Once upon a time... How many times have you heard those words? When you were a child, or even now, a couple of years later, when you want to re-read your favorite fairy tale and remember a part of childhood. But what if those fairy tales are not fairy tales at all? What if their genuine message wasn't really pink and romantic, but realistic and tough? Here are some of the most popular fairy tales in their original editions.

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Yesterday was the 1st of April, better known as April Fools’ Day. In honor of the greatest prank day, we have prepared for you a list of five books that were actually a part of different literary hoaxes. There are plenty of examples where writers played tricks on readers and on their respected colleagues - by writing false autobiographies or "true stories" that were completely made up or twisting historical facts in their favor – all for a great story. You will be amazed how the world of literature can actually be an extremely amusing place!

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This coming Monday (the 28th of March) is the 75th anniversary of Virginia Woolf's death. She suffered from mental illness, had problems all her life with severe headaches, and experienced emotional breakdowns. Her illness eventually led to suicide, when she was 59. Nevertheless, she was an exceptional writer.

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Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen has been recognized as one of the greatest dramatists in the history of literature, arguably the best one right after Shakespeare. He influenced many writers who came after him, with his bold themes and innovative realism.

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The media’s representation onscreen says something powerful about how the media are viewed in society in different time frames and the role it has in the construction of reality.

Published in Life

The 8th of March is globally recognized as International Women's Day. However, too often this important day is reduced simply to expressing love and appreciation of women by buying them flowers or chocolates. It is a day when we should all remember the courage of women over a century ago and their will and determination to fight for equality.

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José Saramago was a Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese writer, a late bloomer – as many said about him. He published his first novel when he was 25 years old and then took a long break from writing. Later, he became a prolific novelist who published a new novel every year or every other year. His life path was quite interesting: he worked as a car mechanic after graduating from a technical school, then worked as a translator and a journalist, and finally – found his place as a writer. His numerous works offer readers diverse stories, but this time – we will recommend three of his novels that have storylines with surreal elements or that are great allegories that depict dystopian worlds: Blindness, The Double and Death with Interruptions.

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Raymond Carver's collection of short stories Will you please be quiet, please? is celebrating its 40th publication anniversary this coming Monday (the 22nd of February). This is a not-so-known short fiction book, but it is rather significant in literary history, since Carver influenced many short story writers to come, offering a new, minimalistic short form, with a different structure and an unconventional approach to writing. Carver left his mark on 20th century literature (and beyond) with his narratives about common people, but he did so by showing us their intimate profiles, twisting the characters inside-out, making us feel a bit uncomfortable, but also fascinated.

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The great artist of the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo Buonarotti, is best known as a sculptor and a painter. Not many are familiar with the fact that he was also a prolific poet. This is not surprising, since he was truly a Renaissance uomo universale. Michelangelo’s sonnets throw a different light on his personal life and work.

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The notion of friendship has always been in the spotlight. Dozens of studies written by sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, historians, and philosophers demonstrate the need of humans to define and explain what friendship is exactly and what role it plays at different times. One attempt of this kind is a book of essays edited by Barbara Caine, titled Friendship: A History. The book covers the last 2500 years, starting in classical Athens and extending to modern times, which gives readers an opportunity to see how the concept of friendship has altered and evolved through a rather long period time.

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