Tag: Literary Criticism

‘Prufrock’ in a Nutshell

 

You love to read literary criticism, don’t you? Of course, you do. It’s why you come to Ricochet. So let me offer you a small diversion this morning by analyzing one of the staples of the British literary canon, T. S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I think I can do this by focusing our attention on only three lines from the poem.

If you remember, Love Song is a portrait of an upper-middle-class Englishman, perhaps a banker (like T. S. Eliot himself was for a time), a little twit, anxious and afraid of life, who comes to an understanding of what he is during the course of the poem. Here, then, is the first sentence I’d like to consider.

In the room the women come and go/ Talking of Michelangelo.”

Book Review: The Historical Background of the King Arthur Legend

 

King Arthur is probably the world’s best-known fictional character. Writers from the 11th century’s Chrétien de Troyes to Bernard Cornwell in the 21st century have written stories about him. And the King Arthur’s legend keeps growing. A story this well-known must have a historical basis.

King Arthur: The Making of the Legend, by Nicholas J. Higham examines that issue. It’s a search for the source of the Arthur legend.

Arthur’s Britain, when and where a historical King Arthur could’ve existed, belonged to a chaotic and obscure corner of history. The Romans had retreated from Britannia. The island was being invaded by barbarians, and de-civilizing as it broke into a constellation of petty and competing kingdoms. Written accounts were spotty, and most history fell under oral tradition.

Member Post

 

Weird Al Yankovic is a little known singer / songwriter who has been carefully documenting the highs and lows of one of the most tangled love lives yet known to man. Perhaps his obscurity is a result of his fondness for the accordion, a strange ethnic device that is best described as an acquired taste (much like […]

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Fascinating Look at the Impact of The Inklings on Literature

 

The Inklings“The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams,” by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015, 656 pages, $35.00 (Hardcover)

The Inklings perhaps were the 20th century’s most influential literary circle. Three members, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Barfield legitimized fantasy as a literary genre, a field which has grown explosively over the last 40 years.

“The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams,” by husband and wife team Philip and Carol Zaleski, examines the men of the Inklings and their impact on literature.