many other works, including novellas related to the Galactic Football League series, short story collections, other short stories, upcoming projects, etc.

Adaptations

Film

In May, 2007 the novel Infected was optioned by Rogue Pictures and Random House Films;[17] however, the option lapsed in April 2010.[citation needed] The short story Sacred Cow was made into an online only mini-film by StrangerThings.tv and was Stranger Things debut episode.[18] “Cheating Bastard”, a short film about a couple in love with football and their obsession with it, was created by Brent Weichsel and released via Sigler’s RSS feed.

Graphic novel

In 2010 work began on a graphic novel adaptation of Sigler’s Infected.[19] The first issue was released August 1, 2012,[20]but the series was put on hold indefinitely due to delays with subsequent issues.[21]

Recordings

Albums

  • The Crucible (2016) by Separation Of Sanity. Scott’s original spoken word appears on four tracks: The Pact, Pandemic (inspired by his novel of the same name), Bag Of Blood (his major appearance on the album), and End Of Days.

Readings

  • Scott reads Union Dues – Off White Lies by Jeffrey R. DeRego on Escape Pod, Episode 49, on April 13, 2006.
  • Scott reads Reggie vs. Kaiju Storm Chimera Wolf by Matthew Wayne Selznick on Escape Pod, Episode 117, on August 2, 2007.

References

  1. Jump up^ Detrich, Allan (2007-04-01). “Podcasts are a novel idea for Scott Sigler”. Toledo Blade. Archived from the original on April 7, 2008. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  2. Jump up^ Newman, Heather (2001-12-04). “Detroit Free Press Home Computing Column”. Detroit Free Press Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  3. Jump up^ “iPublish.com at Time Warner Books unveils third round of authors discovered through online writer community.”. Ingram Investment Ltd. 2001-11-07. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  4. Jump up^ Weinberg, Anna (2005-08-26). “A Novel Approach to Podcasting”. The Book Standard. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  5. Jump up^ Angell, LC (2005-03-24). “Fiction author releases ‘Podcast-only’ novel”. iLounge.com. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  6. Jump up^ Kerley, Christina (2006-08-26). “Access to Supply Powers Demand–and First Sci-Fi Podcast Novel. (Q&A with Scott Sigler)”. CK’s Blog. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  7. Jump up^ “From Podcast to Paidcast”. PRNewswire. 2006-03-09. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  8. Jump up^ “Earthcore Podcast Now Pay to Play”. Podcasting News. 2006-02-21. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  9. Jump up^ Mehta, Devanshu (2006-02-23). “From Podcast to Paidcast”. Apple Matters. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  10. Jump up^ Newman, Andrew Adam (2007-03-01). “Authors Find Their Voice, and Audience, in Podcasts”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
  11. Jump up^ “Scott Sigler’s Ancestor Skyrockets to Top 10 of Amazon Best-Seller List on First Day of Release”. PodShow.com. 2007-04-02. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  12. Jump up^ Ploutz, Morgan (2010-10-22). “Scott Sigler Talks Ancestor and Hard Science Horror Writing”. Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
  13. Jump up^ Sigler, Scott (March 19, 2014). “New print deal: Three books with Del Rey”. scottsigler.com. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  14. Jump up^ “Scott Sigler’s novel Alive (Del Rey) is #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list in the Young Adult E-Book category.”. The New York Times. 2016-07-24.
  15. Jump up^ Academy of Podcasters Awards and Hall of Fame Ceremony.
  16. Jump up^ “Pandemic (review)”. PW. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  17. Jump up^ Borys, Kit (2007-05-31). “Rogue, Random book ‘Infested'”. The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  18. Jump up^ Newton, Earl (2007-03-02). “Episode 01: Sacred Cow”. StrangerThings.tv. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  19. Jump up^ “IDW Get Infected With Scott Sigler”. Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  20. Jump up^ “PREVIEW: INFECTED #1”. CBR. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  21. Jump up^ Sigler, Scott. “INFECTED Graphic Novel”. Scott Sigler. Retrieved 13 September 2013.

External links

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

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Kevin Phillips – Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and The Global Crisis of American Capitalism — Videos

Posted on December 26, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, British History, Congress, Constitution, Economics, European History, Faith, Family, Fiscal Policy, government spending, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Middle East, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Radio, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Television, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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

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 on Bad Money (US money system)-1/2

Kevin Phillips on Bad Money (US money system)-2/2

Book TV: Kevin Phillips on his Writing Habits

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Eric Hoffer — Videos

Posted on October 24, 2015. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Culture, Education, Freedom, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Love, media, Non-Fiction, Radio, Raves, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , |

Eric Hoffer eric-hofferhoffer quote

Eric Hoffer pt. 1 of 5

Eric Hoffer pt. 2 of 5

Eric Hoffer pt. 3 of 5

Eric Hoffer pt. 4 of 5

Eric Hoffer pt. 5 of 5

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Ray Bradbury — Fahrenheit 451 — Videos

Posted on September 20, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Book, Books, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Culture, Documentary, Economics, Education, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Fiction, Films, Friends, Heroes, history, Law, liberty, Life, media, Money, Movies, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Strategy, Talk Radio, Television, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Ray Bradbury – Story of a Writer

A 25-minute documentary from 1963 about Ray Bradbury – by David L. Wolper

Day at Night: Ray Bradbury

A Conversation with Ray Bradbury

A short film for the National Endowment for the arts feature Ray Bradbury as he discusses his life, literary loves and Fahrenheit 451.

A Conversation with Ray Bradbury by Lawrence Bridges

Fahrenheit 451 – Trailer

Fahrenheit 451 (1966) Full Movie | Julie Christie Full Movies Online

Top 10 Notes: Fahrenheit 451

Feeling More Alive: Fahrenheit 451’s The Hearth and the Salamander

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Full audiobook)

Ray Bradbury on Writing Persistently

A Conversation with Ray Bradbury

Author Ray Bradbury joins Dean Nelson of Point Loma Nazarene University for a talk about his craft as part of Point Loma Nazarene University’s Writer’s Symposium by the Sea. Series: “Writer’s Symposium By The Sea” [4/2001] [Public Affairs] [Humanities] [Show ID: 5534]

An Evening with Ray Bradbury 2001

Science fiction author Ray Bradbury regales his audience with stories about his life and love of writing in “Telling the Truth,” the keynote address of The Sixth Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea, sponsored by Point Loma Nazarene University. Series: Writer’s Symposium By The Sea [4/2001] [Public Affairs] [Humanities] [Show ID: 5533]

Ray Bradbury

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the author’s 1975 story collection, see Ray Bradbury (collection).
Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury in 1975

Bradbury in 1975
Born Raymond Douglas Bradbury
August 22, 1920
Waukegan, Illinois, U.S.
Died June 5, 2012 (aged 91)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Period 1938–2012[1]
Genre Fantasy, social commentary,science fiction, horror fiction,mystery fiction
Notable works
Notable awards American Academy of Arts and Letters (1954); Daytime Emmy Award (1994); National Medal of Arts (2004); Pulitzer Prize(2007)
Spouse Marguerite McClure
(m. 1947–2003; her death)
Children 4 daughters

Signature
Website
www.raybradbury.com

Raymond Douglas “Ray” Bradbury[2] (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an Americanfantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction author. Best known for hisdystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction and horror stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th- and 21st-century American genre writers. He wrote and consulted on many screenplays and television scripts, includingMoby Dick[3] and It Came from Outer Space. Many of his works have been adapted into comic books, television shows, and films.

Early life

Bradbury as a senior in high school, 1938

Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920[4][5] in Waukegan, Illinois,[6] to Esther (née Moberg) Bradbury, a Swedish immigrant, and Leonard Spaulding Bradbury,[7] a power and telephone lineman of English descent.[8] He was given the middle name “Douglas,” after the actor Douglas Fairbanks. Bradbury was related to the American Shakespeare scholar Douglas Spaulding[9] and was descended from Mary Bradbury, who was tried at one of the Salem witch trials in 1692.[10]

Bradbury was surrounded by an extended family during his early childhood and formative years in Waukegan, Illinois. An aunt read him short stories when he was a child.[11] This period provided foundations for both the author and his stories. In Bradbury’s works of fiction, 1920s Waukegan becomes “Green Town,” Illinois.

The Bradbury family lived in Tucson, Arizona, in 1926–27 and 1932–33 as the father pursued employment, each time returning to Waukegan, but eventually settled in Los Angeles in 1934, when Bradbury was 14. The family arrived with only 40 dollars, which paid for rent and food until his father finally found a job making wire at a cable company for $14 a week. This meant that they could stay, however, and Bradbury—who was in love with Hollywood—was ecstatic.

Bradbury attended Los Angeles High School and was active in the drama club. He often roller-skated through Hollywood in hopes of meeting celebrities. Among the creative and talented people Bradbury met this way were special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen and radio star George Burns. (Bradbury’s first pay as a writer was at the age of fourteen, when Burns hired him to write for the Burns and Allen show.[12][13])

Influences

Literature

Bradbury was a reader and writer throughout his youth.[14] He knew as a young boy that he was “going into one of the arts.” In 1931, at the age of eleven, the young Bradbury began writing his own stories. The country was going through the Great Depression, and sometimes Bradbury wrote on butcher paper.

In his youth, he spent much time in the Carnegie library in Waukegan, reading such authors as H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Allan Poe. At age twelve, Bradbury began writing traditional horror stories and said he tried to imitate Poe until he was about eighteen. In addition to comics, he loved Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan of the Apes,[15] especially Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars series. The Warlord of Marsimpressed him so much that at the age of twelve he wrote his own sequel.[16] The young Bradbury was also a cartoonist and loved to illustrate. He wrote about Tarzan and drew his own Sunday panels. He listened to the radio show Chandu the Magician, and when the show went off the air every night he would sit and write the entire script from memory.

In Beverly Hills, he often visited the science fiction writer Bob Olsen for mentorship as well as friendship while Bradbury was a teenager. They shared ideas and would keep in contact. In 1936, at a secondhand bookstore in Hollywood, Bradbury discovered a handbill promoting meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society.[17] Thrilled to find there were others with his interests, at the age of sixteen Bradbury joined a weekly Thursday-night conclave.[18]

When he was seventeen, Bradbury read stories published in Astounding Science Fiction, and said he read everything by Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and A. E. van Vogt, but cited H. G. Wells and Jules Verne as his big science fiction influences. Bradbury identified with Verne, saying, “He believes the human being is in a strange situation in a very strange world, and he believes that we can triumph by behaving morally.” [19] Bradbury admitted that he stopped reading genre books in his twenties and embraced a broad field of literature that included Alexander Pope and poet John Donne.[20] Bradbury had just graduated from high school when he met Robert Heinlein, then 31 years old. Bradbury recalled, “He was well known, and he wrote humanistic science fiction, which influenced me to dare to be human instead of mechanical.”[20]

Hollywood

The family lived about four blocks from the Uptown Theater on Western Avenue in Los Angeles, the flagship theater for MGM and Fox. There, Bradbury learned how to sneak in and watched previews almost every week. He roller-skated there as well as all over town, as he put it “hell-bent on getting autographs from glamorous stars. It was glorious.” Among stars the young Bradbury was thrilled to encounter were Norma Shearer, Laurel and Hardy, and Ronald Colman. Sometimes he would spend all day in front of Paramount Pictures or Columbia Pictures and then skate to the Brown Derby to watch the stars who came and went for meals. He recounted seeing Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich and Mae West, who he would learn made a regular appearance every Friday night, bodyguard in tow.[20]

Bradbury relates the following meeting with Sergei Bondarchuk, director of Soviet epic film series War and Peace, at a Hollywood award ceremony in Bondarchuk’s honor:

They formed a long queue and as Bondarchuk was walking along it he recognized several people: “Oh Mr. Ford, I like your film.” He recognized the director, Greta Garbo, and someone else. I was standing at the very end of the queue and silently watched this. Bondarchuk shouted to me; “Ray Bradbury, is that you?” He rushed up to me, embraced me, dragged me inside, grabbed a bottle ofStolichnaya, sat down at his table where his closest friends were sitting. All the famous Hollywood directors in the queue were bewildered. They stared at me and asked each other “who is this Bradbury?” And, swearing, they left, leaving me alone with Bondarchuk…[21]

Career

Bradbury’s “Undersea Guardians” was the cover story for the December 1944 issue of Amazing Stories

Bradbury’s first published story was “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma”, which appeared in the January 1938 number of Forrest J. Ackerman’s fanzineImagination!.[1] In July 1939, Ackerman gave nineteen-year-old Bradbury the money to head to New York for the First World Science Fiction Convention in New York City, and funded Bradbury’s fanzine, titled Futuria Fantasia.[22] Bradbury wrote most of its four issues, each limited to under 100 copies.[citation needed]Between 1940 and 1947, he was a contributor to Rob Wagner‘s film magazine, Script.[23]

Bradbury was free to start a career in writing when, owing to his bad eyesight, he was rejected admission into the military during World War II. Having been inspired by science fiction heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Bradbury began to publish science fiction stories in fanzines in 1938.[24] Bradbury was invited by Forrest J. Ackerman[citation needed] to attend the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, which at the time met at Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles. This was where he met the writers Robert A. Heinlein, Emil Petaja, Fredric Brown, Henry Kuttner, Leigh Brackett, and Jack Williamson.[citation needed]

In 1939, Bradbury joined Laraine Day‘s Wilshire Players Guild where for two years he wrote and acted in several plays. They were, as Bradbury later described, “so incredibly bad” that he gave up playwriting for two decades.[25] Bradbury’s first paid piece, “Pendulum,” written with Henry Hasse, was published in the pulp magazineSuper Science Stories in November 1941, for which he earned $15.[26]

Bradbury sold his first story, “The Lake”, for $13.75 at the age of twenty-two.[20] He became a full-time writer by the end of 1942. His first collection of short stories, Dark Carnival, was published in 1947 by Arkham House, a small press in Sauk City, Wisconsin, owned by writer August Derleth. Reviewing Dark Carnival for the New York Herald Tribune, Will Cuppy proclaimed Bradbury “suitable for general consumption” and predicted that he would become a writer of the caliber of British fantasy author John Collier.[27]

After a rejection notice from the pulp Weird Tales, Bradbury submitted “Homecoming” to Mademoiselle which was spotted by a young editorial assistant named Truman Capote. Capote picked the Bradbury manuscript from a slush pile, which led to its publication. Homecoming won a place in The O. Henry Prize Stories of 1947.[28]

It was in UCLA‘s Powell Library, in a study room with typewriters for rent, that Bradbury wrote his classic story of a book-burning future, The Fireman, which was about 25,000 words long. It was later published at about 50,000 words under the name Fahrenheit 451, for a total cost of $9.80, due to the library’s typewriter-rental fees of ten cents per half-hour.[29]

A chance encounter in a Los Angeles bookstore with the British expatriate writer Christopher Isherwood gave Bradbury the opportunity to put The Martian Chronicles into the hands of a respected critic. Isherwood’s glowing review[30] followed.

Writing

Bradbury attributed to two incidents his lifelong habit of writing every day. The first of these, occurring when he was three years old, was his mother’s taking him to see Lon Chaney‘s performance in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.[31] The second incident occurred in 1932, when a carnival entertainer, one Mr. Electrico, touched the young man on the nose with an electrified sword, made his hair stand on end, and shouted, “Live forever!”[32] Bradbury remarked, “I felt that something strange and wonderful had happened to me because of my encounter with Mr. Electrico…[he] gave me a future…I began to write, full-time. I have written every single day of my life since that day 69 years ago.”[32] It was at that age that Bradbury first started to do magic, which was his first great love. If he had not discovered writing, he would have become a magician.[33]

Bradbury claimed a wide variety of influences, and described discussions he might have with his favorite poets and writers Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, and Thomas Wolfe. From Steinbeck, he said he learned “how to write objectively and yet insert all of the insights without too much extra comment.” He studied Eudora Welty for her “remarkable ability to give you atmosphere, character, and motion in a single line.” Bradbury’s favorite writers growing up included Katherine Anne Porter, who wrote about the American South, Edith Wharton, and Jessamyn West.[34]

Bradbury was once described as a “Midwestsurrealist” and is often labeled a science fiction writer, which he described as “the art of the possible.” Bradbury resisted that categorization, however:

First of all, I don’t write science fiction. I’ve only done one science fiction book and that’s Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. It was named so to represent the temperature at which paper ignites. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal. So Martian Chronicles is not science fiction, it’s fantasy. It couldn’t happen, you see? That’s the reason it’s going to be around a long time – because it’s a Greek myth, and myths have staying power.[35]

Bradbury recounted when he came into his own as a writer, the afternoon he wrote a short story about his first encounter with death. When he was a boy, he met a young girl at the beach and she went out into the water and never came back. Years later, as he wrote about it, tears flowed from him. He recognized he had taken the leap from emulating the many writers he admired to connecting with his voice as a writer.[36][37]

When later asked about the lyrical power of his prose, Bradbury replied, “From reading so much poetry every day of my life. My favorite writers have been those who’ve said things well.” He is quoted, “If you’re reluctant to weep, you won’t live a full and complete life.”[38]

In high school, Bradbury was active in both the Poetry Club and the Drama club, continuing plans to become an actor but becoming serious about his writing as his high school years progressed. Bradbury graduated from Los Angeles High School, where he took poetry classes with Snow Longley Housh, and short story writing courses taught by Jeannet Johnson.[39] The teachers recognized his talent and furthered his interest in writing,[40] but he did not attend college. Instead, he sold newspapers at the corner of South Norton Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. In regard to his education, Bradbury said:

Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.[41][42]

He told The Paris Review, “You can’t learn to write in college. It’s a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do – and they don’t.”[43]

“Green Town”

A reinvention of Waukegan, Green Town is a symbol of safety and home, which is often juxtaposed as a contrasting backdrop to tales of fantasy or menace. It serves as the setting of his semi-autobiographical classics Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Farewell Summer as well as in many of his short stories. In Green Town, Bradbury’s favorite uncle sprouts wings, traveling carnivals conceal supernatural powers, and his grandparents provide room and board to Charles Dickens.[44] Perhaps the most definitive usage of the pseudonym for his hometown, in Summer Morning, Summer Night, a collection of short stories and vignettes exclusively about Green Town, Bradbury returns to the signature locale as a look back at the rapidly disappearing small-town world of the American heartland, which was the foundation of his roots.[45]

Cultural contributions

Bradbury wrote many short essays on the arts and culture, attracting the attention of critics in this field, but he used his fiction to explore and criticize his culture and society. Bradbury observed, for example, thatFahrenheit 451 touches on the alienation of people by media:

In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap opera cries, sleep walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.[46]

In a 1982 essay he wrote, “People ask me to predict the Future, when all I want to do is prevent it.” This intent had been expressed earlier by other authors,[47] who sometimes attributed it to him.

Bradbury hosted The Ray Bradbury Theater which was based on his short stories. Bradbury was a consultant for the American Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair[48] and the original exhibit housed in Epcot‘sSpaceship Earth geosphere at Walt Disney World.[49][50][51] In the 1980s, Bradbury concentrated on detective fiction.[52]

Bradbury was a strong supporter of public library systems, and helped to raise money to prevent the closure of several in California due to budgetary cuts. He iterated from his past that “libraries raised me”, and shunned colleges and universities, comparing his own lack of funds during the Depression with poor contemporary students.[53] His opinion varied on modern technology. In 1985 Bradbury wrote, “I see nothing but good coming from computers. When they first appeared on the scene, people were saying, ‘Oh my God, I’m so afraid.’ I hate people like that – I call them the neo-Luddites“, and “In a sense [computers] are simply books. Books are all over the place, and computers will be too”.[54] He resisted the conversion of his work into e-books, stating in 2010 “We have too many cellphones. We’ve got too many internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now”.[55] When the publishing rights for Fahrenheit 451 came up for renewal in December 2011, Bradbury permitted its publication in electronic form provided that the publisher, Simon & Schuster, allowed the e-book to be digitally downloaded by any library patron. The title remains the only book in the Simon & Schuster catalog where this is possible.[56]

Several comic book writers have adapted Bradbury’s stories. Particularly noted among these were EC Comics‘ line of horror and science-fiction comics. Initially, the writers plagiarized his stories, but a diplomatic letter from Bradbury about it led to the company paying him and negotiating properly licensed adaptations of his work. The comics featuring Bradbury’s stories included Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Crime Suspenstories, Haunt of Fear and others.

