Suspiria de Profundis

Suspiria de Profundis

Thomas De Quincey

Considered by some to be the ‘supreme prose fantasy of English literature’, Suspiria de Profundis (‘sighs from the depths’) is a collection of short essays in psychological fantasy. Includes; The Affliction of Childhood; The Palimpsest of the Human Brain; Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow; The Apparition of The Brocken; and, Savannah-la-Mar.

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Modern Essays

Modern Essays

Various

From the Preface: ‘I have, to be frank, a secret ambition that a book of this sort may even be used as a small but useful weapon in the classroom. I wanted to bring it home to the student that as brilliant and sincere work is being done to-day in the essay as in any period of our literature. Accordingly the pieces reprinted here are very diverse. There is the grand manner; there is foolery; there is straightforward literary criticism…

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The Gods

The Gods

Robert G. Ingersoll

An honest god is the noblest work of man. Each nation has created a god, and the god has always resembled his creators. He hated and loved what they hated and loved, and he was invariably found on the side of those in power. Each god was intensely patriotic, and detested all nations but his own. All these Gods demanded praise, flattery…

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Write It Right

Write It Right

Ambrose Bierce

Several hundred of Bierce’s pet peeves. Bierce’s list includes some distinctions still familiar today. The which-that rule, less vs. fewer, lie and lay – but it also abounds in now-forgotten shibboleths: Ovation, the critics of his time agreed, meant a Roman triumph, not a round of applause. Reliable was an ill-formed coinage, not for the discriminating. Donate was pretentious, jeopardize should be jeopard, demean meant…

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Unitarian Christianity

Unitarian Christianity

William Ellery Channing

“The peculiar circumstances of this occasion not only justify, but seem to demand a departure from the course generally followed by preachers at the introduction of a brother into the sacred office. It is usual to speak of the nature, design, duties, and advantages of the Christian ministry; and on these topics I should now be happy…

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Totem and Taboo

Totem and Taboo

Sigmund Freud

Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics is a collection of four essays first published in the journal Imago (1912–13) employing the application of psychoanalysis to the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and the study of religion.

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The Natural History of Religion

The Natural History of Religion

David Hume

This is the first essay in the ‘Four Dissertations’; a collection of four essays by the Scottish enlightenment philosopher David Hume. In ‘The Natural History of Religion’, Hume pioneers a naturalist account of the causes, effects, and historical development of religious belief. Hume locates the origins of religion in emotion, particularly fear and the desire to control the future. He further argues that monotheism arises from…

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Sadhana, The Realisation of Life

Sadhana, The Realisation of Life

Rabindranath Tagore

Compiled and translated by Tagore from his Bengali lectures, the book consists of eight essays, in which Tagore answers some of the most profound questions of life: Why did God create this world? Why would a Perfect Being, instead of remaining eternally concentrated in Himself, go through the trouble of manifesting the Universe?…

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