By John Sutherland
This "little history” takes on a really large topic: the wonderful span of literature from Greek delusion to photo novels, from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Harry Potter. John Sutherland is ideally suited to the duty. He has researched, taught, and written on nearly each zone of literature, and his infectious ardour for books and examining has outlined his personal existence. Now he courses younger readers and the grown-ups of their lives on an unique trip "through the wardrobe” to a better understanding of ways literature from internationally can shipping us and support us to make experience of what it capacity to be human.
Sutherland introduces nice classics in his personal impossible to resist approach, enlivening his choices with humor in addition to studying: Beowulf, Shakespeare, Don Quixote, the Romantics, Dickens, Moby Dick, The Waste Land, Woolf, 1984, and dozens of others. He provides to those a less-expected, own choice of authors and works, together with literature frequently thought of good lower than "serious attention"—from the impolite jests of Anglo-Saxon runes to The Da Vinci Code. With masterful digressions into a variety of themes—censorship, narrative methods, self-publishing, style, creativity, and madness—Sutherland demonstrates the total intensity and intrigue of studying. For more youthful readers, he bargains a formal advent to literature, promising to curiosity up to show. For more matured readers, he offers simply an identical.
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Additional resources for A Little History of Literature
The King markets it wholesale and sells it throughout the camp until the secret leaks out and everyone makes his own. Thus the King's action raises spirits, creates a healthy sense of competition, and spreads around useful information that 38 James Clavell might otherwise have gone to waste. In other words, while he does not intend to be a benefactor, in effect, he is one. Clavell contrasts the frowns and long faces that follow Grey's progression through the camp with the smiles of those under the King's protection.
Clavell thus combines a series of literary genres and traditions to create a new form: rather than work in a single form, he creates a "blockbuster" of many genres combined, an amalgam that gives breadth and depth to his novels. This multiplicity of genres allows Clavell to explore far more than the story of one man or even one family: he records complex cultural encounters. However, each book is dominated by one pattern more than another, the prison camp pattern taking precedence in King Rat, the family and dynasty saga in Tai-Pan, the business crisis in Noble House, the novel of manners in Shogun, the feminist issues in Gai-Jin, and revolution and intrigue in Whirlwind.
Singleton was very much the type of character Clavell had in mind when writing about his China traders, Dirk Struan and Tyler Brock, in Tai-Pan: they were versatile, resilient, adventuresome, and ruthless. Furthermore, Defoe drew on real-life accounts of voyages, travelers' tales, maps, and geographies to give romanticized accounts the illusion of complete authenticity, and there were historical counterparts to the fictive Crusoe and Singleton. That Clavell followed the same strategy is obvious from reviewer guessing games linking his characters to historical figures.