Posts Categorized: 100 things

First Lines: The Mists of Avalon

Marian Bradley Zimmer’s The Mists of Avalon re-imagines the legendary tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Only, it doesn’t focus on Arthur and his knights. No, in this version, it’s the womenfolk who play the lead. While in most versions of the Arthurian lore women like Gwenhwyfar, Morgaine/Morgan le Fey… Read more »

First Lines: If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller

Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler is very meta and a very post-modern novel. Or so I’m told. It’s a book about books: about reading them, and about writing them. While I was compiling my list of 40 books to read before my 40th birthday I was searching for the ‘classics’, books… Read more »

First Lines: Het achterhuis

The reason why I put Anne Frank’s diary on my list of forty books to read before my fortieth birthday is quite simple: it’s probably the most important Dutch book from the last century. As such, there’s absolutely nothing left to be said about it. It is what it is: the diary of a young,… Read more »

First Lines: The Hero with a Thousand Faces

The monomyth or hero’s journey is the pattern that underlies most, if not all, myths, folk and/or fairy tales that have been told since the dawn of mankind, and was first described in The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. It goes a little bit like this: a hero ventures forth from the… Read more »