LITERATURE

The Handmaid’s Tale: A Feminist ‘1984’

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.

Nicolai Fechin - The Slaughterhouse, 1919

UPTON SINCLAIR: THE JUNGLE – ESSAY BY RONALD GOTTESMAN

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.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Review by Paul Gray [Time]

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.

Vladimir Nabokov

VLADIMIR NABOKOV: THE MAN WHO SCANDALIZED THE WORLD

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.

Martin Eden: The Love of Death – by Robert Hass

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.

Brave New World: Huxley’s Biology Is Perfectly Right

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.

Brave New World: The Rise of Mass Man

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.

Anne Rice: Playboy Interview (1993)

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

Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451

RAY BRADBURY: FAHRENHEIT 451 – AN INTRODUCTION

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.

Jack London: Martin Eden – by Franklin Walker

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.