Richard Church, himself a novelist and poet who had fought in World War I, believed that Erich Maria Remarque’s remarkable little novel allowed the reader to truly understand the horrifying and brutalizing experience of those who fought in the Great War
Sir Herbert Read was a British art historian, poet, and critic. His book of poetry, Naked Warriors (1919), reflected his own experiences in World War I. In the following viewpoint, written as a review of a half-dozen war books, he discusses why, ten years after the end of the war, people had so much interest in war literature.
When Remarque’s English publisher sent an advance copy of the novel to Sir Ian Hamilton, a British general, Hamilton wrote a letter to the publisher thanking him and telling him how true he felt the book was and how deeply it had touched him. The publisher forwarded the letter to Remarque, who responded with the letter below.
Nati dalla fantasia degli scrittori e fatti vivere nelle pagine di un libro, certi personaggi della letteratura hanno un destino singolare: col passar del tempo assurgono all’altezza di caratteri universali e, tralasciata del tutto la loro matrice artistica, cominciano a vivere una vita propria e imbarazzantemente perenne, fino ad entrare nel linguaggio di tutti i giorni.
L'intero romanzo è un universo concentrico che ruota attorno alla figura di un'ossessa. Emma Rouault, malamente maritata Bovary col mediocre medico di campagna Charles, appare fin dalla sua entrée come una creatura che scalpita, una che sta ansiosamente cercando qualcosa, e si sta cercando.
We played a fateful role in Yevgeny Zamyatin's life. An epitome of his philosophy, the novel prefigured his own future and that of his country with astonishing accuracy.
A gripping suspense tale, The Handmaid’s Tale is an allegory of what results from a politics based on misogyny, racism, and anti-Semitism. What makes the novel so terrifying is that Gilead both is and is not the world we know.
In this essay, Ketterer examines the cyclical structure and historical perspective of The Handmaid’s Tale. According to Ketterer, Atwood breaks from traditional dystopia conventions by juxtaposing present and post-dystopia contexts.
As Ronald Gottesman points out in this discerning introduction, Upton Sinclair was a passionate believer in the redemption of mankind through social reform. His expose of the interlocking corruption in American corporate and political life was a major literary event when it was published in 1906, and caused an almost immediate reform in pure-food legislation.
Richard Adams analyzes the title and opening paragraphs of Heart of Darkness, showing that neither gives the reader clues regarding the subject matter and focus of the story.
Canadian Author Margaret Atwood's sixth novel will remind most readers of Nineteen Eighty-Four. That can hardly be helped. Any new fictional account of how things might go horribly wrong risks comparisons either with George Orwell's classic or with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
Il Rosso di Jack London Eccola di nuovo! Quell'improvvisa esplosione di suono, mentre ne calcolava la durata sull’orologio, Bassett la paragonò alla tromba di un arcangelo. Delle mura di città, meditò, avrebbero certo potuto crollare dinanzi a una chiamata di così squassante imperiosità. Per la millesima volta cercò invano di [...]
One of the more diverting aspects of Lolita, the most controversial best seller of the century, has been the considerable speculative curiosity about the private life and personality of Vladimir Nabokov, the virtually unknown university professor who now, at the age of sixty-one, finds himself world famous as the author of this nettlesome novel.
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 the Snark reached Honolulu. Most readers, ignoring the tragic ending which Jack deliberately conceived and logically reached for this novel, have regarded it solely as [...]
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.
Whatever tempted Kubrick to adapt the novel A Clockwork Orange and deal with its extraordinary difficulties, his methods of rising to their challenges were equally extraordinary in themselves—so much so that he ended up creating a film that is richer than its source in texture and, in its extension and development of certain thematic implications, more resonant as well.
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 says, ‘‘My desire to write is the most vital thing in me,”1 he is merely giving ‘‘impassioned voice” to what has been apparent from the [...]
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 readable, affecting work sufficiently complex to invite continued critical attention. The results of this attention, however, have been inconclusive. Some critics, pointing to the novel’s [...]
