Polish painted Feliks Topolski saw things in a very particular light — and not always a very flattering one. In 1960, after the Harry Ransom Center acquired a selection of his work that included an enormous portrait of George Bernard Shaw, Topolski was commissioned to paint portraits of 20 of the 20th century’s greatest British authors. The resultant series, Twenty Greats, was (quite understandably) not particularly well-liked by most of the authors in question, but we think the paintings are so devilishly ugly that they become beautiful again, drenched in sloppy expressive glory. Click through to see some of our favorite portraits from Topolski’s series, and then be sure to head over to The Daily Beast to see the entire set — and find out what their subjects had to say about them. … Read More
This week, we were saddened by the news that beloved 85-year-old Colombian novelist and Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez is suffering from dementia and has stopped writing. Though not every can scribble up until the very moment of their death (thought many do), it’s always a little heartbreaking to see the deterioration of such an amazing mind. We’ve put together a list of famous authors that were forced into retirement because of illness, depression or slightly more elusive reasons — check them out and mourn the late-life novels that might have been with us in the comments. … Read More
You might know Diane Farr as agent Megan Reeves in the television series Numb3rs, but we prefer her in the FunnyOrDie skit, AssCastles. Farr recently released her “concept memoir,” titled, Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After, where she introduces her relationship with her Korean-American husband in order to explore how other couples and their families have dealt with miscegenation issues. Though the writing isn’t stellar, the fundamental premise is a good one, since we still very much live in a racist country, despite all the “post-race” discussions we all had following the 2008 presidential election.
With this in mind, we decided to run a list of 10 controversial couples in literature. We all know the forbidden romance between Romeo and Juliet and Heloise and Abelard, but what about other works of literature that feature transgressive love? The categories are as follows: Age difference, racial difference, star-crossing, class mixing, same-sex relationships, extramarital affairs, and our favorite: sibling love. … Read More