From print to screen

Would you read a book if you’ve already seen the film that was based on it, and vice versa?

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Hans Fallada: Alone in Berlin

Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada was first published as Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone) in 1947. The novel has since been translated by Michael Hofmann from the German into English. The story revolves around Otto and Anna Quangel, who are introduced at the beginning as an ordinary couple in Berlin…

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Reading and watching Lolita

I read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov for the first time this summer. Shortly after, I watched the 1962 film adaptation directed by Stanley Kubrick with the screenplay written by Nabokov. Not surprisingly, reading Lolita and watching Stanley Kubrick’s take of the novel left me with different impressions of the convoluted tale. In both versions, the…

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Natsume Sōseki: Botchan

“I don’t care about my career. To do my duty by a friend is first and last.” ~ Botchan This statement exemplifies the righteousness and fierce loyalty of Botchan, the protagonist of the eponymous book by Natsume Sōseki. Botchan means “boy master”, an affectionate name given to him by his family’s elderly servant, Kiyo. He…

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Natsume Sōseki: Kokoro

Kokoro こころ: the heart of things Published in 1914 in Japanese, Kokoro is widely regarded as Natsume Sōseki’s masterpiece. Edwin McClellan, who translated the novel in 1957, wrote in the foreword that he found the above definition to be the most befitting. The novel starts on an unassuming tone – a young and unidentified student…

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Italo Calvino: Invisible Cities

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino is a remarkable book. Originally published in 1972 in Italian as Le città invisibili, this is an unusual piece of literary work. It reads like a series of vignettes where imaginary dialogues between Marco Polo and the all-powerful Kublai Khan are interspersed with evocative descriptions of cities that the former…

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