This month in the United States is Women's History Month. Yesterday, March 8th, was also International Women's Day, celebrated by Google with a wonderfully uplifting, culturally diverse, "Google Doodle," (or, in this case, music video). Here at About's Classic Lit site, we, too are celebrating women. Some recent articles about Classic Women Writers include:
While I am not one who typically qualifies writers into categories, such as gender, nationality, etc., instead preferring to think about literary periods, movements, and influence (as well as, simply, "personal favorites,"), still I think it is important to recognize and celebrate writers who have been or continue to be marginalized in some way, despite their brilliant talent and works.
Some of my favorite (Classic) Women Writers include: Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather, Jane Austen, Flannery O'Connor, Charlotte Bronte, Edith Wharton, and George Eliot.
Who are some of your favorites? Or, to put it another way, what is your favorite work of classic literature written by a woman?
Hello, Classic Literature Enthusiasts!
It is a goal of mine to post once per week with a "round-up" of information relevant to this website, including a list of articles that have gone live in each preceding week. Articles post to their category pages, not necessarily to the home page, so I want to make an effort to ensure you all can see what is happening from week to week.
There is a lot of great information already available on the Classic Lit section of About.com, so my goal is to write articles that give new information, discuss new topics, or offer different perspectives on widely discussed subjects. Literature is both constant and ever-changing, a delightful paradox that allows us to continue to approach it creatively!
In the last week, four articles have gone live:
As you can see, there are a variety of topics being covered and in a variety of forms (lists, reviews, narrative approach, etc.). This will probably continue to happen, as my own interests are wide and my styles vary with the topics and with my mood!
That being said, if there is ever anything you are interested in learning more about, or anything you would simply just like to hear my opinion about, please feel free to e-mail me or leave comments and let me know. I will do my best to oblige!
Hello, Classic Literature Explorers!
I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself as your new Classic Literature Guide here at About.com. My name is Adam Burgess and I hail from Chicago, Illinois, where I am happily working indoors as much as possible, these days, while we suffer through one of the worst winters in my remembrance (but, hey, inclement weather is a great excuse to do more reading!).
A brief note on my background, as this can be read on my bio page: I currently hold two degrees in English, Bachelor's-General and Master's-American Literature. I am also a Ph.D. candidate in English with emphases on modern American Literature and Literary Theory & Criticism. I have been teaching courses in English Composition & Rhetoric, Literature, Reading, and Humanities for seven years, and for much of that time I have also been a book reviewer and critic. In addition to all of this, I am one of the founders and current moderators of The Classics Club, an online community devoted to exploring classic literature.
My first post, Classic Literary Villains Part One, is live!
I know I am a new face for many of you, but I have so far received a warm and kind welcome from all of those with whom I have had the pleasure of interacting, and I am grateful for that. I hope that my content, topics, articles, and thoughts on literature will be interesting, thought-provoking, and useful. Please feel free to comment on posts with any questions or with thoughts of your own on the various topics we will be exploring together.
Edna Ferber wrote nine plays, two autobiographies, eleven short story collections, and thirteen novels.
Ferber also created So Big, a novel which received the Pulitzer Prize in 1924, and is considered by many to be the author's most popular work. In a juxtaposition of city and farm life of So Big, Ferber offers an exploration of the journey of life, with all the realities of love, death, failure and success.
As we read the lines, we discover a life, lived right before our eyes...
In So Big, Ferber writes: "He sat looking down at his hands--his fine strong unscarred hands. Suddenly and unreasonably he thought of another pair of hands--his mother's--with the knuckles enlarged, the skin broken--expressive--her life written on them. Scars. She had them."
What do your scars say about you: your life, experience...
Did you know that Robert Burns was born on January 25, 1759? He is one of the most famous Scottish poets in literary history. His first collection of poetry was published in 1786. Robert Burns once said, "The wide world is all before us--but a world without a friend."
- Robert Burns (1759-1796) Scottish writer
- Robert Burns Quotes
- Scotch Drink - Robert Burns (1759-1796)
- Robert Burns - Biographical Profile - About Poetry
- Robert Burns Cocktail Recipe - Cocktails
- More Info About Robert Burns Night
- Man Was Made to Mourn -- Robert Burns
- Scotland.org - Robert Burns Facts
What are you doing for Burns Day?
