Literature

Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury was born on this day in 1920. While now heralded as one of the best science fiction writers ever, Bradbury initially struggled to get stories published. Below, he talks about his early years and writing through rejection. Image via Shutterstock.

From the Stacks: “Realism in France”

March 21, 1923

Honoré de Balzac, the great giant of French Realism, died 163 years ago today. In his honor, an assessment of the importance of realism in French literature, as originally published in The New Republic.

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From the Stacks: “Ulysses”

July 5, 1922

On August 16, 1922, Virginia Woolf penned a passage in her diary panning James Joyce's Ulysses. But New Republic editor Edmund Wilson would have disagreed with her—he, instead, praised it as a "work of high genius." In memoriam of Woolf's legendary take-down, a reprint of Wilson's original review.

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In 1936, Thomas Mann finally broke his silence on a new, Nazi Germany. Here, The New Republic editors' original statement in support of Mann's bold choice.

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All summer I've been manacled to my desk writing a book about a former friend of mine, the impostor and convicted killer known to the world and the media as Clark Rockefeller. For almost ten years, between 1998 and 2008, when he kidnapped his noncustodial daughter and was unmasked as a German national, Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, and a suspect in a gruesome cold-case murder dating back to 1985, I took "Clark" at face value—his own inflated face value.

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From the Stacks: “A Girl in Winter”

November 20, 1976

Philip Larkin would have been 91 today. In his honor, Joyce Carol Oates's review of his second novel, as originally published in The New Republic.

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On the anniversary of Guy de Maupassant's birth in 1850, The New Republic's 1926 review of two books chronicling his life: Guy de Maupassant, A Biographical Study, by Ernest Boyd, and The Life, Work and Evil Fate of Guy de Maupassant, by Richard Harborough Sherard.

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Joseph Conrad died 89 years ago today. In his honor, we present to you Granville Hick's reflection on the importance of Conrad's work, as originally published in The New Republic.

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On the 89th anniversary of James Baldwin's birth, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on what Baldwin can and can't teach America.

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Herman Melville, the celebrated author behind Moby-Dick, would have been 194 today. In his honor, we bring you an essay by Lewis Mumford—a legend in his own right—on Melville's philosophy and outlook. 

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