Don’t Look Back?

Artist: Edward Poynter Why is a simple instruction often a matter of life or death? Keep walking away, don’t look back. If you look back, your lover’s lost in hell for all eternity, or you’ll dissolve into a pillar of salt. The principle is easy, but as both Orpheus (taking quotes from Book IV of […]

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Five underrated classics

1.Cane, Jean Toomer (1923) – Harlem Renaissance author Toomer beautifully interweaves lyric, prose and drama in this series of vignettes written about the cultural history and experiences of African Americans in the United States. These stories are often pervaded by nauseating violence, such as cruel ostracisation in “Becky” or sexual violence in the “Box Seat”, […]

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Northanger Abbey: How to read a Gothic novel

‘Oh! I am quite delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in reading it,’ Catherine Morland, the heroine of Northanger Abbey, confesses to her friend Isabella, speaking of Ann Radcliffe’s Gothic masterpiece The Mysteries of Udolpho. And while Isabella repeatedly tries to move the conversation away from the novel – […]

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The magic of children’s literature

Children’s fiction contains a Wonderland of possibilities: dragons, mermaids and animal croquet (partially replicated on Oxford’s quads in Trinity). From the enchanting halls of Hogwarts to the battered old tent in Horrid Henry’s back garden, we all have memories – hopefully endearing – of reading as a child. Yet it wasn’t until I arrived at […]

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Review: The Last Bookshop

Independent bookshops are a dying race, callously destroyed by online purchases and dooming their owners to disillusioning profit losses. However, on 25 Walton Street, a survivor determinedly battles on. The Last Bookshop, providing quaint mint-green tables outside for those who wish to read with a coffee, and a perpetual deal of two books for five […]

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Books on the Big Screen

The choice to entirely change a book’s plot might be controversial, but no reader can expect filmmakers to translate literature word for word onto the silver screen, nor can the author hope to have any creative role once the rights have been sold. Changes don’t necessarily do disservice to the original literature and its meaning, […]

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Top five political reads for students

Composing political lists, of any description, is always a hazardous process. You will inevitably get called too ‘right-’ or ‘left wing’ by various people, cursing you for neglecting the interests of the global proletariat or for forgetting the glorious Thatcherite revolution. It is also a perilous enterprise since it is based on the breadth and […]

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“Describe yourself like a male author would”

A recent Twitter challenge to “describe yourself like a male author would” has gone viral, with women satirising the sexual objectification and tired clichés found in much of contemporary fiction. The challenge was instigated by Whitney Reynolds (media personality and television talk show host) in response to a tweet from Gwen C. Katz, who had […]

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Review: Isle of Dogs

I’m a big fan of Wes Anderson’s work, I won’t lie. Bearing that in mind, I approached the cinema for his latest, Isle of Dogs, with a lot of hope and yet some trepidation. Would he have lost his touch with his 9th film? Flashbacks to watching The Darjeeling Limited, a film that was undeniably […]

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