When January 1, 2014 rolled around, I was dreaming of all the ways this year would be better. I wondered what each day would bring: what wonderful books I'd get to read, and what other adventures were in store for me. I was full of hope for what I was sure would be the best year yet. I never imagined that I'd be stepping away from something that has been such a huge part of my life for more than 14 years.
But, some doors close, so that others can open. Always, unexpected windows of opportunity await (so often un-looked-for... but still, exactly what we need).
My last day at About.com will be January 31, 2014. It's with a heavy heart that I step away--not because I'm leaving, but because you've all been such a huge part of my family for more than 14 years. You've been there for the trials, the tribulations, and so many joys. You've seen my kids born. You've witnessed my son go through some of his most trying times of his life (diagnosed with cancer at 18 months old, and going through all the chemo, surgeries, and bone marrow transplants). You've been there when they said he wouldn't survive, and you've been there to celebrate with me when he beat cancer.
I've cherished every note: words of encouragement, corrections, ideas, stories, and suggestions. So, I want to thank you. You've been such a huge part of my life for more than 14 years.
This day seems particularly poignant, because it's also the day my son has his annual YES (Young Enduring Survivor) Clinic. Whatever you believe... I know that some miracles do happen. And, sometimes they walk into our lives... and stay for awhile.
I hope you'll join me in the celebrations, and the continuing hope. You, too, are part of this never-ending story. And, I don't want to say "goodbye." So, just think of me as if I'm in the other room--exploring some of those other adventures in literature.
Please join me in excited anticipation, as I begin to survey all those doors (and windows) that stand, ready to be opened.
I still have a few days left with my site on About.com. Then, (I hope) you'll continue to share your stories with me. It's already begun: abookgeek.com. (And, I'd love to continue hearing your stories and words of wisdom.) Come, share the joys of book geekdom.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is famous for "I have a dream..." It's a speech full of hope for the future (a dream that our children will live in harmony, that freedom and justice will prevail, and that an environment of hope, faith and brotherhood will transform).
Perhaps it's because that "I have a dream" speech touches me still... But, for me, January is a time of hope. It's a time when we can look forward--to gather around us that which we cherish most, and delve into a new year.
So, what do you cherish? What do you love? What are the things (abstract and specific: books, libraries, education, learning, being, becoming) about which you feel most passionate? How will you support, encourage, and embellish those passions in the days, moments, and spots of time that are left?
Salman Rushdie said, "Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart."
He wrote: "I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."
- Jack London Books
- Jack London Collections
- Adventure - Jack London
- The Game - Jack London
- Before Adam - Jack London
- To Build a Fire - Jack London
- Call of the Wild - Jack London
- Burning Daylight - Jack London
Read more about Jack London.
Alan Paton was a South African author, who is famous for Cry, the Beloved Country (1948). Paton was born on January 11, 1903. As a child, he read Charles Dickens, Rupert Brooke and others. His father was a writer, though he was only locally recognized. After attending the University of Natal, Paton was a teacher for a time until he was appointed Principal of the Diepkloof Reformatory.
In Too Late the Phalarope, Alan Paton writes: "Perhaps I could have saved him, with only a word, two words, out of my mouth. Perhaps I could have save us all. But I never spoke them." Read more quotes from Alan Paton (particularly related to Cry, the Beloved Country).
Join me in the adventure...
In an article for The Guardian, David Thomson wrote about how F.S. Fitzgerald (Francis Scott Fitzgerald) was able to capture Hollywood, the city of Dreams. Although Fitzgerald's novel about Hollywood was left unfinished upon his death, Thomson writes that "The Last Tycoon is alive with his fond insight, his admiration for people like Thalberg (trying to run the very complicated show), and his intuition that Hollywood was reshaping America." Read more about Fitzgerald:
How did F. Scott capture the magic (and dreams) of Hollywood?
Raymond Chandler wrote about F. Scott Fitzgerald: "He had one of the rarest qualities in all literature, and it's a great shame that the word for it has been thoroughly debased by the cosmetic racketeers, so that one is almost ashamed to use it to describe a real distinction. Nevertheless, the word is charm--charm as Keats would have used it. Who has it today? It's not a matter of pretty writing or clear style. It's a kind of subdued magic, controlled and exquisite, the sort of thing you get from good string quartettes."