Birmingham City Council

Foreign Literature

Chienese Poet

Subject Areas Covered

To make it easier to locate material, the Arts, Languages and Literature library uses the Dewey Classification system. This groups together subjects using a numbering system. The subject numbers for foreign literature are :-

830 German Literature
840 French Literature
850 Italian/Romanian Literature
860 Spanish/Portuguese Literature
870 Latin
880 Greek
890 Other Literatures

Then each area is broken down in the following way:
0 General Works,
1 Poetry,
2 Drama,
3 Fiction,
4 Essays
5-7 Speeches, Letters, Satire and Humour

e.g. 831 is German Poetry.

Specialist Material

The Library has a great range of specialist collections. There are a number collections that may be of interest -

War Poetry

Other sources of information include

Information Leaflets accessible online -

Writers' Information Pack
Literature on Video

Information Leaflets available online and from the Library -

Creative Writing Groups in Birmingham
Reading Groups in Birmingham Libraries
Leaflets are also available covering the various collections.

Biography and Information Files Card Index
- journals and newspapers articles are indexed for relevant articles.


As well as book material the section takes a range of journals covering a variety of subjects. The following are the literature journals currently being taken.

Classical Quarterly

Essays in Criticism
Hudson Review
Literary Review
London Magazine
London Review of Books
New York Review of Books
Times Literary Supplement

Cambridge Quarterly
College English
Critical Quarterly
Critical Survey
ELH: Journal of English Literary History
English: the Journal of the English Association
Essays in Criticism
Hudson Review
Modern Fiction Studies

Nineteenth Century Literature
Notes and Queries
Review of English Studies
Studies in English Literature
Studies in the Novel

Books Ireland
Indian Horizons
Research in African Literatures
World Literature Today

Cannon Poet's Newsletter
Hudson Review

Milton Quarterly
Poetry Now Magazine
Poetry Review

Science Fiction:

Folger Library Newsletter
R.S.C Magazine
Shakespeare Bulletin
Shakespeare Newsletter
Shakespeare Quarterly

Writing Magazine

Suggested Websites: Foreign Literature

We have compiled a list of websites pertinent to the subjects covered in Arts, Languages and Literature Section. For reasons of space our choices are very selective. We believe the sites chosen will be useful, reflecting the questions regularly posed by our users.

The list cannot hope to be definitive. We will listen to what people have to say about the chosen sites. We will consider recommendations, and may phase out sites, which are not used or superseded.

Arabic Literature

Development of Arabic literature from The Koran to 20th Century literary movements. Links to aspects of Islam and Islamic and Middle Eastern history.

An overview of Arabic literature from Cornell University.

Hyper-linked overview of Arabic literature from Columbia University.


The most compreshensive web resource on writer Jorge Luis Borges. Includes biography, works, criticism, articles and bibliography.

Several web pages covering Argentine literary history between 1810-1990.

Brazilian Literature

Brazilian Literature, writings in the Portuguese language produced by inhabitants of Brazil.

Chinese Literature

This site contains Chinese classics with each character hyperlinked to its definition and etymology. No Chinese software is necessary - characters are displayed as images. Links to English translations are included for most works.

Essays on Taoist and Confucian classics. Also inlcudes a timeline with literary dates and links to texts.

French Literature

Website on French existentialist author Simone de Beauvoir from Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. Biography, bibliography, essays, and links to other websites such as Camus and Sartre.

Website on Simon de Beauvoir. Short biography, reading list and secondary sources.

Information on the Nobel Prizes website about Albert Camus who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957.

Web site on French writer Jean-Paul Sartre. Includes biography, articles, links and examination of Sartre's influences.

German Literature

Guide to German literature web-sites which includes general and specialised sites.

Site for writer Gunter Grass who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1999. It includes biography, book list, Nobel Prize speech, interview, documentary, bibliography and other resources.

Bilingual web site on German writer Hermann Hesse. Contains biography, publications, journal articles, secondary literature and places to visit.

Thomas Mann won the Nobel Literature Prize in 1929, it includes an autobiography, bibliography, banquet speech and other resources.

Herman Hesse nobel prize winner in 1946. Site includes autobiography, Banquet Speech and other Resources.

Italian Literature

General introduction to Italian Literature.

Dario Fo won the Nobel prize for literature in 1997. The site includes a bibliography, nobel lecture, documentary, prose, nobel diploma, photo gallery, banquet speech and other resources.

Eugenio Montale won his nobel in 1975 for his "distinctive poetry". On the site there is a bibliography, nobel lecture, Banquet Speech and other resources.

Salvatore Quasimodo won his nobel prize for his "lyrical poetry" in 1959. The site includes a biography, bibliography, Banquet Speech and other resources.

Japanese Literature

Extensive information about Haiku, its form and history, and how to write it. Selections of poems by the masters. It includes links to related sites.

Russian Literature

Web-site designed for english speaking people learning the Russian language. Contains a section on the works of major russian authors in russian. You will need to have the russian language installed on your computer.

Site devoted to the life and works of author, translator and lepidopterist Vladmimir Nabokov. Bibliographies, indexes, biograhpy and information about the Nabakov Society.

Spanish Literature

A comprehensive reference and research site dedicated to the study of Cervantes' life and work.

Discussion group dedicated to scholarly study of the life, times and work of Cervantes. Features reviews, the Cervantes Society of America, links and publications.

West Indian Literature

This is a reference listing of "literature" by West Indian authors. The emphasis is on prose fiction written in English, however some poetry and nonfiction has been included, as have some works that have been translated to English.

Further Information

Because it is difficult to breakdown subjects into discrete areas there is some overlap with subjects held on other floors of the Central Library.

The Central Lending Library has everything from classics to cult novels, from bestsellers to brand new authors. Whatever your tastes we are sure you will find something to suit you!

The majority of the material held in the Central Library is for use in the Libraryonly. The exceptions are the Central Lending Library, Music Services, Centre for the Child and the Learning Centre.

You can use the online Library Catalogue to help you locate material. Some items published before 1973 or that are in the Collections may not be listed in the online catalogue.

Most of the current material is available for browsing on the shelves in the Arts, Languages and Literature section on Floor 3 of Birmingham Central Library. Older or valuable items are held in a closed access store . OUR STORE SERVIE IS PRESENTLY CLOSED DUE TO TRANSITION TO THE NEW LIBRARY OF BIRMINGHAM.

All our staff are pleased to help you with your enquiry which can be made in person, via telephone,fax, e-mail or letter. It is always advisable to contact us before you make a special journey.

Please note We are not responsible for the content of other organisations' websites.

Arts, Languages and Literature
Literatures in English
Children's Literature
Reader Development, Literacy and Creative Writing