In conjunction with the recent publication of a new, gorgeous dual-language edition of The Collected Poems of Marcel Proust, this morning The Daily Beast shared the first poem ever written by Marcel Proust (as far as anyone knows). The poem, penned when the legendary author was a mere 17 years old, reflects his struggle with homosexuality and his blossoming talent. After the jump, read Proust’s debut poem and a collection of nine other of the earliest known verses of now famous poets. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know about it in the comments. … 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
In this the spookiest of months, we find ourselves occupied with the world’s darker themes, and we got to wondering — what words have sent famous men and women of letters into the great unknown? Or perhaps more precisely, which words were chosen to honor them for eternity? From the tongue-in-cheek to the ponderously serious, from the knightly to the poetic, and even one that doubles as a grave robber’s curse, we’re fascinated by the epitaphs of famous authors, so we’ve collected a few of them here for your shivering pleasure.… Read More
Mary Shelley has some serious staying power. The author was born a whopping 215 years ago today, and her work is more relevant now than ever. Not only is Frankenstein, which Shelley began writing when she was eighteen years old, still ubiquitous in classrooms, but the cultural phenomenon of the cobbled-together monster has and continues to inspire and inform artists of every stripe (Tim Burton’s rebooted Frankenweenie is only the most recent example, we think you’ve probably heard of a few more). To celebrate the life and legacy of this fantastic author, we’ve but together a list of a few 19th century writers who are continually — and sometimes exponentially — culturally relevant in our time. Though some of these authors did garner some amount of acclaim during their own lifetimes, we’d venture that they’re all much more famous and more important to the culture at large today. Click through to check out our list, and as always, add any writers you think we’ve missed in the comments. … Read More
A death mask, as the name suggests, is a wax or plaster cast made of a person’s face following death. Life Magazine just posted a slideshow of 12 rather famous ones, and we’ve picked five of our favorites for you to ID after the jump. But don’t get cocky. Thanks to slight distortions of the features caused by the weight of the plaster during the making of the mold, subjects can sometimes be hard to recognize. So we’ll give you a few hints. There are two famous poets (one Italian, one English), one American president, a German painter, and one playwright who you probably read in high school more than once. Good… Read More
Whether you’re a die-hard romantic, a lit-nerd, or a fan of astute screenplays, we have a feeling you’ll dig Bright Star, the new biopic from writer/director Jane Campion (The Piano), which follows the tragic love affair of John Keats and Fanny Brawne.
To celebrate the film’s release, we’re sending one lucky reader and a guest across the pond to explore the poet’s past and legacy at teh newly reopened and refurbished Keats House in London. We’ve got your airfare, three nights hotel accommodation, and your Keats House passes covered — so prepare yourself for a whirlwind romance with London.
Enter to win a trip to… Read More
This morning the internet brings us the trailer for Bright Star, the period drama about the life, love, and lyrics of poet John Keats. (The title comes from one of Keats’s sonnets.) Though he only lived to 25, that was plenty of time for Keats to write scads of poetry and engage in a doomed love affair with girl next door Fanny Brawne (played by Abbie Cornish, whose turn in Elizabeth: The Golden Age must have given her a yen for period drama). Keats himself is played by Ben Whishaw, who’s been in plenty of indie movies but hasn’t broken through just yet. Will this be his shot? The trailer looks a little too much like every single period drama ever, but writer-director Jane Campion won an Oscar for her screenplay for 1993′s The Piano, so we won’t underestimate her. Check it out for yourself after the… Read More