Welcome! We created Lolo:Lit in honor of the pursuit of intellectual growth and stimulation. For us, it began with an incredible lecture in a crowded university classroom that added unexpected dimension and insight to a classic story; now this is our serious endeavor to continue the kind of discussion that gives voice to all the possibility lying within prose and poetry. We want to share with each other and with you the opportunity to read and find enlightenment through an evolving perspective. Enjoy!

“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”

Ambrose Bierce

First Publication: 1890, The San Francisco Examiner

Summary

Set during the American Civil War, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is the story of Peyton Farquhar, a Confederate sympathizer condemned to death by hanging from Owl Creek Bridge. (Wikipedia)

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“Our Bog Is Dood”

Stevie Smith

From the Collection: Harold’s Leap

First Publication: 1950, Cape Publishing

About the Poet

Stevie Smith wrote poems about everything—hats, children, death, theology, marriage, political and social issues, suicide, nature, history, her own autobiography, friends, foes, and animals (especially cats)—and she wrote them in an inimitable way. She is delightfully deceitful: echoes from a wide range of poetic literature shimmer elusively; themes that at first seem simple, almost child-like, cut knife-edge deep to serious concerns; her metrics, her inner rhymes and assonances, her mischievous throw-away lines are sly in their subtle control; her humor–and certainly she is funny–is a coin with a dark side. (New Selected Poems of Stevie Smith, New Directions Publishing.)

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A Month in the Country

J.L. Carr

First Publication: 1980, Harvster Press

This Edition Publication: 2000, The New York Review of Books

Awarded Guardian Prize for Fiction: 1980

Summary

In J.L. Carr’s deeply charged poetic novel, Tom Birkin, a veteran of the Great War and a broken marriage, arrives in the remote Yorkshire village of Oxgodby to restore a recently discovered medieval mural in the local church. Living in the bell tower, surrounded by the resplendent countryside of high summer, and laboring each day to uncover an anonymous painter’s extraordinary depiction of the apocalypse, Birkin finds that he himself has been restored to a new, and hopeful, attachment to life. But summer ends, and with the work done, Birkin must leave. Now, long after, as he reflects on the passage of time and the power of art, he finds in his memories some consolation for all that has been lost. (A Month in the Country, New York Review of Books.)

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“Il Penseroso” and “L’Allegro”

John Milton

From the Collection: The Poems of Mr. John Milton both English and Latin

First Publication: 1645, Unknown Publisher

About the Poet

Born in 1608 in London, John Milton entered Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1625. He is said to have been very studious but also showed a natural rebellious side given his very inquisitive and strong mind.

Married a third time after the death of his first two wives and surviving two of his children, Milton was no stranger to hardship. Perhaps one of his greatest challenges was the  almost total loss of his eyesight by 1652. Despite these challenges, Milton was  a force to be reckoned with and continued writing without any injury to his spirited intelligence.  In 1659 Milton published A Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes and in early 1660, The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth.  These two publications forced him into retirement during the Restoration, and by mid 1660 he endured a few months in jail before his pardon by Parliament. By 1667 his masterpiece, Paradise Lost, was ready for publication. He continued writing until his death in 1674. His amazing achievements have been highly regarded for three centuries, and to this day remain part of a strong literary foundation. (John Milton: Complete Poems and Major Prose, Hackett Publishing.)

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Dix heures et demie du soir en ete/10:30 on a Summer Night

Marguerite Duras

Translated from the French by: Anne Borchardt

First Publication: 1960, Librairie Gallimard

This Edition Publication: 1962, Grove Press, Inc.

Summary

Protagonist Maria, her husband Pierre, their daughter Judith, and the couple’s mutual friend, Claire, are vacationing in Spain for the summer. During a ferocious thunderstorm, they stop for shelter in a small country town en route to Madrid, and quickly learn of the impassioned murder committed just hours before their arrival. Town resident Rodrigo Paestra killed his young wife and her lover upon discovering their affair—and the town is abuzz with it. Throughout the cafes and hotels, the sidewalks and squares, people chatter about Rodrigo with a mix of anger and sympathy, and the more Maria hears of the story, the more she finds herself relating to the killer.

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“The Mower against Gardens”

Andrew Marvell

From the Collection: Miscellaneous Poems

First Publication: 1681, Robert Boulter

About the Poet

Andrew Marvell was born in 1621. The son of a clergyman, he was educated at Hull Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge, he converted to Catholicism for a brief period and moved to London, where he was found by his father and was persuaded to return to his studies. He left Cambridge in 1641 and spent much of the next ten years traveling abroad. In 1650 he became tutor to Lord Fairfax’s daughter Mary and lived in their house in Nun Appleton, Yorkshire. Most of his lyric poetry is thought to date from this period, including Upon Appleton House.

