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Below are three recent stories from Today in Literature; just click through to read them in full. The introduction to all 500 stories in our archive is available to all through our list of authors, but you must be a Premium Subscriber in order to have access to the stories themselves.
 


November 14 Moby-Dick "So Much Trash" [premium membership required]
  On this day in 1851 Herman Melville's Moby-Dick was published in the United States. The British edition had been published the previous month, with a botched ending; the American edition corrected this, but even if the American reviewers read to the end they sided with the British: "...so much trash belonging to the worst school of Bedlam literature." Many see the book's reception as a turning-point in Melville's life.
November 13 Coleridge, Mariner, Albatross [premium membership required]
  On this day in 1797 William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge began a several days' walk in the Quantock Hills of Somerset, during which they would conceive "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." The original goal was a gothic pot-boiler to help pay for their vacation; left in Coleridge's hands, the tale evolved from a quick money-maker to a consuming, five-months' labor, within which lay many of his philosophical and psychological concerns.
November 12 Roethke, Sick and Well [premium membership required]
  On this day in 1935, the poet Theodore Roethke was hospitalized for a manic-depressive breakdown, the first of many he would endure. Whatever the causes of his mental problems, Roethke's biographers say that he kept working with characteristic intensity even when ill; one of his psychiatrists said, "I think his troubles were merely the running expenses he paid for being his kind of poet."

December 15, 2017
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