World’s Strangest

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How to Eat Like Your Favorite Authors

  You’ve probably read more than once about how your favorite authors drank -and how to recreate their favorite beverages. But what about their favorite meals? Flavorwire has a literary collection of recipes such as Ernest Hemingway’s pan fried trout, Vladimir Nabokov’s Eggs à la Nabocoque, and Allen Ginsberg’s Cold Summer Borscht. There are ten authors [...]

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

On the surface, B. Traven’s 1927 novel The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a suspenseful, propulsive can’t-put-it-down adventure story about three down-and-out Americans who trek deep into the Mexican mountains on a doomed search for gold. It’s a terrific read. But it’s more than just a page-turner; the work recasts the classic American adventure [...]

Composite Sketches of Literary Characters

Brian Joseph Davis uses a law enforcement composite sketch program to create pictures of literary characters. This is how the program saw Humbert Humbert from Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita based on the physical description of him in the novel. I’d love to see a rendering Bel-ka-Trazet from Shardik from this method. What literary figure would you [...]

Case History Of A Wikipedia Page: Nabokov’s ‘Lolita’

There are some websites that are so interesting and extensive they are known as “black holes” or “time sucks,” because once you get started, you may not be able to escape. Wikipedia is near the top of the list. Even more perilous to your workday than reading is joining Wikipedia as an editor. Before you [...]

Stanley Fish Lists the Best Sentences in the English Language

Literary theorist and columnist Stanley Fish has listed and described what he regards as the five greatest sentences ever composed in the English language. Among them is this selection from John Bunyan’s 1678 work The Pilgrim’s Progress. In my limited experience, I cannot think of any craftsman of the English language greater than Vladimir Nabokov, [...]

Nabokov’s Theory on Butterflies Vindicated

Vladimir Nabokov was the curator of butterflies at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. The lifelong butterfly researcher posed a theory of butterfly evolution in 1945. He said butterflies came to the New World in five waves of migration, through Asia across the Bering Strait into Alaska and then southward through North and [...]

100 Best First Lines from Novels

American Book Review posted what it considers to be the 100 best first lines from novels – see if you agree: 1. Call me Ishmael. —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851) 2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. —Jane Austen, Pride and [...]

5 Things You Don’t Know About Vladimir Nabokov

You may know him as the author of such masterpieces as Lolita, Pale Fire, and Pnin, but how well do you know Vladimir Nabokov? Here are five things you might not have known about the man who described himself by saying, “I am an American author, born in Russia, educated in England, where I studied [...]