The Fascinating World of Authorisms: Words Created by Writers

Interesting Literature In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle reads Paul Dickson’s Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers All words have to start somewhere, of course. But many of them are of anonymous authorship. The small amount of success I’ve had in getting the word ‘bibliosmia’ into general circulation has demonstrated that,Continue reading “The Fascinating World of Authorisms: Words Created by Writers”

The Best Virginia Woolf Stories Everyone Should Read

Interesting Literature Previously, we’ve picked the best of Virginia Woolf’s novels and non-fiction works, but she was also a fine writer of very short stories. Although Woolf didn’t write a great amount of short fiction, a number of her short stories are classic examples of early twentieth-century modernism. All five stories are included in TheContinue reading “The Best Virginia Woolf Stories Everyone Should Read”

Frankenstein, 200 Years On: Why Mary Shelley’s Novel Remains So Relevant

Interesting Literature In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle revisits Mary Shelley’s misunderstood parable and founding text of science fiction Frankenstein is one of a handful of nineteenth-century fictional creations that went truly global and became ingrained in the popular consciousness. Along with Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, Mary Shelley’s character hasContinue reading “Frankenstein, 200 Years On: Why Mary Shelley’s Novel Remains So Relevant”

The Best D. H. Lawrence Stories Everyone Should Read

Interesting Literature Are these D. H. Lawrence’s greatest short stories? D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930) wrote novels, short stories, and poems, among many other things. Although he died in his mid-forties – from tuberculosis – he was a prolific writer who left behind a vast body of work, including many short stories. Below, we’ve picked fiveContinue reading “The Best D. H. Lawrence Stories Everyone Should Read”

A Short Analysis of Virginia Woolf’s ‘The Mark on the Wall’

Interesting Literature On one of Woolf’s most iconic short stories Virginia Woolf’s distinctive talents did not arrive fully formed in her first published work. One of her very first published pieces of writing was actually produced when she was still very young: it was an obituary for the family dog, Shag. When Woolf published herContinue reading “A Short Analysis of Virginia Woolf’s ‘The Mark on the Wall’”

Michael Moorcock’s Dorian Hawkmoon: Fast-Paced Fantasy

Interesting Literature In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle revisits the deftly plotted fantasy novels of Michael Moorcock It’s not as well-known as it should be that C. S. Lewis nominated his fellow Inkling, J. R. R. Tolkien, for the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1961, the Chronicles of Narnia authorContinue reading “Michael Moorcock’s Dorian Hawkmoon: Fast-Paced Fantasy”

The Fire Sermon and the Sphinx: The Poetry of William Empson

Interesting Literature In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle analyses the peculiar modernism of an obscure poet William Empson wrote one of the most influential works of literary criticism of the entire twentieth century. His 1930 book Seven Types of Ambiguity, which put forward seven different ways in which a varietyContinue reading “The Fire Sermon and the Sphinx: The Poetry of William Empson”

May Sinclair’s Modernist Masterpiece: The Life and Death of Harriett Frean

Interesting Literature In this week’s Dispatches from the Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle bangs the drum for an undervalued modernist novel 1922 was the annus mirabilis and high point of modernist literature. James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Katherine Mansfield’s The Garden Party and Other Stories, and Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room wereContinue reading “May Sinclair’s Modernist Masterpiece: The Life and Death of Harriett Frean”