Five Fascinating Facts about The Great Gatsby

Interesting Literature

Fun facts about The Great Gatsby and its author, F. Scott Fitzgerald

1. The Great Gatsby sold no more than 25,000 copies in Fitzgerald’s lifetime. It has now sold over 25 million copies. Fitzgerald’s second novel, The Great Gatsby was first published in 1925. It is narrated by Nick Carraway, a Yale graduate and WWI veteran who goes to live on Long Island, next door to Jay Gatsby, a rich tycoon known for throwing parties. The novel’s evocation of 1920s America and its critique of the American Dream has helped to ensure its place among the great American novels, but it was outsold at the time by This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald’s first novel, published in 1920.

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Five Fascinating Facts about J. D. Salinger

Interesting Literature

Five fun facts from the biography of J. D. Salinger and The Catcher in the Rye

1. At high school, J. D. Salinger was so fond of acting that he signed the yearbook with the names of the roles he’d performed. His father, however, didn’t want Salinger Jr. to go into acting, and he went to New York University for a year before dropping out. Somewhat aimless, he worked for a short time in Europe as an importer/exporter in the ham trade – an experience which converted him to vegetarianism. He had taken the job at the behest of his father.

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27 Interesting Facts about Words

Interesting Literature

Fun facts about words and the English language

The stuff of literature is, of course, words. As Samuel Taylor Coleridge observed, ‘Prose = words in their best order; – poetry = the best words in the best order.’ In this post, we’ve gathered up 27 of the best facts about words that we’ve unearthed since beginning this blog a couple of years ago. Where necessary, we’ve provided a link to further information.

If you enjoy these facts, you might also like our favourite facts about books.

The word ‘onomatomania’ means ‘intense mental anguish at the inability to recall some word or to name a thing’.

A ‘dysphemism’ is an unpleasant or derogatory word or expression substituted for a pleasant or inoffensive one; the opposite of a euphemism.

Though of uncertain origin, the word ‘bad’ may stem from the Old English ‘bæddel’ meaning ‘hermaphrodite’ or ‘effeminate or homosexual man’.

The…

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Interesting Facts about The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Interesting Literature

Curious trivia about the classic L. Frank Baum novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its afterlife

Surprisingly, the famous 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz was not the first time L. Frank Baum’s book had been adapted. It wasn’t even the second. In fact, the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz was the eighth film adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s original novel: it had already been filmed in 1910, 1914 (three times), 1925, 1932, and 1933, before the lavish movie starring Judy Garland was produced. Despite garnering positive reviews from critics, the 1939 film did poorly at the box office, despite its innovative use of Technicolour. How things have changed. It is now reckoned to be the most-watched film of all time. Salman Rushdie acknowledged the film as his first literary influence: ‘When I first saw The Wizard of Oz it made a writer of me.’

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Five Fascinating Facts about Peter Pan

Interesting Literature

Fun facts about Peter Pan and his creator, J. M. Barrie

1. Peter Pan first appeared in a novel for adults. The boy who wouldn’t grow up made his debut, ironically, in a book for adults, a little-known 1902 novel called The Little White Bird. However, it was the stage play Barrie produced two years later which really brought the character to a wider audience, and Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up was a huge hit in theatres in 1904. ‘The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up’ wasn’t Barrie’s first choice of subtitle for the book: among the others he considered was ‘The Boy Who Hated Mothers’, but his publisher disliked this suggestion. All royalties from productions of the play go towards helping children at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, after Barrie gave them the rights in 1929.

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10 Rare But Useful Words Everyone Should Know

Interesting Literature

Is there a word for that? Here are ten of the best useful rare words in the English language

Ever caught yourself thinking, ‘There should be a word for that. Is there a word for that?’ We’re here to help. In this new post, we’ve gathered up ten useful words which should be better known, but aren’t. Many of them, of course, have literary origins or histories, which we’ll mention and discuss as we go.

UHTCEARE: This highly useful word means ‘lying awake before dawn worrying’. It appears in the Anglo-Saxon poem ‘The Wife’s Lament’, and has recently become more widely known thanks to Mark Forsyth, who includes it in his book The Horologicon.

QUAKE-BUTTOCK: This is another term for a coward, and appears in the plays of seventeenth-century playwrights Beaumont and Fletcher. We reckon it should be revived.

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