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Ivanhoe is the story of one of the remaining Saxon noble families at a time when the English nobility was overwhelmingly Norman. It follows the Saxon protagonist, Wilfrid of Ivanhoe, who is out of favour with his father owing to his courting the Lady Rowena and for his allegiance to the Norman king Richard I of England. The story is set in 1194, after the end of the Third Crusade, when many of the Crusaders were still returning to Europe. King Richard, having been captured by the Duke of Saxony, on his way back, was still supposed to be in the arms of his captors. The legendary Robin Hood, initially under the name of Locksley, is also a character in the story, as are his 'merry men,' including Friar Tuck and, less so, Alan-a-Dale. (Little John is merely mentioned.) The character that Scott gave to Robin Hood in Ivanhoe helped shape the modern notion of this figure as a cheery noble outlaw.
Other major characters include Ivanhoe's intractable Saxon father Cedric, a descendant of the Saxon King Harold Godwinson; various Knights Templar and churchmen; the loyal serfs Gurth the swineherd and the jester Wamba, whose observations punctuate much of the action; and the Jewish moneylender, Isaac of York, equally passionate of money and his daughter, Rebecca. The book was written and published during a period of increasing struggle for Emancipation of the Jews in England, and there are frequent references to injustice against them.
‘A story can lure us into gaps and spaces that feel sacred in their silence.’ —Kim Scott
In The Best Australian Stories 2013, Kim Scott assembles the most exceptional short fiction of the last year and invites readers to build ‘a rare and intimate relationship’ with these talented writers, one that is ‘essential to storytelling in print, whether on paper or screen.’
These stories conjure disparate moods, from delight to melancholy. A family Christmas lays bare a relationship grown cold. A father pursues the art of the birdcall in an effort to speak his son’s language. A cat becomes a conduit for a neighbour’s true feelings while Brisbane floods. Striking new voices blend seamlessly with those of celebrated storytellers to form a collection that will leave an indelible impression long after the last word is read.
Kalinda Ashton • Tony Birch • Georgia Blain • James Bradley • Tara Cartland • Eric Yoshiaki Dando • Liam Davison • Tegan Bennett Daylight • Madeleine Griffeth • Marion Halligan • Ashley Hay • Cate Kennedy • John Kinsella • Andy Kissane • Theresa Layton • Wayne Macauley • Robyn Mundy • Ruby J. Murray • Ryan O’Neill • Favel Parrett • Bruce Pascoe • Sinead Roarty • Chris Somerville • Laurie Steed • Lucy Treloar
Kim Scott is a descendant of the Wirlomin Noongar people. He was the first Indigenous author to win the Miles Franklin Award, for Benang, and his most recent novel, That Deadman Dance, won the 2011 Miles Franklin Award, the South-east Asia and Pacific Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the ALS Gold Medal, the Victorian Premier’s prizes for Literature and Fiction and the 2010 Western Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction.
“We’re all mad here.”
- Cheshire Cat - ‘Alice in Wonderland’
Crazy Fools: A Crazy Ink Anthology
It takes all kinds of crazy to make the world spin and keep people interesting. The line between sanity and insanity can be threaded with the thinnest strings. Sometimes, walking that edge takes stepping into the madness…
Six authors, six stories with varying degrees of insanity and one common theme – exploring the crazy condition called life.
What makes your head spin? Where is your line? What’s the difference between madness and sanity? How far would you be willing to travel into madness to feel again?
With something for everyone, Crazy Fools will toss you into the delicious mayhem it sometimes takes to feel alive…
Few authors have achieved such renown as World Fantasy Life Achievement honoree and Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Andre Norton. With the love of readers and the praise of critics, Norton’s books have sold millions of copies worldwide.The Witch World . . . Far away in space and time, the Witch World has become the legendary home of all who dream and wonder of unknown worlds.Lore of the Witch World brings together in one volume all the novelettes and tales of the Witch World, including the never previously published novelette Changeling.
A Hunger Artist is a short story by Franz Kafka. The story was also included in the collection A Hunger Artist (Ein Hungerkünstler), the last book Kafka prepared for publication, printed by Verlag Die Schmiede after Kafka's death.
The protagonist, a hunger artist who experiences the decline in appreciation of his craft, is an archetypical creation of Kafka: an individual marginalized and victimized by society at large. The title of the story has been translated also to "A Fasting Artist" and "A Starvation Artist".
A Hunger Artist was first published in the periodical Die neue Rundschau in 1922 and was subsequently included as the title piece in the short story collection. "A Hunger Artist" explores the familiar Kafka themes of death, art, isolation, asceticism, spiritual poverty, futility, personal failure and the corruption of human relationships.
There is a sharp division among critical interpretations of "A Hunger Artist". Most commentators concur that the story is an allegory, but they disagree as to what is represented. Some critics[who?], pointing to the hunger artist's asceticism, regard him as a saintly or even Christ-like figure. In support of this view they emphasize the unworldliness of the protagonist, the priest-like quality of the watchers, and the traditional religious significance of the forty-day period. Other critics[who?] insist that A Hunger Artist is an allegory of the misunderstood artist, whose vision of transcendence and artistic excellence is rejected or ignored by the public. This interpretation is sometimes joined with a reading of the story as autobiographical. According to this view, this story, written near the end of Kafka's life, links the hunger artist with the author as an alienated artist who is dying.
Whether the protagonist's starving is seen as spiritual or artistic, the panther is regarded as the hunger artist's antithesis: satisfied and contented, the animal's corporeality stands in marked contrast to the hunger artist's ethereality. A final interpretive division surrounds the issue of whether A Hunger Artist is meant to be read ironically. Some critics[who?] consider the story a sympathetic depiction of a misunderstood artist who seeks to rise above the merely animal parts of human nature (represented by the panther) and who is confronted with uncomprehending audiences. Others[who?] regard it as Kafka's ironic comment on artistic pretensions. The hunger artist comes to symbolize a joy-deprived man who shows no exuberance, who regards even his own tremendous discipline as inauthentic, and the panther who replaces him obviously is meant to show a sharp contrast of the two. Still at least one interpretation is that Kafka is expressing the world's indifference to his own artistic scruples, through the plight of the hunger artist.
The moral of the story, says literature critic Maud Ellmann, is that it is not by food that we survive but by the gaze of others and "it is impossible to live by hunger unless we can be seen or represent doing so".
Another adventure from Sabatini’s remarkable and much-loved hero. In 'Scaramouche the Kingmaker,' Andre Louis again dons his famous and much-admired disguise to embark upon a new adventure – and one full of the thrill and swashbuckling action that has earnt Sabatini his place in the hall of great writers.
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