Although he is now most famous for his poetry, very few of his poems were published during his lifetime. He was MP for Hull from 1659 until his death and was renowned for his political pamphlets and satires. His most famous pamphlet, The Rehearsal Transposed, was an attack on Samuel Parker, Archdeacon of Canterbury; it was so controversial that his life was threatened, and when he died suddenly in August 1678 there were rumors that he had been poisoned—these proved to be groundless. (The Complete Poems: Andrew Marvell, Penguin Classics.)

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The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story

Horace Walpole

First Publication: 1764, Thomas Lownds of Fleet Street, London

This Edition Publication: 1998, Oxford University Press

Summary

The Castle of Otranto has the prestige of being the first true ‘Gothic’ novel; it deals heavily with religion, prophecy, ghostly encounters, nobility and rightful bloodlines, and romance. The novel opens with Manfred, prince of the territory of Otranto in southern Italy, who is on the verge of becoming a very happy man: his teenage son Conrad is about to wed a neighboring noble’s daughter, the beautiful Isabella. However, just before the couple walks down the aisle, a horrific and puzzling accident occurs: a large knight’s helmet plummets inexplicably from the sky and instantaneously kills Conrad. This bizarre happenstance marks the beginning of a series of haunting and twisted events that seem more and more to fulfill the ominous prophecy attached to the castle: ‘That the castle and lordship of Otranto should pass from the present family, whenever the real owner should be grown too large to inhabit it.’

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“Goblin Market”

Christina Rossetti

From the Collection: Goblin Market and Other Poems

First Publication: 1862, London and Cambridge Macmillan and Co.

About the Poet

Christina Georgina Rossetti lived from 1830-1894 in England. She was the youngest child in the Rossetti family. Her father was an exiled Italian patriot who wrote poetry and commentaries on Dante that tried to find evidence in his poems of mysterious ancient conspiracies; her mother was an Anglo-Italian who had worked as a governess. Their household was a lively gathering place for Italian exiles, full of conversation of politics and culture; and Christina, like her brothers Dante Gabriel and William Michael, was encouraged to develop an early love for art and literature and to draw and write poetry from a very early age. When she was an adolescent, her life changed dramatically: her father became a permanent invalid, the family’s economic situation worsened, and her own health deteriorated. Subsequently she, her mother, and her sister became intensely involved with the Anglo-Catholic movement within the Church of England. For the rest of her life, Rossetti governed herself by strict religious principles, giving up theater, opera, and chess; on two occasions she canceled plans for marriage because of religious scruples, breaking her first engagement when her fiance reverted to Roman Catholicism and ultimately refusing to marry a second suitor because he seemed insufficiently concerned with religion. She lived a quiet life, occupying herself with charitable work—including ten years of volunteer service at a penitentiary for fallen women—with caring for her family, and with writing poetry. (Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Victorian Age)

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L’ Etranger/The Stranger

Albert Camus

Translated from the French by: Stuart Gilbert/Matthew Ward

First Publication: 1942, Librairie Gallimard

This Edition Publication: 1954/1989, Vintage Books

Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature: 1957

Summary

Narrated in the first-person by the protagonist, The Stranger chronicles an incident in the life of an emotionless man—a violent crime committed for no apparent reason—and his thoughts before, during, and after.

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“Great Measures”

Linda Hogan

From the Collection: The Book of Medicines

First Publication: 1993, Coffee House Press

National Book Critics’ Circle Award Finalist: 1994

About the Poet

Linda Hogan was born in 1947. As a writer she works within both prose and poetry. She is half Chickasaw Native American and she is well-known as a significant contributor to contemporary Native American literature. She has received numerous awards and praise for her style and subjects.

Native American people are often thought of as romanticized history. However, there is a thriving community of Native American culture that still contributes to both the present and the future of human life.

One of the most interesting aspects of this choice is that it reflects our passion for stories that are not shared often enough. We very rarely hear or read work from contemporary Native American authors; yet, it is because of writers like Linda Hogan, combined with the efforts and dedication of the Native American tribes, that this culture is not left in the past. This is the power of stories both told and read. They keep alive a history, a present, and a future.

Visit: http://www.enotes.com/poetry-criticism/hogan-linda for more information about Linda Hogan and her writing.

Visit: www.chickasaw.net for information on the Chickasaw Tribe.

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