Extraordinary People and Civil Disobedience: Fyodor Dostoyevsky

In my previous blogpost, discussing Thoreau's notion of Civil Disobedience, I argued that crime is often warranted when movements for change identify injustices in the existing order of society. Thoreau was speaking about slavery; last week I focused on Rosa Parks and the toppling of a statue of Edward Colston [...]

Extraordinary People and Civil Disobedience: Henry David Thoreau

Speaking in regard to the toppling of a statue of Edward Colston during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, Labour politician David Lammy recently said, in an interview with GMB, that, "those young people who brought that statue down knew they would be facing the law, but that's [...]

Keith Waterhouse: ‘Billy Liar’

I first heard about 'Billy Liar' while watching a BBC Documentary on iPlayer. It was from a series called 'Novels That Shaped Our World' -- a three-part series covering the history of literature from different perspectives (gender, race, and class). 'Billy Liar' fits into the class category, concerned, in particular, with […]

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: ‘The Rocking Chair’

The ‘gotcha!’ moment can make or break a ghost story. You can’t cheat the reader, you can’t make it too obvious, you can’t have it too early. In her story ‘The Rocking Chair’, Gilman toys with the idea of a ‘gotcha’ moment by having two protagonists constantly try to catch […]

Franz Kafka: ‘The Men Running Past’

My first encounter with Kafka, as is the case for many people, was in Metamorphosis, in which Gregor Samsa awakes one morning to find himself transformed into a cockroach. Later, I read the short story 'The Hunger Artist', and then The Trial, the former concerned with the titular character's pain-staking […]