During an assignment to the Czech Republic last year, one of the highlights was a visit to Brno, the second largest city in the country behind Prague. Brno is low on most people’s radar but has a special literary connection. It is the birthplace of Milan Kundera, the Czech novelist who has lived in exile in France since the mid-1970s. Kundera’s books were banned pre-Velvet Revolution of 1989 and his [...]
These are excerpts from the Big Honey Dog blog – by Honey the Great Dane, who recounts what her humans did when they went on a Big Flying Machine and flew to visit the faraway place called France. These are their adventures in the French capital… . . . ****** . After a ‘wild night’ at the Moulin Rouge , my humans and their mummies got up early the next [...]
Atlanta — Scarlett O’Hara’s Atlanta is a very distant memory in Tom Wolfe’s look at this southern capital city in his book A Man in Full. The modern version of Atlanta doesn’t have a Civil War in the backdrop but the issue of race is at the forefront of this multi-layered novel. Race. Class distinctions. Real estate and political machinations. Young wives. First wives. The whole gamut is here in [...]
When Leonard and Virginia Woolf got married, they were determined to get a dog name John and start their own press called Hogarth. Don’t know if they ever got their dog John but on this day in 1917, the Woolfs started Hogarth Press from the dining room of their home in Richmond. The picture in this Literary History post was just taken in Brighton where I was a few days [...]
What happens in a bookstore when the doors close and the last customer leaves?
BLAENAVON, WALES — “This ain’t Disneyland,” warns the tour guide as the rattling elevator door pulls shut.
After my trip to Wales, I picked up Andrew Lycett’s excellent biography Dylan Thomas. A New Life to re-read.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky used the slums of St. Petersburg and Leo Tolstoy used the trappings of its upper ranks in society to make the same point in their novels.