Books I'm Glad I Was Forced to Read

  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Deliverance by James Dickey
  • Sula by Toni Morrison
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • The Iliad by Homer
  • King Lear by Shakespeare
  • The Tempest by Shakespeare
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • Beowulf
  • Grendel by John Gardner
  • The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

Jim, pop quiz for someone who has studied THE TEMPEST: What does the word "brave" mean in "O brave new world that has such people in it!"?

It means handsome or attractive, I believe (the preceding line being, "How beauteous mankind is!"). No wonder Huxley picked it, given the premise of his Brave New World.

Now the confession . . . I remembered the line but not the context, so I had to look it up. Sigh.

Jim, pretty damn close, but no, okay, I'll give you the cigar (it's a Havana, rolled on the thigh of a beautiful Cuban maiden). I've actually written a paraphrase of THE TEMPEST, and in it I interpret "brave" as "splendid". I admit,
your interpretation is probably [just as] almost as good.

I don't suppose your writings on The Tempest are online somewhere? If so, I'd be interested in checking them out.

Jim, 'fraid not. And it's not writings about the play, rather, it's the play itself done into prose that is easily comprehensible to the modern reader. A barbarous practice, since it robs the play of almost all The Bard's poetry; but there's much more than poetry to enjoy in his plays. If the idea really interests you, perhaps you'd care to advise me on online publication - I'm pretty clueless about such things. No sweat if you'd rather not though.

Probably the easiest place to start would be some site like GeoCities or a similar free hosting service (click on the "Get a free home page" link once you get there). Such services are a pain, because they advertise on your site (and you'll definitely want to read the license, as such free hosting services used to claim ownership of your material! but I think the ensuing brouhaha has changed that). However, I think they have tools that make it easy to get your feet wet. And if the potential license issues worry you, you can always use it to practice.

Once you're comformtable with the rudiments of HTML and transferring files, your ISP almost certainly provides some hosting space (assuming you're paying $20 a month or so for standard Internet access). You just create HTML files (HTML is really quite easy to learn, especially if you're just doing basic text stuff - here's an online reference), and then transfer them via FTP to whatever directory your ISP has set aside for you (just drop them a line, and ask them if hosting your homepage is included in their package, and if so, ask for detailed instructions about FTPing your files to your homepage directory (or the instructions might be at your ISPs website)).

Let me know if you get something up!

Jim, thanks, I really appreciate the advice; and I might end up taking it. But first, do you know the website Books Online []?
They offer an online publishing deal that looks okay. I'll fill out their form and let you know when something eventuates. Firm promise. Thanks again.

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that site. You'll have to let me know how it works out.