Category Archives: Books

January 17

Chekhov’s ‘The Cherry Orchard’: Comedy or Tragedy?

On the 17th of January 1904, The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov had its premiere at the Moscow Art Theatre. The play was staged by the famous actor/director and creator of the eponymous Stanislavski method, known as “method acting”, Constantin Stanislavski. The original intention of Chekhov was for The Cherry Orchard to be a comedy; […]

January 04

Charlotte Lennox’s ‘The Female Quixote’

On the 4th of January 1804, the English author and poet Charlotte Lennox, née Ramsay, died in London. The fact that she was buried in an unmarked grave at Broad Court Cemetery is, in some metaphoric way, meaningful. In her writing, and especially in The Female Quixote (1752) (or The Adventures of Arabella) – a novel imitating […]

January 03

The Good Soldier Švejk: A Fool Against the System

 “When Švejk subsequently described life in the lunatic asylum, he did so in exceptionally eulogistic terms: ‘I really don’t know why those loonies get so angry when they’re kept there. You can crawl naked on the floor, howl like a jackal, rage and bite. If anyone did this anywhere on the promenade people would be […]

December 31

Andersen’s Little Match Girl

Here is an aspirational dramatic story about hope, love and generosity, the important matters in life, set in the last day of the calendar year, 31st of December. The Little Match Girl  (Danish: Den Lille Pige med Svovlstikkerne) is a short story by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), first published in 1845. The editor […]

December 30

Guru Ramana Maharshi on Meditation

We all want to be that little bit better in the new year, both on the inside and on the outside . Love yourself, love the world around you, better yourself through meditation! Heed the advice of Ramana Maharshi (1879–1950), born on the 30th of December 1879 in Tamil Nadu, South India; here are some snippets from interviews with […]

December 29

The Awakening of Joyce’s Lust for Beauty

For those soul-searching, here is an excerpt from  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the first novel of Irish writer James Joyce (1882 – 1941). This autobiographical Künstlerroman is unprecedented in literature for its use of free indirect speech prefiguring Joyce’s stream of consciousness technique. American modernist poet Ezra Pound had the novel published in book format […]

December 28

How to Read a Book

You might have some welcome time on your hands in the holiday season, so why not dig into a new book! But do you really know how to read a book? Mortimer J. Adler (1902 – 2001) was born in New York City on the 28th of December 1902 to Jewish immigrants. Adler co-founded the […]