Lawrence Lessig - "a brilliant agile mind - absolutely extraordinarily prolific writer and speaker and above all an advocate for all the right things"
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The novel follows Chichikov, an unscrupulous young gentleman of a middle social class who is determined to make his fortune. He plans to buy the title to serfs that have died since the last census. The owners should be agreeable as they are still paying tax on the dead 'souls'. Nabakov described Gogol as a great writer whose prose style combined superb descriptive power with a disregard for novelistic clichés. In this most unusual work Gogol combines devastating satire and beautifully rendered characters to create an enduring masterpiece.
In Dialogues Hume explores the question 'What can we infer about the nature of God using reason?' using a dialogue between three characters. All believe in the existence of God but disagree on his nature and relationship with mankind. These issues and augments are still at the centre of debate and conflict today. For example, Hume explores the issue of an Intelligent Designer and the argument from design that is convulsing the US school system.
Don Quixote's imagination has been captured by tales of chivalry, to the point where he becomes quite mad and believes that he is a knight errant. Together with his sidekick Sancho Panza, and filled with misguided chivalric impulses, he embarks on travel and adventure. Don Quixote is a humorous parody of chivalric romance literature. Its characters and language have become widely entrenched in western language and literature. Groundbreaking and influential, it is considered by many to be one of the greatest books of all time.
Good and evil. Everybody has both these aspects within them thinks Dr. Jekyll who sets about creating a potion that turns him increasingly into evil. Adopting the evil persona of Edward Hyde, he indulges in a double life until it finally takes its toll ... Robert Louis Stevenson horrifies through the ages. Great reading.
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