“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten,” Ralph Waldo Emerson famously quipped, “even so, they have made me.” In this new bi-weekly series, Flavorwire plays professor to some of our favorite pop culture characters, assigning reading lists tailored to their temperaments or — in some cases — designed to make them into slightly better people. After all, even fictional characters can have their lives changed by books. Or so we imagine. This week, we recommend a reading list for Don Draper. … 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
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
Sometimes the best and most engrossing stories are those about the most terrible and heartbreaking events. Inspired by the Guardian’s article on the joys of unhappy marriage literature, we thought we’d catalog a few of our own favorites (a few of which, we admit, overlap with the Guardian’s choices). These novels, sad as they are, are completely beautiful. It’s like not being able to look away from a car accident, hard as you try — intense grief is an incredibly captivating emotion, and as humans, empathy is rewarding and cathartic. Click through for our list of unhappy marriage literature that is nonetheless wonderful to read, and let us know which books contain your own most dearly held crumbling marriage stories. … Read More