From its first publication in 1719, Robinson Crusoe has been printed in over 700 editions. It has inspired almost every conceivable kind of imitation and variation, and been the subject of plays, opera, cartoons, and computer games. The character of Crusoe has entered the consciousness of each succeeding generation as readers add their own interpretation to the adventures so thrillingly ‘recorded’ by Defoe.

Praised by eminent figures such as Coleridge, Rousseau and Wordsworth, this perennially popular book was cited by Karl Marx in Das Kapital to illustrate economic theory. However it is readers of all ages over the last 280 years who have given Robinson Crusoe its abiding position as a classic tale of adventure.

Advertisements

Mr. Artur Sammler, Holocaust survivor, intellectual, and occasional lecturer at Columbia University in 1960s New York City, is a “registrar of madness,” a refined and civilized being caught among people crazy with the promises of the future (moon landings, endless possibilities). His Cyclopean gaze reflects on the degradations of city life while looking deep into the sufferings of the human soul. “Sorry for all and sore at heart,” he observes how greater luxury and leisure have only led to more human suffering. To Mr. Sammler-who by the end of this ferociously unsentimental novel has found the compassionate consciousness necessary to bridge the gap between himself and his fellow beings-a good life is one in which a person does what is “required of him.” To know and to meet the “terms of the contract” was as true a life as one could live.

In Half a Life we are introduced to the compelling figure of Willie Chandran. Springing from the unhappy union of a low-caste mother and a father constantly at odds with life, Willie is naively eager to find something that will place him both in and apart from the world. Drawn to England, and to the immigrant and bohemian communities of post-war London, it is only in his first experience of love that he finally senses the possibility of fulfilment.

In its humorous and sensitive vision of the half-lives quietly lived out at the centre of our world, V.S. Naipaul’s graceful novel brings its own unique illumination to essential aspects of our shared history.

In the spring of 1860, Fabrizio, the charismatic Prince of Salina, still rules over thousands of acres and hundreds of people, including his own numerous family, in mingled splendour and squalor. Then comes Garibaldi’s landing in Sicily and the Prince must decide whether to resist the forces of change or come to terms with them.

decline-and-fallSent down from Oxford for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather is oddly unsurprised to find himself qualifying for the position of schoolmaster at Llanabba Castle. Hi colleagues are an assortment of misfits, rascals and fools, including Prendy (plagued by doubts) and Captain Grimes, who is always in the soup (or just plain drunk). Then Sports Day arrives, and with it the delectable Margot Beste-Chetwynde, floating on a scented breeze. As the farce unfolds and the young run riot, no one is safe, least of all Paul.

Welcome to Literature in Pubs

Literature in Pubs (LIPs) is a community book group searching for literary stimulation in the relaxing atmosphere of a good pub. Currently the meetings are held at The Railway Pub on Tithebarn Street in Liverpool city centre, on the 3rd Monday of every month at 6pm-8pm.

The aim is to provide an informal setting for people to come and discuss their ideas in relation to a piece of literature once a month. No literary background is required, just a passion for discussion.

May 2018
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
Advertisements