Love, Sex, Death and Words: Surprising Tales from a Year in Literature

John Sutherland, Stephen Fender

Love, Sex, Death and Words: Surprising Tales from a Year in Literature

Love, sex, death, boredom, ecstasy, existential angst, political upheaval: the history of literature offers a rich and varied exploration of the human condition across the centuries. In this companion to literature's rich past, arranged by days of the year, Stephen Fender and John Sutherland turn up the most inspiring, enlightening, surprising or curious artefacts that literature has to offer. Find out why 16 June 1904 mattered so much to Joyce, which great literary love affair was brought to a tragic end on 11 February 1963, why Roy Campbell punched Stephen Spender on the nose on 14 April 1949 ... and more. 3.1 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
Love, Sex, Death and Words: Surprising Tales from a Year in Literature

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Literary Studies & Criticism, Humour
Format Hardback
Pages 496
RRP £20.00
Date of Publication October 2010
ISBN 978-1848311640
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Love, sex, death, boredom, ecstasy, existential angst, political upheaval: the history of literature offers a rich and varied exploration of the human condition across the centuries. In this companion to literature's rich past, arranged by days of the year, Stephen Fender and John Sutherland turn up the most inspiring, enlightening, surprising or curious artefacts that literature has to offer. Find out why 16 June 1904 mattered so much to Joyce, which great literary love affair was brought to a tragic end on 11 February 1963, why Roy Campbell punched Stephen Spender on the nose on 14 April 1949 ... and more.

Reviews

The Guardian

Rick Gekoski

The entries are heavily biased towards English and American literature (reflecting the compilers' academic backgrounds), and hence leave out a wealth of fascinating possibilities. Yet I've had tremendous fun reading them — arguing with some, substituting others, quoting them over lunch — and pleasure is at the heart of this project. It's irresistible, as compulsive as eating popcorn.

03/11/2010

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The Independent

Jonathan Sale

They provide not mere dates but intriguing narratives, idiosyncratic expositions and witty essays … One of their dates is wrong: it was not on 10 November 1960 (the day of publication) that Lady Chatterley's Lover was acquitted of obscenity, but on 2 November.

20/10/2010

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The Spectator

Sam Leith

It’s a smart idea, well executed. Its prime virtue is the dense agglomeration of trivia around even well-known events. Yukio Mishima’s suicide (25 November 1970) is an obvious enough date to include — but how funny to record Private Eye’s response, which was to publish a picture of Kingsley Amis under the headline ‘Famous British Novelist Commits Public Suicide by Drinking Himself to Death’.

09/10/2010

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The Times

Olivia Williams

It bounds not only across centuries, countries and genres, but also levels of significance. We have the tragedy of Sylvia Plath’s suicide and the death of T. S. Eliot. Meanwhile another day is dedicated to A. S. Byatt suggesting that a nearby pub not be shut down, “I would be very upset if the pub closed”, she is quoted as saying ... The few damp squibs, however, do not outweigh the overall enjoyment.

11/06/2011

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The Independent

Christopher Hirst

Unfortunately, the authors appear to have expended so much energy in filling their daily slots that a number of errors crept into their entries. On 20 February in 1909, Marinetti published his Futurist Manifesto in Le Figaro. Sutherland and Fender conclude that nothing of Futurism "would survive the First World War". They seem unaware that Marinetti's Futurist Cookbook, by far the best-known production of the movement, was published in 1932.

24/06/2011

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