Hitchcock and Shakespeare | OUPblog

There are two adjectives we commonly use when discussing artists and artistic things that we feel deserve serious attention and appreciation: Shakespearean and Hitchcockian. These two terms actually have quite a bit in common, not only in how and why they are used but also in what they specifically refer to, and closely examining the […]

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George Washington’s early love of literature [excerpt] | OUPblog

Unlike his contemporaries Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton — George Washington isn’t remembered as an intellectual. But for what he lacked in formal education, Washington made up for in enthusiasm for learning. His personal education began at an early age and continued throughout his adult life. In the following excerpt from George Washington: […]

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Allen Ginsberg and Ann Coulter walk into an auditorium… | OUPblog

Ann Coulter, a controversial right-wing author and commentator, was tentatively scheduled to speak at University of California-Berkeley on 27 April until pre-speech protests turned into violent clashes, and her speech was canceled. In response, Coulter tweeted, “It’s sickening when a radical thuggish institution like Berkeley can so easily snuff out the cherished American right to […]

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Twenty years of Pottering | OUPblog

It’s difficult to imagine a Harry Potter-less world. This is not simply because since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997 the numbers attached to the franchise have become increasingly eye-watering, but because, quite unintentionally (perhaps), what began as a modest fantasy for children has helped to turn the literary world […]

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The imaginative power and feminism of Harriet Prescott Spofford | OUPblog

“A Flaming Fire Lily Among the Pale Blossoms of New England” poignantly points to the paradoxical nature behind the imaginative power of notable American author Harriet Prescott Spofford. No, she is no longer with us today, having produced most of her work during the mid nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries, but to those of […]

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The Italian and Gothic literature [video] | OUPblog

The Italian is a gripping tale of love and betrayal, abduction and assassination, and incarceration in the dreadful dungeons of the Inquisition. Uncertainty and doubt lie everywhere. Ann Radcliffe defined the “terror” genre of writing and helped to establish the Gothic novel, thrilling readers with her mysterious plots and eerie effects. In The Italian she […]

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10 of the best literary summers | OUPblog

The changing seasons have inspired writers, artists, and poets for time immemorial – whether it is autumnal nostalgia among the crushed leaves, the biting cold and grey skies of winter, the joys and fresh hopes of spring, or the all-enveloping heat of the summer sun. Conjuring up reminiscences of youth, long days, lost loves and […]

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Excuse me, but who’s telling this story? | OUPblog

Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Nutshell, published in paperback this June, the month in which its author turns 69. McEwan forged an edgy early reputation by shell-shocking readers, or at least reviewers, with the violent, sexualised or neglected child narrators of his short stories. To find a narrator to recount the story Nutshell, he regresses back […]

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Jane Austen and the Voice of Insurrection | OUPblog

Mark Twain was notoriously unimpressed. “I often want to criticise Jane Austen,” he fumed with flamboyant but heartfelt irritation. “Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone!” Twain’s furious rejection of Austen’s world reveals his deep allegiance to a very […]

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