literature

Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg aka Novalis

Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg aka Novalis

On March 25, 1801, poet, author, and philosopher of early German Romanticism Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg, better known under his pen name Novalis passed away. In spite of his early death at age 28, Novalis left behind a complex philosophical legacy that encompasses discussions of subjectivity and self-consciousness, issues in epistemology, moral theory, political philosophy, problems of interpretation, philosophy of history, philosophy of religion, the proto-existentialist experience of the finality…
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The Misfortune of Virtue – Marquis de Sade and his Writings

The Misfortune of Virtue – Marquis de Sade and his Writings

On March 6, 1801, French novelist Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, better known as the Marquis de Sade, was arrested for being the author of the anonymously published book ‘Justine or the Misfortune of Virtue‘ by order of Napoleon Bonaparte. “…there is a sum of evil equal to the sum of good, the continuing equilibrium of the world requires that there be as many good people as wicked people…” – Marquis de…
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Calderón de la Barca – one of the finest Playwrights of World Literature

Calderón de la Barca – one of the finest Playwrights of World Literature

On January 17, 1600, Spanish poet and playwright of the Spanish Golden Age Pedro Calderón de la Barca was born. His work being regarded as the culmination of the Spanish Baroque theatre. As such, he is regarded as one of Spain’s foremost dramatists and one of the finest playwrights of world literature. ¿Qué es la vida? Un frenesí. ¿Qué es la vida? Una ilusión, una sombra, una ficción, y el mayor bien…
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Friedrich Schiller’s Iconic Sturm and Drang Drama ‘The Robbers’

Friedrich Schiller’s Iconic Sturm and Drang Drama ‘The Robbers’

On January 13, 1782, Friedrich Schiller’s play ‘The Robbers‘ (Die Räuber) was premiered at the national theatre in Mannheim. The work, which was initially conceived not as a stage play but as a reading drama was written during the Enlightenment and can be attributed to the Sturm und Drang movement in German literature. It was first published anonymously in 1781, then premiered in Mannheim on 13 January 1782, where it caused a national…
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Francois Villon –  Rogue, Vagrant and Poet

Francois Villon – Rogue, Vagrant and Poet

On January 5, 1463, the Death sentence to Francois Villon, best known French poet of the late Middle Ages, was remitted by a pardon from King Charles VII into 10 years of banishment. Villon is best known as a ne’er-do-well who was involved in criminal behavior and got into numerous scrapes with authorities. Nevertheless, Villon wrote about some of these experiences in his poems and became famous. Through wind, hail or frost…
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Goethe’s Famous Muse Charlotte von Stein

Goethe’s Famous Muse Charlotte von Stein

On December 25, 1742, Charlotte Albertine Ernestine von Stein was born. She was a lady-in-waiting at the court in Weimar and famous for being a close friend to both Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, whose work and life were strongly influenced by her. We already have had several articles on the works and life of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe at SciHi Blog.[4,5,6,7] No wonder, he was one of the most prominent German…
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The Untranslatable Linguistic Elegance of Jean Racine

The Untranslatable Linguistic Elegance of Jean Racine

On Dec 22, 1637, French dramatist Jean Racine was born, one of the three great playwrights of 17th-century France, along with Molière and Corneille, and an important literary figure in the Western tradition. Racine’s plays displayed his mastery of the dodecasyllabic (12 syllable) French alexandrine. His writing is renowned for its elegance, purity, speed, and fury. The linguistic effects of Racine’s poetry are widely considered to be untranslatable,although many eminent poets have…
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Giovanni Boccaccio and his Famous Decameron

Giovanni Boccaccio and his Famous Decameron

On December 21, 1375, Italian author, poet, correspondent of Petrarch, and important Renaissance humanist Giovanni Boccaccio passed away. He is best known for his masterpiece ‘The Decameron‘ told as a frame story encompassing 100 tales. You haven’t heart about the ‘Decameron‘? You definitely should, simply because it is the masterpiece of European Renaissance literature. In its 100 stories it provides us with an intimate contemporary view into medieval and early Renaissance European…
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Arthur C. Clarke – Prophet of the Space Age

Arthur C. Clarke – Prophet of the Space Age

On December 16, 1917, British science fiction writer, science writer and futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host Sir Arthur C. Clarke was born. He is probably best known for co-authoring the screenplay of the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, one of the most influential films of all time. Clarke’s science and science fiction writings earned him the moniker “Prophet of the Space Age” His science fiction earned him a…
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C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia

C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia

On November 29, 1898, English novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist Clive Staples Lewis aka C.S. Lewis was born. He was a close friend of J.R.R. Tolkien and is best known for his fictional work, especially The Chronicles of Narnia. Actually, since his childhood days, was was usually referred to as ‘Jack’ and not ‘Clive’. “I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it…
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