Their non-fiction book challenges the common assumption that the universe teems with complex life-forms (intelligent or otherwise).
Albert Camus (1913—1960) was one of the most distinguished writers of the twentieth century. Almost everything he wrote is worth reading, but two works stand out for me: The Stranger and “The Adulterous Woman”.
Gerard Manley Hopkins was born in Essex in 1844 and died in 1889. Since the publication of his work in 1918, he has been recognized as one of the greatest poets of the nineteenth century.
Merton himself was an interesting man. He was a twentieth century Roman Catholic monk whose writings became very popular even among nonreligious readers.
Poe shared with Nathaniel Hawthorne a distinctively American vision of darkness. And yet this vision was rendered artfully, not in a merely negative or pessimistic manner.
Published in 1950, it concerns the titular empress and saint, who lived during the 200s and 300s A.D. and was the mother of Constantine the Great.
But for me, Wharton’s rendering of this material transcends any of its shortcomings. Even the depressing elements attain a grim beauty (Ethan’s search for Mattie after their failed suicide is a heartbreaking example).
In short: “What does this have to do with the world that I know?” But after delving into it, I came to realize just how relevant it is; and not only in the negative sense.
Evil is vividly depicted in “The Big Sleep”, but the author never lapses into excess. The result is a very enjoyable read, even for readers who are not big fans of mystery or detective fiction.
The story as a whole is consistently compelling; it is witty, thoughtful, and in the end quite moving.