Articles on Literature

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If you can’t get to Venice, Italy, allow a book translated from Italian to transport you there. Tom Podmore/Unsplash

Summer reads: When you can’t travel, let a book transport you

Reading fiction can increase your empathy and reading fiction translated from another language can improve your cross-cultural understanding. Why not let a book transport you?
Franco-Moroccan author Leila Slimani (centre) with the president of the Goncourt prize, Bernard Pivot (third from right) and others at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair. John MacDougall/AFP

Debat: How streaming media could change our minds on cultural differences

The influence of digital technology is most significant in how we experience culture and identity. Think about the use of streaming media.
Judith Kerr, author of the Tiger Who Came to Tea, at the International Literature Festival Berlin in 2016. Christoph Rieger

Judith Kerr: read her autobiographies to understand The Tiger Who Came to Tea

As the daughter in a Jewish family fleeing the Nazis, Judith Kerr's childhood was change, upheaval and deprivation. But this 'clever refugee girl' made her mark, creating stories of ideal childhood.
The potions classroom at the Making of Harry Potter Studio. Alex Volosianko

Why the ancient promise of alchemy is fulfilled in reading

Potions, spells and alchemy are intriguing to children and adults alike. A professor of literature explains what's behind this fascination and reveals where to experience the magic of transformation.
A photograph of Ellen N. La Motte soon after completing ‘The Backwash of War’ in 1916. Courtesy of the National Archives, College Park, Maryland

Did a censored female writer inspire Hemingway’s famous style?

Ellen N. La Motte's 'The Backwash of War' was praised for its clear-eyed portrayal of war, but was swiftly banned. Yet the similarities between her spare prose and Hemingway's are unmistakable.
‘The Golden Orange Solar City’, a depiction of the Turkish city of Antalya in the future (as inspired by Solar Punk literature such as the ‘Glass and Gardens’ anthology edited by Sarena Ulabarri). Alan Marshall

Using beloved works of literature to predict the futures of cities

The Literary Method of Urban Design aims to predict urban futures and to design cities and prepare citizens in line with these predictions.
There seems be an attractive quality to things that are ostensibly unhealthy or dangerous. Alisusha/Shutterstock.com

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Edgar Allen Poe, Sigmund Freud and cognitive scientists have all wrestled with the human tendency to behave in ways that are irrational and self-defeating.
The beach is a common setting for Australian novels, which often capture its darker side. boxer_bob/flickr

Ten great Australian beach reads set at the beach

While tourism campaigns often portray the beach as an idyllic, isolated haven, many of our beach stories depict it as a darker, more complex place. Here are ten worth reading.

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