Category: Literary

William Morris – A Dream of John Ball

Sometimes I am rewarded for fretting myself so much about present matters by a quite unasked-for pleasant dream. I mean when I am asleep. This dream is as it were a present of an architectural peepshow. I see some beautiful and noble building new made, as it were for the occasion, as clearly as if […]

Willa Cather – The Professors House

The moving was over and done. Professor St. Peter was alone in the dismantled house where he had lived ever since his marriage, where he had worked out his career and brought up his two daughters. It was almost as ugly as it is possible for a house to be; square, three stories in height, […]

Virginia Woolf – To the Lighthouse

“Yes, of course, if it’s fine tomorrow,” said Mrs Ramsay. “But you’ll have to be up with the lark,” she added. To her son these words conveyed an extraordinary joy, as if it were settled, the expedition were bound to take place, and the wonder to which he had looked forward, for years and years […]

Virginia Woolf – The Waves

The sun had not yet risen. The sea was indistinguishable from the sky, except that the sea was slightly creased as if a cloth had wrinkles in it. Gradually as the sky whitened a dark line lay on the horizon dividing the sea from the sky and the grey cloth became barred with thick strokes […]

Virginia Woolf – The Voyage Out

As the streets that lead from the Strand to the Embankment are very narrow, it is better not to walk down them arm-in-arm. If you persist, lawyers’ clerks will have to make flying leaps into the mud; young lady typists will have to fidget behind you. In the streets of London where beauty goes unregarded, […]

Virginia Woolf – Night and Day

It was a Sunday evening in October, and in common with many other young ladies of her class, Katharine Hilbery was pouring out tea. Perhaps a fifth part of her mind was thus occupied, and the remaining parts leapt over the little barrier of day which interposed between Monday morning and this rather subdued moment, […]

Virginia Woolf – Mrs Dalloway

Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. For Lucy had her work cut out for her. The doors would be taken off their hinges; Rumpelmayer’s men were coming. And then, thought Clarissa Dalloway, what a morning—fresh as if issued to children on a beach. What a lark! What a plunge! For so it […]

Virginia Woolf – Jacobs Room

“So of course,” wrote Betty Flanders, pressing her heels rather deeper in the sand, “there was nothing for it but to leave.” Slowly welling from the point of her gold nib, pale blue ink dissolved the full stop; for there her pen stuck; her eyes fixed, and tears slowly filled them. The entire bay quivered; […]

Theodore Dreiser – The Titan

When Frank Algernon Cowperwood emerged from the Eastern District Penitentiary in Philadelphia he realized that the old life he had lived in that city since boyhood was ended. His youth was gone, and with it had been lost the great business prospects of his earlier manhood. He must begin again. It would be useless to […]

Theodore Dreiser – The Genius

This story has its beginnings in the town of Alexandria, Illinois, between 1884 and 1889, at the time when the place had a population of somewhere near ten thousand. There was about it just enough of the air of a city to relieve it of the sense of rural life. It had one street-car line, […]

Theodore Dreiser – An American Tragedy

Dusk—of a summer night. And the tall walls of the commercial heart of an American city of perhaps 400,000 inhabitants— such walls as in time may linger as a mere fable. And up the broad street, now comparatively hushed, a little band of six,—a man of about fifty, short, stout, with bushy hair protruding from […]

Sydney Waterlow – Shelley The Poet of Rebellion, Nature, and Love

In the case of most great writers our interest in them as persons is derived from out interest in them as writers; we are not very curious about them except for reasons that have something to do with their art. With Shelley it is different. During his life he aroused fears and hatreds, loves and […]

Susan Warner – The Wide, Wide World

Enjoy the spring of love and youth, To some good angel leave the rest, For time will teach thee soon the truth, “There are no birds in last year’s nest.” LONGFELLOW. “MAMMA, what was that I heard papa saying to you this morning about his lawsuit?” “I cannot tell you just now. Ellen, pick up […]

Sir Hugh Walpole – The Secret City

There are certain things that I feel, as I look through this bundle of manuscript, that I must say. The first is that of course no writer ever has fulfilled his intention and no writer ever will; secondly, that there was, when I began, another intention than that of dealing with my subject adequately, namely […]

Sinclair Lewis – Free Air

WHEN the windshield was closed it became so filmed with rain that Claire fancied she was piloting a drowned car in dim spaces under the sea. When it was open, drops jabbed into her eyes and chilled her cheeks. She was excited and thoroughly miserable. She realized that these Minnesota country roads had no respect […]

Samuel Butler – The Way of All Flesh

When I was a small boy at the beginning of the century I remember an old man who wore kneebreeches and worsted stockings, and who used to hobble about the street of our village with the help of a stick. He must have been getting on for eighty in the year 1807, earlier than which […]

Robert Louis Stevenson – The Master of Ballantrae

The full truth of this odd matter is what the world has long been looking for, and public curiosity is sure to welcome. It so befell that I was intimately mingled with the last years and history of the house; and there does not live one man so able as myself to make these matters […]

Oscar Wilde – De Profundis

… Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return. With us time itself does not progress. It revolves. It seems to circle round one centre of pain. The paralysing immobility of a life every circumstance of which is regulated after an […]

Nikolai Gogol – Dead Souls

To the door of an inn in the provincial town of N. there drew up a smart britchka—a light springcarriage of the sort affected by bachelors, retired lieutenant-colonels, staff-captains, land-owners possessed of about a hundred souls, and, in short, all persons who rank as gentlemen of the intermediate category. In the britchka was seated such […]

Mikhail Petrovich Artsybashev – Sanin

That important period in his life when character is influenced and formed by its first contact with the world and with men, was not spent by Vladimir Sanine at home, with his parents. There had been none to guard or guide him; and his soul developed in perfect freedom and independence, just as a tree […]

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