Tarvin's Blog William Tarvin's Literary Blog




       My website TarvinLit, which has concentrated on analysis of major works of American and British literature, has a new addition, my novel, The Mysterious Plus. You can access it by clicking the link above.

       I hope the c. 40,000 visitors to my site, who have told me that they have found my literary analyses valuable, will find my novel both entertaining and illuminating.

       The Mysterious Plus is a philosophical murder mystery set in exotic Algiers and its fabled Casbah. Its title is taken from the American philosopher William James.

       The novel uses the Algerian setting to examine the contemporary materialistic and spiritual differences between the Muslim Middle East and the Judeo-Christian West, fanatic-inflamed divisions which are fraying the cords that bind humanity.

       As part of my novel's philosophical approach, it examines many aspects of Islamic culture of which Western readers may be unaware. Additionally, The Mysterious Plus is structured on the sin-repentance-redemption pattern employed in Dante's Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost.

       Thus while my novel incorporates the murder-clues-solution formula, it adds a philosophical and literary texture to the typical "who-done-it" novel.

       My website TarvinLit will continue to offer literary explications culled from lectures and handouts which I developed during my thirty-five years of teaching literature at the university level and from my publications in scholarly books and journal.

       These links of my website analyze around two hundred writers and six hundred works. I have been very pleased by the comments of students, teachers, and teaching assistants, who have written that my analyses have helped them in their classes.

       Any scholar is free to use the handouts. However, since the materials are copyrighted, I ask that no one repost them on other sites.

       Please continue to use the Blog links for comments. I would particularly welcome any ideas and opinions about The Mysterious Plus.

       Happy reading and successful research on my website!

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  1. Dear sir,

    I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature two years ago and would like to continue my studies at postgraduate levels. You have no idea how happy and excited I am to have found your invaluable website. So many thanks for putting these handouts on your site for free.



    • Dear Sara,

      Thank you for your nice comments about my literary website, which I am happy to offer free. The website has proven much more popular than I ever imagined. The site has had vistors from 94 countries and around 20,000 visits.

      I wish you success as you pursue your literary studies in England.

      Best Wishes,
      Dr. Tarvin

  2. Would you please send me a complete analysis of “Rape of the Lock” with the answer of the blanks? Your analysis is excellent, but I had a few problems filling in the blanks. Thank you so much.

  3. Good Day Sir!

    I need your help. I’m studying British Literature and need a thorough analysis of the Neoclassical period. Could you please add some information to your literary website on this period? Congratulations on your wonderful and helpful website.
    Best regards,

    • Dear Sergiu Marin,

      I have added a lengthy handout on the Neoclassical period in British Literature. It is listed on the British Literature page under N. I hope you find it helpful.

      I have never visited Romania although I made several visits to your neighboring country Greece. I have Romania is a very beautiful country.

      If you have any futher literary questions, please feel free to contact me.

      Best regards,
      Dr. Tarvin

  4. Would you please send me a complete analysis of “Beowulf” with the answer of the blanks. Your analysis enchanted me so much, but I had a few problems filling in the blanks. Thank you so much.

    Best regards,

    Rezaul Karim Raju

    • Dear ReZaul,

      I was very happy to provide an answer key to the BEOWULF handout of my website, at your suggestion. For your convenience, I have also attached it to an email. I hope it arrived in time. Thank you for your interest in my literary website.


      Dr. William L. Tarvin

  5. DR. Tarvin,
    What a helpful website this is! I am a student in Introduction to Literature and focusing on various authors and poets. Currently I am studying Langstan Hughes. One question I have is what is the connection between the theme of “Harlem” and Black Pride?
    Sincerely Bobbie Regan

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