William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Hamlet by William Shakespeare My rating: 5 of 5 stars Why is this bizarre, disorderly, long, and poorly transmitted tragedy from the turn of the seventeenth century the central work of the western literary tradition, its hero the keystone in the arch of modern literature? Because the distance he created between himself and the world … Continue reading William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson My rating: 3 of 5 stars I found Marilynne Robinson's second novel, Gilead (2004), to be literally stunning. That is, every time I picked it up to read a few pages I would become dazed with boredom or would even fall asleep, knocked out by the novel's descriptive vagueness and tonal … Continue reading Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Villette by Charlotte Brontë My rating: 5 of 5 stars Villette is the thickly-written, slowly-paced, and emotionally distant first-person narrative of Lucy Snowe, a young Englishwoman who goes to work as a teacher in a boarding school in the fictional titular city, a capital of Catholic Europe that stands in for the Brussels of Charlotte … Continue reading Charlotte Brontë, Villette