Category Archives: Literature

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 13

Kostis Palamas and the Olympic Anthem

 “And then I saw that I am the poet, surely a poet among many a mere soldier of the verse, but always the poet who desires to close within his verse the longings and questionings of the universal man, and the cares and fanaticism of the citizen. I may not be a worthy citizen; but […]

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 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 24

Capote’s Christmas Memory

We dedicate the festive winter holiday week to inspirational quotes which mark cultural or historical landmarks from around the world. To keep the  Holy Eve excitement of our childhood alive, here is an excerpt from A Christmas Memory (1956), an autobiographical short story by classic American novelist Truman Capote (1924 – 1984) which has become a literary staple […]

December 19

Emily Brontë: Female Talent vs Biased Male Criticism

On the 19th of December 1848, Emily Brontë, aged only thirty, died in her home in Haworth, Yorkshire, England. The young author of the famous novel Wuthering Heights died of tuberculosis. In a letter from the 21st of December 1848, her sister, Charlotte, wrote: “Emily suffers no more from pain or weakness now… Yesterday we […]