‘The Death of the Author’ is an influential 1968 essay by the French literary theorist Roland Barthes. But what does Barthes mean by ‘the death of the author’? This important short essay was crucial in the development of poststructuralist literary theory in the 1970s and 1980s, as many English departments, […]
‘A Defence of Poetry’ is an essay written by the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822). One of the most important prose works of the Romantic era, and a valuable document concerning Shelley’s own poetic approach, the essay is deserving of closer analysis and engagement.
‘The Prevention of Literature’ is perhaps George Orwell’s most famous essay defending freedom of expression. Published in January 1946 in Polemic, the essay sees Orwell calling upon intellectuals of all backgrounds and disciplines to stand up against literary censorship of various kinds.
‘Reflections on Vers Libre’ is a 1917 essay by T. S. Eliot. Perhaps surprisingly, the essay begins with Eliot claiming that vers libre doesn’t exist, for reasons that Eliot goes on to outline in the course of the essay. You can read some of ‘Reflections on Vers Libre’ here before […]
‘Inside the Whale’ is a long essay by George Orwell (1903-50), published in 1940. The title of Orwell’s essay refers to the biblical Book of Jonah, in which the prophet Jonah is swallowed by a great fish (although, as Orwell notes, received wisdom tends to substitute ‘whale’ for ‘fish’).