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Author: Eric Esposito's Archives

Leo Tolstoy: A Key to the Russian Heart

AuthorsClassic Literature
Leo Tolstoy: A Key to the Russian Heart

Everyone’s heard of Leo Tolstoy. But exactly who was this acclaimed Russian author? In a BBC broadcast on October 1st, 1939, Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously said that Russia “is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.” While Churchill argued that the key was national interest, perhaps he wasn’t digging deep enough. Just like the wooden matryoshka dolls Russia is so famous for, we too must remove the outer layers of geopolitics to get to the metaphysical core of what truly makes Russia tick. And what better way to explore the seed of the Russian […]

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The Woman Who Gave Birth To Frankenstein: A Brief Mary Shelley Biography

AuthorsClassic LiteratureNovel Knowledge
Mary Shelley biography blog post feature image

It isn’t only the music industry that has “one-hit wonders.” Believe it or not, some of the most respected authors in the Western Canon only have one chef-d’œuvre to their name. Just a few novelists who have cemented their literary reputation with just one book include: Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time In today’s post, we’ll be taking a look at the author Mary Shelley and her enduring one-hit wonder: Frankenstein. Shelley may not have as much critical caché as some of the other authors mentioned above, but who could deny […]

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Hans Christian Andersen: The Great Dane

AuthorsChildren's BooksClassic Literature
Hans Christian Andersen blog image Copenhagen Denmark

If you’ve ever taken a trip to Copenhagen, you’ve probably strolled through Assistens Cemetery. This famous area serves as the final resting place for some of Denmark’s finest minds. Just a few luminaries buried here include philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, artist Christen Købke, and physicist Niels Bohr. But most visitors to Assistens Cemetery only want to see one site: the grave of the beloved children’s author Hans Christian Andersen. Tomb of Hans Christian Andersen by Stefano Bolignini, via Wikimedia Commons With the possible exception of Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet, Hans Christian Andersen is probably the best-known Dane of all time. Heck, Andersen even […]

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10 Authors Who Only Became Famous After Death

AuthorsClassic LiteratureContemporary LiteratureNovel Knowledge
Authors Who Became Famous After Death

Artists are often called the “antennae of the race.” Writers, painters, and musicians see things we normal mortals just can’t see. Sometimes it takes decades for the general public to understand what a truly gifted literary mind was trying to communicate. In this list, you’ll find ten of the finest authors from around the world, all of whom share one sad fact: they were only fully appreciated and made famous after death. Famous authors who reached posthumous fame 1. William Blake (1757-1827) Contemporaries called him mad. But today William Blake is universally recognized as a poetic and artistic genius. He was born in […]

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James Joyce: Priest Of Literary Modernism

AuthorsGenresNovel Knowledge
James Joyce signature, blog feature image

Irish writer James Joyce is a very polarizing figure. Some people love his wit, his wordplay, and his inventiveness. Other readers simply cannot stand his scholastic allusiveness. However you may feel about this literary giant, it is impossible to understand 20th century Modernism without him. Along with T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Virginia Woolf, and William Faulkner, Joyce is one of those indispensable writers who defined the voice of an era. Indeed, if you are willing to undergo the struggle, Joyce’s books offer not only great wisdom but also great fun. Read on for a general overview of Joyce’s life and works […]

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What is Magical Realism in Literature?

GenresNovel Knowledge
Magical Realism in Literature blog post graphic

Today we’re exploring magical realism, one of the most interesting literary movements in recent history. A brief history of magical realism The 20th century was a century of “-isms” in the West. Never before had there been so many dynamic philosophical, aesthetic, political, sociological, and psychological schools of thought: from Freudianism to Keynesianism to Cubism. One of the famous literary “-isms” to arise in this time, especially in Latin America, was called magical realism. In contrast to pure fantasy, magical realism in literature sought to re-invigorate the ordinary with the sublime. Magical realism novels do not contain the elves and wizards of a […]

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10 Native American Writers You Should Be Reading

AuthorsContemporary Literature
10 Contemporary Native American Authors blog post title graphic

When most people think of Native American writing, their minds may be flooded with images from the colorful mythos that flourished all around North America before Columbus’s arrival. Archeologists and historians are still learning a great deal about these ancient Native American poets and their powerful works of spiritual literature. Unfortunately, far too many people think only of the past when they consider Native American writing, traditions, and culture. In reality, there are many contemporary Native American writers today who are powerful witnesses to and voices of the Native American experience in the 20th and 21st centuries. These diverse writers, poets, […]

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13 Gruesomely Good Horror Novels for Halloween

Classic LiteratureContemporary LiteratureGenres
10 Gruesomely Good Horror Novels for Halloween blog title graphic

October is a month for all things ghastly, ghoulish, and, well, just plain weird. If you want to really get into the Halloween spirit, there are plenty of spine-tingling horror novels sure to spook the living daylights out of you. Do you want to know what they are? Ah, you are a brave reader, aren’t you? But beware, fair reader. These books have been known to drive perfectly sane men into the madhouse. We cannot take any responsibility for the nightmares you may experience after perusing these bloodcurdling books. Below you will find thirteen of the best horror novels ever […]

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