Articles on Literature

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The oil rig explosion in Deepwater Horizon (2016), a film about the worst oil spill in US history. © Lionsgate

Friday essay: the Rise and Fall of oil in popular culture

The search for oil was once depicted in movies and books as a boys' own adventure. But as films such as Deepwater Horizon show, in an age of anxieties over fossil fuels, oil's story is now a darker one.
Rose and Groote Eylandters Nertichunga, Machana and Nabia, Groote Eylandt, 1941. Courtesy of SLNSW, Frederick Rose papers, Box 5

The red professor and the white anting that continues to this day

The book Red Professor: the Cold War Life of Fred Rose tells of a progressive anthropologist who was stymied by non-Indigenous people in powerful positions. Sadly, it's a narrative that still resonates today.
Sam Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, on the field prior to a 1984 National League playoff game. AP Photo

The World Series of the Apocalypse?

No team in sports has inspired better literature than the hapless Chicago Cubs. The oeuvre includes a little-known tale by W.P. Kinsella: 'The Last Pennant Before Armageddon.'
A portrait of Indian poet and musician Rabindranath Tagore. Cherishsantosh/Wikimedia Commons

No, Bob Dylan isn’t the first lyricist to win the Nobel

In 1913, an Indian literary giant named Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-white person to win the literature prize. He wrote over 2,000 songs and, like Dylan's, they still resonate today.
Carl Rahl’s Orestes Pursued by the Furies (1852). Wikimedia

Guide to the classics: Christina Stead’s The Beauties and Furies

The tale of a married woman who joins her lover in Paris, The Beauties and Furies is a modernist classic. Like Joyce's Ulysses, the action is concentrated in one city, but dreams are nightmarish in this city of night, not light.

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