Having soothed themselves with these comfortable falsehoods, people proceeded on their way to make Orwell’s prognostications come true. Bit by bit, and step by step, the world has been marching toward the realization of Orwell’s nightmares; but because the march has been gradual, people have not realized how far it has taken them on this fatal road.
Hemingway managed to catch and hold in his novel a set of attitudes toward war and human love which are essentially ageless. Moreover, the prose style in which he says his say about the people he knew in that now-ancient war has remained for the most part singularly invulnerable to the assaults of time.
by Joan London Of all Jack London’s serious works, none has been more widely misapprehended than Martin Eden, which he began to write soon after
Robert Hass, in his introduction to the Bantam edition of “Martin Eden”, points out that Jack London simply reflects the culture of his time, a culture that was dominated by imperialism, social Darwinism, and a style of aggressive masculinity.
In the following essay, published in 1970, Spinner discusses the autobiographical novel Martin Eden, which he regards as one of the first bleakly existentialist anti-hero novels in American literature.
Joseph Needham, one of the leading biologists of his day, strongly proclaims that Huxley has gotten the science—biology and psychology as well as philosophy—exactly right. Brave New World clearly shows what lies ahead, and it should be required reading especially for those who trust in science to save the world.
Huxley’s preoccupation with and concern about the increasing prosperity and numbers of the proletariat found expression in Brave New World. Huxley felt the masses had grown more menacing with population increases and he wrote the novel at a time when it seemed mankind could not recover from the problems of war, depression, and explosive technological progress.
by Sam S. Baskett The poem of the mind in the act of finding What will suffice. —“Of Modern Poetry,” Wallace Stevens When Martin Eden
A candid conversation with the author of The Vampire Chronicles about sex and violence, gays and bloodsuckers, and her helpful fans from the S&M scene
Book burning and repression of thought and ideas are far from the only themes in Fahrenheit 451. The novel comments on many other aspects of modern life that Bradbury deplores, and it is a striking vindication of his vision that many of the aspects of modern life he deplored at that time are even more pronounced today.
The novel opens with “fireman” Guy Montag exulting in his job of burning books: “It was a pleasure to burn.” In his futuristic society, where
Fifty books remain—the product of Jack London’s fevered spirit and tremendous energy. Of them, none is better than Martin Eden. Like all his books, it is uneven in structure, sometimes clumsy in expression, at times mawkish in tone. Yet it possesses great lasting power, having more vitality today than it did the day it issued from the press.
by Sam S. Baskett Vividly embodying as it does the tangled strands of Jack London’s personal, cultural, intellectual and artistic experience, Martin Eden remains a
Virtually from its appearance in 1985, Margaret Atwood’s futuristic novel The Handmaid’s Tale has announced its indebtedness to George Orwell’s 1984. Orwell’s nightmarish future is written all over Atwood’s similarly near-future vision of the misogynist theocracy of Gilead.
A broke, struggling Dostoevsky pitches “Crime and Punishment” to M. N. Katkov, the editor of a literary magazine
Watership Down (1972) came into being as a brief, whimsical tale of rabbits told to amuse Richard Adams’s daughters. Its popularity with them was such that finally he was forced to work out the ramifications of his simple story, and the novel took shape. A labor of love, it was inspired by the desire to tell a good story. The tone of the story reflects this attitude.
Tolstoy had barely finished What Then Must We Do? when he returned to an unfinished story which he had begun in 1882, and polished it
On one side of the warm Salinas River the Gabilan Mountains slowly rise; on the other, the valley side, trees line the bank. Through the willows and sycamores a path is worn, by boys coming down from ranches to swim and by tramps coming off the highway…
In a foreword to Brave New World written fourteen years after the book was first published, the author finds that society is embracing the attitudes he warned against even more quickly than he had originally thought.
When he was writing Of Mice and Men in early 1936, and even during the period between the novel’s completion and its publication, John Steinbeck’s expectations for the book were low. It was typical of Steinbeck to doubt the quality of his work after it was finished.
All Quiet on the Western Front has been widely praised as an antiwar novel, but William K. Pfeiler argues that more realistically the novel represents spoiled youth’s whining about the older generation.