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Now's the time to ask yourself what you really know about heroes. No, really: what do you know to be true about them? Got it? Now collect all that up into a little mental sack and throw it from your mind. Inside this Grendel, Gardner--a pretty challenging guy in real life, too--compels us to look closely at what we've believed about noble behavior since the earliest of times. And what better means to do this than to go back to Beowulf, the earliest epic poem composed in (what passes for)......Read More
Welcome to Thebes, Shmoopers. The population of this town is pretty thickly doomed--when they're not sleeping with their own mothers (lookin' at you, Oedipus) or acting all high and mighty and assuming that their legislation is far better than the gods' (cough, Creon, cough cough), they're burying their brother when devoting their brother is forbidden--c'mon, Antigone; we've been over this. Antigone is the third volume in what is maybe the most messed up Greek tragic trilogy of all time:......Read More
Over the course of 3 days, a rich kid who can not stop getting expelled from every college he attends wanders around Manhattan trying to get (1) drunk and (2) lucky. No, it's not the storyline of an unreleased Gossip Girl season (RIP). It is the storyline of Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger's beloved, prohibited, reviled, worshiped, and--well, let us just say polarizing 1951 novel about a depressed prep school boy with a heart of gold. After rocketing almost immediately to the top of the......Read More
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