Bradbury remained an enthusiastic playwright all his life, leaving a rich theatrical legacy as well as literary. Bradbury headed the Pandemonium Theatre Company in Los Angeles for many years and had a five-year relationship with the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena.[57]

Bradbury is featured prominently in two documentaries related to his classic 1950s-’60s era: Jason V Brock‘s Charles Beaumont: The Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man,[58] which details his troubles with Rod Serling, and his friendships with writers Charles Beaumont, George Clayton Johnson, and most especially his dear friend William F. Nolan, as well as Brock’s The AckerMonster Chronicles!, which delves into the life of former Bradbury agent, close friend, mega-fan, and Famous Monsters of Filmland editor Forrest J Ackerman.

On May 24, 1956, Bradbury appeared on the popular quiz show, You Bet Your Life hosted by Groucho Marx (Season 6 Episode 35).[59]

Personal life

Bradbury in December 2009.

Bradbury was married to Marguerite McClure (January 16, 1922 – November 24, 2003) from 1947 until her death; they had four daughters:[60] Susan, Ramona, Bettina and Alexandra.[61] Though he lived in Los Angeles, Bradbury never obtained a driver’s license but relied on public transportation or his bicycle.[62] He lived at home until he was twenty-seven and married. His wife of fifty-six years, Maggie, as she was affectionately called, was the only woman Bradbury ever dated.[20]

Bradbury was a close friend of Charles Addams, and Addams illustrated the first of Bradbury’s stories about the Elliotts, a family that would resemble Addams’ own Addams Familyplaced in rural Illinois. Bradbury’s first story about them was “Homecoming,” published in the 1946 Halloween issue of Mademoiselle, with Addams illustrations. He and Addams planned a larger collaborative work that would tell the family’s complete history, but it never materialized, and according to a 2001 interview, they went their separate ways.[63] In October 2001, Bradbury published all the Family stories he had written in one book with a connecting narrative, From the Dust Returned, featuring a wraparound Addams cover of the original “Homecoming” illustration.[64]

Another close friend was animator Ray Harryhausen, who was best man at Bradbury’s wedding.[65] During a BAFTA 2010 awards tribute in honor of Ray Harryhausen‘s 90th birthday, Bradbury spoke of his first meeting Harryhausen at Forrest J Ackerman‘s house when they were both 18 years old. Their shared love for science fiction, King Kong, and the King Vidor-directed film The Fountainhead, written by Ayn Rand, was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. These early influences inspired the pair to believe in themselves and affirm their career choices. After their first meeting, they kept in touch at least once a month, in a friendship that spanned over 70 years.[66]

Late in life, Bradbury retained his dedication and passion despite what he described as the “devastation of illnesses and deaths of many good friends.” Among the losses that deeply grieved Bradbury was the death of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, who was an intimate friend for many years. They remained close friends for nearly three decades after Roddenberry asked him to write for Star Trek, which Bradbury never did, objecting that he “never had the ability to adapt other people’s ideas into any sensible form.”[20]

Bradbury suffered a stroke in 1999[67] that left him partially dependent on a wheelchair for mobility.[68] Despite this he continued to write, and had even written an essay for The New Yorker, about his inspiration for writing, published only a week prior to his death.[69] Bradbury made regular appearances at science fiction conventions until 2009, when he retired from the circuit.

Ray Bradbury’s headstone in May 2012 prior to his death

Bradbury chose a burial place at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, with a headstone that reads “Author of Fahrenheit 451”.[70][71][72] On February 6, 2015, the New York Times reported that the house that Bradbury lived and wrote in for fifty years of his life, at 10265 Cheviot Drive in Los Angeles, CA, had been demolished.[73]

Death

Bradbury died in Los Angeles, California, on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91, after a lengthy illness.[74] Bradbury’s personal library was willed to the Waukegan Public Library, where he had many of his formative reading experiences.[75]

The New York Times‍ ’​ obituary stated that Bradbury was “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.”[76] The Los Angeles Times credited Bradbury with the ability “to write lyrically and evocatively of lands an imagination away, worlds he anchored in the here and now with a sense of visual clarity and small-town familiarity”.[77] Bradbury’s grandson, Danny Karapetian, stated that Bradbury’s works had “influenced so many artists, writers, teachers, scientists, and it’s always really touching and comforting to hear their stories”.[61]The Washington Post hallmarked several modern day technologies that Bradbury had envisioned much earlier in his writing, such as the idea of banking ATMs and earbuds and Bluetooth headsets from Fahrenheit 451, and the concepts of artificial intelligence within I Sing the Body Electric.[78]

On June 6, 2012, in an official public statement from the White House Press Office, President Barack Obama said:

For many Americans, the news of Ray Bradbury’s death immediately brought to mind images from his work, imprinted in our minds, often from a young age. His gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world. But Ray also understood that our imaginations could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change, and an expression of our most cherished values. There is no doubt that Ray will continue to inspire many more generations with his writing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.[79]

Several celebrity fans of Bradbury paid tribute to the author by stating the influence of his works on their own careers and creations.[80][81] Filmmaker Steven Spielberg stated that Bradbury was “[his] muse for the better part of [his] sci-fi career…. On the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination he is immortal”.[82] Writer Neil Gaiman felt that “the landscape of the world we live in would have been diminished if we had not had him in our world”.[81] Author Stephen King released a statement on his website saying, “Ray Bradbury wrote three great novels and three hundred great stories. One of the latter was called ‘A Sound of Thunder.’ The sound I hear today is the thunder of a giant’s footsteps fading away. But the novels and stories remain, in all their resonance and strange beauty.”[83] Bradbury’s influence well exceeded the field of literature. Progressive house music producer and performer, Joel Thomas Zimmerman, who is most commonly known by his stage name Deadmau5, composed a song named after one of Bradbury’s short stories “The Veldt” which was originally published in the Saturday Evening Post.[84] The EP of “The Veldt” was released days after Bradbury’s death and is dedicated to the memory of the author.[85]

Bibliography

Bradbury is credited with writing 27 novels and over 600 short stories.[77] More than eight million copies of his works, published in over 36 languages, have been sold around the world.[76]

First novel

In 1949, Bradbury and his wife were expecting their first child. He took a Greyhound bus to New York and checked into a room at the YMCA for fifty cents a night. He took his short stories to a dozen publishers and no one wanted them. Just before getting ready to go home, Bradbury had dinner with an editor at Doubleday. When Bradbury recounted that everyone wanted a novel and he didn’t have one, the editor, coincidentally named Walter Bradbury, asked if the short stories might be tied together into a book length collection. The title was the editor’s idea; he suggested, “You could call it “The Martian Chronicles.” Bradbury liked the idea and recalled making notes in 1944 to do a book set on Mars. That evening, he stayed up all night at the YMCA and typed out an outline. He took it to the Doubleday editor the next morning, who read it and wrote Bradbury a check for seven hundred and fifty dollars. When Bradbury returned to Los Angeles, he connected all the short stories and that became The Martian Chronicles.[34]

Intended first novel

What was later issued as a collection of stories and vignettes, Summer Morning, Summer Night, started out to be Bradbury’s first true novel. The core of the work was Bradbury’s witnessing of the American small-town and life in the American heartland.

In the winter of 1955–56, after a consultation with his Doubleday editor, Bradbury deferred publication of a novel based on Green Town, the pseudonym for his hometown. Instead, he extracted seventeen stories and, with three other Green Town tales, bridged them into his 1957 book Dandelion Wine. Later, in 2006, Bradbury published the original novel remaining after the extraction, and retitled it Farewell Summer. These two titles show what stories and episodes Bradbury decided to retain as he created the two books out of one.

The most significant of the remaining unpublished stories, scenes, and fragments were published under the originally intended name for the novel, Summer Morning, Summer Night, in 2007.[86]

Adaptations to other media

Bradbury in 1959, when some of his short stories were adapted for television shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents

From 1951 to 1954, 27 of Bradbury’s stories were adapted by Al Feldstein for EC Comics, and 16 of these were collected in the paperbacks, The Autumn People (1965) andTomorrow Midnight (1966), both published by Ballantine Books with cover illustrations by Frank Frazetta.

Also in the early 1950s, adaptations of Bradbury’s stories were televised in several anthology shows, including Tales of Tomorrow, Lights Out, Out There, Suspense, CBS Television Workshop, Jane Wyman’s Fireside Theatre, Star Tonight, Windows and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. “The Merry-Go-Round,” a half-hour film adaptation of Bradbury’s “The Black Ferris,” praised by Variety, was shown on Starlight Summer Theater in 1954 and NBC’s Sneak Preview in 1956. During that same period, several stories were adapted for radio drama, notably on the science fiction anthologies Dimension X and its successor X Minus One.

Scene from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, based on Bradbury’s The Fog Horn.

Producer William Alland first brought Bradbury to movie theaters in 1953 with It Came from Outer Space, a Harry Essex screenplay developed from Bradbury’s screen treatment “Atomic Monster”. Three weeks later came the release of Eugène Lourié’s The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), which featured one scene based on Bradbury’s “The Fog Horn“, about a sea monster mistaking the sound of a fog horn for the mating cry of a female. Bradbury’s close friend Ray Harryhausen produced the stop-motion animation of the creature. Bradbury would later return the favor by writing a short story, “Tyrannosaurus Rex”, about a stop-motion animator who strongly resembled Harryhausen. Over the next 50 years, more than 35 features, shorts, and TV movies were based on Bradbury’s stories or screenplays.

Bradbury was hired in 1953 by director John Huston to work on the screenplay for his film version of Melville‘s Moby Dick (1956), which stars Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab, Richard Basehart as Ishmael, and Orson Welles as Father Mapple. A significant result of the film was Bradbury’s book Green Shadows, White Whale, a semi-fictionalized account of the making of the film, including Bradbury’s dealings with Huston and his time in Ireland, where exterior scenes that were set in New Bedford, Massachusetts, were filmed.

Bradbury’s short story I Sing the Body Electric (from the book of the same name) was adapted for the 100th episode of The Twilight Zone. The episode was first aired on May 18, 1962.

In 1965, three of Bradbury’s stories were adapted for the stage. These included “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit”, “The Day It Rained Forever” and “Device Out Of Time”. The latter was adapted from his 1957 novel Dandelion Wine. The plays debuted at the Coronet Theater in Hollywood and featured Booth Coleman, Joby Baker, Fredric Villani, Arnold Lessing, Eddie Sallia, Keith Taylor, Richard Bull, Gene Otis Shane, Henry T. Delgado, F. Murray Abraham, Anne Loos and Len Lesser. The director was Charles Rome Smith and the production company was Pandemonium Productions.

Oskar Werner and Julie Christie starred in Fahrenheit 451 (1966), an adaptation of Bradbury’s novel directed by François Truffaut.

In 1966, Bradbury helped Lynn Garrison create AVIAN, a specialist aviation magazine. For the first issue Bradbury wrote a poem – Planes that land on grass.

In 1969, The Illustrated Man was brought to the big screen, starring Rod Steiger, Claire Bloom and Robert Drivas. Containing the prologue and three short stories from the book, the film received mediocre reviews. The same year, Bradbury approached composer Jerry Goldsmith, who had worked with Bradbury in dramatic radio of the 1950s and later scored the film version of The Illustrated Man, to compose a cantataChristus Apollo based on Bradbury’s text.[87] The work premiered in late 1969, with the California Chamber Symphony performing with narrator Charlton Heston at UCLA.

File:Ray Bradbury at Caltech 12 November 1971.ogv

Ray Bradbury takes part in a symposium at Caltech with Arthur C. Clarke, journalist Walter Sullivan, and scientists Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray. In this excerpt, Bradbury reads his poem ‘If Only We Had Taller Been’ (poem begins at 2:20, full text[88]). Video released by NASA in honor of the naming of Bradbury Landing in 2012.[89]

In 1972 The Screaming Woman was adapted as an ABC Movie-of-the-Week starring Olivia de Havilland.

The Martian Chronicles became a three-part TV miniseries starring Rock Hudson which was first broadcast by NBC in 1980. Bradbury found the miniseries “just boring”.[90]

The 1982 television movie, The Electric Grandmother, was based on Bradbury’s short story “I Sing the Body Electric.”

The 1983 horror film Something Wicked This Way Comes, starring Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryce, is based on the Bradbury novel of the same name.

In 1984, Michael McDonough of Brigham Young University produced “Bradbury 13,” a series of 13 audio adaptations of famous stories from Bradbury, in conjunction with National Public Radio. The full-cast dramatizations featured adaptations of “The Ravine,” “Night Call, Collect,” “The Veldt“, “There Was an Old Woman,” “Kaleidoscope,” “Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed“, “The Screaming Woman,” “A Sound of Thunder,” “The Man,” “The Wind,” “The Fox and the Forest,” “Here There Be Tygers” and “The Happiness Machine”. Voiceover actor Paul Frees provided narration, while Bradbury himself was responsible for the opening voiceover; Greg Hansen and Roger Hoffman scored the episodes. The series won a Peabody Award as well as two Gold Cindy awards and was released on CD on May 1, 2010. The series began airing on BBC Radio 4 Extra on June 12, 2011.

From 1985 to 1992 Bradbury hosted a syndicated anthology television series, The Ray Bradbury Theater, for which he adapted 65 of his stories. Each episode would begin with a shot of Bradbury in his office, gazing over mementoes of his life, which he states (in narrative) are used to spark ideas for stories. During the first two seasons, Bradbury also provided additional voiceover narration specific to the featured story and appeared on screen.

Deeply respected in the USSR, Bradbury’s fictions has been adapted into five episodes of the Soviet science fiction TV series This Fantastic World which adapted the stories I Sing The Body Electric, Fahrenheit 451, A Piece of Wood, To the Chicago Abyss, and Forever and the Earth.[91] In 1984 a cartoon adaptation of There Will Come Soft Rains («Будет ласковый дождь») came out byUzbek director Nazim Tyuhladziev.[92] He made a film adaptation of The Veldt (“Вельд”) in 1987.[93] In 1989 came out a cartoon adaptation of Here There Be Tygers («Здесь могут водиться тигры») by director Vladimir Samsonov.[94]

Bradbury wrote and narrated the 1993 animated television version of The Halloween Tree, based on his 1972 novel.

The 1998 film The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, released by Touchstone Pictures, was written by Bradbury. It was based on his story “The Magic White Suit” originally published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1957. The story had also previously been adapted as a play, a musical, and a 1958 television version.

In 2002, Bradbury’s own Pandemonium Theatre Company production of Fahrenheit 451 at Burbank’s Falcon Theatre combined live acting with projected digital animation by the Pixel Pups. In 1984, Telarium released a game for Commodore 64 based on Fahrenheit 451.[95] Bradbury and director Charles Rome Smith co-founded Pandemonium in 1964, staging the New York production of The World of Ray Bradbury(1964), adaptations of “The Pedestrian“, “The Veldt”, and “To the Chicago Abyss.”

In 2005, the film A Sound of Thunder was released, loosely based upon the short story of the same name. The film The Butterfly Effect revolves around the same theory as A Sound of Thunder and contains many references to its inspiration. Short film adaptations of A Piece of Wood and The Small Assassin were released in 2005 and 2007 respectively.

In 2005, it was reported that Bradbury was upset with filmmaker Michael Moore for using the title Fahrenheit 9/11, which is an allusion to Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, for his documentary about the George W. Bush administration. Bradbury expressed displeasure with Moore’s use of the title but stated that his resentment was not politically motivated, even though Bradbury was conservative-leaning politically.[96] Bradbury asserted that he did not want any of the money made by the movie, nor did he believe that he deserved it. He pressured Moore to change the name, but to no avail. Moore called Bradbury two weeks before the film’s release to apologize, saying that the film’s marketing had been set in motion a long time ago and it was too late to change the title.[97]

In 2008, the film Ray Bradbury’s Chrysalis was produced by Roger Lay Jr. for Urban Archipelago Films, based upon the short story of the same name. The film won the best feature award at the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival in Phoenix. The film has international distribution by Arsenal Pictures and domestic distribution by Lightning Entertainment.

In 2010, The Martian Chronicles was adapted for radio by Colonial Radio Theatre on the Air.

In 2012, EDM artist deadmau5, along with guest vocalist Chris James, crafted a song called “The Veldt” inspired by Bradbury’s short story of the same title. The lyrics featured various references to the short story.

Bradbury’s works and approach to writing are documented in Terry Sanders‘ film Ray Bradbury: Story of a Writer (1963).

Bradbury’s poem “Groon” was voiced as a tribute in 2012.[98]

Awards and honors

Bradbury receiving the National Medal of Arts in 2004 with PresidentGeorge W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush.

The Ray Bradbury Award for excellency in screenwriting was occasionally presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America – presented to six people on four occasions from 1992 to 2009.[99] Beginning 2010, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation is presented annually according to Nebula Awards rules and procedures, although it is not a Nebula Award.[100] The revamped Bradbury Award replaced the Nebula Award for Best Script.

Documentaries

Bradbury appeared in the documentary The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985) (Produced and directed by Arnold Leibovit).

Citations
  • Anderson, James Arthur (2013). The Illustrated Ray Bradbury. Wildside Press. ISBN 978-1-4794-0007-2.
  • Albright, Donn (1990). Bradbury Bits & Pieces: The Ray Bradbury Bibliography, 1974–88. Starmont House. ISBN 1-55742-151-X.
  • Eller, Jonathan R.; Touponce, William F. (2004). Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction. Kent State University Press. ISBN 0-87338-779-1.
  • Eller, Jonathan R. (2011). Becoming Ray Bradbury. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-03629-8.
  • Nolan, William F. (1975). The Ray Bradbury Companion: A Life and Career History, Photolog, and Comprehensive Checklist of Writings. Gale Research. ISBN 0-8103-0930-0.
  • Paradowski, Robert J.; Rhynes, Martha E. (2001). Ray Bradbury. Salem Press.
  • Reid, Robin Anne (2000). Ray Bradbury: A Critical Companion. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-30901-9.
  • Tuck, Donald H. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. pp. 61–63. ISBN 0-911682-20-1.
  • Weist, Jerry (2002). Bradbury, an Illustrated Life: A Journey to Far Metaphor. William Morrow and Company. ISBN 0-06-001182-3.
  • Weller, Sam (2005). The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-054581-X.

External links

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

Fahrenheit 451

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the novel. For other uses, see Fahrenheit 451 (disambiguation).
Fahrenheit 451
Cover shows a drawing of a man, who appears to be made of newspaper and is engulfed in flames, standing on top of some books. His right arm is down and holding what appears to be a paper fireman's hat while his left arm is wiping sweat from the brow of his bowed head. Beside the title and author's name in large text, there is a small caption in the upper left-hand corner that reads, "Wonderful stories by the author of The Golden Apples of the Sun".

First edition cover
Author Ray Bradbury
Illustrator Joseph Mugnaini[1]
Country United States
Language English
Genre Dystopian novel[2]
Published 1953 (Ballantine Books)
Pages 159
ISBN ISBN 978-0-7432-4722-1 (current cover edition)
OCLC 53101079
813.54 22
LC Class PS3503.R167 F3 2003

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works.[3] The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found.[4] The title refers to the temperature that Bradbury asserted to be the autoignition point of paper[5][6] (In reality, scientists place the autoignition point of paper anywhere from high 440 degrees Fahrenheit to some 30 degrees hotter, depending on the study and type of paper).[7]

The novel has been the subject of interpretations primarily focusing on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas. In a 1956 radio interview,[8]Bradbury stated that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 because of his concerns at the time (during the McCarthy era) about the threat of book burning in the United States. In later years, he stated his motivation for writing the book in more general terms.

The novel has won multiple awards. In 1954, it won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature and the Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal.[9][10][11] It has since won the Prometheus “Hall of Fame” Award in 1984[12] and a 1954 “Retro” Hugo Award, one of only four Best Novel Retro Hugos ever given, in 2004.[13] Bradbury was honored with a Spoken Word Grammy nomination for his 1976 audiobook version.[14]

The novel has been adapted several times. François Truffaut wrote and directed a film adaptation of the novel in 1966, and a BBC Radio dramatization was produced in 1982. Bradbury published a stage play version in 1979[15] and helped develop a 1984 interactive fiction computer game titled Fahrenheit 451. A companion piece titled A Pleasure To Burn, consisting of a selection of Bradbury’s short stories, was released in 2010, less than two years before the author’s death.

Plot summary

Fahrenheit 451 is set in an unspecified city (likely in the American Mid-West) at some unspecified time in the future[notes 1] after the year 1960.[notes 2][16][17]

The novel is divided into three parts: “The Hearth and the Salamander”, “The Sieve and the Sand”, and “Burning Bright”.

