literature

Alexander Pushkin and the Cultural Identity of Modern Russia

Alexander Pushkin and the Cultural Identity of Modern Russia

On June 6, 1799, Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era Alexander Pushkin was born. Pushkin is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Alexander Pushkin was born  in Moscow, Russia, as the second of five children of former guard officer Sergei Lvovich Pushkin and his wife Nadezhda Ossipovna, née Hannibal. On his father’s side, he came from an old noble family. On…
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The Short but Influential Life of Stephen Crane

The Short but Influential Life of Stephen Crane

On June 5, 1900, famous American writer Stephen Crane died at age 28. Despite of his youth, he already had become one of the icons of American literature. Most famous is his American civil war novel ‘The Red Badge of Courage‘, which has been read by almost every American high school kid. Crane was one of America’s foremost realistic writers, and his works have been credited with marking the beginning of modern…
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Count Vampyre from Styria – or what Bram Stoker did not write

Count Vampyre from Styria – or what Bram Stoker did not write

On May 18, 1897, Bram Stoker published his seminal book ‘Dracula‘ in London and established one of the most influential genres in fantastic literature by introducing the Transylvanian blood sucker. Nowadays most people don’t know that identifying Dracula with the historical Vlad Tepes — called Vlad the impaler — was completely made up by Stoker himself. Oh, obviously Vlad Tepes was anything else but a nice guy, as you might look up…
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The Decadence of Joris-Karl Huysmans

The Decadence of Joris-Karl Huysmans

On May 12, 1907, French writer and art critic Joris-Karl Huysmans passed away. Hysmans is most famous for the novel “À rebours”, by which he broke from Naturalism and became the ultimate example of “decadent” literature. Huysmans’ work is considered remarkable for its idiosyncratic use of the French language, large vocabulary, descriptions, satirical wit and far-ranging erudition. Joris-Karl Huysmans was born as Charles Marie Georges Huysmans on February 5, 1848, in Paris,…
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Don’t Panic! – remembering Douglas Adams

Don’t Panic! – remembering Douglas Adams

On May 11, 2001, writer, dramatist, and musician Douglas Noel Adams has passed away. His efforts as author resulted in five books of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy’, the book ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ and many other. He was also active as screenwriter for the television series ‘Doctor Who‘ and (very notable) appeared twice in the fourth series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.[1] BTW he is one of only two people…
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The Famous Prophecies of Nostradamus

The Famous Prophecies of Nostradamus

On May 4, 1555, The first edition of Michel de Nostredame‘s ‘Les Propheties‘, a famous collection of long-term predictions that have since become famous worldwide, was published. “Perfect knowledge of such things cannot be acquired without divine inspiration, given that all prophetic inspiration derives its initial origin from God Almighty, then from chance and nature.” — Michel de Nostredame, Les Propheties (1555) Born on December 14 or 21, 1503 in Saint-Remy-de-Provence in the…
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The Illuminati – about Conspiracies and Bestsellers

The Illuminati – about Conspiracies and Bestsellers

On May 1st, 1776 Adam Weishaupt, the first lay professor of canon law, founded the secret order of Illuminati at the University of Ingolstadt.  It was made up of freethinkers as an offshoot of the Enlightenment and seems to have been modeled on the Freemasons. The Illuminati’s members took a vow of secrecy and pledged obedience to their superiors. Members were divided into three main classes, each with several degrees, and many Illuminati…
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Edward Gibbon and the Science of History

Edward Gibbon and the Science of History

On April 27, 1737, English historian and Member of Parliament Edward Gibbon was born. His most famous work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788 and is known for the quality and irony of its prose as well as for its scientific historic accuracy, which made it a model for later historians. History is little more than the register…
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Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

On April 26, 1564, English poet and playwright William Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world‘s pre-eminent dramatist. Shakespeare‘s works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, two epitaphs, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other…
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Max and Moritz as Role Model for The Katzenjammer Kids

Max and Moritz as Role Model for The Katzenjammer Kids

On April 4, 1865, Wilhelm Busch published his famous ‘Max and Moritz‘ (in the German original: Max und Moritz – Eine Bubengeschichte in sieben Streichen), a famous German language illustrated story in verse, considered to be an early precursor of comic strips. Actually, if you are not by chance a German native speaker, you probably might never have heard of satirical author, illustrator and painter Wilhelm Busch, who was famous in the 19th…
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