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30 June 2012
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  • Virginia Woolf on James Joyce: [Ulysses is] the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples.
  • Harold Bloom on J.K. Rowling: How to read ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’? Why, very quickly, to begin with, and perhaps also to make an end. Why read it? Presumably, if you cannot be persuaded to read anything better, Rowling will have to do.
  • H. G. Wells on George Bernard Shaw: An idiot child screaming in a hospital.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson on Jane Austen: Miss Austen’s novels . . . seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world.
  • William Faulkner on Ernest Hemingway: He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.
  • Ernest Hemingway on William Faulkner: Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?
  • W. H. Auden on Robert Browning: I don’t think Robert Browning was very good in bed. His wife probably didn’t care for him very much. He snored and had fantasies about twelve-year-old girls.
  • Mark Twain on Jane Austen: Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.
15 March 2012
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vintageanchor:

The 10 most read Irish authors
By Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a list of Irish authors that are the most read on Questia, an online research tool for students. Included for each author are links to reference works that Questia is making available for free for a month. Questia has 77,000 academic books and 4 million journal articles, many of which are peer-reviewed. This was assembled by Carolyn Blackman.

James Joyce: An Irish novelist and poet, Joyce was one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. He is best known for his work Ulysses, in which the events of Homer’s Odyssey are paralleled in a variety of literary styles. [Dubliners Celebrate James Joyce 100 Years after He Wrote ‘Ulysses’. Shawn Pogatchnik]

Oscar Wilde: Wilde may be remembered for his career as a playwright, but the writer’s only novel The Picture of Dorian Gray has become a classic reference in the mainstream media. [Oscar Wilde Our Contemporary. Nils Clausson]

George Bernard Shaw: A playwright, Shaw wrote more than 60 plays throughout his life. He examined social problems such as education, marriage, religion, government, health care and class privilege through his work, incorporating comedy into the stark themes. [George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century. Archibald Henderson]

C.S. Lewis: A novelist, poet, academic medievalist, literary critic and essayist, to name a few, Lewis is known for both his fictional and non-fictional pieces. His works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. [Teaching C.S. Lewis: A Handbook for Professors, Church Leaders, and Lewis Enthusiasts. Ronald Coy]

Samuel Beckett: Widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, Beckett’s works often offered a bleak tragicomic outlook on human nature, usually coupled with dark comedy and gallows humor. [The Critical Response to Samuel Beckett. Cathleen Culotta Andonian]

Jonathan Swift: Although portions of his work were published under aliases or anonymously, Swift is considered the foremost prose satirist in the English language. In fact, he is known for being a master of two styles of satire; the Horatian and Juvenalian styles. [Jonathan Swift and the Vested Word. Deborah Baker Wyrick]

Edmund Burke: An Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher, Burke has generally been viewed as the founder of modern conservatism as well as a representative of classic liberalism. [Edmund Burke and Ireland: Aesthetics, Politics, and the Colonial Sublime. Victoria Myers]

Brian Friel: Hailed by the English-speak world as “the universally accented voice of Ireland,” Friel’s career as a dramatist has generated classic plays such as “Philadelphia, Here I Come!” and “Dancing at Lughnasa.” [Irish Playwrights, 1880-1995 A Research and Production Sourcebook. Bernice Schrank, William W. Demastes]

Sean O’Casey: One of the first Irish playwrights to write about the Dublin working class, O’Casey was involved in groups such as the Gaelic League and the Irish Republican Brotherhood to represent the interests of unskilled laborers. [The Voice of Nationism: One Hundred Years of Irish Theater. Stephen Watt]

Oliver Goldsmith: An Anglo-Irish writer and poet, Goldsmith is well-known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield as well as numerous poems. He is also thought to be the source of the phrase “goody-two-shoes.” [The Poems of Oliver Goldsmith. Austin Dobson]

Read more in The Washington Post.

28 September 2011
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Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.

George Bernard Shaw (via prettybooks)