“The Hearth and the Salamander”

Guy Montag is a “fireman” hired to burn the possessions of those who read outlawed books. One fall night while returning from work, he meets his new neighbor: a teenage girl named Clarisse McClellan, whose free-thinking ideals and liberating spirit cause him to question his life and his own perceived happiness. Montag returns home to find that his wife Mildred has overdosed on sleeping pills, and calls for medical attention. Mildred survives with no memory of what happened. Over the next days, Clarisse faithfully meets Montag as he walks home. She tells him about how her interests have made her an outcast at school. Montag looks forward to these meetings, and just as he begins to expect them, Clarisse goes absent. He senses something is wrong.[18]

In the following days, while at work with the other firemen ransacking the book-filled house of an old woman before the inevitable burning, Montag steals a book before any of his coworkers notice. The woman refuses to leave her house and her books, choosing instead to light a match and burn herself alive. Montag returns home jarred by the woman’s suicide. While getting ready for bed, he hides the stolen book under his pillow. Still shaken by the night’s events, he attempts to make conversation with Mildred, conversation that only causes him to realize how little he knows her and how little they have in common. Montag asks his wife if she has seen Clarisse recently. Mildred mutters that she believes Clarisse died after getting struck by a speeding car and that her family has moved away. Dismayed by her failure to mention this, Montag uneasily tries to fall asleep. Outside he suspects the presence of “The Hound”, an eight-legged[19] robotic dog-like creature that resides in the firehouse and aids the firemen.

Montag awakens ill the next morning and stays home from work. He relates the story of the burned woman to an apathetic Mildred and mentions perhaps quitting his work. The possibility of becoming destitute over the loss of income provokes a strong reaction from her and she explains that the woman herself is to blame because she had books.

Captain Beatty, Montag’s fire chief, personally visits Montag to see how he is doing. Sensing Montag’s concerns, Beatty recounts how books lost their value and where the firemen fit in: Over the course of several decades, people embraced new media, sports, and a quickening pace of life. Books were ruthlessly abridged or degraded to accommodate a short attention span while minority groups protested over the controversial, outdated content perceived to be found in books. The government took advantage of this and the firemen were soon hired to burn books in the name of public happiness. Beatty adds casually that all firemen eventually steal a book out of curiosity; if the book is burned within 24 hours, the fireman and his family will not get in trouble.

After Beatty has left, Montag reveals to Mildred that over the last year he has accumulated a stash of books that he has kept hidden in their air-conditioning duct. In a panic, Mildred grabs a book and rushes to throw it in their kitchen incinerator; Montag subdues her and tells her that the two of them are going to read the books to see if they have value. If they do not, he promises the books will be burned and all will return to normal.

“The Sieve and the Sand”

While Montag and Mildred are perusing the stolen books, a sniffing occurs at their front door. Montag recognizes it as The Hound while Mildred passes it off as a random dog. They resume their discussion once the sound ceases. Montag laments Mildred’s suicide attempt, the woman who burned herself, and the constant din of bombers flying over their house taking part in a looming war neither he, nor anybody else, knows much about. He states that maybe the books of the past have messages that can save society from its own destruction. The conversation is interrupted by a call from Mildred’s friend Ann Bowles, and they set up a date to watch the “parlor walls” (large televisions lining the walls of her living room) that night at Mildred’s house.

Montag meanwhile concedes that they will need help to understand the books. Montag remembers an old man named Faber he once met in a park a year ago, an English professor before books were banned. He telephones Faber with questions about books and Faber soon hangs up on him. Undeterred, Montag makes a subway trip to Faber’s home along with a rare copy of the Bible, the book he stole at the woman’s house. Montag forces the scared and reluctant Faber into helping him by methodically ripping pages from the Bible. Faber concedes and gives Montag a homemade ear-piece communicator so he can offer constant guidance.

After Montag returns home, Mildred’s friends, Mrs. Bowles and Clara Phelps, arrive to watch the parlor walls. Not interested in the insipid entertainment they are watching, Montag turns off the walls and tries to engage the women in meaningful conversation, only to find them indifferent to all but the most trivial aspects of the upcoming war, friend’s deaths, their families, and politics. Montag leaves momentarily and returns with a book of poetry. This confuses the women and alarms Faber who is listening remotely. He proceeds to recite the poem Dover Beach, causing Mrs. Phelps to cry. At the behest of Faber in the ear-piece, Montag burns the book. Mildred’s friends leave in disgust while Mildred locks herself in the bathroom and takes more sleeping pills.

In the aftermath of the parlor party, Montag hides his books in his backyard before returning to the firehouse late at night with just the stolen Bible. He finds Beatty playing cards with the other firemen. Montag hands him the book, which is unceremoniously tossed into the trash. Beatty tells Montag that he had a dream in which they fought endlessly by quoting books to each other. In describing the dream Beatty reveals that, despite his disillusionment, he was once an enthusiastic reader. A fire alarm sounds and Beatty picks up the address from the dispatcher system. They drive in the firetruck recklessly to the destination. Montag is stunned when the truck arrives at his house.

“Burning Bright”

Beatty orders Montag to destroy his own house, telling him that his wife and her friends were the ones who reported him. Montag tries to talk to Mildred as she quickly leaves the house. Mildred ignores him, gets inside a taxi, and vanishes down the street. Montag obeys the chief, destroying the home piece by piece with a flamethrower. As soon as he has incinerated the house, Beatty discovers Montag’s ear-piece and plans to hunt down Faber. Montag threatens Beatty with the flamethrower and (after Beatty taunts him) burns his boss alive, and knocks his coworkers unconscious. As Montag escapes the scene, the firehouse’s mechanical dog attacks him, managing to inject his leg with a tranquilizer. He destroys it with the flamethrower and limps away.

Montag runs through the city streets towards Faber’s house. Faber urges him to make his way to the countryside and contact the exiled book-lovers who live there. He mentions he will be leaving on an early bus heading to St. Louis and that he and Montag can rendezvous there later. On Faber’s television, they watch news reports of another mechanical hound being released, with news helicopters following it to create a public spectacle. Montag leaves Faber’s house. After an extended manhunt, he escapes by wading into a river and floating downstream.

Montag leaves the river in the countryside, where he meets the exiled drifters, led by a man named Granger. They have each memorized books for an upcoming time when society is ready to rediscover them. While learning the philosophy of the exiles, Montag and the group watch helplessly as bombers fly overhead and attack the city with nuclear weapons, completely annihilating it. While Faber would have left on the early bus, Mildred along with everyone else in the city was surely killed. Montag and the group are injured and dirtied, but manage to survive the shock wave.

In the morning after, Granger teaches Montag and the others about the legendary phoenix and its endless cycle of long life, death in flames, and rebirth. He adds that the phoenix must have some relation to mankind, which constantly repeats its mistakes. Granger emphasizes that man has something the phoenix does not: mankind can remember the mistakes it made from before it destroyed itself, and try to not make them again. Granger then muses that a large factory of mirrors should be built, so that mankind can take a long look at itself. When the meal is over, the band goes back toward the city, to help rebuild society.

Characters

  • Guy Montag is the protagonist and fireman who presents the dystopia through the eyes of a worker loyal to it, a man in conflict about it, and one resolved to be free of it. Through most of the book, Montag lacks knowledge and believes what he hears.
  • Clarisse McClellan walks with Montag on his trips home and is one month short of being a 17-year-old girl.[notes 3][20] She is an unusual sort of person in the bookless, hedonistic society: outgoing, naturally cheerful, unorthodox, and intuitive. She is unpopular among peers and disliked by teachers for asking “why” instead of “how” and focusing on nature rather than on technology. A few days after their first meeting, she disappears without any explanation; Mildred tells Montag (and Captain Beatty confirms) that Clarisse was hit by a speeding car and that her family left following her death. In the afterword of a later edition, Bradbury notes that the film adaptation changed the ending so that Clarisse (who, in the film, is now a 20-year-old school teacher who was fired for being unorthodox) was living with the exiles. Bradbury, far from being displeased by this, was so happy with the new ending that he wrote it into his later stage edition.
  • Mildred “Millie” Montag is Guy Montag’s wife. She is addicted to sleeping pills, absorbed in the shallow dramas played on her “parlor walls” (flat-panel televisions), and indifferent to the oppressive society around her. She is described in the book as “thin as a praying mantis from dieting, and her flesh like white bacon.” Despite her husband’s attempts to break her from the spell society has on her, Mildred continues to be shallow and indifferent. After Montag scares her friends away by reading Dover Beach and unable to live with someone who has been hoarding books, Mildred betrays Montag by reporting him to the firemen and abandoning him.
  • Captain Beatty is Montag’s boss. Once an avid reader, he has come to hate books due to their unpleasant content and contradicting facts and opinions. In a scene written years later by Bradbury for theFahrenheit 451 play, Beatty invites Montag to his house where he shows him walls of books left to molder on their shelves.
  • Stoneman and Black are Montag’s coworkers at the firehouse. They do not have a large impact on the story and function to show the reader the contrast between the firemen who obediently do as they’re told and someone like Montag, who formerly took pride in his job—subsequently realizing how damaging it is to society.
  • Faber is a former English professor. He has spent years regretting that he did not defend books when he saw the moves to ban them. Montag turns to him for guidance, remembering him from a chance meeting in a park some time earlier. Faber at first refuses to help Montag, and later realizes that he is only trying to learn about books, not destroy them. Bradbury notes in his afterword that Faber is part of the name of a German manufacturer of pencils, Faber-Castell.
  • Mrs. Ann Bowles and Mrs. Clara Phelps are Mildred’s friends and representative of the anti-intellectual, hedonistic society presented in the novel. During a social visit to Montag’s house, they brag about ignoring the bad things in their lives and have a cavalier attitude towards the upcoming war, their husbands, their children, and politics. Mrs. Phelps has a husband named Pete who was called in to fight in the upcoming war (and believes that he’ll be back in a week because of how quick the war will be) and thinks having children serves no purpose other than to ruin lives. Mrs. Bowles is a thrice married, single mother. Her first husband divorced her, her second died in a jet accident, and her third committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. She has two children who do not like or even respect her due to her permissive, often negligent and abusive parenting: Mrs. Bowles brags that her kids beat her up and she’s glad that she can hit back. When Montag reads Dover Beach to them, Mrs. Phelps starts crying over how hollow her life is while Mrs. Bowles chastises Montag for reading “silly awful hurting words”.
  • Granger is the leader of a group of wandering intellectual exiles who memorize books in order to preserve their contents.

Historical context

Bradbury’s lifelong passion with books began at an early age. As a frequent visitor to his local libraries in the 1920s and 1930s, he recalls being disappointed because they did not stock popular science fiction novels, like those of H. G. Wells, because, at the time, they were not deemed literary enough. Between this and learning about the destruction of the Library of Alexandria,[21] a great impression was made on the young man about the vulnerability of books to censure and destruction. Later as a teenager, Bradbury was horrified by the Nazi book burnings[22] and later Joseph Stalin‘s campaign of political repression, the “Great Purge“, in which writers and poets, among many others, were arrested and often executed.[23]

After the 1945 conclusion of World War II shortly after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States focused its concern on the Soviet atomic bomb project and the expansion of communism. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)—formed in 1938 to investigate American citizens and organizations suspected of having communist ties—held hearings in 1947 to investigate alleged communist influence in Hollywood movie-making. These hearings resulted in the blacklisting of the so-called “Hollywood Ten“,[24] a group of influential screenwriters and directors. This governmental interference in the affairs of artists and creative types greatly angered Bradbury.[25] Bitter and concerned about the workings of his government, a late 1949 nighttime encounter with an overzealous police officer would inspire Bradbury to write “The Pedestrian“, a short story which would go on to become “The Fireman” and then Fahrenheit 451. The rise of Senator Joseph McCarthy‘s hearings hostile to accused communists starting in 1950, would only deepen Bradbury’s contempt over government overreach.[26][27]

The same year HUAC began investigating Hollywood is often considered the beginning of the Cold War, as in March 1947, the Truman Doctrine was announced. By about 1950, the Cold War was in full swing and the American public’s fear of atomic warfare and communist influence was at a feverish level. The stage was set for Bradbury to write the dramatic nuclear holocaust ending of Fahrenheit 451, exemplifying the type of scenario feared by many Americans of the time.[28]

Bradbury’s early life witnessed the Golden Age of Radio while the transition to the Golden Age of Television began right around the time he started to work on the stories that would eventually lead to Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury saw these forms of media as a threat to the reading of books, indeed as a threat to society, as he believed they could act as a distraction from important affairs. This contempt for mass media and technology would express itself through Mildred and her friends and is an important theme in the book.[29]

Writing and development

Fahrenheit 451 developed out of a series of ideas Bradbury had visited in previously written stories. For many years, he tended to single out “The Pedestrian” in interviews and lectures as sort of a proto-Fahrenheit 451. In the Preface of his 2006 anthology Match to Flame: The Fictional Paths to Fahrenheit 451 he states that this is an oversimplification.[30] The full genealogy of Fahrenheit 451 given in Match to Flame is involved. The following covers the most salient aspects.[citation needed]

Between 1947 and 1948,[31] Bradbury wrote the short story “Bright Phoenix” (not published until the May 1963 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction[32][33]) about a librarian who confronts a book-burning “Chief Censor” named Jonathan Barnes. Barnes is a clear foreshadow of the ominous Captain Beatty of Fahrenheit 451.[citation needed]

In late 1949,[34] Bradbury was stopped and questioned by a police officer while walking late one night.[35][36] When asked “What are you doing?”, Bradbury wisecracked, “Putting one foot in front of another.”[35][36]This incident inspired Bradbury to write the 1951 short story “The Pedestrian”.[notes 4][35][36] In “The Pedestrian”, Leonard Mead is harassed and detained by the city’s remotely operated police cruiser (there’s only one) for taking nighttime walks, something that has become extremely rare in this future-based setting: everybody else stays inside and watches television (“viewing screens”). Alone and without an alibi, Mead is taken to the “Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies” for his peculiar habit. Fahrenheit 451 would later echo this theme of an authoritarian society distracted by broadcast media.[citation needed]

Bradbury expanded the book-burning premise of “Bright Phoenix”[37] and the totalitarian future of “The Pedestrian”[38] into “The Fireman”, a novella published in the February 1951 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction.[39][40] “The Fireman” was written in the basement of UCLA‘s Powell Library on a typewriter that he rented for a fee of ten cents per half hour.[41] The first draft was 25,000 words long and was completed in nine days.[42]

Urged by a publisher at Ballantine Books to double the length of his story to make a novel, Bradbury returned to the same typing room and expanded his work into Fahrenheit 451, taking just nine days.[41] The completed book was published by Ballantine in 1953.[43]

Supplementary material

Bradbury has supplemented the novel with various front and back matter, including a 1979 coda,[44] a 1982 afterword,[45] a 1993 foreword, and several introductions. In these he provides some commentary on the themes of the novel,[44] thoughts on the movie adaptation, and numerous personal anecdotes related to the writing and development.[citation needed]

Publication history

The first U.S. printing was a paperback version from October 1953 by The Ballantine Publishing Group. Shortly after the paperback, a hardback version was released that included a special edition of 200 signed and numbered copies bound in asbestos.[46][47][48] These were technically collections because the novel was published with two short stories: “The Playground” and “And the Rock Cried Out”, which have been absent in later printings.[1][49] A few months later, the novel was serialized in the March, April, and May 1954 issues of nascent Playboy magazine.[9][50]

Expurgation

Starting in January 1967, Fahrenheit 451 was subject to expurgation by its publisher, Ballantine Books with the release of the “Bal-Hi Edition” aimed at high school students.[51][52] Among the changes made by the publisher were the censorship of the words “hell”, “damn”, and “abortion”; the modification of seventy-five passages; and the changing of two episodes.[52][53] In the one case, a drunk man became a “sick man” while cleaning fluff out of a human navel became “cleaning ears” in the other.[52][54] For a while both the censored and uncensored versions were available concurrently but by 1973 Ballantine was publishing only the censored version.[54][55] This continued until 1979 when it came to Bradbury’s attention:[54][55]

In 1979, one of Bradbury’s friends showed him an expurgated copy. Bradbury demanded that Ballantine Books withdraw that version and replace it with the original, and in 1980 the original version once again became available. In this reinstated work, in the Author’s Afterword, Bradbury relates to the reader that it is not uncommon for a publisher to expurgate an author’s work, but he asserts that he himself will not tolerate the practice of manuscript “mutilation”.

The “Bal-Hi” editions are now referred to by the publisher as the “Revised Bal-Hi” editions.[56]

Non-print publications

An audiobook version read by Bradbury himself was released in 1976 and received a Spoken Word Grammy nomination.[14] Another audiobook was released in 2005 narrated by Christopher Hurt.[57] The e-bookversion was released in December 2011.[58][59]

Reception

In 1954, Galaxy Science Fiction reviewer Groff Conklin placed the novel “among the great works of the imagination written in English in the last decade or more.”[60] The Chicago Sunday Tribunes August Derlethdescribed the book as “a savage and shockingly savage prophetic view of one possible future way of life,” calling it “compelling” and praising Bradbury for his “brilliant imagination”.[61] Over half a century later, Sam Weller wrote, “upon its publication, Fahrenheit 451 was hailed as a visionary work of social commentary.”[62] Today, Fahrenheit 451 is still viewed as an important cautionary tale against conformity and book burning.[63]

When the book was first published there were those who did not find merit in the tale. Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas were less enthusiastic, faulting the book for being “simply padded, occasionally with startlingly ingenious gimmickry, … often with coruscating cascades of verbal brilliance [but] too often merely with words.”[64] Reviewing the book for Astounding Science Fiction, P. Schuyler Miller characterized the title piece as “one of Bradbury’s bitter, almost hysterical diatribes,” and praised its “emotional drive and compelling, nagging detail.”[65] Similarly, The New York Times was unimpressed with the novel and further accused Bradbury of developing a “virulent hatred for many aspects of present-day culture, namely, such monstrosities as radio, TV, most movies, amateur and professional sports, automobiles, and other similar aberrations which he feels debase the bright simplicity of the thinking man’s existence.”[66]

Censorship/banning incidents

In the years since its publication, Fahrenheit 451 has occasionally been banned, censored, or redacted in some schools by parents and teaching staff either unaware of or indifferent to the inherent irony of such censorship. The following are some notable incidents:

  • In 1987, Fahrenheit 451 was given “third tier” status by the Bay County School Board in Panama City, Florida, under then-superintendent Leonard Hall’s new three-tier classification system.[67] Third tier was meant for books to be removed from the classroom for “a lot of vulgarity”.[67] After a resident class-action lawsuit, a media stir, and student protests, the school board abandoned their tier-based censorship system and approved all the currently used books.[67]
  • In 1992, Venado Middle School in Irvine, California gave copies of Fahrenheit 451 to students with all “obscene” words blacked out.[68] Parents contacted the local media and succeeded in reinstalling the uncensored copies.[68]
  • In 2006, parents of a tenth grade high school student in Montgomery County, Texas, demanded the book be banned from their daughter’s English class reading list.[69] Their daughter was assigned the book during Banned Books Week, but stopped reading several pages in due to the offensive language and description of the burning of the Bible.[69] In addition, her parents protested the violence, portrayal of Christians, and depictions of firemen in the novel.[69]

Themes

Discussions about Fahrenheit 451 often center on its story foremost as a warning against state-based censorship. Indeed, when Bradbury wrote the novel during the McCarthy era, he was concerned about censorship in the United States. During a radio interview in 1956,[70][71] Bradbury said:

I wrote this book at a time when I was worried about the way things were going in this country four years ago. Too many people were afraid of their shadows; there was a threat of book burning. Many of the books were being taken off the shelves at that time. And of course, things have changed a lot in four years. Things are going back in a very healthy direction. But at the time I wanted to do some sort of story where I could comment on what would happen to a country if we let ourselves go too far in this direction, where then all thinking stops, and the dragon swallows his tail, and we sort of vanish into a limbo and we destroy ourselves by this sort of action.

