Yesterday, we spotted the cover for Scribner’s upcoming republication of The Great Gatsby, in concert with the film adaptation’s May release. The Great Gatsby is one of those books with a cover so iconic that any change to it offends our delicate sensibilities, but even with that self-awareness, the image got us thinking about other movie (and TV) tie-in editions of books, and how truly awful — not to mention unfaithful to the original text — they can be. That said, there’s no denying that movie tie-in editions sell books, so we guess there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We just wish there were another way. … Read More
When a particular line sings, sometimes underlining just isn’t enough. We’ve come across more than one quote or literary quip that we wanted to hang on our walls, but a postcard with a scribbled phrase doesn’t have quite the same impact as Evan Robertson’s elegant literary posters. We’ve already gushed about Robertson’s work, but when My Modern Met tipped us off that he had some new posters, we just had to share them with you again. So far, Robertson has created 32 posters, and aims to make the series an even 50. As he told My Modern Met, his aim for the series is to encourage “a reconnection with great thinking. It’s a call to action to pick up a great book. And the inspiration to slow down for a bit, I hope, to enjoy the luxury of thinking about something with no practical aim.” Sounds good to us. Click through to check out a few more of our favorite posters from Robertson’s series, and then head on over to his Etsy shop to buy a print for yourself or a book-lover you love. … Read More
Jane Eyre. Wuthering Heights. The Awakening. The Lifted Veil. The Yellow Wallpaper. What these books have in common is, of course, that they’re all 19th-century novels by women writers. Undoubtedly as a result, they all share an explicit or latent fixation with the domestic sphere to which so many women were relegated at the time — and with the psychological implications of that confinement.
These are the subjects of Julia Callon’s Houses of Fiction, a series of photographed models that depict rooms from these novels, exploring both their sedate surfaces and their chaotic subtext. “The dichotomous representation of women — mad or sane — is crucial to represent in this series,” Callon writes. “Therefore, each story is presented as a diptych: one image represents the passive, subservient woman, while the other represents ‘madness.’” Click through to see Houses of Fiction, which we spotted via Eyresses, and visit Callon’s website for more of her work and information on how to purchase the photos. … Read More
Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the Broadway opening of Edward Albee’s now-iconic play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which went on to win a Tony for Best Play and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. It also brought us the incomparable George and Martha, a bickering, bitter couple whose frustrated, drunken antics have turned them into modern archetypes. Inspired by the anniversary of this wonderful play, we’ve put together a list of the most twisted couples in literature — with George and Martha leading the pack, of course. Read through our choices after the jump, and if we missed your deliciously self-destructive or unfailingly dysfunctional favorites, add to our list in the comments. … Read More
There are some literary classics that are near unimpeachable. We’re thinking Lolita, Ulysses, The Great Gatsby: the best of the best. Except that they’re decidedly not unimpeachable — or at least they weren’t when they first hit bookshelves. These books and many others that are now considered masterpieces got their fair share of scathing reviews when they first came out, and in reputable publications no less. Sure, hindsight is 20/20, but we can’t help having this to say to these brutal reviewers: ha, ha. Click through to read 15 harshly negative early reviews of classic novels, and feel free to register your outrage (or your agreement) in the comments. … Read More
There’s a certain kind of filmgoer that cowers and winces a bit when presented with a movie adaptation of a classic work of literature, and I must confess, that filmgoer is often me. We products of public school education didn’t weren’t always assigned the necessary books, and those that were part of the curriculum may have been Cliff’s Noted a bit more than we’re comfortable admitting, so we feel ill-equipped to tackle film versions of The Great Books. What if we can’t follow what’s happening? What if we don’t realize that they, oh, changed the ending and added a whole weird bi-curious angle? Nothing makes you sound like uncultured swine more than being told that you’d have better appreciated or understood a film if you’ve read the book (“You haven’t read the book?”), and so some of us just steer clear. But if you share these neuroses, here’s the good news: Andrea Arnold’s new film of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is a wholly unpretentious and surprisingly modest literary adaptation. … Read More
It’s October, which means that prestige movie season is in full swing, and there are plenty of big, potential Oscar contenders slated for release this month: Argo, Cloud Atlas, um, Here Comes the Boom, maybe? Point is, the art houses are all but overflowing with terrific offerings this month, from dramas and documentaries to comedy and horror; our picks for the month’s dozen best bets are after the jump. … Read More
Earlier in the year, we shared some of our favorite selections from the first volume of one of the coolest publishing projects we’ve heard about in a long time — The Graphic Canon, wherein almost 200 classic works of literature will be re-interpreted and published in graphic form by 130-odd visual artists over 1,344 pages in three volumes. Whew. The second installment, The Graphic Canon, Vol. 2: From “Kubla Khan” to the Brontë Sisters to The Picture of Dorian Gray, edited by Russ Kick, hits shelves next week, but we’re lucky enough to have a little preview to whet your appetite. Click through to check out a few standouts from the second volume of this amazing series, and then be sure to pick up a copy of the book for much more. … Read More
1. Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” the lead single off her untitled seventh album, has arrived online. Listen to the song — which was written by Sia, produced by Stargate and Benny Blanco, and includes 35 mentions of the word “diamond” — here.
2. Iconic singer Andy Williams — best known for songs like “Moon River”… Read More
If you’ve been paying attention to this space over the last couple of months, you already know that we’re fascinated by the reading habits of our favorite fictional characters. But what’s better than a simple reading list? A little informed dialogue, of course. Or even a few well-placed snarky comments. Recently, we spotted this excellent clip of The Wire‘s D’Angelo talking about The Great Gatsby over at Open Culture, and it inspired us to round up a few more clips of some of our favorite TV characters waxing poetic about their favorite (or least favorite) books. From simple proclamations of Dr. Seuss’s brilliance to Boardwalk Empire‘s very physical commentary on David Copperfield, we love seeing books we love figure into the drama. Click through to watch — and hey, you just might learn something. … Read More