Now, I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but if you had the choice between the edition of Jane Eyre on the left, or the one on the right, which would you pick? Personally, I’d pick the one of the right! The other day in Waterstones, my eye was caught by a table of some rather quirky editions of some of the classics – called Penguin Deluxe Editions – amongst which was this amazing copy of Jane Eyre. I’ll admit I pretty much wanted to buy the whole table!
There are certain classic quotes from literature that everyone seems to know, whether they’ve read the source text or not. Shakespeare especially is a huge source of these: after all, who doesn’t know ‘O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo!’ and ‘To be or not to be, that is the question!’ By the same token, most people are familiar with the famous opening of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities whether they have read it or not, and have heard ‘Call me Ishmael’ despite not having a clue who on earth Ishmael is. I was thinking about this the other… Read more »
Last week I shared my Top 5 Classic Short Stories, so here are my top 5 contemporary stories (and by contemporary, I’m talking later than the 70s!): Tandolfo the Great by Richard Bausch Although nothing too tragic happens in Tandolfo the Great, there is something very sad and poignant about it, which considering its exuberant title and the fact its protagonist is a clown, comes as a surprise. It tells the story of child’s entertainer Rodney, aka Tandolfo, who planned to propose to the love of his life using a huge, multi-tiered wedding cake which he has in the back of his car…. Read more »
The short story is a form that has had its ups and downs. Whilst immensely popular during the early twentieth century – the likes of Joyce and Hemingway penning their masterpieces – it could be seen to have fallen out of fashion in later years. However, 2013 saw Alice Munro win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first short story writer to do so. Perhaps because of this, there seems to be a renewed interest in shorter fiction, and I have seen more short story collections than ever before gracing the shelves of bookshops. So, in honour of the short… Read more »
In the ‘Literary Archetypes’ series I’ll be looking at various examples of classic character types within fiction. And my first victim is…the fantasy Dark Lord! ‘The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies … and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power, the Dark Lord knows not … and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…’ From Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K…. Read more »