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Category Archives: Literature

F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Tragic Autobiographer

The quote “how different it all is from what you’d planned” from Fitzgerald’s final, unfinished novel seems an apt way to summarise the author’s tumultuous life. Scarred by the class boundaries he was barred from crossing and only granted a brief refuge of success and happiness before yet more tragedy, one of the greatest authors of the 20th century lived amongst the very demons he wrote about.

Phillip K. Dick: A Man Before His Time

From his theories about AI to reenvisioned history, Phillip K. Dick was one of the most constantly inventive and complex writers of his time. For many, however, his ideas were too bold and experimental to be considered seriously by America’s elite novelists; like the setting of so many of his stories, Phillip K. Dick was before his time.

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Some novels reflect the time in which they are written whilst others contribute to shaping it. Stowe’s novel, the second best-selling of the 1800s following the Bible, does both. The aim of Stowe’s novel is self-evident and phrased by her sister-in-law as ‘mak[ing] this whole

Howard Zinn: A People’s History of the United States

The US Constitution, ratified in 1788, begins ‘We the People’, but Howard Zinn’s ‘A People’s History of the United States’ attempts to prove that America as a nation never has been about the people and never will be unless the middle classes are awoken from

Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess’ novel ‘A Clockwork Orange’ wrestles with the question of what makes us human. More precisely, it asks whether free will is an essential human quality. Burgess poses this question through the vessel of Alex, an extremely violent juvenile who is ultimately deprived of