Saturday, March 17, 2012

Poetry: The Snow-storm by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Snow-storm

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courtier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Come see the north wind's masonry.
Out of an unseen squaring evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer's sighs; and at the gate
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
The central figure among the Transcendentalist group of philosophers, Emerson considered himself to be first and foremost a poet, albeit one whose best work was done "for the most part in prose". His essays on nature and art have influenced writers from Whitman and Thoreau to Frost and Stevens.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Modern fiction: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

This masterpiece of postmodern fiction brought that extraordinary contemporary writing of Gabriel García Márquez, a Colombian Nobel laureate in literature, to the wider world. It is an intensely personal work, drawing upon the politics, history, culture, myth, magic and ghosts that form the back ground and Marquez's life growing up in Colombia.

One Hundred Years of Solitude is history of Macondo, a fictional small town in none unspecified area of South America, from its beginnings, to its ultimate obliteration, when the last member of the seventh generation of the founding Buendía family finally translates the parchment that predicted the towns circular history.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tolkien ignored by 1961 Nobel jury

Newly released documents have revealed that novelist JRR Tolkien was passed over for the Nobel literature prize in 1961, after his storytelling in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy was described as second rate. Declassified after 50 years, the papers show that Tolkien was nominated for the award by fellow author CS  Lewis but that the Nobel prize jury had said of his work:

"The result has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality."

The documents also reveal that British writer Graham Greene - who never won the Nobel prize - finished in second place behind Yugoslav writer Ivo Andric.
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