Read the World’s Great Literature in Graphic Form

This week saw the release of The Graphic Canon, Volume 1, an epic collection of canonical literature reinterpreted in graphic form by some of the best illustrators and comics creators working today. Starting with The Epic of Gilgamesh and working through to the plays and poems of Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons (the 18th century French epistolary novel that inspired Cruel Intentions), the book includes tales from a remarkably wide variety of cultures — Tibetan, Incan, Chinese, Mayan, Japanese, Ancient Greek — and adapts both the classics you already know and those you haven’t discovered yet (we know it made us want to read a lot of new stuff). Volumes two and three, forthcoming from Seven Stories over the fall, will continue in a loosely chronological fashion, tackling the rest of the literary canon up through Infinite Jest, which concludes the last book in the series. Click through to see a slideshow of some of our favorite works from volume one, and let us know which ones you like best in the comments. … Read More

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Art Becomes Reality: A Real-Life ‘Lysistrata’ in the Philippines

In Aristophanes’ comic play Lysistrata (originally performed in Greece about 411 BC, but still shown regularly to this day), a group of women famously withhold sex from their husbands in an effort to end the Peloponnesian War. It’s a great idea (and makes for an incredibly bawdy theatre experience), but, as we remember thinking when we saw it for the first time, probably not an effective strategy in real life. Turns out we were wrong. The Daily What drew our attention to a real-life version of Lysistrata playing out in Dado, a village in the Philippines. When a separatist rebellion that’s been raging since the 1970s cut off the village’s access to two Mindanao villages needed for trading, a women’s sewing cooperative organized a ‘sex strike,’ telling their husbands that they were welcome to keep fighting, but if they did, they would ‘not be accepted at home.’ Within a week, the fighting had ceased. Who said those Greek plays didn’t relate to modern life? Click through to check out the actually incredibly sweet video from the UNHCR. … Read More

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