A French anglophile in the Age of Reason, Voltaire is best remembered for his fanciful philosophical tales -- "Candide," the most famous and well-constructed of these, is often referred to as the first novel. A reflective adventure story, "Candide" portrays a thinking everyman who meanders through a
It's rare that a biographer has a life more interesting than his own subjects, but Lytton Strachey was a biography waiting to happen. The eleventh child of an Indian civil engineer and the essayist Lady Jane Strachey, Lytton went from being a proper history student at Cambridge to living life as a de
In 1925, while he was teaching at a boy's school in Wales, the young Evelyn Waugh attempted suicide by swimming out to sea. After getting fairly far from shore, he was forced to turn back: a shoal of stinging jellyfish had beset him. Macabre, comic, and ironic, this incident epitomizes Waugh's entire
In the introduction to her novel "Babel Tower," A.S. Byatt says that her intention was to write a book without metaphors. Apparently this proved a difficult feat: "The best I could do was a kind of regretful commentary on the impossibility of refraining from metaphor."
Right. Byatt is a serious m