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The Resource A little history of literature, John Sutherland

A little history of literature, John Sutherland

Label
A little history of literature
Title
A little history of literature
Statement of responsibility
John Sutherland
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
This "little history" takes on a very big subject: the glorious span of literature from Greek myth to graphic novels, from 'The Epic of Gilgamesh' to 'Harry Potter.' John Sutherland is perfectly suited to the task. He has researched, taught, and written on virtually every area of literature, and his infectious passion for books and reading has defined his own life. Now he guides young readers and the grown-ups in their lives on an entertaining journey "through the wardrobe" to a greater awareness of how literature from across the world can transport us and help us to make sense of what it means to be human. Sutherland introduces great classics in his own irresistible way, enlivening his offerings with humour as well as learning: 'Beowulf, ' Shakespeare, 'Don Quixote, ' the Romantics, Dickens, 'Moby Dick, ' 'The Waste Land, ' Woolf, "1984, " and dozens of others. He adds to these a less-expected, personal selection of authors and works, including literature usually considered well below 'serious attention.'
Tone
Writing style
Review
A genial, enthusiastic guide leads a jaunt through literary history. As part of the publisher's Little History series, Sutherland (Emeritus, Modern English Literature/University College London; Lives of the Novelists: A History of Fiction in 294 Lives, 2012, etc.) distills into 40 chapters the big subject of world literature, from its beginnings in myth to its myriad current forms as e-books, graphic novels and interactive websites. Encouraging his audience to become readers and re-readers, Sutherland believes that a children's classic such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe--no less impressive than T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land or Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children--"helps make sense of the infinitely perplexing situations in which we find ourselves as human beings." Many chapters focus on particular authors, mostly canonical favorites: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Spenser, Defoe, Austen, Dickens, etc. Sutherland groups 20th-century writers by theme: Kafka, Camus, Beckett and Pinter, for example, comprise "Absurd Existences"; Lowell, Plath, Larkin and Hughes represent "The Poetry of Breakdown." Sutherland's deftness is impressive. In a mere five pages, for example, he explicates unconventional narratives, from Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy to works by J.G. Ballard, Bret Easton Ellis, Julian Barnes, John Fowles, Italo Calvino, Paul Auster, Thomas Pynchon, Donald Barthelme and B.S. Johnson, whose novel The Unfortunates "was published as a boxed set of pages which the reader can put together in any order they please." Sutherland is confident in his assessment of great works, but he is open to the idea that "pearls" can be found among what some people call "the crud" of popular commercial fiction. His aim is not to draw a line between high art and low, but to share his prodigious joy of reading. A lively, informative book in which the author shows how literature "enriches life in ways that nothing else quite can."(Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2013)
Biography type
contains biographical information
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10232479
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1938-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Sutherland, John
Dewey number
809
Illustrations
illuminations
Index
index present
Intended audience
Tertiary/Undergraduate, General
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
Literature
Label
A little history of literature, John Sutherland
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Content category
text
Control code
000051738097
Dimensions
23 cm.
Extent
vii, 276 pages
Isbn
9780300186857
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Other physical details
illustrations
Label
A little history of literature, John Sutherland
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Content category
text
Control code
000051738097
Dimensions
23 cm.
Extent
vii, 276 pages
Isbn
9780300186857
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Other physical details
illustrations

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
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      Level 1, Royal Randwick Shopping Centre, Randwick, NSW, 2031, AU
      -33.9151421 151.2408898
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