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Tagged with Simopoulos

The First Modern Poem

What would you consider to be the first modern poem?  There can never be a definitive answer, but in today’s extended Litopia Daily, we’re going to hear John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, both discuss and read from one of the most remarkable poems ever written… Download the show as mp3 […]

Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street – Mahfouz

It’s our last discussion for a while with John Simopoulos and again, we’re focusing on our series entitled Books That Matter. Galsworthy and Proust? Not worthy to hold a candle to today’s featured author, Mahfouz – says John.  Naguib Mahfouz was an Egyptian novelist who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature, and is regarded […]

The First Trilogy – Joyce Cary

John Simopoulos is back today with another in our series of  Books That Matter to tell us about an author who John knew personally: Joyce Cary. “By the end of his life”, wrote Brad Leithauser in the New York Review of Books, “Cary’s confident and fluent books received a critical and popular success, yet the […]

No Name – Wilkie Collins

John Simopoulos is back today with another in our occasional series of Books That Matter to propose that you spend a little time with “No Name” by English novelist, playwright, and author  – Wilkie Collins.  Written in the early 1860s, between “The Woman in White” and “The Moonstone”, “No Name” was rejected as immoral by […]

If This Is a Man – Primo Levi

Another in our occasional series of Books That Matter today, courtesy of Oxford don John Simopoulos. “If This Is a Man” by Primo Levi tells of his own experience of the Holocaust.  “His tone throughout the memoir is dry-eyed and understated”, wrote the Sunday Telegraph, “he makes few references to himself, and they are rarely […]

Death Comes for the Archbishop

“The greatest American novelist of the 20th century” says Oxford don John Simopoulos of Willa Cather, the author who grew up in Nebraska and is best known for her depictions of frontier life.  John recommends Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) “nothing short of magical” he says, and when John says that, you can take […]

The Voices of Marrakesh – Elias Canetti

We’re back with another in our occasional summer series of Books That Matter, chosen and discussed by John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees of St Catherine’s College, Oxford.   Today, we’re talking about “a sublime monster”, as John describes him – Elias Canetti, the Bulgarian-born novelist who wrote in German and won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  […]

Remnants of a Quiet Life

John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees of St Catherine’s College, Oxford, is with us again today in an occasional but delightful series we’re running this summer that we’re calling “Books That Matter”.   Featuring books and authors you may not necessarily have come across, but which will amply repay your attention.  Today, we present Remnants of a […]

The Lessons of Haggis

To conclude our week’s worth of all-time great reads, selected by John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, we end on a note of sublime levity: today’s’s featured author is Beachcomber (J.B. Morton) – an English columnist and essayist of exquisite humour…  “and I can say that with the authority of one […]

Austerlitz

“The most amazing single book that I know.”  The words of John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, talking about today’s featured book – W. G. Sebald‘s Austerlitz – rare praise indeed and an exceptional recommendation. In today’s Write Report, Donna brings us news of the year’s first case of plagiarism… and […]

The Blue Flower

John Simopoulos is here again to talk about his personal all-time favorite reads – today’s featured author is Penelope Fitzgerald, and John’s recommendations are The Blue Flower and The Beginning of Spring. In today’s Write Report, Donna brings news of the real Robinson Crusoe… and Wayne State University has opened a website to preserve threatened […]

As Good As Tolstoy

We continue our new year list of once-in-a-lifetime “must-read” books, as recommended by John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. Today’s featured work is a South American trilogy by Louis de Bernieres: The War of Don Emmanuels Nether Parts / Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord / The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal […]

A Time of Gifts – Patrick Leigh Fermor

To kick off the new year, we have some truly stunning “must-read” book  recommendations for you – there’s no better way to profitably use up those book tokens – from the eminent John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees at St Catherine’s College, Oxford.  Today’s featured book is A Time of Gifts:  On Foot to Constantinople – […]