Marie-Jo Decker

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Stunning Shakespeare Posters From Around The World Prove The Bard Is Universal

A goth-looking, tall-haired fairy in a blood-red dress might not be how you visualized "A Midsummer Night's Dream" when you read it in high school.<p>In its original form, Shakespeare's play about the sway of magic over a pair of lovers and the stormy spell-casters who control them takes place in, …

Posters

Budget hotel chains in London

Take a look at these budget hotel brands, which have multiple locations in London, offering some of the best, cheapest hotels in London. Finding a …

Hospitality

Was Shakespeare a conservative?

“There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult – to begin a war and to end it.”<p>– Alexis de Tocqueville <br>Exposed …

The Crazy, Iconic Life of Nico; Andy Warhol Muse, Velvet Underground Vocalist, Enigma in Amber

There’s no denying that train wrecks make great documentary subjects.<p>Not that Abraham Lincoln doesn’t, but watching someone come unglued is a whole …

Why I’m teaching Serial instead of Shakespeare

As a high school English teacher, I used to spend at least four weeks on <i>Hamlet</i>. On an annual basis, we would happily discuss the potential causes of the protagonist’s insanity, the symptoms of depression, the cultural beliefs and norms of Renaissance England, and well…basically the nature of man. …

Teaching

Everyday Terms Coined By Shakespeare

You might already know that Shakespeare came up with such famous phrases as "star-crossed lovers" and "much ado about nothing." But did you also know …

Literature

First report of Gunpowder Plot to be auctioned

The six-page letter was written by one of the key figures in the drama and sent out four days after Guy Fawkes was arrested<p>The earliest written report of the Gunpowder Plot, describing the bravery of Guy Fawkes under torture and the foiling of his “cruel and detestable crime”, is to be sold at …

Humanities

‘Community leader’, ‘call out’, ‘dreamer: The worst words and phrases in the English language

In this week’s magazine Rod Liddle has a piece on the worst ‘clichés, lies, evasions, obfuscations, PC euphemisms and disingenuous balls words and phrases which, in recent years, have annoyed me the most’. He was inspired by Brook Newmark’s recent shenanigans with a phantom lady and a computer, …

Bay Area Literary Map

Interactive literary map of SF Bay Area celebrates region's storied past and tracks its ever-evolving …

Literature

Michael Frayn’s new book is the most highbrow TV sketch show ever

A review of Matchbox Theatre: Thirty Short Entertainments, by Michael Frayn. Other loo books may sell more come Christmas but none will bring more joy than this collection of ingenious playlets<p>Enough of big ideas and grand designs. Instead, here are 30 unusually small ideas from the giant pulsating …

Books

The future of the book | The Economist

In which something old and powerful is encountered in a vault<p>FINGERS stroke vellum; the calfskin pages are smooth, like paper, but richer, almost …

Books

The Artist and the Anguish of the American Dream: Zadie Smith’s Love-Hate Letter to New York

With his philosophy of happiness as a moral obligation, it is no surprise that Albert Camus is intellectual America’s favorite European export. The American Dream is built on the pursuit of happiness, but Camus amplifies it from a mere right to something more, something better aligned with the …

Seamus Heaney’s last poem published in Irish gallery’s anthology

Collection features works from writers such as Roddy Doyle, Colm Tóibín and John Banville inspired by paintings on display at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin<p>A poem Seamus Heaney finished 10 days before he died sees the Nobel laureate exploring the quiet beauty of a canal painted by the …

Alan Bennett: joining the literature club

The playwright used to feel baffled in the face of poetry. All the more reason to compile an anthology of popular poets, from Hardy to Larkin<p>When I was young, I used to feel that literature was a club of which I would never be a proper member – as a reader, let alone a writer. It wasn't that I …

9 of the world's most multilingual countries

Large segments of the population in these nations speak 3 or more languages fluently.<p>Many countries around the globe have populations who speak …

Language Learning

Teaching Shakespeare: The Play's the Thing

I have just had a remarkable experience. I, along with a small group of Shakespeare enthusiasts, just completed a run of performances of William …

Which Shakespeare Play Was Written About Your Life?

10 Ingenious Shakespeare Adaptations on Film

The best of this week’s (admittedly lean) DVD releases is <i>Coriolanus</i>, the sleek and muscular Shakespeare adaptation from star and first-time director …

The Theatre

Was Shakespeare a Good Actor?

In his day, performers received little respect for grueling work. Yet the playwright strode the stage for more than 15 years—and then changed the acting profession forever.<p>Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, today, will bring an outpouring of written appreciations for his works. Many, though, will likely …

The literary map of London is just beautiful

<b>This map is both a snapshot of London's literary history and beautiful in its own right.</b><p>More than 250 novels were mined in order to make the Literary …

Literature

Margaret Atwood's new work will remain unseen for a century

Novelist says it is 'delicious' to be first contributor to the Future Library, which will compile 100 texts for publication in 2114<p>Depending on perspective, it is an author's dream – or nightmare: Margaret Atwood will never know what readers think of the piece of fiction she is currently working …

If Shakespeare Wrote Pop Songs

As the debate wages on about the Bard's relatability -- and whether or not relatability matters to begin with -- a hilarious Tumblr has surfaced that translates modern-day pop songs into Shakespearean sonnets.<p>Every wonder what Taylor Swift's newest album would sound like in iambic pentameter? Us …

Girl recites entire William Shakespeare monologue over 18 months

A father films his daughter reciting a line a day from Act II, Scene VII ‘As You Like It’ by William Shakespeare for 18 months<p>Iain Anderson from Brisbane, <b>Australia</b>, has combined his passion for video editing with his daughter’s interest in literature to create a truly unique recitation of ‘As You …

William Shakespeare

What Children Can Teach Us About Risk, Failure, and Personal Growth

<i>“If I limit myself to knowledge that I consider true beyond doubt,”</i> E.F. Schumacher wrote in his timelessly wonderful <i>A Guide for the Perplexed</i> in 1977, <i>“I minimize the risk of error but I maximize, at the same time, the risk of missing out on what may be the subtlest, most important and most</i> …

1914 Goodbye to All That: Writers on the Conflict Between Life and Art review – war reimagined from different vantage points

An international group of essayists consider our awkward obsession with commemorating war<p>The mantra of first world war anniversaries has always had an undertone of moral blackmail: "lest we forget" implies that if we don't remember the past we'll be condemned to repeat it, which of course is what …

The Great War, Literature, and Us

This morning, on the one hundred year anniversary of Britain's declaration of war against Germany and entry in what was to be known as The Great War, I attended a memorial Eucharist at Gladstone's Library in Hawarden, Wales. The library's warden, the Rev. Peter Francis, offered wartime verse in …

Remembrance Day

America's independence from Britain resounds in its poetry

The tradition of individual spirit in the US has been handed down since Walt Whitman. On Independence Day, Jay Parini salutes the poets who have captured the song of America<p>Last week, over breakfast, my teenage son looked up. "What's the point of Independence Day?" He chewed his cereal. "Shouldn't …