Books

The Memorable Last Words of Literary Characters

Today, we’re celebrating literature’s first detective story, which became a prototype for the greatest modern mystery tales and the analytical sleuths that investigated them. This weekend marks the 173rd publication anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue, which first appeared in Graham’s Magazine back in 1841. Protagonist C. Auguste Dupin, a Parisian man who becomes embroiled in a bloody case, solves the bizarre murder mystery surrounding two women without the help of the police force. The story’s final line comes from a puffed-up Dupin, who after ruffling the prefect of police’s feathers, snarkily states: “I like him especially for one master stroke of cant, by which he has attained his reputation for ingenuity. I mean the way he has ‘de nier ce qui est, et d’expliquer ce qui n’est pas.’ (‘To deny what is, and to explain what is not.’)” We felt inspired to look back on some of the most memorable last words of literary characters — those that mark a character’s journey, several closing quips, and a few dying utterances. Add your favorite quotes, below. … Read More

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25 Essential Graphic Novels

Long dismissed as a less serious art form, graphic novels have finally started to gain more mainstream credibility over the last 20 years. There are many, many excellent examples out there, but if you’re looking for a place to start, start here! The world of the graphic novel is one that spans a wide range of authors, artists, styles, and subject matter, and this primer covers all the… Read More

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Gabriel García Márquez Was a Literary Legend — But We Should Remember Him for More Than Just His Writing

“May it, finally, be hoped that this enthralling, exceedingly comic novel will not encounter the lazy indifference that other Latin American novels have met with in this country.” So wrote David Gallagher in his June 28, 1970 Guardian review of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Today, García Márquez, the Nobel winner who passed away yesterday at the age of 87, looks up at readers from the front page of the New York Times, confirming that he left the world of literature a very different place than he found it. … Read More

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50 Incredible Novels Under 200 Pages

Springtime can make even the most devoted of readers a little bit antsy. After all, there are flowers to smell, puddles to jump in, fresh love to kindle. You still want to have a novel in your pocket — just maybe one that doesn’t require quite so epic an attention span. Never fear: after the jump, you will find 50 incredible novels under 200 pages (editions vary, of course, so there’s a little leeway) that are suitable for this or any… Read More

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Everyone On the Internet Needs to Read ‘The People’s Platform’: An Interview With Astra Taylor

Do you use the Internet? Then you have to read Astra Taylor’s The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, one of the most important books of the year. In it, Taylor (a writer, activist, and documentarian whose films include Zizek! and Examined Life) argues that the promised utopia of online culture is built upon a lie; in reality, the amorphous mass that we call the Internet is actually a place of great inequality, where the people’s interests are in hock to corporations and billionaires who just go by different names these days, whether it’s Google, Apple, or other Silicon Valley monoliths. Taylor is a clear-eyed writer and a provocative thinker, covering the shifting grounds of how the Internet changes and affects today’s culture, from journalism to music. It makes you very wary about having a Facebook page. I had the chance to talk to her about what we can do to create a sustainable Internet culture, and whether institutions like the library can survive. … Read More

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Book of the Week: Simon Wroe’s ‘Chop Chop’

It’s always interesting to go to a restaurant where they let you watch all the action in the kitchen. You see all the chopping, all the frying, and the whole process of your food being prepared. Yet I can only count a handful of times when I’ve been privy to such a thing, since most of the time the kitchen is hidden from the view of the diner, for more than a few good reasons. Anybody who has spent even a little bit of time in one can tell you that a restaurant kitchen can be a rough place where people yell and get burned and sliced while trying to do their work. And as we’ve seen on TV shows like Iron Chef and anything involving Gordon Ramsay, the kitchen sometimes resembles a war zone. … Read More

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National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: ‘Here, There Are Blueberries’ By Mary Szybist


To celebrate National Poetry Month, Flavorwire will be posting a poem a day. Today’s poem comes from National… Read More

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5 Literary Award Decisions More Questionable Than Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer

Amid all the cheers that have greeted her win, there are those who think Donna Tartt didn’t deserve the Pulitzer Prize for The Goldfinch. Some took to Twitter immediately after the award was announced to either talk about all the other books they thought were more deserving or hypothesize that the prize was an apology for past awards she should have won. Although naysayers aren’t anything new when it comes to major awards, there have been a few other writers whose awards (or lack thereof) rattled cages way more than this year’s winner, and probably for way better reasons. … Read More

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