Curiosities of Literature

A Feast for Book Lovers

Author: John Sutherland

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

ISBN: 1616080744

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 289

View: 576

“A grab bag of a book crammed with amusing trivia.”—The Wall Street Journal

Curiosities of Literature

A Feast for Book Lovers

Author: John Sutherland

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

ISBN: 1616080744

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 289

View: 3196

“A grab bag of a book crammed with amusing trivia.”—The Wall Street Journal

Curiosities of Literature

Consisting of Anecdotes, Characters, Sketches, and Observations, Literary, Critical, and Historical

Author: Isaac Disraeli

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Literature

Page: 531

View: 1521


Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 2 of 4 (Classic Reprint)

Author: Isaac Disraeli

Publisher: Forgotten Books

ISBN: 9780365426950

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 472

View: 2031

Excerpt from Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 2 of 4 About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

How to be Well Read

A guide to 500 great novels and a handful of literary curiosities

Author: John Sutherland

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409039153

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 528

View: 2050

As the annual flood of published novels grows ever greater, it’s a hard a job to keep up, let alone sort the wheat from the chaff. Fortunately, literary sleuth and academic John Sutherland is on hand to do precisely that. In the course of over 500 wittily informative pieces he gives us his own very personal take on the most rewarding, most remarkable and, on occasion, most shamelessly enjoyable works of fiction ever written – the perfect reading list for the would-be literary expert. His taste is impressively eclectic. An appreciation of Apuleius’s The Golden Ass – arguably the first-ever novel – is followed by a consideration of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger. The Handmaid’s Tale is followed by Hangover Square, Jane Eyre by Jaws. There are imposing Victorian novels, entertaining contemporary thrillers and everything in between, from dystopian works to romance. The flavour of each is brilliantly evoked and its relative merits or demerits assessed. At the same time, John Sutherland shows how the work fits into a broader context – whether that of the author’s life or of other books from the same genre or period. And he offers endless snippets of intriguing information: did you know, for example, that the Nazis banned Bambi or that William Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying on an upturned wheelbarrow; that Voltaire completed Candide in three days, or that Anna Sewell was paid £20 for Black Beauty? Encyclopedic and entertaining by turns, this is a wonderful dip-in book, whose opinions will inform and on occasion, no doubt, infuriate. It is also effectively a history of the novel in 500 or so bite-sized pieces.

The Secret Library

A Book-Lovers' Journey Through Curiosities of History

Author: Oliver Tearle

Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books

ISBN: 1782435581

Category: Reference

Page: N.A

View: 3999


The New Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes

Author: John Gross

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199543410

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 385

View: 9430

An unrivalled collection of literary gossip and intimate sidelights on the lives of the authors. The dictionary defines an anecdote as 'a short account of an entertaining or interesting incident', and the anecdotes in this collection more than live up to that description. Many of them are funny, often explosively so. Others are touching, outrageous, sinister, inspiring, or downright weird. They show writers in the English-speaking world from Chaucer to the present acting both unpredictably, and deeply in character. The range is wide - this is a book which finds room for Milton and Margaret Atwood, George Eliot and P. G. Wodehouse, Chinua Achebe and Ian Fleming, Brendan Behan and Wittgenstein. It is also a book in which you can find out which great historian's face was once mistaken for a baby's bottom, which film star left a haunting account of Virginia Woolf not long before her death, and what Agatha Christie really thought of Hercule Poirot - a book not just for lovers ofliterature, but for anyone with a taste for the curiosities of human nature.

Literature and Material Culture from Balzac to Proust

The Collection and Consumption of Curiosities

Author: Janell Watson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139426633

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: N.A

View: 8370

This book addresses the issues of collecting, consuming, classifying and describing the curiosities, antiques and objets d'art that proliferated in French literary texts during the last decades of the nineteenth century. After Balzac made such issues significant in canonical literature, the Goncourt brothers, Huysmans, Mallarmé and Maupassant celebrated their golden age. Flaubert and Zola scorned them. Rachilde and Lorrain perverted them. Proust commemorated their last moments of glory. Focusing on the bibelot (the modern French term for knick-knack, curiosity or other collectible), Janell Watson shows how the sudden prominence given to curiosities and collecting in nineteenth-century literature signals a massive change in attitudes to the world of goods, which in turn restructured the literary text according to the practical logic of daily life, calling into question established scholarly notions of order. Her study makes an important contribution to the literary history of material culture.