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.
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 off in the space of not much more than a month. It was the novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Touchingly, the motive for finishing [...]
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.
Martin Eden è un romanzo dello scrittore statunitense Jack London che racconta la difficile vita di un ragazzo del popolo che lotta disperatamente per diventare uno scrittore, ispirato e sostenuto in questo dal suo amore per la bellezza e per Ruth, una giovane figlia dell'alta borghesia di San Francisco.
Huxley’s ideas have been subjected to much criticism. Those which have been most criticized deal with religion; they have been attacked not only by the critics who have been disturbed by their religious and philosophical implications, but by those who have been bored by Huxley’s occasionally excessive didacticism.
A Clockwork Orange is a futuristic warning against both mindless violence and the mechanical reconditioning that is often proposed as society’s solution to its ills. It offers a horrifying view of a future England in which gangs of hoodlums, or “droogs,” roam the streets freely, robbing, fighting, raping, and consuming illegal drugs and alcohol.
This introduction sets 'Heart of Darkness' in the context of Conrad's life, sketches the process of its composition, and outlines its critical history.
by Charles Perrault There was a man who had fine houses, both in town and country, a deal of silver and gold plate, embroidered furniture, and coaches gilded all over with gold. But this man had the misfortune to have a blue beard, which made him so frightfully ugly, that [...]
In this essay, Coral Howells discusses the presentation of female self-identity, memory, sensual experience, and Offred's resistance to patriarchal authority in The Handmaid's Tale
Rodion Raskolnikov is a young intellectual in his early twenties. Crushed by poverty, he has been forced to drop out of the university and now lives in a shabby little garret unable to pay the rent or buy food. With no prospects for the future, finding no outlet for his talents, he rages against a society callously indifferent to people like him.
The Man Who Planted Trees (French title: L'homme qui plantait des arbres) is an allegorical tale by French author Jean Giono, published in 1953. It tells the story of one shepherd's long and successful singlehanded effort to re-forest a desolate valley in the foothills of the Alps in Provence throughout the first half of the 20th century.
In this exclusive interview, Stephen King discusses his past work, his inspirations, his attitudes toward the genre, and his future projects.
Nel giugno del 1983 Playboy Usa incontra un maestro del brivido che nella sua successiva carriera avrebbe pubblicato oltre sessanta opere, tutte regolarmente entrate nella classifica dei bestseller. King racconta gli inizi molto difficili, il successo inaspettato e quella sottile linea di follia che tiene legata fin dal principio tutta la sua produzione.
In the early winter of 1972, a Maine housewife dusting her husband's makeshift study fished a discarded manuscript out of the wastebasket and sat down to read it. When Stephen King returned from teaching high school English that evening, his wife, Tabitha, persuaded him to resume work on the abandoned novel, despite his conviction "that I had written the world's all-time loser."
All Quiet on the Western Front is often praised for the way it faithfully captures not only the physical experience of war, but the psychological bent of the young soldiers who were caught up in its futile and alienating brutality. Modris Eksteins, professor of history at the University of Toronto, Canada, argues that it is more accurate to say that Remarque captured the postwar mind.
Articolo commemorativo di Nazzareno D’Errico su Pier Paolo Pasolini «cristiano e marxista», apparso nel numero di novembre del 1976 del mensile illustrato «Historia»
Yevgeny Zamyatin has a sound claim to the invention of the science fiction dystopia. This book, Zamyatin’s only novel, barely saw publication during his tragically shortened lifetime. The Russian text spread by hand-typed samizdat manuscripts in the St. Petersburg literary circles and through tattered, covert copies of a single emigre publication in Prague.
The title of The Incomparable Atuk suggests a certain satiric borrowing from The Great Gatsby. Gatsby may have been “great," but Atuk is "incomparable.” The similarity between the two works extends considerably beyond their titles, however, for Atuk pursues his dream of his own destiny with a dedication worthy of Gatsby himself.
