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William S. Burroughs

1914 – 1997 “Death smells… I mean death has a special smell; over and above the smell of cyanide, cordite, blood, carrion or burned flesh. It is a gray smell: stops the heart and cuts off the breath. The smell of empty bodies, the smell of field hospitals and gangrene…” [The Private Asshole] “I […]

Charles Bukowski

1920 – 1994

American prolific poet, short story writer and novelist; author of ‘Notes of a Dirty Old Man’, ‘Love Is a Dog from Hell’, and the autobiographical novels, ‘Women’, ‘Hollywood’, and ‘Post Office’.

Generally speaking, you’re free till you’re about four years old. And then… five around, since you […]

J G Ballard

1930 – 2009 ¤ JG Ballard‘s fertile imagination fancifully envisaged yet another World War where the British and the Americans fought on different sides. This story, “Theatre of War” was published in his book ‘Myths of the Near Future’, and it’s written in a style which looks much the same as a TV script. […]

Kurt Vonnegut . . .

∇ Slaughterhouse Five⇐

Slaughterhouse-Five is an account of Billy Pilgrim’s capture and incarceration by the Germans during the last years of World War II, and scattered throughout the narrative are episodes from Billy’s life both before and after the war, and from his travels to the planet Tralfamadore. Billy […]

Paul Bowles

[1910 – 1999] – •→http://www.paulbowles.org/ Paul Bowles was born in Queens, New York, in 1910. He began his travels as a teenager, setting off for Paris, telling no one of his plans. In 1930 he visited Morocco for the first time, with Aaron Copland, with whom he was studying music. His early reputation was as […]

Theodore Sturgeon

1918 – 1985

← Read (icon or below) extract from ‘VENUS + X’

PLOT:

Charlie Johns has been snatched from his home on 61 North 34th Street and delivered to the strange future world of Ledom. Here, violence is a vague and improbable notion. Technology has triumphed over hunger, overpopulation, […]

Nadine Gordimer

South African novelist and short-story writer, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. Most of Nadine Gordimer‘s works deal with the moral and psychological tensions of her racially divided home country. She was a founding member of Congress of South African Writers, and even at the height of the apartheid regime, […]

Through The Tunnel [D. Lessing]

¤ Doris Lessing [1919-2013]

In her long and complex career, Doris Lessing, the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in literature, has traversed the savannas of Africa, the crooked streets of London and the chilly reaches of outer space. Irving Howe once described her as “the archaeologist of human relations,” […]

Angela’s Ashes [excerpts]

1930 – 2009

Frank McCourt was born in Brooklyn — he would later, much later, memorably describe the scene of his conception in his memoir — but he grew up in Ireland. His parents were both Irish immigrants, and they moved back there, to Limerick, in an effort to stay […]

Ray Bradbury + Isaac Asimov

¤ Ray Bradbury ⇓ [1920-2012] Φ “The Veldt“ ⇐[song]

A short story written by Ray Bradbury that was published originally as “The World the Children Made” in the September 23, 1950 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, later republished in the anthology The Illustrated Man in 1951. The anthology is a collection of […]

A Clockwork Orange [A Burgess]

1917 – 1993

A diatribe against behaviourism (or “behavioural psychology”) of the 1940s to 1960s as propounded by the psychologists John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner. Burgess disapproved of behaviourism as much as I do myself, calling prominent behaviourist B. F. Skinner’s most popular book, Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971), “one of […]

On Saturday afternoon [A. Sillitoe]

‘ Alan Sillitoe (1928-2010) is one of the Angry Young Men of the 1950s (although none of them welcomed such label). › Born in Nottingham to working class parents, he left school at the age of 14 and served in the Royal Air Force as a wireless operator. After returning to England from Malaya, […]

Dix heures et demie du soir en été . . .

Rodrigo Paestra shots his unfaithful wife dead ↓ [10:30 P.M. Summer – directed by Jules Dassin, 1966]

From 1983, 10.30 On a Summer Night is Richard Jobson‘s own adaption of texts from the passionate novel by French author Marguerite Duras (1914 – 1996), the story of a […]

In a land of clear colours [R Sheckley]

Robert Sheckley ⇐[1928-2005] was a prolific short story writer and one of science fiction’s great humorists. He also wrote several novels, and was named Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2001.

∞ Links to his works . . . ⇒ [01] ⇔ [02]⇐ ¤ “In a land […]

Raymond Carver

[1938 – 1988] ¤ Cathedral ←[read] ⇓ Listen

• Plot Overview

The narrator says that his wife’s blind friend, whose wife has just died, is going to spend the night at their house. He is not happy about this visitor and the man’s blindness unsettles him. He explains that his […]

Miriam [T Capote]

1924 – 1984 Capote’s first short story is a haunting account of a widow’s descent into madness courtesy of a precocious child named Miriam.

Truman Capote was just eighteen-years old when Mademoiselle magazine published his first short story, “Miriam,” in 1945. Looking back on his career, Capote claimed to have enjoyed his earlier […]

Adrian Mole [Sue Townsend]

Adrian Albert Mole is the fictional protagonist in a series of books by English author Sue Townsend (1946-2014). The character first appeared (as Nigel) in a BBC Radio 4 play in 1982. The books are written in the form of a diary, with some additional content such as correspondence. The […]