A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities

Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World's Greatest Empire

Author: J. C. McKeown

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199750521

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 4743

Here is a whimsical and captivating collection of odd facts, strange beliefs, outlandish opinions, and other highly amusing trivia of the ancient Romans. We tend to think of the Romans as a pragmatic people with a ruthlessly efficient army, an exemplary legal system, and a precise and elegant language. A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities shows that the Romans were equally capable of bizarre superstitions, logic-defying customs, and often hilariously derisive views of their fellow Romans and non-Romans. Classicist J. C. McKeown has organized the entries in this entertaining volume around major themes--The Army, Women, Religion and Superstition, Family Life, Medicine, Slaves, Spectacles--allowing for quick browsing or more deliberate consumption. Among the book's many gems are: ? Romans on urban living: The satirist Juvenal lists "fires, falling buildings, and poets reciting in August as hazards to life in Rome." ? On enhanced interrogation: "If we are obliged to take evidence from an arena-fighter or some other such person, his testimony is not to be believed unless given under torture." (Justinian) ? On dreams: Dreaming of eating books "foretells advantage to teachers, lecturers, and anyone who earns his livelihood from books, but for everyone else it means sudden death" ? On food: "When people unwittingly eat human flesh, served by unscrupulous restaurant owners and other such people, the similarity to pork is often noted." (Galen) ? On marriage: In ancient Rome a marriage could be arranged even when the parties were absent, so long as they knew of the arrangement, "or agreed to it subsequently." ? On health care: Pliny caustically described medical bills as a "down payment on death," and Martial quipped that "Diaulus used to be a doctor, now he's a mortician. He does as a mortician what he did as a doctor." For anyone seeking an inglorious glimpse at the underside of the greatest empire in history, A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities offers endless delights.

A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities

Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the Cradle of Western Civilization

Author: J. C. McKeown

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199982104

Category: History

Page: 286

View: 5855

The legacy of the Greeks touches all aspects of modern life, and the world we live in would be unrecognizable without its influence. And yet, as A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities abundantly demonstrates, the Greeks were as disposed toward mysterious customs, peculiar superstitions, and uproarious opinions as any ancient or modern culture. Like its Roman predecessor, this volume is a captivating compendium of odd facts, strange beliefs, outlandish opinions, and other highly amusing trivia from the world of ancient Greece. Classicist J. C. McKeown has organized the entries in this volume around major themes - Food and Drink, Religion, Magic, Sex, Athletics, Drama, Animals, etc. - allowing for quick browsing or more deliberate consumption. For students and laypersons, this makes for a delightful and unexpected journey into the "glory that was Greece." Here's a sample: On post-Olympic careers: The least successful athletes, those who have never won any victories, suddenly call themselves trainers, and start shouting in harsh and barbarous tones, just like pigs -Galen On the value of education: Aristotle used to say that education was an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity -Diogenes Laertius On viniculture: Mendaean is the wine that the gods themselves piss on their soft couches -Hermippus On dreams: A dream involving one's stepmother is not good, whether she is alive or dead -Artemidorus On the perils of travel: In Libya there is a city calledDionysopolis that can never be located twice by the same person -Strabo On hygiene: Since the baths are of no practical value, we should avoid them. In the old days, people called them "human laundries" for they caused the body to wrinkle and grow old prematurely -St. Clement of Alexandria On the cosmos: The moon resembles the earth in that its surface is inhabited. The animals and plants, however, are bigger and more attractive than those here; the animals there are fifteen times as big,and do not void excrement -Philolaus On myth: They say that a monster used to come out of the sea to attack the Trojans. If they gave it young girls to eat, it would go away, but otherwise it would ravage their land. Who could fail to see that it is silly to suppose that people could strike a bargain with a fish? -Palaephatus