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The Literature Book

Big Ideas - 160 - 6858500

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From the Iliad to The Great Gatsby, DK's The Literature Book is a fascinating graphic-led journey through the greatest works of literature, and the lives of those who wrote them. More than 100 articles explore landmark novels, short stories, plays, and poetry that reinvented the art of writing in their time. In The Literature Book, you'll discover masterpieces from the world's greatest authors, and explore the context, creative history, and literary traditions that influenced each major work.
1: Introduction 2: Heroes and legends 3000BCE - 1300CE 1: Only the gods dwell forever in sunlight, The Epic of Gilgamesh 2: To nourish oneself on ancient virtue induces perseverance, Book of Changes, attributed to King Wen of Zhou 3: What is this crime I am planning, O Krishna? Mahabharata, attributed to Vyasa 4: Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles, Iliad, attributed to Homer 5: How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be when there's no help in the truth! Oedipus the King, Sophocles 6: The gates of hell are open night and day; smooth the descent, and easy is the way, Aeneid, Virgil 7: Fate will unwind as it must, Beowulf 8: So Scheherazade began... One Thousand and One Nights 9: Since life is but a dream, why toil to no avail? Quan Tangshi 10: Real things in the darkness seem no realer than dreams, The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu 11: A man should suffer greatly for his Lord, The Song of Roland 12: Tandaradei, sweetly sang the nightingale, "Under the Linden Tree", Walther von der Vogelwelde 13: He who dares not follow love's command errs greatly, Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, Chretien de Troyes 14: Let another's wound be my warning, Njal's Saga 15: Further reading 2: Renaissance to enlightenment 1300 - 1800 1: I found myself within a shadowed forest, The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri 2: We three will swear brotherhood and unity of aims and sentiments, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Luo Guanzhong 3: Turn over the leef and chese another tale, The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer 4: Laughter's the property of man. Live joyfully, Gargantua and Pantagruel, Francois Rabelais 5: As it did to this flower, the doom of age will blight your beauty, Les Amours de Cassandre, Pierre de Ronsard 6: He that loves pleasure must for pleasure fall, Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe 7: Every man is the child of his own deeds, Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes 8: One man in his time plays many parts, First Folio, William Shakespeare 9: To esteem everything is to esteem nothing, The Misanthrope, Moliere 10: But at my back I always hear Time's winged chariot hurrying near, Miscellaneous Poems, Andrew Marvell 11: Sadly, I part from you; like a clam torn from its shell, I go, and autumn too, The Narrow Road to the Interior, Matsuo Basho 12: None will hinder and none be hindered on the journey to the mountain of death, The Love Suicides at Sonezaki, Chikamatsu Monzaemon 13: I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good family, Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe 14: If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others? Candide, Voltaire 15: I have courage enough to walk through hell barefoot, The Robbers, Friedrich Schiller 16: There is nothing more difficult in love than expressing in writing what one does not feel, Les Liaisons dangereuses, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos 17: Further reading 3: Romanticism and the rise of the novel 1800 - 1855 1: Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge, Lyrical Ballads, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge 2: Nothing is more wonderful, nothing more fantastic than real life, Nachtstucke, E T A Hoffmann 3: Man errs, till he has ceased to strive, Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 4: Once upon a time... Children's and Household Tales, Brothers Grimm 5: For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn? Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen 6: Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley 7: All for one, one for all, The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas 8: But happiness I never aimed for, it is a stranger to my soul, Eugene Onegin, Alexander Pushkin 9: Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes, Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman 10: You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass 11: I am no bird; and no net ensnares me, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte 12: I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul! Wurthering Heights, Emily Bronte 13: There is no folly of the beast of the Earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men, Moby-Dick, Herman Melville 14: All partings foreshadow the great final one, Bleak House, Charles Dickens 15: Further Reading 4: Depicting real life 1855 - 1900 1: Boredom, quiet as the spider, was spinning its web in the shadowy places of her heart, Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert 2: I too am a child of this land; I too grew up amid this scenery, The Guarani, Jose de Alencar 3: The poet is a kinsman in the clouds, Les Fleurs du mal, Charles Baudelaire 4: Not being heard is no reason for silence, Les Miserables, Victor Hugo 5: Curiouser and curiouser! Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll 6: Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart, Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky 7: To describe directly the life of humanity or even of a single nation, appears impossible, War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy 8: It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view, Middlemarch, George Eliot 9: We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne 10: In Sweden all we do is to celebrate jubilees, The Red Room, August Strindberg 11: She is written in a foreign tongue, The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James 12: Human beings can be awful cruel to one another, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain 13: He simply wanted to go down the mine again, to suffer and to struggle, Germinal, Emile Zola 14: The evening sun was now ugly to her, like a great inflamed wound in the sky, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy 15: The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde 16: There are things old and new which must not be contemplated by men's eyes, Dracula, Bram Stoker 17: One of the dark places of the earth, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad 18: Further reading 5: Breaking with tradition 1900 - 1945 1: The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle 2: I am a cat. As yet I have no name. I've no idea where I was born, I am a Cat, Natsume Soseki 3: Gregor Samsa found himself, in his bed, transformed into a monstrous vermin, Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka 4: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, Poems, Wilfred Owen 5: April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, The Waste Land, T S Eliot 6: The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit, Ulysses, James Joyce 7: When I was young I, too, had many dreams, Call to Arms, Lu Xun 8: Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself, The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran 9: Criticism marks the origin of progress and enlightenment, The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann 10: Like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars, The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald 11: The old world must crumble. Awake, wind of dawn! Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Doblin 12: Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston 13: Dead men are heavier than broken hearts, The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler 14: It is such a secret place, the land of tears, The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery 15: Further reading 6: Post-war writing 1945 - 1970 1: Big Brother is watching you, Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell 2: I'm seventeen now, and sometimes I act like I'm about thirteen, The Catcher in the Rye, J D Salinger 3: Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland, Poppy and Memory, Paul Celan 4: I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me, Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison 5: Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul, Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov 6: Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful! Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett 7: It is impossible to touch eternity with one hand and life with the other, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Yukio Mishima 8: He was the beat - the root, the soul of beatific, On the Road, Jack Kerouac 9: What is good among one people is an abomination with others, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe 10: Even wallpaper has a better memory than human beings, The Tin Drum, Gunter Grass 11: I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee 12: Nothing is lost if one has the courage to proclaim that all is lost and we must begin anew, Hopscotch, Julio Cortazar 13: He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt, Catch-22, Joseph Heller 14: I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing, Death of a Naturalist, Seamus Heaney 15: There's got to be something wrong with us. To do what we did, In Cold Blood, Truman Capote 16: Ending at every moment but never ending its ending, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez 17: Further reading 7: Contemporary literature 1970 - present 1: Our history is an aggregate of last moments, Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon 2: You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a Winter's Night a Traveller, Italio Calvino 3: To understand just one life you have to swallow the world, Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie 4: Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another, Beloved, Toni Morrison 5: Heaven and Earth were in turmoil, Red Sorghum, Mo Yan 6: You could not tell a story like this. A story like this you could only feel, Oscar and Lucinda, Peter Carey 7: Cherish our island for its green simplicities, Omeros, Derek Walcott 8: I felt lethal, on the verge of frenzy, American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis 9: Quietly they moved down the calm and sacred river, A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth 10: It's a very Greek idea, and a profound one. Beauty is terror, The Secret History, Donna Tartt 11: What we see before us is just one tiny part of the world, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami 12: Perhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they truly are, Blindness, Jose Saramago 13: English is an unfit medium for the truth of South Africa, Disgrace, J M Coetzee 14: Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories, White Teeth, Zadie Smith 15: The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn't one, The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood 16: There was something his family wanted to forget, The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen 17: It all stems from the same nightmare, the one we created together, The Guest, Hwang Sok-yong 18: I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer 19: Further reading 8: Glossary 9: Index 10: Acknowledgments