The guy’s work may have been a buzzkill to read while trying to enjoy high school, but he did indeed have some facts of life to spit. (It’s pretty cool that A Tale of Two Cities was the narrative foundation for The Dark Knight Rises). Yet even as the bleakest of writers, Charles Dickens believed you could find lighter moments in darker times. Here are some quotes from the literary icon… aside from “please, sir, I want some more.”
Happy Birthday, Mr. Dickens.
Image via The British Library
1. “The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.”
2. “Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”
3. “There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth.”
4. “We forge the chains we wear in life.”
5. “A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”
6. “We need never be ashamed of our tears.”
7. “A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
8. “The men who learn endurance, are they who call the whole world, brother.”
9. “This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in.”
10. “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.”
George and Lennie have held the title of ‘greatest bromance’ in literature since 1937. In honor of the classic novella’s publication anniversary, the following Of Mice and Men quotes should help you celebrate your greatest friendships. A couple might be hurtful, but all are said with love.
Image via Amazon
1. “Jesus Christ, Lennie! You can’t remember nothing that happens, but you remember ever’ word I say.” – George
2. “I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you.” – Lennie
3. Lennie: “You said I was your cousin!” George: “That was a lie. If I was a relative of yours, I’d shoot myself.”
4. “We know what we got, and we don’t care whether you know it or not.” – Candy
5. Lennie: “I was only foolin’, George. I don’t want no ketchup. I wouldn’t eat no ketchup if it was right here beside me.”
George: “If it was here, you could have some.”
Lennie: “But I wouldn’t eat none, George. I’d leave it all for you. You could cover your beans with it and I wouldn’t touch none of it.”
6. “‘Course Lennie’s a God damn nuisance most of the time, but you get used to goin’ around with a guy an’ you can’t get rid of him.” – George
7. “It ain’t no lie. We’re gonna do it. Gonna get a little place an’ live on the fatta the lan’.” – Lennie
8. “I turns to Lennie and says, ‘Jump in.’ An’ he jumps. Couldn’t swim a stroke. He damn near drowned before we could get him. An’ he was so damn nice to me for pullin’ him out. Clean forgot I told him to jump in. Well, I ain’t done nothing like that no more.” – George
9. “No, Lennie, I ain’t mad. I never been mad, and I ain’ now. That’s a thing I want ya to know.” – George
10. “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place. . . . With us it ain’t like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don’t have to sit in no bar room blowin’ in our jack jus’ because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us.” – George
Thank you for the ultimate literary bromance, John Steinbeck.
Movieweb reports that the Golden Age of Hollywood classic, Gone with the Wind, will be returning to theaters in celebration of its 80th anniversary.
The recipient of ten Academy Awards (two of which were honorary) and earner of an inflation-adjusted $1.8 billion has garnered fans and acclaim for decades. Even before its release, the adaptation of the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel was one of the most anticipated movies of its time, especially with the production’s extensive “search for Scarlett.” Talent scout Katharine Brown searched the East Coast for an unknown actress and eventually cast Scarlett O’Hara to fill the role.
Image via Amazon
Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with intensity as Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, comes of age just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life and marriage.
The legendary film will be shown for two days on February 28th and March 3rd thanks to Warner Bros. and Fathom Events.
All audiobooks feel long when you’re unable to concentrate on them—so imagine how much trouble you’d have with these behemoths. To understand just how long a really long audiobook actually is, let’s compare that length to some more familiar reads. Fyodor Dostoyevsky‘s classic The Brothers Karamazovis famous as both a literary classic and a book you lied about reading, probably from fear of the decade it would take you to finish. It’s also famous for its staggering length: 824 pages and thirty-four hours. (Congratulations to yourselves for your patience, Dostoyevsky fans. And congratulations to those of you who listened to the audiobook.)