As time went by, Bradbury tended to dismiss censorship as a chief motivating factor for writing the story. Instead he usually claimed that the real messages of Fahrenheit 451 were about the dangers of an illiterate society infatuated with mass media and the threat of minority and special interest groups to books. In the late 1950s, Bradbury recounted:

In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451, I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.[72]

This story echoes Mildred’s “Seashell ear-thimbles” (i.e., a brand of in-ear headphones) that act as an emotional barrier between her and Montag. In a 2007 interview, Bradbury maintained that people misinterpret his book and that Fahrenheit 451 is really a statement on how mass media like television marginalizes the reading of literature.[73] Regarding minorities, he wrote in his 1979 Coda:

There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist/Unitarian, Irish/Italian/Octogenarian/Zen Buddhist, Zionist/Seventh-day Adventist, Women’s Lib/Republican, Mattachine/Four Square Gospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. […] Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from this book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the libraries closed forever. […] Only six weeks ago, I discovered that, over the years, some cubby-hole editors at Ballantine Books, fearful of contaminating the young, had, bit by bit, censored some seventy-five separate sections from the novel. Students, reading the novel, which, after all, deals with censorship and book-burning in the future, wrote to tell me of this exquisite irony. Judy-Lynn del Rey, one of the new Ballantine editors, is having the entire book reset and republished this summer with all the damns and hells back in place.[74]

Book-burning censorship, Bradbury would argue, was a side-effect of the these two primary factors; this is consistent with Captain Beatty’s speech to Montag about the history of the firemen. According to Bradbury, it is the people, not the state, who are the culprit in Fahrenheit 451.[73] Nevertheless, the role on censorship, state-based or otherwise, is still perhaps the most frequent theme explored in the work.[75][better source needed]

A variety of other themes in the novel besides censorship have been suggested. Two major themes are resistance to conformity and control of individuals via technology and mass media. Bradbury explores how the government is able to use mass media to influence society and suppress individualism through book burning. The characters Beatty and Faber point out the American population is to blame. Due to their constant desire for a simplistic, positive image, books must be suppressed. Beatty blames the minority groups, who would take offense to published works that displayed them in an unfavorable light. Faber went further to state that the American population simply stopped reading on their own. He notes that the book burnings themselves became a form of entertainment to the general public.[76]

Predictions for the future

Bradbury described himself as “a preventor of futures, not a predictor of them.”[77] He did not believe that book burning was an inevitable part of our future; he wanted to warn against its development.[77] In a later interview, when asked if he believes that teaching Fahrenheit 451 in schools will prevent his totalitarian[2] vision of the future, Bradbury replied in the negative. Rather, he states that education must be at the kindergarten and first-grade level. If students are unable to read then, they will be unable to read Fahrenheit 451.[78]

In terms of technology, Sam Weller notes that Bradbury “predicted everything from flat-panel televisions to iPod earbuds and twenty-four-hour banking machines.”[79]

Adaptations

Playhouse 90 broadcast “A Sound of Different Drummers” on CBS in 1957, written by Robert Alan Aurthur. The play combined plot ideas from Fahrenheit 451 and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Bradbury sued and eventually won on appeal.[80][81]

A film adaptation written and directed by François Truffaut and starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie was released in 1966.[82][83]

BBC Radio produced a one-off dramatization of the novel in 1982[84] starring Michael Pennington.[85] It was broadcast again on February 12, 2012, and April 7 and 8, 2013, on BBC Radio 4 Extra.[86]

In 1984, the novel was adapted into a computer text adventure game of the same name by the software company Trillium.[87]

In 2006, the Drama Desk Award winning Godlight Theatre Company produced and performed the New York City premiere of Ray Bradbury‘s Fahrenheit 451 at 59E59 Theaters.[88] After the completion of the New York run, the production then transferred to the Edinburgh Festival where it was a 2006 Edinburgh Festival Pick of the Fringe.[89]

The Off-Broadway theatre The American Place Theatre presented a one man show adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 as a part of their 2008–2009 Literature to Life season.[90]

In June 2009, a graphic novel edition of the book was published. Entitled Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation,[91] the paperback graphic adaptation was illustrated by Tim Hamilton.[92][93] The introduction in the novel is written by Bradbury.[citation needed]

Fahrenheit 451 inspired the Birmingham Repertory Theatre production Time Has Fallen Asleep in the Afternoon Sunshine, which was performed at the Birmingham Central Library in April 2012.[94]

Notes

  1. Jump up^ During Captain Beatty’s recounting of the history of the firemen to Montag, he says, “Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.” The text is ambiguous regarding which century he is claiming began this pattern. One interpretation is that he means the 20th century, which would place the novel in at least the 24th century. “The Fireman” novella, which was expanded to become Fahrenheit 451, is set in October 2052.
  2. Jump up^ In early editions of the book, Montag says, “We’ve started and won two atomic wars since 1960” in the first pages of The Sieve and the Sand. This sets a lower bound on the time setting. In later decades, some editions have changed this year to 1990 or 2022.
  3. Jump up^ Clarisse tells Montag she is “seventeen and crazy”, later admitting that she will actually be seventeen “next month”.
  4. Jump up^ “The Pedestrian” would go on to be published in The Reporter magazine on August 7, 1951, that is, after the publication in February 1951 of its inspired work “The Fireman”.

See also

Further reading

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451

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If: A Father’s Advice to His Son – Rudyard Kipling’s poem — Videos

Posted on April 3, 2015. Filed under: Art, Blogroll, College, Culture, Education, Faith, Family, Freedom, Friends, Language, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Poetry, Raves, Video, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

IF – Rudyard Kipling’s poem, recitation by Sir Michael Caine

“If” by Rudyard Kipling (read by Tom O’Bedlam)

IF by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling, If: A Father’s Advice to His Son

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/346219-if-you-can-keep-your-head-when-all-about-you

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Saul Bellow — Ravelstein — Videos

Posted on March 16, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Book, Books, Culture, Faith, Family, Fiction, history, People, Philosophy, Photos, Press, Raves, Talk Radio, Video, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

bellowsSaul-Bellow bellows_2ravelsteinSaul Bellow - Ravelsteinsaul-bellow-wife daughterSaul-Bellow (1)principal-saul-bellow_grande Ravelstein

Nobel Prize winner Saul Bellow reads his fiction

Saul Bellow Interview

Saul Bellow

Norman Manea, Great Jewish Writers of Our Time Series: Excerpts from an Interview with Saul Bellow

The Greatest American Essays: Saul Bellow (Herzog, Seize the Day, Humboldt’s Gift) (1998)

Saul Bellow (June 10, 1915 — April 5, 2005) was a Canadian-born American writer. For his literary contributions, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts. He is the only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction three times and he received the Foundation’s lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1990.

In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee, his writing exhibited “the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of our culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes in quick succession interspersed with philosophic conversation, all developed by a commentator with a witty tongue and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age.” His best-known works include The Adventures of Augie March, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog, Mr. Sammler’s Planet, Seize the Day, Humboldt’s Gift and Ravelstein. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest authors, Bellow has had a “huge literary influence.”

Bellow said that of all his characters Eugene Henderson, of “Henderson the Rain King,” was the one most like himself. Bellow grew up as an insolent slum kid, a “thick-necked” rowdy, and an immigrant from Quebec. As Christopher Hitchens describes it, Bellow’s fiction and principal characters reflect his own yearning for transcendence, a battle “to overcome not just ghetto conditions but also ghetto psychoses.” Bellow’s protagonists, in one shape or another, all wrestle with what Corde (Albert Corde, the dean in “The Dean’s December”) called “the big-scale insanities of the 20th century.” This transcendence of the “unutterably dismal” (a phrase from Dangling Man) is achieved, if it can be achieved at all, through a “ferocious assimilation of learning” (Hitchens) and an emphasis on nobility.

In 1989, Bellow received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. The Helmerich Award is presented annually by the Tulsa Library Trust.

Bellow attended the University of Chicago but later transferred to Northwestern University. He originally wanted to study literature, but he felt the English department was anti-Jewish. Instead, he graduated with honors in anthropology and sociology. It has been suggested Bellow’s study of anthropology had an influence on his literary style, and anthropological references pepper his works. Bellow later did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Paraphrasing Bellow’s description of his close friend Allan Bloom (see Ravelstein), John Podhoretz has said that both Bellow and Bloom “inhaled books and ideas the way the rest of us breathe air.”

In the 1930s, Bellow was part of the Chicago branch of the Works Progress Administration Writer’s Project, which included such future Chicago literary luminaries as Richard Wright and Nelson Algren. Many of the writers were radical: if they were not members of the Communist Party USA, they were sympathetic to the cause. Bellow was a Trotskyist, but because of the greater numbers of Stalinist-leaning writers he had to suffer their taunts.

In 1941 Bellow became a naturalized US citizen. In 1943, Maxim Lieber was his literary agent.

During World War II, Bellow joined the merchant marine and during his service he completed his first novel, Dangling Man (1944) about a young Chicago man waiting to be drafted for the war.

From 1946 through 1948 Bellow taught at the University of Minnesota, living on Commonwealth Avenue, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In 1948, Bellow was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship that allowed him to move to Paris, where he began writing The Adventures of Augie March (1953). Critics have remarked on the resemblance between Bellow’s picaresque novel and the great 17th Century Spanish classic Don Quixote. The book starts with one of American literature’s most famous opening paragraphs, and it follows its titular character through a series of careers and encounters, as he lives by his wits and his resolve. Written in a colloquial yet philosophical style, The Adventures of Augie March established Bellow’s reputation as a major author.

In the late 1950s he taught creative writing at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras. One of his students was William Kennedy, who was encouraged by Bellow to write fiction.

Christopher Hitchens Book TV aired 11/3/2007 Saul Bellow

Saul Bellow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saul Bellow
SaulBellow.jpg
Born Solomon Bellows
10 June 1915
Lachine, Quebec, Canada
Died 5 April 2005 (aged 89)
Brookline, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation Writer
Nationality Canadian/American
Alma mater University of Chicago
Northwestern University
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Literature
1976
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
1976
National Medal of Arts
1988
National Book Award
1954, 1965, 1971
Spouse Anita Goshkin (1937–56), Alexandra (Sondra) Tschacbasov (1956–59), Susan Glassman (1961–64), Alexandra Bagdasar Ionescu Tulcea (1974–85), Janis Freedman (1989–2005)

Signature

Saul Bellow (10 June 1915 – 5 April 2005) was a Canadian-born American writer. For his literary contributions, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts.[1] He is the only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction three times[2] and he received the Foundation’s lifetimeMedal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1990.[3]

In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee, his writing exhibited “the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of our culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes in quick succession interspersed with philosophic conversation, all developed by a commentator with a witty tongue and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age.”[4] His best-known works includeThe Adventures of Augie March, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog, Mr. Sammler’s Planet, Seize the Day, Humboldt’s Gift and Ravelstein. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest authors, Bellow has had a “huge literary influence.”[5]

Bellow said that of all his characters Eugene Henderson, of Henderson the Rain King, was the one most like himself.[6] Bellow grew up as an insolent slum kid, a “thick-necked” rowdy, and an immigrant from Quebec. As Christopher Hitchens describes it, Bellow’s fiction and principal characters reflect his own yearning for transcendence, a battle “to overcome not just ghetto conditions but also ghetto psychoses.”[7][8] Bellow’s protagonists, in one shape or another, all wrestle with what Corde (Albert Corde, the dean in “The Dean’s December”) called “the big-scale insanities of the 20th century.” This transcendence of the “unutterably dismal” (a phrase from Dangling Man) is achieved, if it can be achieved at all, through a “ferocious assimilation of learning” (Hitchens) and an emphasis on nobility.

§Biography

§Early life

Saul Bellow was born Solomon Bellows[9][10] in Lachine, Quebec, two years after his parents, Lescha (née Gordin) and Abraham Bellows,[11] emigrated from Saint Petersburg, Russia. (He changed his name in 1936.)[9][10] Bellow celebrated his birthday in June, although he may have been born in July (in the Jewish community, it was customary to record the Hebrew date of birth, which does not always coincide with the Gregorian calendar).[12] Of his family’s emigration, Bellow wrote:

The retrospective was strong in me because of my parents. They were both full of the notion that they were falling, falling. They had been prosperous cosmopolitans in Saint Petersburg. My mother could never stop talking about the family dacha, her privileged life, and how all that was now gone. She was working in the kitchen. Cooking, washing, mending… There had been servants in Russia… But you could always transpose from your humiliating condition with the help of a sort of embittered irony.[13]

A period of illness from a respiratory infection at age eight both taught him self-reliance (he was a very fit man despite his sedentary occupation) and provided an opportunity to satisfy his hunger for reading: reportedly, he decided to be a writer when he first read Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

When Bellow was nine, his family moved to the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago, the city that formed the backdrop of many of his novels.[10] Bellow’s father, Abraham, was an onion importer. He also worked in a bakery, as a coal delivery man, and as a bootlegger.[10] Bellow’s mother, Liza, died when he was 17. He was left with his father and brother Maurice. His mother was deeply religious, and wanted her youngest son, Saul, to become a rabbi or a concert violinist. But he rebelled against what he later called the “suffocating orthodoxy” of his religious upbringing, and he began writing at a young age.[10] Bellow’s lifelong love for the Bible began at four when he learned Hebrew. Bellow also grew up reading William Shakespeare and the great Russian novelists of the 19th century.[10] In Chicago, he took part inanthroposophical studies. Bellow attended Tuley High School on Chicago’s west side where he befriended fellow writer Isaac Rosenfeld. In his 1959 novel Henderson the Rain King, Bellow modeled the character King Dahfu on Rosenfeld.[14]

§Education and early career

Bellow attended the University of Chicago but later transferred to Northwestern University. He originally wanted to study literature, but he felt the English department was anti-Jewish. Instead, he graduated with honors in anthropology and sociology.[15] It has been suggested Bellow’s study of anthropology had an influence on his literary style, and anthropological references pepper his works.[citation needed] Bellow later did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Paraphrasing Bellow’s description of his close friend Allan Bloom (see Ravelstein), John Podhoretz has said that both Bellow and Bloom “inhaled books and ideas the way the rest of us breathe air.”[16]

In the 1930s, Bellow was part of the Chicago branch of the Works Progress Administration Writer’s Project, which included such future Chicago literary luminaries as Richard Wright and Nelson Algren. Many of the writers were radical: if they were not members of the Communist Party USA, they were sympathetic to the cause. Bellow was a Trotskyist, but because of the greater numbers of Stalinist-leaning writers he had to suffer their taunts.[17]

In 1941 Bellow became a naturalized US citizen.[18] In 1943, Maxim Lieber was his literary agent.

During World War II, Bellow joined the merchant marine and during his service he completed his first novel, Dangling Man (1944) about a young Chicago man waiting to be drafted for the war.

From 1946 through 1948 Bellow taught at the University of Minnesota, living on Commonwealth Avenue, in St. Paul, Minnesota.[19]

In 1948, Bellow was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship that allowed him to move to Paris, where he began writing The Adventures of Augie March (1953). Critics have remarked on the resemblance between Bellow’s picaresque novel and the great 17th Century Spanish classic Don Quixote.[citation needed] The book starts with one of American literature’s most famous opening paragraphs,[citation needed] and it follows its titular character through a series of careers and encounters, as he lives by his wits and his resolve. Written in a colloquial yet philosophical style, The Adventures of Augie March established Bellow’s reputation as a major author.

In the spring term of 1961 he taught creative writing at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras.[20] One of his students was William Kennedy, who was encouraged by Bellow to write fiction.

§Return to Chicago and mid-career

Bellow lived in New York City for a number of years, but he returned to Chicago in 1962 as a professor at the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. The committee’s goal was to have professors work closely with talented graduate students on a multi-disciplinary approach to learning. Bellow taught on the committee for more than 30 years, alongside his close friend, the philosopher Allan Bloom.

There were also other reasons for Bellow’s return to Chicago, where he moved into the Hyde Park neighborhood with his third wife, Susan Glassman. Bellow found Chicago vulgar but vital, and more representative of America than New York.[21] He was able to stay in contact with old high school friends and a broad cross-section of society. In a 1982 profile, Bellow’s neighborhood was described as a high-crime area in the city’s center, and Bellow maintained he had to live in such a place as a writer and “stick to his guns.”[22]

Bellow hit the bestseller list in 1964 with his novel Herzog. Bellow was surprised at the commercial success of this cerebral novel about a middle-aged and troubled college professor who writes letters to friends, scholars and the dead, but never sends them. Bellow returned to his exploration of mental instability, and its relationship to genius, in his 1975 novel Humboldt’s Gift. Bellow used his late friend and rival, the brilliant but self-destructive poet Delmore Schwartz, as his model for the novel’s title character, Von Humboldt Fleisher.[23] Bellow also used Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual science, anthroposophy, as a theme in the book, having attended a study group in Chicago. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1969.[24]

§Nobel Prize and later career

Saul Bellow (left) with Keith Botsford, around 1992

Propelled by the success of Humboldt’s Gift, Bellow won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1976. In the 70-minute address he gave to an audience in Stockholm, Sweden, Bellow called on writers to be beacons for civilization and awaken it from intellectual torpor.[23]

The following year, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected Bellow for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government’s highest honor for achievement in thehumanities. Bellow’s lecture was entitled “The Writer and His Country Look Each Other Over.”[25]

Bellow traveled widely throughout his life, mainly to Europe, which he sometimes visited twice a year.[23] As a young man, Bellow went to Mexico City to meet Leon Trotsky, but the expatriate Russian revolutionary was assassinated the day before they were to meet. Bellow’s social contacts were wide and varied. He tagged along with Robert F. Kennedy for a magazine profile he never wrote, he was close friends with the author Ralph Ellison. His many friends included the journalist Sydney J. Harris and the poet John Berryman.[citation needed]

While sales of Bellow’s first few novels were modest, that turned around with Herzog. Bellow continued teaching well into his old age, enjoying its human interaction and exchange of ideas. He taught at Yale University, University of Minnesota, New York University, Princeton University, University of Puerto Rico, University of Chicago, Bard College and Boston University, where he co-taught a class with James Wood (‘modestly absenting himself’ when it was time to discuss Seize the Day). In order to take up his appointment at Boston, Bellow moved in 1993 from Chicago to Brookline, Massachusetts, where he died on 5 April 2005, at age 89. He is buried at the Jewish cemetery Shir HeHarim of Brattleboro, Vermont.

Bellow was married five times, with all but his last marriage ending in divorce. His son by his first marriage, Greg Bellow, became a psychotherapist; Greg Bellow published Saul Bellow’s Heart: A Son’s Memoir in 2013, nearly a decade after his father’s death.[26] Bellow’s son by his second marriage, Adam, published a nonfiction book In Praise of Nepotism in 2003. Bellow’s wives were Anita Goshkin, Alexandra (Sondra) Tsachacbasov, Susan Glassman, Alexandra Ionescu Tulcea and Janis Freedman. In 1999, when he was 84, Bellow had a daughter, Rosie, his fourth child, with Freedman.

While he read voluminously, Bellow also played the violin and followed sports. Work was a constant for him, but he at times toiled at a plodding pace on his novels, frustrating the publishing company.[23]

His early works earned him the reputation as a major novelist of the 20th century, and by his death he was widely regarded as one of the greatest living novelists.[27] He was the first writer to win three National Book Awards in all award categories.[2] His friend and protege Philip Roth has said of him, “The backbone of 20th-century American literature has been provided by two novelists—William Faulkner and Saul Bellow. Together they are the Melville, Hawthorne, and Twain of the 20th century.” James Wood, in a eulogy of Bellow in The New Republic, wrote:[28]

I judged all modern prose by his. Unfair, certainly, because he made even the fleet-footed—the Updikes, the DeLillos, the Roths—seem like monopodes. Yet what else could I do? I discovered Saul Bellow’s prose in my late teens, and henceforth, the relationship had the quality of a love affair about which one could not keep silent. Over the last week, much has been said about Bellow’s prose, and most of the praise—perhaps because it has been overwhelmingly by men—has tended toward the robust: We hear about Bellow’s mixing of high and low registers, his Melvillean cadences jostling the jivey Yiddish rhythms, the great teeming democracy of the big novels, the crooks and frauds and intellectuals who loudly people the brilliant sensorium of the fiction. All of this is true enough; John Cheever, in his journals, lamented that, alongside Bellow’s fiction, his stories seemed like mere suburban splinters. Ian McEwan wisely suggested last week that British writers and critics may have been attracted to Bellow precisely because he kept alive a Dickensian amplitude now lacking in the English novel. […] But nobody mentioned the beauty of this writing, its music, its high lyricism, its firm but luxurious pleasure in language itself. […] [I]n truth, I could not thank him enough when he was alive, and I cannot now.

§Themes and style

The author’s works speak to the disorienting nature of modern civilization, and the countervailing ability of humans to overcome their frailty and achieve greatness (or at least awareness). Bellow saw many flaws in modern civilization, and its ability to foster madness, materialism and misleading knowledge.[29] Principal characters in Bellow’s fiction have heroic potential, and many times they stand in contrast to the negative forces of society. Often these characters are Jewish and have a sense of alienation or otherness.

