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The Canterbury Tales is the world's strangest road trip. It tells the story of a group of pilgrims (fancy word for travelers) on their way to Canterbury, who engage in a tale-telling contest to pass the time. Besides watching the interactions between the characters, we get to read 24 of the tales the pilgrims tell. And as it turns out, Medieval storytellers had some 'tude. Geoffrey Chaucer probably wrote The Canterbury Tales in the late 1380s and early 1390s, after his retirement from life as......Read More
For the majority of the last hundred decades, in case you wanted an interactive geographical adventure of Dublin--the sights, the sounds, and particularly the folks--you could not do much better than read the fifteen connected short stories of James Joyce collection. Most editions of the collection contain two or three city maps from the landing pages, but it becomes fairly clear early on that the stories themselves produce a much better map of the Irish capital because they dig deep into the......Read More
Back in 1958, Boris Pasternak became only the second author (later Jean-Paul Sartre) to ever refuse the Nobel Prize for Literature. The thing is that while Sartre turned down the prize for philosophical reasons, Pasternak turned it down because the Soviet government would have given him a severe trouble if he'd dared to accept it. Wait, why? It was only one year before, in 1957, that Pasternak published his masterpiece Doctor Zhivago. He wrote the book in Russian, but since the book criticized......Read More
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