Category: Authors Archives

James Joyce: Priest Of Literary Modernism

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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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One Hundred Years of Solitude: The Book and Characters [Data Visualization]

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100 Years of Solitude blog post image

A few weeks ago, we shared a blog post about the history of magical realism. Today we’re taking a deeper look at perhaps the greatest and most beloved of all magical realism novels: One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien Años de Soledad) by Colombian author Gabriel Jose Garcia Marquez. The classic example of magical realism Although many critics may have trouble defining what exactly a magical realist novel is, their prime example will always be Marquez’s beloved One Hundred Years of Solitude. First published in 1967, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a long and dense work. The novel can be a bit confusing for […]

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The Ages of 101 Famous Writers at First Publication [Infographic]

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Famous writers ages infographic featured image

If you’re anything like us, you constantly think about the lives of some of the world’s most famous writers. How did they get started with writing? And when? Looking back on a a now-famous author’s life work, I always catch myself thinking, “That author was a genius! I’m sure she had no problem getting work published.” Or, “Yeah, it must have been super easy for him; he’s obviously talented.” In reality, though, even the most popular authors often struggle for a long time before finally getting published. Many published authors have a family or a day job (or both) and don’t even really […]

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Native American Writers You Should Be Reading (10 Authors)

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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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Samuel Beckett: Fail Better and “Worstward Ho!”

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Samuel Beckett quote: "Fail better"

Even if you aren’t involved in tech, entrepreneurship, lifehacking, or other such digital-age ubiquities, you’ve probably heard the most famous part of this Samuel Beckett quote: “Fail better.” The “Fail Better” Quote by Samuel Beckett The “fail better” quote was originally published in Samuel Beckett’s short piece of prose entitled Worstward Ho!, his second-to-last work ever published. The full Samuel Beckett quote reads like this (and by “full,” we really mean the part that gets repeated): “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” By itself, you can probably understand why this phrase has become a mantra of […]

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The Jungle Book Characters: Books and Movie Adaptations [Ultimate Guide]

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Meeting at Council Rock illustration from The Jungle Book

Thanks in large part to Disney’s many animated and live-action adaptations, few children in the entire world have grown up without some notion of the fantastical world of Mowgli, Baloo, and Shere Khan. But how much do children—and you—know about the original Jungle Book characters and stories by Rudyard Kipling? The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling Joseph Rudyard Kipling first published his collection of stories that would later come to be known collectively as The Jungle Book in magazines back in 1893 and 1894. First edition copy of The Jungle BookPhoto from Wikicommons At the time these stories were written, Kipling lived […]

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Words Wednesday: F. Scott Fitzgerald

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F Scott Fitzgerald quote from This Side of Paradise

This F. Scott Fitzgerald quote comes from This Side of Paradise, which came out in 1920 and was the author’s first published novel. This Side of Paradise follows young Amory Blaine, who leaves his home in the Midwest to begin college at Princeton University. The novel received fairly positive reviews when it was first released, but it has never gained the public acclaim of Fitzgerald’s other works (like The Great Gatsby). It was always the becoming he dreamed of, never the being. -F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise Can’t get enough of F. Scott Fitzgerald? Check out our post […]

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Surprising Stories of Famous Authors Who Almost Died (9 Authors)

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Image taken from page 70 of '[Death's Doings; consisting of numerous original compositions, in prose and verse, the ... contributions of various writers; principally intended as illustrations of twenty-four plates designed and etched by R. Dagley.]'

Because I could not stop for Death He kindly stopped for me -Emily Dickenson, “Because I could not stop for Death” It will probably come as no surprise that we do a lot of reading, writing, and reading about reading and writing. And one of our favorite pastimes is learning about the lives of some of our favorite authors. What happened to them? How did they get started writing? What could have inspired their writing style, common themes, or favorite plot lines? Though every author has a different life story to tell, the following nine authors all shared at least one certainly deeply affecting […]

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Hemingway and Fitzgerald: A Comparison [Infographic]

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Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald (who was actually known only as “Scott”) are two of the most acclaimed American authors of the last century. Friends, colleagues, readers, critics, travelers, expats, members of “The Lost Generation”…Fitzgerald and Hemingway shared more than just a knack for the written word. At once the closest of friends and the most jealous of competitors, Hemingway and Fitzgerald led public, tumultuous, and booze-soaked lives—both together and apart. So let’s take a deeper look at these literary frenemies! Hemingway and Fitzgerald infographic So how did the life of Ernest Hemingway compare to the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald? […]

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Words Wednesday: Charles Dickens

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Charles Dickens Little Dorrit quote graphic by Books on the Wall

Today’s Words Wednesday quote comes from Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit, published between 1855 and 1857. Like most of Dickens’ work, Little Dorrit explores themes of poverty, class, and expectations in Victorian England. “Looking back upon his own poor story, she was its vanishing-point. Every thing in its perspective led to her innocent figure. He had travelled thousands of miles towards it; previous unquiet hopes and doubts had worked themselves out before it; it was the centre of the interest of his life; it was the termination of everything that was good and pleasant in it; beyond, there was nothing but […]

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