Jewish life and identity is a major theme in Bellow’s work, although he bristled at being called a “Jewish writer.” Bellow’s work also shows a great appreciation of America, and a fascination with the uniqueness and vibrancy of the American experience.

Bellow’s work abounds in references and quotes from the likes of Marcel Proust and Henry James, but he offsets these high-culture references with jokes.[10] Bellow interspersed autobiographical elements into his fiction, and many of his principal characters were said to bear a resemblance to him.

§Criticism, controversy and conservative cultural activism[edit]

Martin Amis described Bellow as “The greatest American author ever, in my view”.[30]

His sentences seem to weigh more than anyone else’s. He is like a force of nature… He breaks all the rules […] [T]he people in Bellow’s fiction are real people, yet the intensity of the gaze that he bathes them in, somehow through the particular, opens up into the universal.[31]

For Linda Grant, “What Bellow had to tell us in his fiction was that it was worth it, being alive.”

His vigour, vitality, humour and passion were always matched by the insistence on thought, not the predigested cliches of the mass media or of those on the left, which had begun to disgust him by the Sixties… It’s easy to be a ‘writer of conscience’—anyone can do it if they want to; just choose your cause. Bellow was a writer about conscience and consciousness, forever conflicted by the competing demands of the great cities, the individual’s urge to survival against all odds and his equal need for love and some kind of penetrating understanding of what there was of significance beyond all the racket and racketeering.[32]

On the other hand, Bellow’s detractors considered his work conventional and old-fashioned, as if the author was trying to revive the 19th-century European novel. In a private letter, Vladimir Nabokov once referred to Bellow as a “miserable mediocrity.”[33] Journalist and author Ron Rosenbaum described Bellow’s Ravelstein (2000) as the only book that rose above Bellow’s failings as an author. Rosenbaum wrote,

My problem with the pre-Ravelstein Bellow is that he all too often strains too hard to yoke together two somewhat contradictory aspects of his being and style. There’s the street-wise Windy City wiseguy and then—as if to show off that the wiseguy has Wisdom—there are the undigested chunks of arcane, not entirely impressive, philosophic thought and speculation. Just to make sure you know his novels have intellectual heft. That the world and the flesh in his prose are both figured and transfigured.[34]

Sam Tanenhaus wrote in New York Times Book Review in 2007:

But what, then, of the many defects—the longueurs and digressions, the lectures on anthroposophy and religion, the arcane reading lists? What of the characters who don’t change or grow but simply bristle onto the page, even the colorful lowlifes pontificating like fevered students in the seminars Bellow taught at the University of Chicago? And what of the punitively caricatured ex-wives drawn from the teeming annals of the novelist’s own marital discord?

But, Tanenhaus went on to answer his question:

Shortcomings, to be sure. But so what? Nature doesn’t owe us perfection. Novelists don’t either. Who among us would even recognize perfection if we saw it? In any event, applying critical methods, of whatever sort, seemed futile in the case of an author who, as Randall Jarrell once wrote of Walt Whitman, is a world, a waste with, here and there, systems blazing at random out of the darkness—those systems as beautifully and astonishingly organized as the rings and satellites of Saturn.[35]

V. S. Pritchett praised Bellow, finding his shorter works to be his best. Pritchett called Bellow’s novella Seize the Day a “small gray masterpiece.”[10]

As he grew older, Bellow moved decidedly away from leftist politics and became identified with cultural conservatism.[23][36][37] His opponents included feminism, campus activism[38] and postmodernism.[39] Bellow also thrust himself into the often contentious realm of Jewish and African-American relations.[40] Bellow has also been critical of multiculturalism and once said: “Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of thePapuans? I’d be glad to read him.”[41]

Despite his identification with Chicago, he kept aloof from some of that city’s more conventional writers. In a 2006 interview with Stop Smiling magazine, Studs Terkel said of Bellow: “I didn’t know him too well. We disagreed on a number of things politically. In the protests in the beginning of Norman Mailer‘s Armies of the Night, when Mailer, Robert Lowell and Paul Goodman were marching to protest the Vietnam War, Bellow was invited to a sort of counter-gathering. He said, ‘Of course I’ll attend’. But he made a big thing of it. Instead of just saying OK, he was proud of it. So I wrote him a letter and he didn’t like it. He wrote me a letter back. He called me a Stalinist. But otherwise, we were friendly. He was a brilliant writer, of course. I love Seize the Day.”

§Awards and honors

§Bibliography

For a complete list of works, see Bibliography of Saul Bellow.

§Novels and novellas

§Short story collections

  • Mosby’s Memoirs (1968)
  • Him with His Foot in His Mouth (1984)
  • Something to Remember Me By: Three Tales (1991)
  • Collected Stories (2001)

§Plays

  • The Last Analysis (1965)

§Library of America editions

  • Novels 1944–1953: Dangling Man, The Victim, The Adventures of Augie March (2003)
  • Novels 1956–1964: Seize the Day, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog (2007)
  • Novels 1970–1982: Mr. Sammler’s Planet, Humboldt’s Gift, The Dean’s December (2010)
  • Novels 1984–2000: What Kind of Day Did You Have?, More Die of Heartbreak, A Theft, The Bellarosa Connection, The Actual, Ravelstein (2014)

§Translations

§Non-fiction

  • To Jerusalem and Back (1976), memoir
  • It All Adds Up (1994), essay collection
  • Saul Bellow: Letters, edited by Benjamin Taylor (2010), correspondence

§Works about Saul Bellow

  • Saul Bellow’s Heart: A Son’s Memoir, Greg Bellow, 2013 ISBN 978-1608199952
  • Saul Bellow, Tony Tanner (1965) (see also his City of Words [1971])
  • Saul Bellow, Malcolm Bradbury (1982)
  • Saul Bellow Drumlin Woodchuck,Mark Harris, University of Georgia Press. (1982)
  • Saul Bellow: Modern Critical Views, Harold Bloom (Ed.) (1986)
  • Handsome Is: Adventures with Saul Bellow, Harriet Wasserman (1997)
  • Saul Bellow and the Decline of Humanism, Michael K Glenday (1990)
  • Saul Bellow: A Biography of the Imagination, Ruth Miller, St. Martins Pr. (1991)
  • Bellow: A Biography, James Atlas (2000)
  • Saul Bellow and American Transcendentalism, M.A. Quayum (2004)
  • “Even Later” and “The American Eagle” in Martin Amis, The War Against Cliché (2001) are celebratory. The latter essay is also found in the Everyman’s Library edition of Augie March.
  • ‘Saul Bellow’s comic style’: James Wood in The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel, 2004. ISBN 0-224-06450-9.
  • The Hero in Contemporary American Fiction: The Works of Saul Bellow and Don DeLillo , Stephanie Halldorson (2007)
  • Saul Bellow a song, written by Sufjan Stevens on The Avalanche

§See also

§References

  1. Jump up^ University of Chicago accolades — National Medal of Arts. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b “National Book Award Winners: 1950–2009”. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
  3. Jump up^ “Distinguished Contribution to American Letters”. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
  4. Jump up^ [1] Press Release: The Nobel Prize in Literature, 1976, Swedish Academy
  5. Jump up^ Obituary: Saul Bellow BBC News, Tuesday, 5 April 2005
  6. Jump up^ [2], Mel Gussow and Charles McGrath[2005] , in Saul Bellow, Who Breathed Life into American Novel, Dies at 89.”
  7. Jump up^ Arguably: Essays, Christopher Hitchens[2011], “Saul Bellow: The Great Assimilator”, Atlantic Books, 2011 ISBN 9780857892577
  8. Jump up^ “Jewish American titan from the ghetto” By Christopher Hitchens, 30 December 30, 2011
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Library of America Bellow Novels 1944–1953 Pg.1000.
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Mel Gussow and Charles McGrath, Saul Bellow, Who Breathed Life Into American Novel, Dies at 89, The New York Times6 April 2005. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  11. Jump up^ [3]
  12. Jump up^ The New York Times obituary, 6 April 2005. “…his birthdate is listed as either June or July 10, 1915, though his lawyer, Mr. Pozen, said yesterday that Mr. Bellow customarily celebrated in June. (Immigrant Jews at that time tended to be careless about the Christian calendar, and the records are inconclusive.)”
  13. Jump up^ Saul Bellow, It All Adds Up (Penguin, 2007), pp. 295–6.
  14. Jump up^ “Isaac Rosenfeld’s Dybbuk and Rethinking Literary Biography”, Zipperstein, Steven J. (2002). Partisan Review 49 (1). Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  15. Jump up^ The New York Times obituary, 6 April 2005. “He had hoped to study literature but was put off by what he saw as the tweedy anti-Semitism of the English department, and graduated in 1937 with honors in anthropology and sociology, subjects that were later to instill his novels.”
  16. Jump up^ timesonline.co.uk: Saul Bellow, a neocon’s tale
  17. Jump up^ Drew, Bettina. Nelson Algren, A Life on the Wild Side. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991
  18. Jump up^ Slater, Elinor; Robert Slater (1996). “SAUL BELLOW: Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature”. Great Jewish Men. Jonathan David Company. p. 42. ISBN 0-8246-0381-8. Retrieved 21 October 2007.
  19. Jump up^ (Life and Works). Saul Bellow Journal.[dead link]
  20. Jump up^ Bellow, Saul (2010). Saul Bellow: Letters. redactor Ben Taylor. New York: Viking. ISBN 9781101445327. Retrieved 12 July 2014. […] Puerto Rico, where he was spending the spring term of 1961.
  21. Jump up^ The New York Times Book Review, 13 December 1981
  22. Jump up^ Vogue, March 1982
  23. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Atlas, James. Bellow: A Biography. New York: Random House, 2000.
  24. Jump up^ “Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B”. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  25. Jump up^ Jefferson Lecturers at NEH Website . Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  26. Jump up^ Woods, James (22 July 2013). “Sins of the Fathers: Do great novelists make bad parents?”. The New Yorker. Retrieved30 December 2014.
  27. Jump up^ ‘He was the first true immigrant voice’ The Observer, Sunday 10 April 2005
  28. Jump up^ Wood, James, ‘Gratitude’, New Republic, 00286583, 25 April 2005, Vol. 232, Issue 15
  29. Jump up^ Malin, Irving. Saul Bellow’s Fiction. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1969
  30. Jump up^ Martin Amis Author of Yellow Dog talks with Robert Birnbaum 8 December 2003, by Robert Birnbaum
  31. Jump up^ Martin Amis Author of Yellow Dog talks with Robert Birnbaum,Identity Theory, December 8, 2003, by Robert Birnbaum
  32. Jump up^ ‘He was the first true immigrant voice’ Linda grant, The Observer, Sunday 10 April 2005
  33. Jump up^ Wood, James (1 February 1990) “Private Strife.” Guardian Unlimited.
  34. Jump up^ Rosenbaum, Ron. “Saul Bellow and the Bad Fish.” Slate. 3 April 2007
  35. Jump up^ Tanenhaus, Sam (February 4, 2007) “Beyond Criticism.” New York Times Book Review.
  36. Jump up^ Review: The Joan Peters Case, Edward W. Said, Journal of Palestine Studies, 15:2 (Winter, 1986), pp. 144–150. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
  37. Jump up^ The Fate of an Honest Intellectual, Noam Chomsky (2002), inUnderstanding Power, The New Press, pp. 244–248. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
  38. Jump up^ “Campus Activism”. Campus Activism. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  39. Jump up^ “The New American McCarthyism: policing thought about the Middle East”.
  40. Jump up^ Ahmed, Azam and Ron Grossman (5 October 2007) “Bellow’s remarks on race haunt legacy in Hyde Park.” Chicago Tribune.
  41. Jump up^ John Blades (19 June 1994). “Bellow’s Latest Chapter”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  42. Jump up^ “National Book Awards — 1954”. National Book Foundation (NBF). Retrieved 2012-03-03. (With essay by Nathaniel Rich from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
  43. Jump up^ “National Book Awards — 1965”. NBF. Retrieved 2012-03-03. (With acceptance speech by Bellow and essay by Salvatore Scibona from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
  44. Jump up^ “National Book Awards — 1971”. NBF. Retrieved 2012-03-03. (With essay by Craig Morgan Teicher from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
  45. Jump up^ “History”. Past winners & finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-30.

§External links

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

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Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George — Interface

Posted on February 25, 2015. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Computers, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Family, Federal Government, Fiction, Freedom, Friends, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Money, People, Photos, Politics, Raves, Resources, Reviews, Systems, Talk Radio, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

stephensonInterface-Neal-Stephenson-Paperback15-lge neal-stephenson

Neal Stephenson on Optimism

Neal Stephenson Discusses Why His Novels Haven’t Been Made Into Movies

Neal Stephenson – “We Are All Geeks Now.”

Neal Stephenson on Anathem: The genesis of the novel and its main ideas

Neal Stephenson Creates a New Language for ANATHEM

Authors@Google: Neal Stephenson

Authors Neal Stephenson visits Google’s Headquarters in Mountain View, Ca, to discuss his book “Anathem”. This event took place September 12, 2008, as part of the Authors@google series. For more info, please visit http://www.nealstephenson.com/

Anathem, the latest invention by the New York Times bestselling author of Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle, is a magnificent creation: a work of great scope, intelligence, and imagination that ushers readers into a recognizable—yet strangely inverted—world.

Fraa Erasmas is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside “saecular” world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent’s walls. Three times during history’s darkest epochs violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside—the Extramuros—for the last of the terrible times was long, long ago.

Neal Stephenson is the author of seven previous novels. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Neal Stephenson interview – Reamde

Solve for X: Neal Stephenson on getting big stuff done

Neal Stephenson: 2011 National Book Festival

2012 10 18 LTA Bookclub Neal StephensonHQ

Black Hat USA 2012 – An Interview with Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson, Author – Turing Festival 2013 Keynote

ASTC 2013 Keynote – A Conversation with Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson is Awesome

 

Neal Stephenson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson 2008 crop.jpg
Stephenson at Science Foo Camp 2008

BornNeal Town Stephenson
October 31, 1959 (age 55)
Fort Meade, Maryland, United StatesPen nameStephen Bury
(with J. Frederick George)OccupationNovelist, short story writer, essayistNationalityAmericanPeriod1984–presentGenreSpeculative fiction, historical fiction, essaysLiterary movementcyberpunk, postcyberpunk,maximalismWebsitenealstephenson.com

Neal Town Stephenson (born October 31, 1959) is an American writer and game designer known for his works of speculative fiction.

His novels have been variously categorized as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk, and “postcyberpunk“. Other labels, such as “baroque“, often appear.

Stephenson explores subjects such as mathematics, cryptography, philosophy, currency, and the history of science. He also writes non-fiction articles about technology in publications such as Wired.

He has worked part-time as an advisor for Blue Origin, a company (funded by Jeff Bezos) developing a manned sub-orbital launch system, and is also a cofounder ofSubutai Corporation, whose first offering is the interactive fiction project The Mongoliad. He has also written novels with his uncle, George Jewsbury (“J. Frederick George”), under the collective pseudonym Stephen Bury.

Life

Born on October 31, 1959 in Fort Meade, Maryland,[1] Stephenson came from a family of engineers and scientists; his father is a professor of electrical engineering while his paternal grandfather was a physics professor. His mother worked in a biochemistry laboratory, and her father was a biochemistry professor. Stephenson’s family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1960 and then in 1966 to Ames, Iowa. He graduated from Ames High School in 1977.[2]

Stephenson studied at Boston University,[2] first specializing in physics, then switching to geography after he found that it would allow him to spend more time on the university mainframe.[3] He graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in geography and a minor in physics.[2] Since 1984, Stephenson has lived mostly in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Seattle with his family.[2]

Career

Discussing Anathem at MIT in 2008

Stephenson’s first novel, The Big U, published in 1984, was a satirical take on life at American Megaversity, a vast, bland and alienating research university beset by chaotic riots.[4][5] His next novel, Zodiac (1988), was a thriller following the exploits of a radical environmentalist protagonist in his struggle against corporate polluters.[4] Neither novel attracted much critical attention on first publication, but showcased concerns that Stephenson would further develop in his later work.[4] The Big U went out of print until 2001, when Stephenson allowed it to be republished after realizing that this book that he considered inferior to his others was being sold at inflated prices for used copies because of its scarcity and collectors’ value.[citation needed]

Stephenson’s breakthrough came in 1992 with Snow Crash,[5] a comic [6] novel in the late cyberpunk or post-cyberpunk tradition fusing memetics, computer viruses, and other high-tech themes with Sumerian mythology, along with a sociological extrapolation of laissez-faire capitalism and collectivism. Snow Crash can be considered to be the first expression of Stephenson’s mature style. Stephenson at this time would later be described by Mike Godwin as “a slight, unassuming grad-student type whose soft-spoken demeanor gave no obvious indication that he had written the manic apotheosis of cyberpunk science fiction.”[7] In 1994, Stephenson joined with his uncle, J. Frederick George, to publish a political thriller, Interface, under the pen name “Stephen Bury”;[8] they followed this in 1996 with The Cobweb.

Stephenson’s next solo novel, published in 1995, was The Diamond Age: or A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, which introduced many of today’s real world technological discoveries. Seen back then as futuristic, Stephenson’s novel has broad range universal self-learning nanotechnology, dynabooks, extensive modern technologies, robotics, cybernetics and cyber cities. Weapons implanted in characters’ skulls, near limitless replicators for everything from mattresses to foods, smartpaper, air and blood-sanitizing nanobots, set in a grim future world of limited resources populated by hard edged survivalists, an amalgamation hero is accidentally conceptualized by a few powerful and wealthy creatives, programmers and hackers.

This was followed by Cryptonomicon in 1999, a novel concerned with concepts ranging from computing and Alan Turing‘s research into codebreaking and cryptography during the Second World War at Bletchley Park, to a modern attempt to set up a data haven. It has subsequently been reissued in three separate volumes in some countries, including in French and Spanish translations. In 2013, Cryptonomicon won thePrometheus Hall of Fame Award.

The Baroque Cycle, Stephenson’s next novel, is a series of long historical novels set in the 17th and 18th centuries, and is in some respects a prequel to Cryptonomicon. It was originally published in three volumes of two or three books each – Quicksilver (2003), The Confusion (2004) and The System of the World (2004) – but was subsequently republished as eight separate books: Quicksilver, King of the Vagabonds, Odalisque,Bonanza, Juncto, Solomon’s Gold, Currency, and System of the World. (The titles and exact breakdown varies in different markets.) The System of the World won the Prometheus Award in 2005.

Following this, Stephenson published a novel titled Anathem (2008), a very long and detailed work, perhaps best described as speculative fiction. It is set in an Earthlike world (perhaps in an alternative reality), deals with metaphysics, and refers heavily to Ancient Greek philosophy, while at the same time being a complex commentary on the insubstantiality of today’s society.

In May 2010, the Subutai Corporation, of which Stephenson was named chairman, announced the production of an experimental multimedia fiction project called The Mongoliad, which centered around a narrative written by Stephenson and other speculative fiction authors.[9][10]

REAMDE, a novel, was released on September 20, 2011.[11] The title is a play on the common filename README. This thriller, set in the present, centers around a group of MMORPG developers caught in the middle of Chinese cyber-criminals, Islamic terrorists, and Russian mafia.[12]

On August 7, 2012, Stephenson released a collection of essays and other previously published fiction entitled Some Remarks : Essays and Other Writing.[13] This collection also includes a new essay and a short story created specifically for this volume.

In 2012 Stephenson launched a Kickstarter campaign for CLANG, a realistic swordfighting fantasy game. The game uses motion control to provide an immersive experience. The game will contain a distinctive world and plotline. The campaign’s funding goal of $500,000 was reached by the target date of July 9, 2012 on Kickstarter, but funding options remained open and were still taking contributions to the project on their official site.[14] The project ran out of money in September 2013.[15] This, and the circumstances around it, has angered some backers.[16] There has even been talk, among the backers, of a potential class action lawsuit.[17] The project to develop the game ended in September 2014 without the game being completed. Stephenson took part of the responsibility for the project’s failure, stating that “I probably focused too much on historical accuracy and not enough on making it sufficiently fun to attract additional investment”.[18]

In late 2013, Stephenson claimed to be working on a multi-volume work, historical novels that would “have a lot to do with scientific and technological themes and how those interact with the characters and civilisation during a particular span of history”. He expected the first two volumes to be released in mid-to-late 2014.[19] However, at about the same time, he shifted his attention to a science fiction novel, Seveneves, which was completed about a year later and will be published in May of 2015.[20]

In 2014, Stephenson was hired as Chief Futurist[21] by the Florida-based company Magic Leap. Magic Leap claims to be developing a revolutionary form of augmented reality, not too different from technologies Stephenson previously has described in his science fiction books.

