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“Terror is very fond of associations; we love to connect the agitation of the elements with the agitated life of man; and never did a blast roar, or a gleam of lightning flash, that was not connected in the imagination of some one, with a calamity that was to be dreaded, deprecated, or endured,–with the fate of the living, or the destination of the dead.” — Charles Maturin

It isn’t the easiest or most glamorous read, but Charles Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer certainly proves to be a rewarding experience if you’re willing to take the…

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“The earth will probably sink and drown; but at least it will be the result of generally acknowledged political and economic ideas, at least it will be accomplished with the help of the science, industry, and public opinion, with the application of all human ingenuity! No cosmic catastrophy, nothing but state, official, economic, and other causes. Nothing can be done to prevent it.”

Even as the fate of humanity hangs by a thread, with the newt dominion blockading every coast on the planet, it’s personal interest, nationalism, and greed that keeps us from securing our…

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“Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end.” — Homer

The Odyssey is one of the most recognized titles in the world, believed to have been composed somewhere around the 8th or 7th century BCE. It’s the tale of Odysseus, the king of Ithica and a Greek hero of the infamous Trojan War, and chronicles his plight as he bitterly struggles to reach his homeland, where his son Telemachus and wife Penelope contend with 108 suitors. …

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“For maybe a hundred thousand years or more, grownups have been waving tangles of string in their children’s faces.”


Newt remained curled in the chair. He held out his painty hands as though a cat’s cradle were strung between them. “No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat’s cradle is nothing but a bunch of X’s between somebody’s hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X’s…”


“No damn cat, and no damn cradle.”

So goes a conversation between the narrator of Cat’s Cradle and the son of a…

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“The cry of grief, rage, and terror, was yet piercing the night, when the unhappy husband held his breath for a response. There was a scream, drowned immediately in a louder murmur of voices, fading into far-off laughter, as the dark cloud swept away, leaving the clear and silent sky above Goodman Brown. But something fluttered lightly down through the air, and caught on the branch of a tree. The young man seized it, and beheld a pink ribbon.”

One fateful evening, Goodman Brown leaves his wife Faith and home of Salem village and embarks…

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“Well,” said Winterbourne, “when you deal with natives you must go by the custom of the place. Flirting is a purely American custom; it doesn’t exist here. So when you show yourself in public with Mr. Giovanelli, and without your mother — ”


So goes an exchange between the protagonist Winterbourne and the titular Daisy Miller, a young American woman of means vacationing with her mother and little brother through Europe. …

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“I came in with Halley’s comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.’”

Regarded by William Faulkner as “the father of American literature,” the voice of Samuel Langhorne Clemens was one full of wit, substance, and personality. …

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“MIDWAY upon the journey of our life|I found myself within a forest dark,|For the straightforward pathway had been lost.|Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say|What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,|Which in the very thought renews the fear.|So bitter is it, death is little more;|But of the good to treat, which there I found,|Speak will I of the other things I saw there.|I cannot well repeat how there I entered,|So full was I of slumber at the moment|In which I had abandoned the true way.”

Thus begins one of the most…

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“And I do not live in broad infamy, nor hide from righteous pursuers or seekers of the truth. I do not mask my face or screen my doings of each day. I have not yet been banished from this earth. And though nearly every soul I’ve closely known has come to some dread or grave misfortune, I instead persist, with warmth and privilege accruing to me unabated, ever securing my good station here, the last place I will belong.”

For some, the past is a place of misery and deep regret. It prowls within the…

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“That’s all I think about these days. Must be because I have so much time to kill every day. When you don’t have anything to do, your thoughts get really, really far out — so far out you can’t follow them all the way to the end.”

To truly understand The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, we must first examine its author Haruki Murakami. The Japanese bestselling author is known for exploring themes of Kafka-esque proportions. These themes usually boil down into two twin elements: alienation and loneliness. Much to the chagrin of the Japanese literary establishment…

Zack Kulm

Writer | Blogger | Editor | News, Entertainment, Literature, and Pop Culture.

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