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Should we be upset that some of our favourite authors don’t actually exist? Mark Nye

Ghostwriters haunt our illusions about solitary authors

Modernism – and western culture generally since the late 18th century – taught us that books were written in solitary creative frenzies. But ghostwriters are increasingly challenging that assumption.
The earliest sources, including Paul’s letters, show very little interest in the mythological details of heavenly existence. Wikimedia Commons/ Probably Valentin de Boulogne: Saint Paul Writing His Epistles.

Paul’s Apocalypse gave us heaven and hell several times over

Interpretations of Paul the apostle's texts provided the basic fund of imagery that continues to inform popular opinion about what Christians mean when they talk about "heaven", or "hell".
The pantheon of the Bard’s plays is now larger by one – or so the headlines would have you believe. George

Shakespeare’s Double Falsehood? Alas, that’s neither true nor false

You'd be forgiven for thinking Double Falsehood was recently "found" and confirmed as being by Shakespeare. But that's not what the researchers behind the computational tests actually said. So what's up?
Zannoni’s 1771 Map of the British Isles shows the heart of the “civilised” world – at least according to Adam Smith when he was writing The Wealth of Nations. Wikimedia Commons/Geographicus Rare Antique Maps

Savage peoples: the racism of Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations

To burnish the virtues of "civilised" Europe, Adam Smith relies on a barrage of racial insults. Where did his information about the so-called "savage peoples" come from in the first place?
Despite what the industry thinks, you shouldn’t judge a book by the size of its print run. Amelia Schmidt Follow

Small is beautiful: in praise of organic book publishing

Publishing is frequently a small-scale venture, comprising one or a handful of people with a vision for particular books they want to see published. Is it time to embrace 'organic' publishing?
An opera based on David Malouf’s Fly Away Peter opens in Sydney this weekend. Carriageworks/Toby Burrows

Fly Away Peter: when Australian literature goes to the opera

Sydney Chamber Opera's production of David Malouf's 1982 novel Fly Away Peter opens this weekend. It's not the first opera adaptation of Australian literature – and there are reasons to hope it's not the last.
Bitto has remarked on the major impact of the Stella Prize and the conversations it has encouraged about women writers. Jone

Debut novelist Emily Bitto wins the Stella Prize

Emily Bitto has won the 2015 Stella Prize for her debut novel, The Strays. The prize is now in its third year and was established to redress the way in which women writers were typically overlooked for major literary prizes
A fantasy about free markets in primitive society lies at the heart of Adam Smith’s wealth of nations – but did they ever exist? Steve Rhodes/Flickr

The myth that holds Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations together

The myth that our primitive forebears were capitalists at heart is fundamental to Adam Smith's arguments in The Wealth of Nations.
Guenevere in May, Malory’s Le Morte D'Arthur, abridged ed. Alfred W. Pollard, illustrations by Arthur Rackham, 1917. Bangor University Library Rare Book Collection

King Arthur back home in Wales – thanks to Guy Ritchie

We just can't have enough of all things Arthurian – the legend and its many possible permutations never cease to fascinate.

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