Non-fiction

The science fiction approach doesn’t mean it’s always about the future;
it’s an awareness that this is different.

– Neal Stephenson, September 1999[22]

Stephenson has also written non-fiction. In The Beginning Was The Command Line, an essay on operating systems including the histories of and relationships between DOS, Windows, Linux, and BeOS from both cultural and technical viewpoints and focusing especially on the development of the Graphical User Interface, was published in book form in 2000.[5] Various other essays have been published in magazines such as Wired.

With the 2003 publication of Quicksilver, Applied Minds debuted The Metaweb, an online wiki annotating the ideas and historical period explored in the novel. The project was influenced by the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, and its content included annotations from Stephenson himself.[23]

Style

In his earlier novels Stephenson deals heavily in pop culture-laden metaphors and imagery and in quick, hip dialogue, as well as in extended narrative monologues. The tone of his books is generally more irreverent and less serious than that of previous cyberpunk novels, notably those of William Gibson.

Stephenson at the Starship Century Symposium at UCSD in 2013

Stephenson’s books tend to have elaborate, inventive plots drawing on numerous technological and sociological ideas at the same time. This distinguishes him from other mainstream science fiction authors who tend to focus on a few technological or social changes in isolation from others. The discursive nature of his writing, together with significant plot and character complexity and an abundance of detail suggests a baroque writing style, which Stephenson brought fully to bear in the three-volume Baroque Cycle.[24] His book The Diamond Age follows a simpler plot but features “neo-Victorian” characters and employs Victorian-era literary conceits. In keeping with the baroque style, Stephenson’s books have become longer as he has gained recognition. For example, the paperback editions of Cryptonomicon are over eleven hundred pages long[25]with the novel containing various digressions, including a lengthy erotic story about antique furniture and stockings.

Works

Stephenson at the National Book Festivalin 2004

Novels

Short fiction

Other fiction projects

  • Project Hieroglyph, founded in 2011, administered by Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination since 2012. Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, ed. Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer, which includes contributions by Stephenson, was published by William Morrow in September, 2014.

Non-fiction

References

  1. Jump up^ Fisher, Lawrence M. (April 17, 1994). “SOUND BYTES; Orwell – Class of 1994”. The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Stephenson, Neal. “Biography”. Neal Stephenson’s Site (MobileMe). Archived from the original on June 28, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  3. Jump up^ “Neal Stephenson – Biography”. ElectricInca.com. Retrieved August 7, 2010. He began his higher education as a physics major, then switched to geography when it appeared that this would enable him to scam more free time on his university’s mainframe computer.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c Booker, M Keith; Thomas, Anne-Marie, eds. (2009). “Neal Stephenson (1959–)”. The Science Fiction Handbook. Chichester, UK ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 173. ISBN 1-4051-6205-8. OCLC 263498124.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Grassian, Daniel (2003). “From modernists to Gen Xers”. Hybrid fictions: American fiction and Generation X. Jefferson: McFarland & Co. pp. 29–30. ISBN 978-0-7864-1632-5. OCLC 52565833.
  6. Jump up^ Westfahl, Gary (2005). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders, Vol. 3. Greenwood Publishing. p. 1235. ISBN 0-313-32953-2. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
  7. Jump up^ Godwin, Mike (February 2005). “Neal Stephenson’s Past, Present, and Future”. Reason (Reason Foundation). Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  8. Jump up^ “Neal Stephenson: Cryptomancer”. Locus Online. August 1, 1999. Retrieved August 7, 2010. …a thriller written in collaboration with his uncle, George Jewsbury, under pseudonym Stephen Bury
  9. Jump up^ Eaton, Kit (May 26, 2010). “The Mongoliad App: Neal Stephenson’s Novel of the Future?”. Fast Company. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  10. Jump up^ “Subutai Corporation – Team”. subutai.mn (Subutai Corporation). Retrieved August 7, 2010. Neal Stephenson, Chairman
  11. Jump up^ Anders, Charlie Jane (July 14, 2009). “Neal Stephenson Gets Half A Million Dollars, But Did He Have To Switch Genres To Get It?”. io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  12. Jump up^ “reamdeDescription”.
  13. Jump up^ Upcoming4.me. “New Neal Stephenson book Some Remarks announced!”. Upcoming4.me. RetrievedJune 26, 2012.
  14. Jump up^ Twitter / subutaicorp: @LordBronco We’re still taking. Twitter.com. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  15. Jump up^ Famous Kickstarter Turns Into Complete Disaster. Kotaku.com. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  16. Jump up^ THUD: Development Of Neal Stephenson’s CLANG Halted. Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  17. Jump up^ Neal Stephenson Says His Dream Of Making A Video Game Isn’t Dead | Kotaku Australia. Kotaku.com.au. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  18. Jump up^ Stephenson, Neal (19 September 2014). “Final Update”. CLANG by Subutai Corporation. Kickstarter. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  19. Jump up^ Kelion, Leo. (2013-09-17) BBC News – Neal Stephenson on tall towers and NSA cyber-spies. Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  20. Jump up^ http://nealstephenson.com/seveneaves.html
  21. Jump up^ http://www.magicleap.com/press/press_release5.pdf
  22. Jump up^ Catherine, Asaro (September 1999). “A Conversation With Neal Stephenson”. SF Site. RetrievedOctober 6, 2010.
  23. Jump up^ McClellan, Jim (November 4, 2004). “Neal Stephenson – the interview”. The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  24. Jump up^ Giuffo, John (October 1, 2004). “Book Capsule Review: The System of the World”. Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner. Retrieved September 22, 2008.
  25. Jump up^ ex: Stephenson, Neal (1999). Cryptonomicon. Avon Books. pp. 1152 p. ISBN 978-0-06-051280-4.
  26. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Kelly, Mark R. “The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees”. Locusmag.com(Locus Publications). Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  27. Jump up^ William Morrow. Harpercollinscatalogs.com. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  28. Jump up^ [1]. Nealstephenson.com. Retrieved on 2015-02-10.

External links

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

 

Interface (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Interface
First edition cover

First edition cover
credited to Stephen Bury
Author Neal Stephenson and George Jewsbury
Cover artist Bruce Jensen
Country United States
Language English
Genre Thriller, Novel
Publisher Bantam
Publication date
1 April 1994
Media type Print (Paperback)
ISBN ISBN 0-553-37230-0 (first edition, paperback)
OCLC 28148075
813/.54 20
LC Class PS3552.U788 I58 1994

Interface is a 1994 novel by Neal Stephenson and George Jewsbury. It was originally sold with the author pseudonym of Stephen Bury, then reissued as being by Bury and J. Frederick George ,[1] and most recently as being by Stephenson and George.

Interface is a near-future thriller, set in 1996, in which a shadowy coalition bent on controlling the world economy attempts to manipulate a candidate for president of the United States through the use of a computer bio-chip implanted in his brain.

In 2007, it was described by writer Cory Doctorow as an “underappreciated masterpiece”.[2]

Plot summary

The novel opens with the governor of Illinois, William Cozzano, suffering a stroke, and in a separate subplot, a trailer park inhabitant, unemployed African-American, Eleanor Richmond, discovering her husband dead after having committed suicide in their repossessed former home.

As events progress, an underground business coalition, the Network, is arranging for Cozzano to have a biochip implanted and for him to run for President of the United States. The Network is made up of a number of large fictional companies, with parallels in real business entities.

Eleanor Richmond, after publicly attacking a local cable TV Public-access television talk show personality who was running for Senate, has since found herself working in the offices of a Republican Colorado senator, and after an event where she accused the citizens of Colorado of being welfare queens, finds herself in the public eye as one of the candidates for Cozzano’s running mate.

The Network’s ability to perceive public opinion, skewed on the night of the vice presidential debate by a twist of fate, makes them select Richmond as vice presidential candidate, and a canny act of public relations work rescues Cozzano’s campaign, getting him elected as President.

However, Cozzano gets shot at his inauguration by a psychotic former factory worker who has somehow figured out the Network’s plans almost entirely, killing him almost instantly. Richmond ends up as the first black and first female President of the United States.

Characters in “Interface”

  • Eleanor Richmond – unemployed African-American woman, protagonist
  • William Cozzano – governor of Illinois
  • Mary Catherine Cozzano – daughter of governor, neurologist
  • Cy Ogle – campaign manager
  • Dr. Radhakrishnan – neurosurgeon

References

  1. Jump up^ Stephenson, Neal; George, J. Frederick (2005) [1994]. Interface. Bantam Spectra. ISBN 9780553383430.
  2. Jump up^ Interface: Neal Stephenson’s underappreciated masterpiece

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interface_(novel)

 

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Robert Harris — An Officer and A Spy — Videos

Posted on January 21, 2015. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, European History, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literature, media, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Raves, Reviews, Strategy, Talk Radio, Video, War, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Robert_Harrisan_officer_and_a_spydegradation_alfred_dreyfusAn Officer and a SpyRobert Harris in his study

Robert Harris on his new thriller An Officer and a Spy

Robert Harris on An Officer and a Spy

An Officer and a Spy: Robert Harris with Hilary Spurling

Joan Mackenzie Reviews An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

Interview de Robert Harris, à propos de l’Affaire Dreyfus et du roman D.

Richard Dreyfuss in “Prisoner of Honor” 1991 Movie Trailer

Dreyfus degraded

Alfred Dreyfus Documentary │ Full video │

The Dreyfus Affair (In Our Time, 8/10/09)

Devil’s Island : Colonies of the Condemned

FULL INTERVIEW: Robert Harris

The Fear Index – Robert Harris

Robert Harris on Fatherland – the Guardian

The Ghost Writer Full Movie

The Ghost Writer is a 2010 French-German-British political thriller film directed by Roman Polanski. The film is an adaptation of the Robert Harris novel, The Ghost, with the screenplay written by Polanski and Harris.

Robert Harris: FATHERLAND

 

 

 

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The Greatest Books Lists — Videos

Posted on November 23, 2014. Filed under: Art, Blogroll, Book, Books, Communications, Culture, Fiction, Literature, Non-Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The 10 Greatest Books Ever, According to 125 Top Authors (Download Them for Free)

 Earlier this month, we highlighted The 10 Greatest Films of All Time According to 846 Film Critics. Featuring films by Hitchcock, Kubrick, Welles and Fellini, this master list came together in 2012 when Sight & Sound (the cinema journal of the British Film Institute) asked contemporary critics and directors to name their 12 favorite movies. Nearly 900 cinephiles responded, and, from those submissions, a meta list of 10 was culled.

So how about something similar for books, you ask? For that, we can look back to 2007, when J. Peder Zane, the book editor of the Raleigh News & Observer, asked 125 top writers to name their favorite books — writers like Norman Mailer, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, and Michael Chabon. The lists were all compiled in an edited collection, The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books, and then prefaced by one uber list, “The Top Top Ten.”

Zane explained the methodology behind the uber list as follows: “The participants could pick any work, by any writer, by any time period…. After awarding ten points to each first-place pick, nine to second-place picks, and so on, the results were tabulated to create the Top Top Ten List – the very best of the best.”

The short list appears below, along with links to electronic versions of the works. There’s one notable exception, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. We couldn’t provide that text, but we do have something special — an audio recording of Nabokov reading a chapter from his controversial 1955 novel.

The texts listed below are permanently housed in our collection of Free eBooks, along with many other classics. In many cases, you’ll find audio versions of the same works in our ever-growing collection of Free Audio Books. If you have questions about how to load files onto your Kindle, please see this related instructional video.

Got an issue with any of the selections? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

1. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

iPad/iPhone – Kindle + Other Formats – Read Online

2. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert

3. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy

4. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

6. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust

9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov

10. Middlemarch, by George Eliot

Note: Great literature courses can be found in our collection of 825 Free Online Courses.

http://www.openculture.com/2013/09/the-10-greatest-books-ever.html

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 1

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 2

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 3

The 10 Greatest Books Of All Time

100 Classic Books Of All Time

The 100 Best Books of All Time

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 1

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 2

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 3

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 4

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 5

Classic Books You Should Actually Read

Reading Classics as a Woman

Reading Classics + Recommendations

Books I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time

Where To Begin Part 1

Where To Begin Part 2

Where To Begin Part 3

I Should Be Reading

I Should Be Reading #2

I Should Be Reading #3

I Should Be Reading #4

Friday Reads: November 14, 2014 + Break

Review: Anthem by Ayn Rand

Q&A Part 1: Books and Booktube

 

The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors

by

Why Tolstoy is 11.6% better than Shakespeare.

“Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work,” Jennifer Egan once said. This intersection of reading and writing is both a necessary bi-directional life skill for us mere mortals and a secret of iconic writers’ success, as bespoken by their personal libraries. The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books asks 125 of modernity’s greatest British and American writers — including Norman Mailer, Ann Patchett,Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, andJoyce Carol Oates — “to provide a list, ranked, in order, of what [they] consider the ten greatest works of fiction of all time– novels, story collections, plays, or poems.”

Of the 544 separate titles selected, each is assigned a reverse-order point value based on the number position at which it appears on any list — so, a book that tops a list at number one receives 10 points, and a book that graces the bottom, at number ten, receives 1 point.

In introducing the lists, David Orr offers a litmus test for greatness:

If you’re putting together a list of ‘the greatest books,’ you’ll want to do two things: (1) out of kindness, avoid anyone working on a novel; and (2) decide what the word ‘great’ means. The first part is easy, but how about the second? A short list of possible definitions of ‘greatness’ might look like this:

1. ‘Great’ means ‘books that have been greatest for me.’
2. ‘Great’ means ‘books that would be considered great by the most people over time.’
3. ‘Great’ has nothing to do with you or me — or people at all. It involves transcendental concepts like God or the Sublime.
4. ‘Great’? I like Tom Clancy.

From David Foster Wallace (#1: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis) toStephen King (#1: The Golden Argosy, a 1955 anthology of the best short stories in the English language), the collection offers a rare glimpse of the building blocks of great creators’ combinatorial creativity — because, as Austin Kleon put it, “you are a mashup of what you let into your life.”

The book concludes with an appendix of “literary number games” summing up some patterns and constructing several overall rankings based on the totality of the different authors’ picks. Among them (*with links to free public domain works where available):

TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY
  1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  4. Ulysses* by James Joyce
  5. Dubliners* by James Joyce
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  8. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  9. The complete stories of Flannery O’Connor
  10. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 19th CENTURY
  1. Anna Karenina* by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Madame Bovary* by Gustave Flaubert
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  5. The stories of Anton Chekhov
  6. Middlemarch* by George Eliot
  7. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  8. Great Expectations* by Charles Dickens
  9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  10. Emma* by Jane Austen
TOP TEN AUTHORS BY NUMBER OF BOOKS SELECTED
  1. William Shakespeare — 11
  2. William Faulkner — 6
  3. Henry James — 6
  4. Jane Austen — 5
  5. Charles Dickens — 5
  6. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 5
  7. Ernest Hemingway — 5
  8. Franz Kafka — 5
  9. (tie) James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf — 4
TOP TEN AUTHORS BY POINTS EARNED
  1. Leo Tolstoy — 327
  2. William Shakespeare — 293
  3. James Joyce — 194
  4. Vladimir Nabokov — 190
  5. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 177
  6. William Faulkner — 173
  7. Charles Dickens — 168
  8. Anton Chekhov — 165
  9. Gustave Flaubert — 163
  10. Jane Austen — 161

As a nonfiction loyalist, I’d love a similar anthology of nonfiction favorites — then again, famous writers might wave a knowing finger and point me to the complex relationship between truth and fiction.

 http://www.brainpickings.org/2012/01/30/writers-top-ten-favorite-books/

 

The Greatest Books

all | 2000 | 1990 | 1980 | 1970 | 1950 | 1900 |
  1. Image of Ulysses

Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. The title parallels and alludes to Odysseus (Latinised into Ulysses), the hero of Homer’s Odyss…

 

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Swann’s Way, the first part of A la recherche de temps perdu, Marcel Proust’s seven-part cycle, was published in 1913. In it, Proust introduces the themes that run through the entire work. The narr…

 

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Alonso Quixano, a retired country gentleman in his fifties, lives in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and a housekeeper. He has become obsessed with books of chivalry, and believes th…

 

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First published in 1851, Melville’s masterpiece is, in Elizabeth Hardwick’s words, “the greatest novel in American literature.” The saga of Captain Ahab and his monomaniacal pursuit of the white wh…

 

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The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the “Jazz Age”. Following the shock and chaos of World War I, American society enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the “roar…

 

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The book is internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle aged Humbert Humbert, becomes obsessed and se…

 

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Epic in scale, War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events leading up to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of fi…

 

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One of the 20th century’s enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize–winning car…

 

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For daring to peer into the heart of an adulteress and enumerate its contents with profound dispassion, the author of Madame Bovary was tried for “offenses against morality and religion.” What shoc…

 

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Dostoevsky’s last and greatest novel, The Karamazov Brothers, is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is mur…

 

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11 . The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

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Revered by all of the town’s children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature. Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic worl…

 

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12 . The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

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Belonging in the immortal company of the great works of literature, Dante Alighieri’s poetic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, is a moving human drama, an unforgettable visionary journey through the …

 

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13 . The Odyssey by Homer

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The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the m…

 

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14 . Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endu…

 

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15 . The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

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The Catcher in the Rye is a 1945 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, the novel has become a common part of high school and college curricula throughout the English-speaking wo…

 

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16 . The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

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The Sound and the Fury is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. The novel centers on the Compson family, former Southern aristocrats who are struggling to deal with the dissolution of their fa…

 

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17 . 1984 by George Orwell

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The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime’s propaganda by falsifying records and political literatur…

 

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18 . Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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The book is narrated in free indirect speech following the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with matters of upbringing, marriage, moral rightness and education in her aristocratic socie…

 

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19 . The Iliad by Homer

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The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set in the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of Ilium by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and e…

 

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20 . Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601. The play, set in Denmark, recounts how Pri…

 

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21 . To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

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A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, centering on the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, skillfully manipulates temporality and psycholog…

 

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22 . Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

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The novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marx…

 

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23 . King Lear by William Shakespeare

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King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1603 and 1606. It is considered one of his greatest works. The play is based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a…

 

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24 . The Trial by Franz Kafka

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Written in 1914, The Trial is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century: the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and mu…

 

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25 . Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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In 1862 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a shy Oxford mathematician with a stammer, created a story about a little girl tumbling down a rabbit hole. Thus began the immortal adventures of Alice, perhaps th…

 

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26 . Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

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Absalom, Absalom! is a Southern Gothic novel by the American author William Faulkner, first published in 1936. It is a story about three families of the American South, taking place before, during,…

 

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27 . Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards, is frequently cite…

 

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28 . Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

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Created from two short stories, “Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street” and the unfinished “The Prime Minister”, the novel’s story is of Clarissa’s preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess. Wit…

 

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29 . Middlemarch by George Eliot

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Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Anne Evans, later Marian Evans. It is her seventh novel, begun in 1869 and then put aside during the final i…

 

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30 . Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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It is a murder story, told from a murder;s point of view, that implicates even the most innocent reader in its enormities. It is a cat-and-mouse game between a tormented young killer and a cheerful…

 

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31 . Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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The story details an incident when Marlow, an Englishman, took a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a ferry-boat captain in Africa. Although Conrad does not specify the name of th…

 

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32 . Beloved by Toni Morrison

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Beloved (1987) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. The novel, her fifth, is loosely based on the life and legal case of the slave Margaret Garner, about whom Morrison…

 

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33 . Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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The narrative is non-linear, involving several flashbacks, and two primary narrators: Mr. Lockwood and Ellen “Nelly” Dean. The novel opens in 1801, with Mr. Lockwood arriving at Thrushcross Grange,…

 

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34 . The Red and the Black by Stendhal

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Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black), subtitled Chronique du XIXe siécle (“Chronicle of the 19th century”), is an historical psychological novel in two volumes by Stendhal, published in 1830…

 

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35 . The Stranger by Albert Camus

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Since it was first published in English, in 1946, Albert Camus’s extraordinary first novel, The Stranger (L’Etranger), has had a profound impact on millions of American readers. Through this story …

 

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36 . One Thousand and One Nights by India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt

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One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Ni…

 

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37 . The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

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The story centres on Isabel Archer, an attractive American whom circumstances have brought to Europe. Isabel refuses the offer of marriage to an English peer and to a bulldog-like New Englander, to…

 

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38 . Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

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Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character, a small, plain-faced, intelligent and honest English orphan. The novel goes through five distinct stages: Jane’s childhood at Gateshead…

 

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39 . Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

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As its title suggests, the book is ostensibly Tristram’s narration of his life story. But it is one of the central jokes of the novel that he cannot explain anything simply, that he must make expla…

 

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40 . David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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The story of the abandoned waif who learns to survive through challenging encounters with distress and misfortune.