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If you’re not into the classics, the longest book you actually read might have been A Game of Thrones: a Song of Ice and Fire. That’s 624 pages and thirty-three hours. Some people call Audible the Netflix of audiobooks, but this audiobook would be much harder to binge. If these seem impossibly long to you, you’re going to have to adjust your standards. The Brothers Karamazov ranks #15 on the list of longest audiobooks, with A Song of Ice and Fire at a respectable #18. You might be asking yourself, “how are these not higher on the list?” This is how:
1. Fifty Lectures
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Takaaki Yoshimoto‘s Fifty Lecturesis what the title would indicate: fifty lectures from Yoshimoto’s long tenure as a philosopher, poet, and literary critic. But the title doesn’t give any indication of the length… which is a lot longer than fifty hours. At 113 hours and forty-three minutes, Fifty Lectures is the longest audiobook of all time. You don’t have to do the math to tell how long that is—but if you did want to do the math, you’d know that listening to the book would take five full consecutive days. Since a commercial flight around the world takes fifty-one minimum hours, it would be faster to do it twice than listen to this entire book.
When you Google search Leo Tolstoy‘s War and Peace, the first suggestion is “War and Peace is so long.” Weighing nearly four pounds, War and Peace is also 1,251 pages and 587,287 words long, making it a serious heavy-hitter. It’s no wonder that, with a monumental page count, it’s sixty-two hours and eighteen minutes long. It would be a wonder if you managed to listen to the whole thing.
4. Les Miserables
Everyone attempting to actually read Les Mis Image Via Pinterest.com
Fans sometimes affectionately, sometimes furiously, refer to Victor Hugo‘s monstrous novel as ‘The Brick.’ Since the novel is large enough to be used as a blunt force murder weapon, the comparison is appropriate. Les Miserables, a story of the rich cultural context of the French Revolution, is one of the world’s longest novels, 1,900 pages in its original French. Naturally, it also contains one of the world’s longest published sentences; this one is over 800 words. Maybe Victor Hugo can pull it off, but your English teacher won’t want you to try. If you can’t get through this sentence, you’re not going to make it through the fifty-six hours and fifty-four minutes of audiobook.
The son of a father to whom history will accord certain attenuating circumstances, but also as worthy of esteem as that father had been of blame; possessing all private virtues and many public virtues; careful of his health, of his fortune, of his person, of his affairs, knowing the value of a minute and not always the value of a year; sober, serene, peaceable, patient; a good man and a good prince; sleeping with his wife, and having in his palace lackeys charged with the duty of showing the conjugal bed to the bourgeois, an ostentation of the regular sleeping-apartment which had become useful after the former illegitimate displays of the elder branch; knowing all the languages of Europe, and, what is more rare, all the languages of all interests, and speaking them; an admirable representative of the “middle class,” but outstripping it, and in every way greater than it; possessing excellent sense, while appreciating the blood from which he had sprung, counting most of all on his intrinsic worth, and, on the question of his race, very particular, declaring himself Orleans and not Bourbon; thoroughly the first Prince of the Blood Royal while he was still only a Serene Highness, but a frank bourgeois from the day he became king; diffuse in public, concise in private; reputed, but not proved to be a miser; at bottom, one of those economists who are readily prodigal at their own fancy or duty; lettered, but not very sensitive to letters; a gentleman, but not a chevalier; simple, calm, and strong; adored by his family and his household; a fascinating talker, an undeceived statesman, inwardly cold, dominated by immediate interest, always governing at the shortest range, incapable of rancor and of gratitude, making use without mercy of superiority on mediocrity, clever in getting parliamentary majorities to put in the wrong those mysterious unanimities which mutter dully under thrones; unreserved, sometimes imprudent in his lack of reserve, but with marvellous address in that imprudence; fertile in expedients, in countenances, in masks; making France fear Europe and Europe France! Incontestably fond of his country, but preferring his family; assuming more domination than authority and more authority than dignity, a disposition which has this unfortunate property, that as it turns everything to success, it admits of ruse and does not absolutely