William Gibson is this year's hungry stranger. He brings to the clubby little world of science fiction a genuinely new perception. His influences are not the safe icons like the Heinleins, but are the harrowing visions of a Robert Stone.
If in my lifetime I was to write only one book, this would be the one. Just as the past lingers in the present, all my writings after Night, including those that deal with biblical, Talmudic, or Hasidic themes, profoundly bear its stamp, and cannot be understood if one has not read this very first of my works. Why did I write it?
Non v’è dubbio che la tematica onirico-reale-surreale di Traumnovelle, scritta da Arthur Schnitzler fra il 1921 e il 1925 ma già abbozzata nel 1907, eserciti una singolare attrazione sul lettore e lo induca, quasi naturalmente, a guardare alla psicoanalisi come al più vicino, ineludibile modello del suggestivo racconto.
The essay provides a general introduction to Lem’s work, including an annotated bibliography. Relates Solaris to the main traditions of speculative fiction.
I cannot, for my soul, remember how, when, or even precisely where, I first became acquainted with the lady Ligeia. Long years have since elapsed, and my memory is feeble through much suffering.
by Sam S. Baskett In April, 1907, Jack London sailed out the Golden Gate aboard his $30,000 yacht, bound on what was planned as a seven-year cruise around the world. Within a few months London, already a popular writer and a famous public figure at thirty-one, had put aside the [...]
When did I see Jerusalem for the first time? I don't even know. When I visited the city for the first time, it seemed to me that it was not for the first time. At the same time, each visit since then I have had the feeling it is my first visit.
The Death of Ivan Ilych, by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, is the story of a dying man's struggle to come to terms with the meaning of his life, even as he endures an agonizing death.
Se gli androidi di Dick sono stupidamente malvagi come vuole il loro programma, non diversamente vanno le cose per i pochi esseri umani che incontriamo in questo paesaggio con rovine
Late in his career, in the essay “Man, Android and Machine,’’ Philip K. Dick said the android is "a thing somehow generated to deceive us in a cruel way, to cause us to think it to be one of ourselves.”
Carole Mallory interviews Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller for Playboy magazine in 1992. The article was titled “The Kurt and Joe Show.”
Papillon: una farfalla che vola alto, come un’aquila. Il lungo romanzo autobiografico dell’ex-ergastolano Henri Charrière sta battendo il record assoluto dei best-sellers
Introduzione, antologia critica e bibliografia a cura di Aldo Chiaruttini Arnoldo Mondatori Editore, Oscar Mondatori, Dicembre 1983 George Orwell La vita e l'opera George Orwell è il nome che lo scrittore inglese adottò negli anni trenta, in occasione della pubblicazione delle sue prime opere. Nato nel 1903 a Motihari in [...]
Il terribile libro di Orwell ha segnato il nostro tempo, gli ha fornito una immagine ossessiva, la minaccia di un millennio assai prossimo, e dicendo "quel giorno verrà..." ci ha impegnato tutti nell'attesa di quel giorno
Doppio sogno (titolo originale tedesco Traumnovelle) è un romanzo breve, o novella, di Arthur Schnitzler scritto nel 1925; la prima edizione ufficiale tedesca è del 1926. Doppio Sogno si inserisce nell'estetica del decadentismo viennese di inizio secolo XX; racconta la crisi che colpisce una giovane coppia borghese nella Vienna degli anni venti.
Few authors of this generation have sparked more controversy with a single book than a former Cornell University professor with the resoundingly Russian name of Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov
Arthur C. Clarke's short story "Sentinel of Eternity", published in 1951 , which was used as a starting point for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey
Philip Dick does not lead his critics an easy life, since he does not so much play the part of a guide through his phantasmagoric worlds as give the impression of one lost in their labyrinth.
Politics, Margaret Atwood once said, means “who is entitled to do what to whom, with impunity; who profits by it; and who therefore eats what.” The Handmaid's Tale proves that Atwood is among the most telling political writers in the West today.
