Tag: Literary Criticism

A  Look at the Ultimate Detective


Sherlock Holmes is one of the world’s best-known fictional characters. Holmes became more famous than his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, the first in modern literature to become so. Created in the 1880s, Holmes continues to fascinate today.

“The Science of Sherlock: The Forensic Facts Behind the Fiction,” by Mark Brake takes a deep dive into the Sherlock Holmes phenomena and the realities behind Holmes’s detection methods.

The opening chapter starts at the end – the death of Sherlock Holmes at Reichenbach Falls.  Brake introduces the Holmes phenomena, explaining how Holmes kicked off the modern world of literary fandom. Brake explains how and why the fandom phenomena occurred. He shows why it disconcerted Holmes’s creator to the point where Doyle literally killed off his most popular character.

‘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 […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

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.