The Original Great Gatsby: Petronius’ Satyricon

In this week’s Dispatches from the Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle considers the ancient Roman novel that inspired James Joyce and F. Scott Fitzgerald Today is Bloomsday. James Joyce’s vast modernist masterpiece, Ulysses (1922), is set in Dublin on a single day, 16 June 1904. Since at least the 1950s, devotees of Joyce’s novel have marked the… Continue reading The Original Great Gatsby: Petronius’ Satyricon

10 of the Best Children’s Novels Everyone Should Read

Interesting list The best children’s books What are the top ten greatest children’s novels ever written? This is going to prove a contentious list, but below we’ve compiled what we think are ten of the best works of children’s fiction in all of English literature. We’ve had to make some (regrettable) omissions, but we think… Continue reading 10 of the Best Children’s Novels Everyone Should Read

‘The Desire To Go Beyond the Walls and See the World’: In Conversation with IPAF Winner Mohammad Hasan Alwan

Originally posted on ArabLit & ArabLit Quarterly:
Although award-winning in French, Mohammed Hasan Alwan doesn’t have a novel available in English. When he took the this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction, it became certain that would change. Chip Rossetti talks to Alwan about the subject of his IPAF-winning novel, as well as the prize…

Five Fascinating Facts about Wilkie Collins

Fun facts about the Victorian novelist 1. A novel written by Victorian author Wilkie Collins when he was 20, titled Iolani and set in Tahiti, was eventually published in 1999. Written in 1844 but not published until 110 years after his death, Iolani: Or, Tahiti as It Was was Collins’s first ever attempt at writing… Continue reading Five Fascinating Facts about Wilkie Collins

A Short Analysis of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If—’

A summary of a much-loved poem Since Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If—’ was first published in Kipling’s volume of short stories and poems, Rewards and Fairies, in 1910, it has become one of Kipling’s best-known poems, and was even voted the UK’s favourite poem of all time in a poll of 1995. Why is ‘If—’ so… Continue reading A Short Analysis of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If—’

Five Fascinating Facts about The Pilgrim’s Progress

Fun facts about John Bunyan’s classic book 1. John Bunyan’s most famous book has a claim to being the first English novel. Others have argued that The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), Bunyan’s masterpiece, is less a ‘novel’ and more a religious allegory – which it certainly is. Bunyan the book while imprisoned in Bedford gaol (for… Continue reading Five Fascinating Facts about The Pilgrim’s Progress

A New Translation of El-Abnoudi’s ‘Writing,’ A Poem the Bard Considered Among His Best

Originally posted on ArabLit & ArabLit Quarterly:
Two years after the death of beloved Egyptian poet Abdel-Rahman El-Abnoudi — who passed away on April 21, 2015 — translator, author, and editor Mona Anis brings us a fresh English version of his “Writing”: Anis, a long-time deputy editor-in chief and literary editor at Al-Ahram Weekly, interviewed El-Abnoudi back in 2008. During their…

Opening Today, Kuwait’s Growing Litfest Headines Randa Jarrar, Sinan Antoon

Originally posted on ArabLit & ArabLit Quarterly:
Today, the American University in Kuwait opens its bigger-and-better Biennial LitFest, one of a series of literary initiatives coming out of Kuwait: These new initiatives, which include the new Almultaqa Prize for the Arabic short story, come at a time when Kuwaiti writers are strenuously pushing back against…

A Short Analysis of T. S. Eliot’s ‘Hamlet and his Problems’

A summary of an influential essay ‘Hamlet and his Problems’ is one of T. S. Eliot’s most important and influential essays. It was first published in 1919. In ‘Hamlet and his Problems’, Eliot makes the bold claim that Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, far from being a triumph, is an artistic failure. Why? Eliot is being provocative… Continue reading A Short Analysis of T. S. Eliot’s ‘Hamlet and his Problems’