Saturday, 1 August 2015


"In August, the large masses of berries, which, when in flower, had attracted many wild bees, gradually assumed their bright velvety crimson hue, and by their weight again bent down and broke their tender limbs."
Henry David Thoreau

Friday, 31 July 2015


Here you can read this beautiful, entertaining, thrilling, touching, bold, tragic, unforgettable book about love and death whose teenage protagonists make us think over the meaning of true love. 

Here you can find a detailed analysis of this heartbreaking novel.
Teaching notes for John Green's novels are available for download here.

Thursday, 30 July 2015


Emily Brontë   was born  in Thornton, Yorkshire, England   on 30 July 1818.  She produced only  one novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), a highly imaginative novel of passion and hate set on the Yorkshire moors, which  is considered one of the greatest novels in the history of literature.
Click here to learn everything about Emily Brontë and her single novel. 
Here you can find my previous post on Wuthering Heights. 


Sunday, 26 July 2015


When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
Ernest Hemingway

The public's acquaintance with the personal life of Ernest Hemingway was perhaps greater than with any other modern novelist. He was well known as a sportsman and "bon vivant" ..He became a legendary figure, wrote John W. Aldridge, "a kind of twentieth-century Lord Byron; and like Byron, he had learned to play himself, his own best hero, with superb conviction. He was Hemingway of the rugged outdoor grin and the hairy chest posing beside a marlin he had just landed or a lion he had just shot; he was Tarzan Hemingway, crouching in the African bush with elephant gun at ready, Bwana Hemingway commanding his native bearers in terse Swahili; he was War Correspondent Hemingway writing a play in the Hotel Florida in Madrid while thirty Fascist shells crashed through the roof; later on he was Task Force Hemingway swathed in ammunition belts and defending his post single-handed against fierce German attacks." 
Continue reading here.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


Click here to listen to W. B. Yeats's beautiful poem. Here you can find a detailed analysis of it.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


"Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit."
Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, 20 June 2015


Last Thursday my students of  5^C Liceo Linguistico took an English test on the day of their II Prova Scritta.
It included a text analysis and a composition, but they could choose among four different articles. I must admit that all of them were quite interesting and understandable.
Here you can download them. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


James Joyce called Dublin the "center of paralysis," and complained in a letter: "How sick, sick, sick I am of Dublin! It is the city of failure, of rancor and of unhappiness. I long to be out of it." (22 August 1909)
He spent the last thirty years of his life in exile, settling for periods in Trieste, Rome, Zurich, Paris—anywhere but Dublin.
It is a much remarked-upon irony that his masterpiece Ulysses is not only set in Dublin, but never allows us to forget it. The novel recounts the hour-by-hour events of one day in Dublin—June 16, 1904—as an ordinary Dubliner, Leopold Bloom, wends his way through the urban landscape, the odyssey of a modern-day Ulysses.
Streets, shops, pubs, churches, bridges—something of Dublin pops up on nearly every page. The city is always in our peripheral vision no matter how notoriously impenetrable Joyce's prose becomes.
Bloomsday—June 16th—is an annual celebration among Joyce fans throughout the world. It is celebrated in at least sixty countries worldwide, but nowhere so imaginatively, of course, as in Dublin. There the events of Leopold Bloom's day are reenacted by anyone who cares to participate, and his itinerary is followed all across Dublin.
At lunchtime it's traditional to stop off for a glass of burgundy and a Gorgonzola sandwich at Davy Byrne's Pub on Duke Street, just as Bloom did. In the afternoon the Ormond Hotel is the spot for an afternoon pint, where Bloom was tempted by the barmaids in the Sirens chapter.
Bloomsday celebrations also feature readings of Ulysses, James Joyce lookalike contests, various other semi-literary activities, and a good excuse for hoisting a few Guinnesses. In the eyes of many, it's easier and a lot more fun than trying to work your way through Ulysses.

Here you can discover everything about Bloomsday!

Monday, 15 June 2015


Read here and here about the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta which was signed at Runnymede by King John to resolve a political crisis he faced with his barons