 

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41 . The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers, the Joads, driven from their home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agriculture industry. In a …

 

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42 . The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka by Franz Kafka

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The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka is a compilation of all Kafka’s short stories. With the exception of Kafka’s three novels (The Trial, The Castle and Amerika), this collection includes all of Ka…

 

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43 . Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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The Tragedy of Macbeth, commonly just Macbeth, is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometim…

 

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44 . Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

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From the preeminent prose satirist in the English language, a great classic recounting the four remarkable journeys of ship’s surgeon Lemuel Gulliver. For children it remains an enchanting fantasy;…

 

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45 . The Tempest by William Shakespeare

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The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, estimated to have been written in 1610–11, (although some researchers have argued for an earlier dating). The play’s protagonist is the banished sorcer…

 

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46 . Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations is written in the genre of “bildungsroman” or the style of book that follows the story of a man or woman in their quest for maturity, usually starting from childhood and ending i…

 

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47 . A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialized in The Egoist from 1914 to 1915 and published in book form in 1916. It depicts the formativ…

 

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48 . A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

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A Passage to India is set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. The story revolves around four characters: Dr. Aziz, his British friend Cyril Fi…

 

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49 . The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

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The novel explores the lives and values of the so-called “Lost Generation,” chronicling the experiences of Jake Barnes and several acquaintances on their pilgrimage to Pamplona for the annual San F…

 

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50 . Collected Fiction by Jorge Luis Borges

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From his 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display Borges’…

  1. 51 . Othello by William Shakespeare

    Image of Othello

    Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story “Un Capitano Moro” (“A Moorish Captain”) b…

 

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52 . To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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As a Southern Gothic novel and a Bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses is…

 

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53 . Richard III by William Shakespeare

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Final play in Shakespeare’s masterly dramatization of the struggle for power between the Houses of York and Lancaster. Richard is a stunning archvillain who schemes, seduces, betrays and murders hi…

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54 . Candide by Voltaire

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Candide, ou l’Optimisme is a French satire written in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. Candide is characterized by its sarcastic tone and its erratic, fantastical, an…

 

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55 . The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

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The Magic Mountain is a novel by Thomas Mann, first published in November 1924. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential works of 20th century German literature.

 

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56 . The Aeneid by Virgil

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The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem written by Virgil in the late 1st century BC (29–19 BC) that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the…

 

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57 . The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

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Ford Madox Ford wrote The Good Soldier, the book on which his reputation most surely rests, in deliberate emulation of the nineteenth-century French novels he so admired. In this way he was able to…

 

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58 . As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

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The book is told in stream of consciousness writing style by 15 different narrators in 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family’s quest—noble or selfish—to honor he…

 

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59 . The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov

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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian short-story writer, playwright and physician, considered to be one of the greatest short-story writers in the history of world literature. His career as a dram…

 

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60 . Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

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Midnight’s Children is a loose allegory for events in India both before and, primarily, after the independence and partition of India, which took place at midnight on 15 August 1947. The protagonis…

 

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61 . Journey to the End of The Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

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Journey to the End of Night is the first novel of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. This semi-autobiographical work describes antihero Ferdinand Bardamu. His surname, Bardamu, is derived from the French word…

 

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62 . Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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A novel of great power that turns the world upside down. The Nigerian novelist Achebe reached back to the early days of his people’s encounter with colonialism, the 1890’s, though the white man and…

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63 . Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

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Leaves of Grass (1855) is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman. Among the poems in the collection are “Song of Myself,” “I Sing the Body Electric,” “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Roc…

 

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64 . Emma by Jane Austen

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Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, “I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like.”[1] In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as “Emma Woodhouse, …

 

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65 . Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

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No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the class ladder. Her senti…

 

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66 . The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordea…

 

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67 . Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

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The novel is presented as a poem titled “Pale Fire” with commentary by a friend of the poet’s. Together these elements form two story lines in which both authors are central characters. The int…

 

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68 . The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

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With their astonishing diversity of tone and subject matter, The Canterbury Tales have become one of the touchstones of medieval literature. Translated here into modern English, these tales of a mo…

 

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69 . Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

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Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an “epic poem in prose”,…

 

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70 . Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry

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To describe his perennial theme, Lowry once borrowed the words of the critic Edmund Wilson: “the forces in man which cause him to be terrified of himself.” You see exactly what he means in this cor…

Time

 

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71 . The Tin Drum by Günter Grass

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Acclaimed as the greatest German novel written since the end of World War II, The Tin Drum is the autobiography of thirty-year-old Oskar Matzerath, who has lived through the long Nazi nightmare and…

 

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72 . The Complete Tales of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery…

 

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73 . Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

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A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neig…

 

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74 . The Castle by Franz Kafka

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The Castle is a novel by Franz Kafka. In it a protagonist, known only as K., struggles to gain access to the mysterious authorities of a castle who govern the village where he wants to work as a la…

 

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75 . On the Road by Jack Kerouac

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On the Road is a largely autobiographical work that was based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across mid-century America. It is often considered a defining work of the post…

 

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76 . Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

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Sons and Lovers is one of the landmark novels of the twentieth century. When it appeared in 1913, it was immediately recognized as the first great modern restatement of the oedipal drama, and it is…

 

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77 . Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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An anti-war science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier called Billy Pilgrim.

 

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78 . The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

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The Master and Margarita (Russian: Ма́стер и Маргари́та) is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, woven around the premise of a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consi…

 

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79 . Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

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The main character, an African American woman in her early forties named Janie Crawford, tells the story of her life and journey via an extended flashback to her best friend, Pheoby, so that Pheoby…

 

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80 . My Antonia by Willa Cather

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In Willa Cather’s own estimation, My Antonia, first published in 1918, was “the best thing I’ve ever done.” An enduring paperback bestseller on Houghton Mifflin’s literary list, this hauntingly elo…

 

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81 . Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

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Les Misérables is a novel by French author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters ov…

 

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82 . Nostromo by Joseph Conrad

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Edited with an introduction and notes by Martin Seymour-Smith. In his evocation of the republic of Costaguana, set amid the exotic and grandiose scenery of South America, Conrad reveals not only th…

 

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83 . The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

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The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by philologist and Oxford University professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier, less complex children’…

 

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84 . The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Hester Prynne is a beautiful young woman. She is also an outcast. In the eyes of her neighbors she has committed an unforgivable sin. Everyone knows that her little daughter, Pearl, is the product …

 

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85 . Native Son by Richard Wright

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The novel tells the story of 20-year old Bigger Thomas, an African American living in utter poverty. Bigger lived in Chicago’s South Side ghetto in the 1930s. Bigger was always getting into troubl…

 

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86 . The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

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The Age of Innocence centers on an upperclass couple’s impending marriage, and the introduction of a scandalous woman whose presence threatens their happiness. Though the novel questions the assump…

 

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87 . Light in August by William Faulkner

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Lght in August is an exploration of racial conflict in the society of the Southern United States.

 

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88 . Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Gone With the Wind is set in Jonesboro and Atlanta, Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction and follows the life of Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of an Irish immigrant plantation o…

 

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89 . Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC. It was the second of Sophocles’s three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chron…

 

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90 . For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

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It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a communist guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As an expert in the use of explosives, he is …

 

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91 . Rabbit, Run by John Updike

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Rabbit, Run depicts five months in the life of a 26-year-old former high school basketball player named Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom, and his attempts to escape the constraints of his life.

 

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92 . Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats by W. B. Yeats

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William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature.

 

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93 . Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

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A shipwreck’s sole escapee, Robinson Crusoe endures 28 years of solitude on a Caribbean island and manages not only to survive but also to prevail. A warm humanity, evocative details of his struggl…

 

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94 . Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

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Violated by one man, forsaken by another, Tess Durbeyfield is the magnificent and spirited heroine of Thomas Hardy’s immortal work. Of all the great English novelists, no one writes more eloquently…

 

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95 . Father Goriot by Honoré de Balzac

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Le Père Goriot (English: Father Goriot or Old Goriot) is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Scènes de la vie privée section of his novel s…

 

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96 . Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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At this challenge, Mary Shelley began work on the ‘ghost story’ that was to evolve into the most celebrated horror novel in literary history. Frankenstein was published the next year and become the…

 

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97 . The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

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The Tale of Genji is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, around the peak of the Heian Period. It is sometimes…

 

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98 . Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

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Buddenbrooks was Thomas Mann’s first novel, published in 1901 when he was twenty-six years old. It portrays the downfall (already announced in the subtitle, Decline of a family) of a wealthy mer…

 

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99 . Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

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In the early summer of the year 1348, as a terrible plague ravages the city, ten charming young Florentines take refuge in country villas to tell each other stories — a hundred stories of love, adv…

 

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100 . The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

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The Waste Land is a 434 line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot published in 1922. It has been called “one of the most important poems of the 20th century.” Despite the alleged obscurity of the poem – i…

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    Bleak House is the ninth novel by Charles Dickens, published in twenty monthly instalments between March 1852 and September 1853. It is held to be one of Dickens’s finest novels, containing one of …

 

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102 . Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf

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In her most exuberant, most fanciful novel, Woolf has created a character liberated from the restraints of time and sex. Born in the Elizabethan Age to wealth and position, Orlando is a young noble…

 

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103 . The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoevsky

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The Possessed is an 1872 novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Though titled The Possessed in the initial English translation, Dostoevsky scholars and later translations favour the titles The Devils or Demon…

 

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104 . Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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Set in the London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embod…

 

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105 . Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais

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The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel (in French, La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel) is a connected series of five novels written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. It is the story of t…

 

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106 . American Pastoral by Philip Roth

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American Pastoral is a Philip Roth novel concerning Seymour “Swede” Levov, a Jewish-American businessman and former high school athlete from Newark, New Jersey. Levov’s happy and conventional upper…

 

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107 . The Ambassadors by Henry James

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This dark comedy, one of the masterpieces of James’ final period, follows the trip of protagonist Lewis Lambert Strether to Europe in pursuit of his widowed fiancée’s supposedly wayward son. Streth…

 

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108 . Paradise Lost by John Milton

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Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books. A second edition followed in 1674, redivided into twelve…

 

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109 . The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

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The Big Sleep (1939) is a crime novel by Raymond Chandler, the first in his acclaimed series about hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe. The work has been adapted twice into film, once in 1946 and a…

 

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110 . Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Animal Farm is a dystopian novella by George Orwell. Published in England on 17 August 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democrat…

 

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111 . The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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Set against the tumultuous years of the post-Napoleonic era, The Count of Monet Cristo recounts the swashbuckling adventures of Edmond Dantes, a dashing young sailor falsely accused of treason. The…

 

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112 . Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Anderson

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a Danish author and poet noted for his children’s stories. These include “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, “The Snow Queen”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Thumbelina”, “The Little Match Girl”, and the “The Ugl…

 

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113 . Hunger by Knut Hamsun

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Hunger is a novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890. Parts of it had been published anonymously in the Danish magazine Ny Jord in 1888. The novel is ha…

 

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114 . The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire

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Les Fleurs du mal (English: The Flowers of Evil) is a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. First published in 1857 (see 1857 in poetry), it was important in the symbolist and modernist mo…

 

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115 . All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

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All the King’s Men portrays the dramatic political ascent and governorship of Willie Stark, a driven, cynical populist in the American South during the 1930s.

 

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116 . The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

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This book, as well as the couple that followed it, enters the realm of what Margaret Drabble in The Oxford Companion to English Literature has called Lessing’s “inner space fiction”, her work that …

 

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117 . A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert

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The novel describes the life of a young man (Frederic Moreau) living through the revolution of 1848 and the founding of the Second French Empire, and his love for an older woman (based on the wife …

 

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118 . Antigone by Sophocles

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Antigone is a tragedy by Sophocles written before or in 442 BC. Chronologically, it is the third of the three Theban plays but was written first.[1] The play expands on the Theban legend that preda…

 

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119 . Howards End by E. M. Forster

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“Only Connect,” Forster’s key aphorism, informs this novel about an English country house, Howards End, and its influence on the lives of the wealthy and materialistic Wilcoxes; the cultured, ideal…

 

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120 . Dangerous Liaison by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

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The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature. Its prime movers, the Vicomte…

 

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121 . The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

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A slender novel but far from flimsy, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie enrolls the reader at Edinburgh’s fictional Marcia Blaine School for Girls under the tutelage of one Jean Brodie, a magnetic, unco…

Time

 

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122 . The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor by Flannery O’Connor

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The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O’Connor’s monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do n…

 

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123 . Herzog by Saul Bellow

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Herzog is a novel set in 1964, in the United States, and is about the midlife crisis of a Jewish man named Moses E. Herzog. He is just emerging from his second divorce, this one particularly acrimo…

 

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124 . Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

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It tells the tragic story of a heroine whose quest for virtue is continually thwarted by her family, and is one of the longest novels in the English language.

 

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125 . An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

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Clyde Griffiths is a young man with ambitions. He’s in love with a rich girl, but it’s a poor girl he has gotten pregnant, Roberta Alden, who works with him at his uncle’s factory. One day he takes…

Time

 

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126 . A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

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A Doll’s House is an 1879 play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Written one year after The Pillars of Society, the play was the first of Ibsen’s to create a sensation and is now perhaps his mo…

 

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127 . The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

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Balzac considered it the most important French novel of his time. André Gide later deemed it the greatest of all French novels, and Henry James judged it to be a masterpiece. Now, in a major litera…

 

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128 . A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

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In A Handful of Dust Waugh satirises the upper class, the mercantile class and the establishments (for example: the Church) using many effective literary devices which characterise most of his work…

 

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129 . Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust is a tragic play, although more appropriately it should be defined a tragicomedy, despite the very title of the work. It was published in two parts: Faust. Der Tr…

 

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130 . Dubliners by James Joyce

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Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle class life in and around Dub…

 

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131 . The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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The Handmaid’s Tale is a feminist dystopian novel, a work of science fiction or speculative fiction, written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood and first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985…

 

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132 . Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson

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Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted …

 

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133 . The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

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The Leopard is a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa that chronicles the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento. Published posthumously in 1958, after two rejections by the …

 

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134 . Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The story is that of the rise and fall of Dick Diver, a promising young psychoanalyst and his wife, Nicole, who is also one of his patients. It would be Fitzgerald’s first novel in nine years, and …

 

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135 . The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

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A classic in children’s literature The Wind in the Willow is alternately slow moving and fast paced. The book focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England. T…

 

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136 . Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

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Set sometime around 1950, Lucky Jim follows the exploits of the eponymous James (Jim) Dixon, a reluctant Medieval history lecturer at an unnamed provincial English university. Having made a bad fir…

 

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137 . Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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Lord of the Flies discusses how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of British schoolboys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, but with disastrous results….

 

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138 . Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

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Conrad’s great novel of guilt and redemption follows the first mate on board the Patna, a raw youth with dreams of heroism who, in an act of cowardice, abandons his ship. His unbearable guilt and i…

 

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139 . Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett

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Malone Dies is a novel by Samuel Beckett. It was first published in 1951, in French, as Malone Meurt, and later translated into English by the author.

 

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140 . Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, it is an adventure tale known for its superb atmosphere, character and action, and also a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality—as seen in Long…

 

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141 . Metamorphoses by Ovid

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The Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid is a narrative poem in fifteen books that describes the creation and history of the world. Completed in 8 AD, it has remained one of the most popular works …

 

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142 . The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

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Written in Charlotte, North Carolina in a house on East Blvd, it is about a deaf man named John Singer and the people he encounters in a 1930s mill town in the U.S. state of Georgia.

 

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143 . Oresteia by Aeschylus

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The Oresteia is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus which concerns the end of the curse on the House of Atreus. When originally performed it was accompanied by Proteus, a satyr play t…

 

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144 . Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

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The novel tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praisin…

 

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145 . Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann

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Doctor Faustus is a German novel written by Thomas Mann, begun in 1943 and published in 1947 as Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde (“Doct…

 

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146 . Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

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Perhaps no other of the world’s great writers lived and wrote with the passionate intensity of D. H. Lawrence. And perhaps no other of his books so explores the mysteries between men and women–both…

 

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147 . The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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The Idiot is a novel written by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky and first published in 1868. It was first published serially in Russian in Russky Vestnik, St. Petersburg, 1868-1869. The Idiot…

 

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148 . Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (French: Vingt mille lieues sous les mers) is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nem…

 

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149 . The World According to Garp by John Irving

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The story deals with the life of T. S. Garp. His mother, Jenny Fields, is a strong-willed nurse who wants a child but not a husband. She encounters a dying ball turret gunner known only as Technica…

 

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150 . Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Spawned by a nightmare that Stevenson had, this classic tale of the dark, primordial night of the soul remains a masterpiece of the duality of good and evil within us all.

151 . A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

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    The novel is told through the point of view of Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American serving as an ambulance driver in the Italian army during World War I.

 

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152 . I, Claudius by Robert Graves

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I, Claudius deals sympathetically with the life of the Roman Emperor Claudius and cynically with the history of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty and Roman Empire, from Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44…

 

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153 . Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

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Pedro Páramo is a short novel written by Juan Rulfo, originally published in 1955. In just the 23 FCE editions and reprintings, it had sold by November 1997 1,143,000 copies. Other editions in Mexi…

 

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154 . The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever

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The Stories of John Cheever is a 1978 short story collection by American author John Cheever. It contains some of his most famous stories, including “The Enormous Radio,” “Goodbye, My Brother,” “Th…

 

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155 . Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

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Rabbit Is Rich is a 1981 novel by John Updike. It is the third novel of the four-part series which begins with Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux, and concludes with Rabbit At Rest. There is also a relat…

 

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156 . The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil

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The Man without Qualities (1930-42) is a novel in three books by the Austrian novelist and essayist Robert Musil. The main issue of this “story of ideas”, which takes place in the time of the Au…

 

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157 . Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

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In John Updike’s fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behavi…

 

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158 . Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin

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The story concerns a small-time criminal, Franz Biberkopf, fresh from prison, who is drawn into the underworld. When his criminal mentor murders the prostitute whom Biberkopf has been relying on as…

 

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159 . Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

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In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Bertha is the madwoman locked in the attic by her husband Rochester, the simmering Englishman whose children Jane has been hired to tutor. In Bronte’s novel we lear…

Time

 

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160 . Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

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Set in France (primarily Paris) during the 1930s, it is the tale of Miller’s life as a struggling writer. Combining fiction and autobiography, some chapters follow a strict narrative and refer to M…

 

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161 . Epic of Gilgamesh by Unknown

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The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Ancient Iraq and is among the earliest known works of literary writings. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems abo…

 

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162 . The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

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The Moviegoer tells the story of Binx Bolling, a young stockbroker in post-war New Orleans. The decline of Southern traditions, the problems of his family and his traumatic experiences in the Korea…

 

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163 . The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

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The Adventures of Augie March (1953) is a novel by Saul Bellow. It centers on the eponymous character who grows up during the Great Depression. This picaresque novel is an example of bildungsroman,…

 

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164 . Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

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Fathers and Sons is an 1862 novel by Ivan Turgenev, his best known work. The fathers and children of the novel refers to the growing divide between the two generations of Russians, and the chara…

 

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165 . Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

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One of the most powerful dramas of Christian faith ever written, this captivating allegory of man’s religious journey in search of salvation follows the pilgrim as he travels an obstacle-filled roa…

 

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166 . Selected Stories of Alice Munro by Alice Munro

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Selected Stories is a volume of short stories by Alice Munro, published by McClelland and Stewart in 1996. It collects stories previously published in her eight previous books.

