World’s Strangest

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From Classics to Graphics: 6 Literary Masterpieces Turned Into Graphic Novels

Abridging classic novels for younger readers is nothing new. But in recent years, classic literature has been graphic novel-ized, making it more accessible for readers young and old while preserving the plot, themes, and sometimes even the author’s voice. English class will never be the same, thanks to these classics gone graphic. 1. The Picture of [...]

The Ulysses Map

It took Rachel Kerr three years to create, but it’s worth the wait: Leopold’s Day is a map of Dublin that features the city as it was described in James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses. Rachel also made a directory [...]

10 James Joyce Facts in Honor of Bloomsday

Happy Bloomsday!! If you’re not a James Joyce aficionado (or if you don’t celebrate obscure holidays), June 16 is the day all of the events in Joyce’s Ulysses take place. The name comes from Leopold Bloom, the main character in the novel. To honor Bloomsday and James Joyce, here are a few [...]

12 Really Forced Portmanteaux That Didn’t Catch On

There are times when one big word can more effectively do the job of two words. These are not those times. 1. Balloonatic (balloon + lunatic)
 A person who is balloon-mad; a balloonist, spec. (Mil. slang) a member of a balloon corps or balloon squadron in the First World War (1914–18).
 When the first manned hot air balloon [...]

14 Literary Settings Inspired by Real Places

At the end of a good book, don’t you just sometimes close the back cover, sigh, and think, “I wish I could be there.” Good news: in some cases, you can. While you’re probably never going to make it to Narnia or Hogwarts (I know – I’m disappointed, too) here are a handful of “fictional” [...]

Word Portraits of Famous Authors

Artist John Sokol makes portraits of famous authors using words from their writings to form images. Pictured above is William Faulkner with text from his novel The Sound and the Fury. Other portraits that you can see at the link include Walt Whitman, Eudora Welty, James Joyce, and John Keats. Link -via Dude Craft

World’s First Synthetic Microbe Accused of Copyright Infringement by James Joyce’s Estate

When Craig Venter created a synthetic microbe, he inserted a passage from James Joyce. Guess who’s upset? Joyce’s estate, claiming copyright infringement: In order to distinguish their synthetic DNA from that naturally present in the bacterium, Venter’s team coded several famous quotes into their DNA, including one from James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist of [...]

Up In Arms

Pull up an armchair -you might be up in arms over this roundup of arm stories from mental_floss magazine! NO ARM, NO FOWL One afternoon in 1972, friends Jack Northrup and Jack Bishop were having lunch at their local drugstore in Olney, Texas, when they realized the strangers next to them were eavesdropping. The pair, both amputees, [...]

10 Works of Literature That Were Really Hard to Write

by Mark Juddery Instead of judging works of literature based on their artistic merit, we’ve decided to rank them by degree of difficulty. These 10 authors may not be Shakespeare, but they sure had vaulting ambitions. 1. The Story That Will Never Be an e-Book Gadsby by Ernest Vincent Wright Some might call Gadsby a “love” story. But [...]

What 10 Classic Books Were Almost Called

Remember when your high school summer reading list included Atticus, Fiesta, and The Last Man in Europe? You will once you see what these books were renamed before they hit bookshelves. 1. F. Scott Fitzgerald went through quite a few titles for his most well-known book before deciding on The Great Gatsby. If he hadn’t [...]