The Child of the Revolution – Napoleon

“I was born when my country was dying. Thirty thousand Frenchmen disgorged upon our shores, drowning the throne of liberty in a sea of blood – such was the hateful spectacle that offended my infant eyes.” Napoleon was hardly 20 in 1789 – the year the French Revolution broke out. Napoleon always maintained that he…

The Count of Monte Cristo Book Review

An epic story about revenge, an all time classic, and with movie adaptations to its name – Alexandre Dumas’s “the Count of Monte Cristo”. The story is about just deserts of malignant envy on one hand, and of the lust for vengeance on the other, which in the book manifests itself as an all consuming sickness…

Michelangelo

Understood by none, imitated by all, Michelangelo was charged with severing all real connections with the art of his time. But it was this passionate solitude that defined the genius of his work. This explained why Raphael left him unimpressed. He held Raphael to be in direct contrast to himself, and said his talent was…

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Book Review

Words fail me. Wilde says art is impersonal, and no more is his art impersonal than in his only novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. You need to have the faculties of Oscar Wilde to compartmentalize his own philosophies and put them aside to write a novel about a beautiful youth who sells his soul…

The Travels of Marco Polo

Italian merchant and adventurer Marco Polo’s account of his travels throughout Asia in the late thirteenth century served as the chief Renaissance source of information about the East. I earlier wrote about Shakespeare who explored the realm of human behavior. Like him, Marco Polo was an explorer of the realm of space and mind as…

Shakespeare Reigns Supreme By Sara Aziz

Shakespeare never bothered being original, and was in fact one of the greatest literary plagiarists. Plagiarism was customary in his time, and he borrowed and reshaped freely. Plots of his own invention are rare, most being based on other popular works or translations. And yet, his superiority and universality endure. He was superior because of…

Hitler Conquered Germany First By Sara Aziz

Nazi ideology was Hitler’s demented brainchild and he started it all. Equally undeniable is the fact that Mein Kampf wasn’t just woven out of thin air. Hitler had an agenda and he had the unequivocal fervent support of 90% of the German populace. But for the sake of the Jew hidden in the Book Thief’s…

The Importance of Being Earnest Review by Sara Aziz

Delightful and sinfully entertaining. Shameless and beguiling, Oscar Wilde is at his best in what many consider to be one of the most popular plays of all times. Set in Victorian England, two friends, Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, use the same pseudonym “Ernest” for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues. Jack Worthing, a man of…

Persuasion by Jane Austen Review by Sara Aziz

Isn’t a mind that is bendable to voices of rationality, whether from within or without, infinitely preferable to a mind bent against every persuasion. Is a supple mind inconstant or fickle, or is it forgivable. Is it always possible to let bygones be bygones and move ahead leaving everything behind to start a life with…

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen Book Review by Sara Aziz

Austen proves that you do not need swashbuckling adventure, riproaring romance, thrilling suspense, and heart-rending pathos to furnish a novel to be a viable player in the literary marketplace. Monotony and predictable trivialities can be just as entertaining, granted a prodigious dose of spark and style that is typical to Jane Austen. Published in 1814,…

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen Book Review by Sara Aziz

Jane Austen reveals herself anew with a class act of hilarity with her critique par excellence “Northanger Abbey”. She doesn’t miss a beat. Either it’s the age old war between the two sexes, inclination or averseness to books, the woes of the delicacy of sprig muslin, choicest hues of hats, the tedious business of partner…

The Jane Austen Impressions & Pursuit of Dreams

Jane Austen is celebrated for her insistence on rational conduct and search for truth at a time when Europe was in the throes of Napoleonic wars and the Romantic Movement. You can almost picture Jane Austen through her novels. Imagine a wiseacre, sharp-tongued relative sitting in a corner of the room observing the rest of the occupants of the room, with a keen eye and quick perception, whispering now and then to a nearby acquaintance of the probability of a visiting lord’s possible nuptials, or the ramifications of a second cousin being disinherited.