Author: Rebecca Duncan

Intellectual Snobbery? – Limiting the Brontës to the world of classic literature

It is the classic dichotomy; old vs young, tradition vs innovation, the classical vs the modern.  This particular debate is one seen again and again and again within literature and is one which has plagued the Brontë Society for a number of years. Now recent events have seen the clash of ideals amongst the governors of one of the world’s oldest and influential literary societies brought to light and straight into the public eye. Nick Holland, Brontë expert and author, has resigned as a member of the society due to the appointment of Lily Cole, actress, social activist, and...

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Culturised’s Top Literature Picks of 2017

At the start of 2017 when I chose a selection of books to look out for in 2017, it was difficult to know what the year would have in store.  Some of those predictions were fairly accurate, but others in the literary – as well as the wider – world could not be anticipated. When Philip Pullman announced in February that he would be publishing a new trilogy set in the His Dark Materials universe, bookworms the world over squealed with excitement, and the release of the first novel in the trilogy was arguably the biggest literary event of...

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Man Booker Prize 2017: The Personal and the Politicial in Sebastian Barry’s ‘Days Without End’

In its almost fifty-year history, the Man Booker Prize has never failed to get people talking, with its recipient being destined for success and reputation whilst its critics make no effort to hold back in their public judgement. In 2017 when news spreads across the world – even the universe – in a matter of minutes, anyone can become a social commentator online, and politics seems to be heading further and further towards the extreme, the idea that the personal is political still rings true. Therefore, for a literary prize that has been deemed to be too political for...

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The David Hockney Gallery at Cartwright Hall: An Artist Back Home

“I used to love going to Cartwright Hall as a kid, it was the only place in Bradford I could see real paintings.” – David Hockney[1] In his eightieth birthday year, a new permanent David Hockney gallery has opened in the artist’s hometown of Bradford. Cartwright Hall, located just outside the city centre in the picturesque setting of Lister Park, is something of a hidden gem within the former industrial powerhouse city. Hockney himself frequented the gallery as a youngster, thus it seems fitting that the site of his artistic inspiration finally houses a permanent collection of his works....

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From Stage to Page: Rosie Wilby’s ‘Is Monogamy Dead’

For a number of years now, Rosie Wilby has made her name on the comedy circuit for bringing warmth and personality to her shows, as well as being truly thought-provoking. She is a firm believer in tackling difficult issues through the medium of comedy, and now she has used the same approach in her first non-fiction book. We here at culturised talked to her about the experience of becoming both performer and author and why she chose to textualise the ideas expressed in her stage show. Is Monogamy Dead? places itself among a trilogy of Wilby’s latest solo comedy...

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Choosing a Book in the Twenty-First Century

“Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it” – Jeanette Winterson[1]   Most bookworms know that it is almost impossible to walk into a bookshop without wanting to buy every single one because the thought of missing out on any of them is almost unbearable. Working at a literature festival means I’m always hearing about new books to read, whether it’s my director telling me about an epic Punjabi poem that hardly anyone in Britain has ever heard of, or...

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Camus, Dylan, and the Nobel Prize: Writers in the Spotlight

2017 marks the sixtieth anniversary of Albert Camus being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. At forty-six years of age, he was one of the youngest ever recipients of the award and also the first African-born writer to win the prestigious gong. Arranged by Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist Alfred Nobel in his will, and first conferred in 1901, the prize is awarded to a writer who has produced “in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”,[1] with other prizes being awarded to outstanding figures in different fields such as medicine and...

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Antigone in Derry: Performance, Resistance, and the “colonized Irish son”

It is well known amongst literary critics that Irish literature, both in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland, has a long-running relationship with ancient Greek drama.  As W. H. Auden stated, “Each nation […] fashion[s] a classical Greece in its own image”.[1]  One of the clearest and best-known examples of this is Tom Paulin’s 1984 drama The Riot Act: A Version of Antigone by Sophocles, written for performance by the Field Day Theatre Company in Derry, Northern Ireland.  The play is one of four re-workings of the Antigone myth to be produced in Ireland in 1984, at...

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