As a young man of 26 years, Sinclair spent seven weeks observing the daily lives of individuals who worked in the meat packing industry in Chicago’s Packingtown. Being from the South, an area torn by the Civil War, he hated poverty and its effects on humans.
In 1969, a then relatively unknown Michael Crichton reviewed Kurt Vonnegut's latest novel, "Slaughterhouse Five". In an ambivalent take, Crichton called it "hideous, ghastly, murderous—and calm."
Subito dopo La stella e I nove miliardi di nomi di Dio, credo che La sentinella sia il mio racconto più noto, anche se non per se stesso, ma come spunto da cui nacque 2001: Odissea nello spazio, vent'anni dopo che lo scrissi nel 1948. Mi chiedo se quell'anno ho festeggiato [...]
Di Cuore di Tenebra la Linea d'ombra rappresenta idealmente l'antecedente immediato, anche se è stata scritta diciott'anni circa dopo l'altro racconto.
The writer reflects on her bout with cancer, the fundamentals of love, and her "desert childhood" by Jonathan Cott The only possible metaphor one may conceive of for the life of the mind,'' wrote the late political scientist Hannah Arendt, ''is the sensation of being alive. Without the breath of [...]
“Wealthy Farmer, Three of Family Slain: H.W. Clutter, Wife and Two Children Are Found Shot in Kansas Home.” The UPI dispatch below this headline, buried in the back pages of the November 15, 1959, New York Times,had an electrifying effect on novelist Truman Capote.
Dante Alighieri raccontato da Indro Montanelli nel fascicolo numero 4 della collana "I Protagonisti", pubblicato a puntate dal quotidiano Il Giornale nel 1993
by Richard B. Stolley The pants are baggy and stained, with the fly at careless half-mast, and his sweater is as lumpy as a laundry bag. He works the local docks, maybe? Or drives a truck? Then study John Fowles's head, that receptacle, as it happens, of one of the [...]
di Vladimir Nabokov Dopo che ho incarnato il soave John Ray, il personaggio di Lolita che stende la Prefazione, ogni commento diretto da parte mia potrà sembrare a qualcuno - e a me stesso, per la verità - un’incarnazione di Vladimir Nabokov che parla del proprio libro. Vanno discussi tuttavia [...]
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Phillip K. Dick TO MAREN AUGUSTA BERGRUD AUGUST 10, 1923 — JUNE 14, 1967 AND STILL I DREAM HE TREADS THE LAWN, WALKING GHOSTLY IN THE DEW, PIERCED BY MY GLAD SINGING THROUGH. Yeats AUCKLAND A TURTLE WHICH EXPLORER CAPTAIN COOK GAVE TO [...]
Frederic Raphael discusses "Dream Story" in terms of its cultural and historical context in fin-de-siècle Vienna, and comments on the implied Jewish identity of the main character
Review of “WE” by E. I. Zamyatin [Evgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin] by George Orwell Several years after hearing of its existence, I have at last got my hands on a copy of Zamyatin's We, which is one of the literary curiosities of this book-burning age. Looking it up in Gleb Struve's [...]
Breve scritto di Ernesto Ferrero apparso nell'edizione italiana del romanzo di Louis-Ferdinand Céline "Viaggio al termine della notte" (1932)
Prefazione di Vladimir Nabokov alla pubblicazione italiana della sceneggiatura che ha scritto adattando il suo romanzo. Kubrick utilizzerà ben poco di questa versione ma lascerà ugualmente a Nabokov il credit di unico autore dello script
Italian translation of Harry Grey's novel The Hoods (it. Mano Armata), published by Longanesi. The book was the model for the film Once Upon a Time in America by Sergio Leone. MANO ARMATA Romanzo di HARRY GREY Traduzione dall'originale inglese The Hoods di Adriana Pellegrini Edizione Longanesi Milano CAPITOLO I [...]