William Shakespeare

20 Famous Authors as Dolls

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How best to prove your adoration of a particular writer? Make a doll in their likeness, of course. Or if you’re a little less than crafty, buy one. Or, you know, just look at them on the Internet. This last bit you can accomplish right now. Yes, your favorite authors have been immortalized as everything from action figures to wooden works of art to paper dolls to LEGO figurines, and you’ll find 20 of them after the jump. As an added bonus, many of them are buyable, so if you’re still looking to fill your favorite bookish friend’s holiday stocking, look no further. But be prepared for them to think you’re slightly creepy.
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13 of the Best Literary Quotes About Beer

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Everybody knows that a beer and a good book go quite well together — including the authors of said books. Since it’s October, everyone’s favorite month for beer (books are good any month of the year), indulge in a few of literature’s greatest quotes about the frothy stuff — from grand pronouncements to so-detailed-you-can-taste-it descriptions of the perfect …Read More

What Your Favorite Shakespeare Play Says About You

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If you went to high school in any town in America, chances are you’ve had to read your share of Shakespeare’s plays. Even if you groaned your way through every single one, you probably had a favorite, and the one you chose might just say something about you. In celebration of Joss Whedon’s new adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing and the general joy that is our beloved bard, Flavorwire has assembled a (tongue-in-cheek, folks) one-sheet of what your favorite Shakespeare play truly means. Are you a romantic, a dramatist, or just a huge liar? Click through to find …Read More

Joss Whedon Praises Shakespeare’s Female Characters, Wants to Make a Ballet About a Library

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Acclaimed filmmaker and Buffy mastermind Joss Whedon hosted a screening of his newest film, a black-and-white, contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, last night at the always excellent Brooklyn Academy of Music. The movie, shot in 12 days at Whedon’s house, is fantastic, its tiny budget and time frame giving the final result the energy of a live performance, with superb acting (particularly on the part of Whedonverse favorites Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof, not to mention a hilarious Nathan Fillion) and elegant, generous directorial choices. This is a filmmaker who loves his audience — and it comes through in everything he does. After the screening, Whedon hosted a Q&A where he discussed what still excites him about TV, how a love of dance has inspired him to consider making a ballet about a library, and how Shakespeare’s Claudio is basically Michael Scott.
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10 Famous Literary Characters That Are Significantly Younger Than You Think

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When an author creates a character, he or she bestows upon this fictional person specific attributes — age, looks, certain proclivities — that may or may not be made explicit on the page. But whether the character is explained fully or not, there’s no telling what will happen when the culture at large gets a hold of him. Especially if the notoriously age-garbling film industry gets involved. After the jump, prepare to be shocked at famous literary characters that are significantly younger than you (probably) think they are.
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Classic Books Annotated by Famous Authors

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Readers come in two editions: those who write in their books, and those who don’t. No matter which you are on your own time, there’s great pleasure to be found in paging through marked-up copies of other people’s books — particularly when the original owners were famous writers themselves. Whether scribbled or printed, snide or appreciative, an author’s annotations give equal insight into the book and the reader, and double as yet another reason to buy physical books. Click through to see the marginalia in the books of a few great …Read More

11 Famous Actors Reading Shakespeare Out Loud

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Four hundred and forty nine years ago today, William Shakespeare was born. So today, we celebrate his birthday with National Shakespeare Day in the UK and the rather less elegant Talk Like Shakespeare Day in the US. With this in mind, we’ve put together a set of videos of famous actors reading or performing Shakespeare — both elegantly celebrating the man and, well, talking like him. NB: we’ve ignored clips of famous actors performing Shakespeare on film or in proper plays, leaning toward recital of sonnets and informal monologues. Fill your ears with Shakespeare read by wonderful actors after the jump, and let us know if we missed your favorite in the comments.
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Read the First Poems of 10 Famous Poets

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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.
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