Category: Great Books

From The Guardian: House of Names by Colm Tibn brilliant retelling of a Greek tragedy

Colm Toibin is an author whose latest novel, House of Names, a retelling of a Aeschylus’ The Oresteia, has graced fine book stores everywhere. Alex Preston, writing forThe Guardian, notes, however: I say ostensibly a retelling, because House of Names gives us so much that isnt in the original trilogy (and excludes so much that […]

From The Times Literary Supplement: Immense chaos of feeling

From Rousseau’s unprecedented confessions to Hong Kingston’sWarrior Women and China Men, Alex Zwerdling traces the history of the memoir in hisThe Rise of the Memoir, reviewed by Frances Wilson for the TLS. The difficulty with memoirs is that they are written to be memorable; enough so to be a steady source of profit after ones […]

From Inside Higher Ed: Democratizing the Great Books

John Dewey’s classic book on education, “Democracy and Education,” is one of the indispensable contributions to civics that we’d do well to be revisit in our present time. A timely reminder of this appears in Inside Higher Ed, in an article by three Professors who report some of the interesting points from a daylong conference […]

From The Guardian: The best second novels of all time

It is not true that, as with our first love, our first novel will be our most memorable, written or read; in fact, it isn’t even true for our first loves, and novels deal with fiction. Nevertheless, James Reith at The Guardian has shared several books we should keep in mind next time we’re about […]

Walt Whitman and the Many Revisions of Leaves of Grass

Special thanks to Prof. Kyna Hamill for bringing this to our attention! Turns out Leaves of Grass has more editions than your textbook, and the only thing that stopped Walt Whitman from releasing more than nine was his death (probably). Unlike your textbook, however, each edition of Leaves of Grass introduced a variety of new […]

From The New York Times: ‘How Propaganda Works’ Is a Timely Reminder

Michiko Kakutani reviews a book that is timely because it comes likes an alarm clock, How Propaganda Works, by Professor Jason Stanley. It is not boring, so promise you will not be needing to hit the snooze button; but, in fact, the book will keep you engaged while serving as a prophylaxis against the opposing […]

March Books, Free to Good Homes

Spring Break is upon us, and we are thinking about spring cleaning. That includes paring down the inventory of hundreds and hundreds of used books which the Core office has acquired over the past little while, donations from members of the Core community. We invite you — students, alumni, and friends of the Core — […]

Christopher Marlowe and the Mythology of Shakespeare

Gary Taylor, lead general editor of The New Oxford Shakespeare, departs from the usual collections of Shakespeare’s plays. For the first time, the three Henry VI plays add the name of Elizabethan tragedian and “bad boy of the English Renaissance,” Christopher Marlowe, as co-author alongside the Bard. But that’s not all–fourteen other plays from the […]

From The Times Literary Supplement: Steve Bannon, heir to Plato

Steve Bannon (good name) believes in a cyclical theory of history. We do not have the evidence for it, which is just the point, sincethe argument then becomes circular. The nice thing about cycles is that it suggests revolution, something we like here; the bad thingis thatBannon feels perhaps that he is the spearhead of […]

Ariel Dorfman: In Exile with ‘Don Quixote’

It is October 1973, and men and women crowd the Argentine Embassy of Santiago. A coup has just dismantled the Chilean government headed by Salvador Allende, and novelist and activist Ariel Dorfman finds himself and 30 other refugees gathered around a copy of Don Quixote. As they read aloud, a certain kinship to Cervantes seems […]