 

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167 . Stories of Ernest Hemingway by Ernest Hemingway

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Before he gained wide fame as a novelist, Ernest Hemingway established his literary reputation with his short stories. This collection, The Short Stories, originally published in 1938, is definitiv…

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168 . Medea by Euripides

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Medea is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and first produced in 431 BC. The plot centers on the barbarian protagonist as she finds her position …

 

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169 . Rabbit Redux by John Updike

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Rabbit Redux finds the former high-school basketball star, Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, working a dead-end job and approaching middle age in the downtrodden and fictional city of Brewer, Pennsylvania, …

 

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170 . If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino

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Calvino’s anti-novel is about the efforts of his two characters — a man called only The Reader, and the Other Reader, a woman named Ludmilla — to read ten very different novels. They are never able…

 

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171 . The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of short fiction of the 20th century and is widely st…

 

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172 . Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

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Doctor Zhivago is a 20th century novel by Boris Pasternak, first published in 1957. The novel is named after its protagonist, Yuri Zhivago, a medical doctor and poet. It tells the story of a man to…

 

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173 . The Call of the Wild by Jack London

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The plot concerns a previously domesticated and even somewhat pampered dog named Buck, whose primordial instincts return after a series of events finds him serving as a sled dog in the treacherous…

 

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174 . Call It Sleep by Henry Roth

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Call It Sleep is the story of an Austrian-Jewish immigrant family in New York in the early part of the twentieth century. Six-year-old David Schearl has a close and loving relationship with his mot…

 

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175 . Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

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The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and centers on the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military, and, in particular, the quest undertake…

 

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176 . Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

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Before Raymond Carver, John Cheever, and Richard Ford, there was Sherwood Anderson, who, with Winesburg, Ohio, charted a new direction in American fiction — evoking with lyrical simplicity quiet mo…

 

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177 . A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul

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In the “brilliant novel” (“The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man–an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isol…

 

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178 . Germinal by Émile Zola

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Germinal is the thirteenth novel in Émile Zola’s twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. Often considered Zola’s masterpiece and one of the most significant novels in the French tradition, the no…

 

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179 . The Color Purple by Alice Walker

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Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position …

 

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180 . The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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The Sorrows of Young Werther is an epistolary and loosely autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, first published in 1774; a revised edition of the novel was published in 1787. Werthe…

 

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181 . Persuasion by Jane Austen

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Of all Jane Austen’s great and delightful novels, Persuasion is widely regarded as the most moving. It is the story of a second chance. Anne Elliot, daughter of the snobbish, spendthrift Sir Walte…

 

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182 . Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

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Waiting for Godot (pronounced /ˈɡɒdoʊ/) is a play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for someone named Godot. Godot’s absence, as well as numerous other aspects…

 

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183 . The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett

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The Unnamable is a 1953 novel by Samuel Beckett. It is the third and final entry in Beckett’s “Trilogy” of novels, which begins with Molloy followed by Malone Dies. It was originally published in F…

 

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184 . Molloy by Samuel Beckett

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Molloy is a novel by Samuel Beckett. The English translation is by Beckett and Patrick Bowles.

 

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185 . The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

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The Book Of Disquietude or The Book of Disquiet (Livro do Desassossego in Portuguese), published posthumously, is one of the greatest works by Fernando Pessoa. It is signed under the semi-heteronym…

 

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186 . A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

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The title is taken from an old Cockney expression, “as queer as a clockwork orange” and alludes to the prevention of the main character’s exercise of his free will through the use of a classical co…

 

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187 . The Odes by Horace

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The Odes (Latin: Carmina) are a collection in four books of Latin lyric poems by Horace. The Horatian ode format and style has been emulated since by other poets. Books 1 to 3 were published in 23 …

 

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188 . Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo

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Zeno’s Conscience is a novel by Italian businessman and author Italo Svevo. The main character is Zeno Cosini and the book is the fictional character’s memoirs that he keeps at the insistence of hi…

 

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189 . Independent People by Halldor Laxness

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Independent People is an epic novel by Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness, published in 1946. It deals with the struggle of poor Icelandic farmers in the early 20th century, only freed from debt bondag…

 

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190 . The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Since his first appearance in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most beloved fictional characters ever created.

 

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191 . Don Juan by Molière

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Don Juan (Spanish, or Don Giovanni in Italian) is a legendary, fictional libertine whose story has been told many times by many authors. El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra (The Trickster …

 

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192 . Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

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Memoirs of Hadrian is a novel by the French writer Marguerite Yourcenar about the life and death of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The book was first published in France in French in 1951 as Mémoires d’Had…

 

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193 . Complete Poems of Giacomo Leopardi by Giacomo Leopardi

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Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi (June 29, 1798 – June 14, 1837) was an Italian poet, essayist, philosopher, and philologist.

 

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194 . Ramayana by Valmiki

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The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is attributed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon (smṛti). The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the…

 

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195 . Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

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Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West is a 1985 Western novel by American author Cormac McCarthy. It was McCarthy’s fifth book, and was published by Random House. The narrative foll…

 

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196 . The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos

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With his U.S.A. trilogy, comprising THE 42nd PARALLEL, 1919, and THE BIG MONEY, John Dos Passos is said by many to have written the great American novel. While Fitzgerald and Hemingway were cultiva…

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197 . The Big Money by John Dos Passos

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THE BIG MONEY completes John Dos Passos’s three-volume “fable of America’s materialistic success and moral decline” (American Heritage) and marks the end of “one of the most ambitious projects that…

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198 . Nineteen Nineteen by John Dos Passos

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With 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his “vigorous and sweeping panorama of twentieth-century America” (Forum), lauded on publication of the first volume no…

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199 . The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

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Written for publication as a serial, The Pickwick Papers is a sequence of loosely-related adventures. The novel’s main character, Mr. Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, …

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200 . Los Siete Locos by Roberto Arlt

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Los siete locos is a novel of Argentine writer Roberto Arlt published in October 1929 . In the same some of the problems posed by the philosophical existentialism develop. Moral issues, loneliness,…

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    In 1895 Hardy’s final novel, the great tale of Jude the Obscure, sent shock waves of indignation rolling across Victorian England. Hardy had dared to write frankly about sexuality and to indict the…

 

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202 . The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette

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La Princesse de Clèves is a French novel, regarded by many as the beginning of the modern tradition of the psychological novel, and as a great classic work. Its author is generally held to be Madam…

 

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203 . Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin

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The novel examines the role of the Christian Church in the lives of African-Americans, both as a source of repression and moral hypocrisy and as a source of inspiration and community. It also, more…

 

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204 . The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

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The Red Badge of Courage is an 1895 war novel by American author Stephen Crane. It is considered one of the most influential works in American literature. The novel, a depiction on the cruelty of t…

 

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205 . Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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Written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts, it was published in two parts in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Am…

 

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206 . If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem by William Faulkner

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In this feverishly beautiful novel—originally titled If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem by Faulkner, and now published in the authoritative Library of America text—William Faulkner interweaves two narrati…

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207 . The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

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Thus young Walter Hartright first meets the mysterious woman in white in what soon became one of the most popular novels of the nineteenth century. Secrets, mistaken identities, surprise revelation…

 

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208 . The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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World War II has just begun and four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, are evacuated from London in 1940 to escape the Blitz. They are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke, who …

 

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209 . The Stand by Stephen King

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The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It re-works the scenario in his earlier short story, Night Surf. The novel was originally published in 1978 and…

 

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210 . A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud

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“With skill and imagination, Bertrand Mathieu gives us an intimacy of the spoken American that allows readers to absorb themselves in Rimbaud’s private drama as in an obsessive dream of our own…….

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211 . Stories of Guy de Maupassant by Guy de Maupassant

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Guy de Maupassant was a master of the short story. This collection displays his lively diversity, with tales that vary in theme and tone, ranging from tragedy and satire to comedy and farce. In a l…

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212 . Jakob Von Gunten by Robert Walser

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The Swiss writer Robert Walser is one of the quiet geniuses of twentieth-century literature. Largely self-taught and altogether indifferent to worldly success, Walser wrote a range of short stories…

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213 . The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the title of the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of th…

 

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214 . The Waves by Virginia Woolf

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The Waves, first published in 1931, is Virginia Woolf’s most experimental novel. It consists of soliloquies spoken by the book’s six characters: Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Jinny, and Louis.[1]…

 

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215 . The Poems of Robert Frost by Robert Frost

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Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. He is highly regarded for his realistic de…

 

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216 . Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

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Having done the longest day in literature with his monumental Ulysses (1922), James Joyce set himself an even greater challenge for his next book — the night. “A nocturnal state…. That is what I …

 

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217 . Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles

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Oedipus at Colonus is one of the three Theban plays of the Athenian tragedian Sophocles. It was written shortly before Sophocles’ death in 406 BC and produced by his grandson (also called Sophocles…

 

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218 . Money by Martin Amis

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Money tells the story of, and is narrated by, John Self, a successful director of commercials who is invited to New York by Fielding Goodney, a film producer, in order to shoot his first film. Self…

 

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219 . Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

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Rebecca is considered to be one of her best works. Some observers have noted parallels with Jane Eyre. Much of the novel was written while she was staying in Alexandria, Egypt, where her husband wa…

 

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220 . Henderson The Rain King by Saul Bellow

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Bellow’s glorious, spirited story of an eccentric American millionaire who finds a home of sorts in deepest Africa.

 

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221 . Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe

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It is Wolfe’s first novel, and is considered a highly autobiographical American Bildungsroman. The character of Eugene Gant is generally believed to be a depiction of Wolfe himself. The novel cover…

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222 . Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

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It follows the life of Macon “Milkman” Dead III, an African-American male living in Michigan, from birth to adulthood. The main theme in the novel is Milkman’s quest for identity as a black man in …

 

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223 . Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

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In this classic satire of small-town America, beautiful young Carol Kennicott comes to Gopher Prairie, Minnesota, with dreams of transforming the provincial old town into a place of beauty and cult…

 

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224 . A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell

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A Dance to the Music of Time is a twelve-volume cycle of novels by Anthony Powell, inspired by the painting of the same name by Nicolas Poussin. One of the longest works of fiction in literature, i…

 

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225 . De Rerum Natura by Lucretius

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De rerum natura is a first century BC epic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience. The poem, written in dactylic hexam…

 

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226 . Jacques the Fatalist and His Master by Denis Diderot

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The main subject of the book is the relationship between the valet Jacques and his master (who is never named). The two are traveling to a destination the narrator leaves insistently vague, and to …

 

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227 . Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

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Death Comes for the Archbishop is a 1927 novel by Willa Cather. It concerns the attempts of a Catholic bishop and a priest to establish a diocese in New Mexico Territory.

 

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228 . Neuromancer by William Gibson

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The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to work on the ultimate hack. Gibson explores artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, …

 

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229 . The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

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Set in the rural midlands of England, The Rainbow revolves around three generations of the Brangwen family over a period of more than sixty years, setting them against the emergence of modern Engla…

 

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230 . Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

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Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder is a novel by the English writer Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1945. Waugh wrote that the novel “deals with what is t…

 

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231 . Atonement by Ian McEwan

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Atonement is a 2001 novel by British author Ian McEwan. It tells the story of protagonist Briony Tallis’s crime and how it changes her life, as well as those of her sister Cecilia and her lover Rob…

 

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232 . The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek

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The Good Soldier Švejk is the abbreviated title of an unfinished satirical novel by Jaroslav Hašek. It was illustrated by Josef Lada and George Grosz after Hašek’s death. The original Czech title o…

 

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233 . The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

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From the esteemed author of The Age of Innocence–a black comedy about vast wealth and a woman who can define herself only through the perceptions of others. Lily Bart’s quest to find a husband who…

 

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234 . White Noise by Don DeLillo

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Set at a bucolic midwestern college known only as The-College-on-the-Hill, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitle…

 

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235 . One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

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Narrated by the gigantic but docile half-Indian “Chief” Bromden, who has pretended to be a deaf-mute for several years, the story focuses on the antics of the rebellious Randle Patrick McMurphy, a …

 

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236 . Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

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Darkness At Noon stands as an unequaled fictional portrayal of the nightmare politics of our time. Its hero is an aging revolutionary, imprisoned and psychologically tortured by the Party to which …

 

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237 . Collected Poems of T.S. Eliot by T.S. Eliot

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Thomas Stearns Eliot was an American poet, playwright, and literary critic, arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century.

 

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238 . Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

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Our Mutual Friend (written in the years 1864–65) is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is in many ways one of his most sophisticated works, combining deep psychological insight with ri…

 

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239 . The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

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The novel tells the story of a highly dysfunctional family, the Pollits. The story centers on the family’s impoverishment, the failure of the father Sam to provide for them, the parents’ marital ba…

 

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240 . At Swim Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien

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At Swim-Two-Birds is a 1939 novel by Irish author Brian O’Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien. It is widely considered to be O’Brien’s masterpiece, and one of the most sophisticated ex…

 

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241 . Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a …

 

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242 . Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

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Winnie-the-Pooh, commonly shortened to Pooh Bear and once referred to as Edward Bear, is a fictional bear created by A. A. Milne. The first collection of stories about the character was the book Wi…

 

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243 . Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin

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Dream of the Red Chamber is a masterpiece of Chinese vernacular literature and one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels. The novel was composed some time in the middle of the 18th century during …

 

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244 . Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

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Pippi Longstocking is a children’s book written in 1945 by Astrid Lindgren. Pippi is a 9-year old that lives in an old villa in a Swedish town. (which remains unnamed for the series) She meet To…

 

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245 . History by Elsa Morante

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History: A Novel is a novel by Italian author Elsa Morante, largely seen to be her most famous and controversial work. Published in 1974, it narrates the story of a woman, Ida Ramundo, and her two …

 

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246 . Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

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The book is structured as a series of loosely-connected vignettes. Burroughs himself stated that the chapters are intended to be read in any order. The reader follows the narration of junkie Willia…

 

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247 . The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth

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The novel is set in the 1680s and 90s in London and on the eastern shore of the colony of Maryland. It tells the story of an English poet named Ebenezer Cooke who is given the title “Poet Laureate …

 

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248 . In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

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When In Our Time was published in 1925, it was praised by Ford Madox Ford, John Dos Passos, and F. Scott Fitzgerald for its simple and precise use of language to convey a wide range of complex emot…

 

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249 . The Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke

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Rilke’s great cycle of ten elegies, perhaps his most profound poetic achievement, had its inception on the morning of January 21, 1912, but was interrupted by the First World War and not completed …

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  1. 250 . The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen

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    The Death of the Heart is a 1938 novel by Elizabeth Bowen set between the two world wars. It is about a sixteen year old orphan, Portia Quayne, who moves to London to live with her half-brother Tho…

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MLA Style Tutorials — Videos

Posted on November 15, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Book, Books, College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Diasters, Education, Employment, government spending, High School, Language, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Tutorials, Video, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , |

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Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting – The Basics

Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting: List of Works Cited

Using Purdue OWL as MLA and Bibliography resource

MLA in Three Minutes

MLA Tutorial #1: Basic Paper Formatting

MLA Tutorial #2: Basic Citation Format

MLA Tutorial #3: Works Cited Page Formatting

MLA Tutorial #4: Web Citations

MLA Tutorial #5: Citing Research

MLA Tutorial #6: In-Text Citations

MLA Tutorial #7: Punctuating In-Text Citations

Citing with MLA

Quoting vs. Paraphrasing – MLA Style

MLA Style Essay Format – Word Tutorial

MLA Citation Format, Part 1–Put Your Papers & Essays in Perfect MLA Style

Writing a Research Paper and Using In-text Citations

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Argumentative Essay — Videos

Posted on October 13, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Computers, Education, Language, liberty, Life, People, Philosophy, Photos, Raves, Video, Writing | Tags: , , , , , |

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How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: Introduction

How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: Logical Structure

How to Write an Introduction to an Argumentative Essay

How to Write a Conclusion

An Argumentative Essay That Needs Work

Analyzing a Sample Argumentative Essay: The Introduction

How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: First Argument

Analyzing a Sample Argumentative Essay: Second Argument

Analyzing a Sample Argumentative Essay: Third Argument

Analysis of a Sample Argumentative Essay: The Main Body

Analyzing the Conclusion of a Sample Argumentative Essay

An Improved Argumentative Essay with Commentary

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Richard Brookhiser–Videos

Posted on June 12, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Science, Talk Radio, Taxes, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Founders and Us

A Reagan Forum with Richard Brookhiser

BookTV: Richard Brookhiser, author “Right Time, Right Place”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDitSbf6fhU

 

Bill Moyers: Richard Brookhiser (1) on William F. Buckley, Jr.

Bill Moyers: Richard Brookhiser (2) on William F. Buckley, Jr.

Richard Brookhiser Speaks at Claremont McKenna College – Part 1

Richard Brookhiser Speaks at Claremont McKenna College – Part 2

Richard Brookhiser Speaks at Claremont McKenna College – Part 3

Authors@Google: Richard Brookhiser

“George Washington on Leadership”

Christopher Hitchenens and Richard Brookhiser part 1/8

Christopher Hitchenens and Richard Brookhiser part 2/8

Christopher Hitchenens and Richard Brookhiser part 3/8

Christopher Hitchenens and Richard Brookhiser part 4/8

Christopher Hitchenens and Richard Brookhiser part 5/8

Christopher Hitchenens and Richard Brookhiser part 6/8

Christopher Hitchenens and Richard Brookhiser part 7/8

Christopher Hitchenens and Richard Brookhiser part 8/8

Background Articles and Videos

  

 What Would the Founders Do?” with Richard Brookhiser

 

  

Firing Line mock episode with William F. Buckley and Christopher Buckley

Richard Brookhiser

“…Richard Brookhiser (born February 23, 1955) is an American journalist, biographer and historian. He is a senior editor at National Review. He is most widely known for a series of biographies of America’s founders, including Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris, and George Washington.

Brookhiser was born in Rochester, New York.[1] He has written books that deal either with the nation’s founding, or the principles of America’s founders, including What Would Our Founders Do?, a book describing how the founding fathers would approach topical issues that generate controversy in modern-day America.

Brookhiser began writing for National Review in 1970. “My first article, on antiwar protests in my high school, was a cover story in National Review in 1970, when I was 15.” [2] He earned an A.B. degree (1977) at Yale,[1] where he was active in the Yale Political Union as a member and sometime Chairman of the Party of the Right. In his freshman year he took a class on Thomas Jefferson taught by Garry Wills. Although admitted to Yale Law School, Brookhiser went to work full-time for National Review in 1977; by the time he was 23, he was a senior editor, the youngest in the magazine’s history. He was selected as the successor to the magazine’s founder, William F. Buckley, until Buckley ultimately changed his mind. For a short time he wrote speeches for Vice President George H.W. Bush.

He has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Brookhiser’s work has appeared in the “Talk of the Town” section of The New Yorker magazine as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, The Atlantic Monthly, Time, and Vanity Fair. In 1987 he began a column for The New York Observer which he wrote until 2007.

Brookhiser both wrote and hosted the documentary film Rediscovering George Washington, by Michael Pack, broadcast on PBS on July 4, 2002.[2] He was historian curator of the exhibition “Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America”, at The New-York Historical Society (2004–2005). He received an honorary doctorate degree in 2005 from Washington College.[2] As of October 2003, he was driving a ’77 Camaro.[3]

In 2008, Brookhiser received the National Humanities Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities.[4]

 …”

“…Books

  • Right Time, Right Place: Coming of Age with William F. Buckley Jr. and the Conservative Movement, 272 pages (Basic Books: 2009) ISBN 978-0-465-01355-5
  • George Washington on Leadership, 269 pages (Basic Books: 2008) ISBN 978-0-465-00302-0
  • What Would the Founders Do?: Our Questions, Their Answers, 261 pages (Basic Books: 2006) ISBN 0-465-00819-4 Contents links.
  • Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution, 272 pages (Free Press: 2003) ISBN 0-7432-2379-9
  • Rules of Civility: The 110 Precepts That Guided Our First President in War and Peace, 90 pages (University of Virginia Press: 2003) ISBN 0-8139-2218-6
  • America’s First Dynasty : The Adamses, 1735—1918, 256 pages (Free Press: 2002) ISBN 0-684-86881-4
  • George Washington: A National Treasure, 104 pages (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution: 2002) ISBN 0-295-98236-5
  • Fighting the Good Fight: A History of the New York Conservative Party, 434 pages (St. Augustine’s Press: 2002) ISBN 1-58731-251-4
  • (Contributor) Patriot Sage: George Washington and the American Political Tradition, editors Gary L. Gregg, Matthew Spalding, William J. Bennett, 355 pages (ISI Books: 1999) ISBN 1-882926-38-2
  • Alexander Hamilton, American, 240 pages (Free Press: 1999) ISBN 0-684-83919-9
  • Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington, 240 pages (Free Press: 1996) ISBN 0-684-82291-1
  • Way of the Wasp: How It Made America, and How It Can Save It, So to Speak, 171 pages (Free Press: 1990) ISBN 0-02-904721-8
  • The Outside Story (Doubleday reissue edition: 1986) ISBN 0-385-19679-2

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