repudiate baseness, but which has this valuable side, that it preserves politics from violent shocks, the state from fractures, and society from catastrophes; minute, correct, vigilant, attentive, sagacious, indefatigable; contradicting himself at times and giving himself the lie; bold against Austria at Ancona, obstinate against England in Spain, bombarding Antwerp, and paying off Pritchard; singing the Marseillaise with conviction, inaccessible to despondency, to lassitude, to the taste for the beautiful and the ideal, to daring generosity, to Utopia, to chimeras, to wrath, to vanity, to fear; possessing all the forms of personal intrepidity; a general at Valmy; a soldier at Jemappes; attacked eight times by regicides and always smiling; brave as a grenadier, courageous as a thinker; uneasy only in the face of the chances of a European shaking up, and unfitted for great political adventures; always ready to risk his life, never his work; disguising his will in influence, in order that he might be obeyed as an intelligence rather than as a king; endowed with observation and not with divination; not very attentive to minds, but knowing men, that is to say requiring to see in order to judge; prompt and penetrating good sense, practical wisdom, easy speech, prodigious memory; drawing incessantly on this memory, his only point of resemblance with Caesar, Alexander, and Napoleon; knowing deeds, facts, details, dates, proper names, ignorant of tendencies, passions, the diverse geniuses of the crowd, the interior aspirations, the hidden and obscure uprisings of souls, in a word, all that can be designated as the invisible currents of consciences; accepted by the surface, but little in accord with France lower down; extricating himself by dint of tact; governing too much and not enough; his own first minister; excellent at creating out of the pettiness of realities an obstacle to the immensity of ideas; mingling a genuine creative faculty of civilization, of order and organization, an indescribable spirit of proceedings and chicanery, the founder and lawyer of a dynasty; having something of Charlemagne and something of an attorney; in short, a lofty and original figure, a prince who understood how to create authority in spite of the uneasiness of France, and power in spite of the jealousy of Europe, — Louis Philippe will be classed among the eminent men of his century, and would be ranked among the most illustrious governors of history had he loved glory but a little, and if he had had the sentiment of what is great to the same degree as the feeling for what is useful.
That sentence was pretty much a brick of text all by itself.
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David McCullough‘s biography of former U.S. President Harry S. Truman is 1,120 pages and 464,000 words, a giant clocking in at fifty-three hours and twenty minutes of audiobook time. Think that’s wild? You’d be right—and at $94 to listen, the price is even crazier. Truman might not be the longest audiobook, but it is the most expensive. If the length doesn’t deter you, the cost might… or maybe your interest in Harry S. Truman surpasses all your other instincts.
Needless to say, Homer’s Odyssey is considered the oldest work in the Western history of literature and become the must-read classic in schools worldwide. As an English major, I remember how my literary professor in college introduced the journey of Odysseus, the protagonist who wins the Trojan War, and the heroic adventures he has on his way home (a journey which lasts ten years! OMG). The twist and turns in the epic have inspired so many students, scholars, and cultural influencers.
Image via BBC
Now, the poetic wave of the Odyssey is unfolded again with the discovery of the oldest extract of the Odyssey in Greece. According to the Greek culture ministry, an engraved clay has recently been found in the Temple of Zeus located in ancient Olympia, the birth place of Greek mythology, by a team of Greek and German archaeologist researchers.
On the clay, thirteen verses from the Odyssey’s 14th Rhapsody are recorded. This part of story basically focuses on Odysseus’ reunion with his old friend Eumaeus after his ten years of wandering. Though the exact date of this item is still under evaluation (probably before the 3rd century AD; the Roman era), the new discovery still marks a salient progress on its “archaeological, epigraphic, literary and historical exhibit,” claimed the ministry.
Reading this latest activity in Greek culture and literature, I cannot help but get trapped in my memory of sitting in the classroom reading the Odyssey in college. What else exciting things will be decoded on the clay? How this new interface will influence our understanding of Odyssey? As Odysseus did on his journey home, I look forward to the updates, and any twists and turns.