literature

Selma Lagerlöf and the wonderful Adventures of Nils Holgersson

Selma Lagerlöf and the wonderful Adventures of Nils Holgersson

On November 20, 1858, Swedish author and Nobel Laureate Selma Lagerlöf was born. She is best known for her children’s book ‘The Wonderful Adventures of Nils‘. Moreover, she was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in literature. “If you have learned anything at all from us, Tummetott, you no longer think that the humans should have the whole earth to themselves.” – Selma Lagerlöf, The Further Adventures of Nils (1907) Selma Lagerlöf…
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Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

On October 20, 1854, French poet Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was born. Rimbaud is known for his influence on modern literature and arts, prefiguring surrealism. As a poet, Rimbaud is well known for his contributions to symbolism and, among other works, for A Season in Hell, a precursor to modernist literature. “Lighter than a cork I danced on the waves.” – Arthur Rimbaud, The Drunken Boat (1871) Arthur Rimbaud – Family Background…
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The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

On October 1, 1842, French poet and inventor Charles Cros was born. He developed various improved methods of photography including an early color photo process. He also invented improvements in telegraph and paleophone technology. But lacking financial resources, he was unable to patent his devices before Thomas Edison and others developed the idea and started production. From the Telegraph to Color Photography Émile-Hortensius-Charles Cros was born in Fabrezan, Aude, France, 35km to the…
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August Wilhelm Schlegel and his Shakespeare Translations

August Wilhelm Schlegel and his Shakespeare Translations

On September 8, 1767, German poet, translator, and critic August Wilhelm Schlegel was born, who became a foremost leader of German Romanticism. He is best known for his translations of Shakespeare‘s works into German. “The poetry of the ancients was that of possession, ours is that of longing, which is firmly rooted in the present, which is caught between memory and punishment.” – August Wilhelm Schlegel, Lectures on dramatic art and literature,…
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Sir Walter Scott and the Invention of the Historical Novel

Sir Walter Scott and the Invention of the Historical Novel

On August 15, 1771, Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright, and historian Sir Walter Scott was born. He was one of the most widely read authors of his time – not only in Europe – and is traditionally considered the founder of the historical novel. Many of his historical novels have become classics and have served as models for numerous plays, operas and films. I remember as a child that I was watching the…
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George Bernard Shaw – Playwright, Critic, Polemicist and Political Activist.

George Bernard Shaw – Playwright, Critic, Polemicist and Political Activist.

On July 26, 1856, Irish playwright and co-founder of the London School of Economics George Bernard Shaw was born. As a writer, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938). “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to…
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William Makepeace Thackeray’s deft Skewering of Human Foibles

William Makepeace Thackeray’s deft Skewering of Human Foibles

On July 18, 1811, English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray was born. He was famous for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair, a panoramic portrait of English society. During the Victorian era, Thackeray was ranked second only to Charles Dickens, but he is now much less read and is known almost exclusively for Vanity Fair, which has become a standard fixture in university courses and has been repeatedly adapted for movies and television. “Let the…
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The Diary of a Young Girl – the Story of Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl – the Story of Anne Frank

On June 12, 1929, Annelies “Anne” Marie Frank was born. She is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her wartime diary The Diary of a Young Girl gained international fame posthumously when published in 1947. The diary documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. “For someone like me, it is a very strange habit to write in a diary. Not only…
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Federico Garcia Lorca and the Renewal of Spanish Theatre

Federico Garcia Lorca and the Renewal of Spanish Theatre

On June 5, 1898, Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director Federico Garcia Lorca was born. He is among the leading figures of the Generación del 27, which includes poets such as Vicente Aleixandre, Dámaso Alonso, Rafael Alberti, Pedro Salinas, Jorge Guillén and Gerardo Diego. Together with Ramón del Valle-Inclán, he renewed the Spanish theatre, which was frozen in late Romantic formulas and flat naturalism. Federico García Lorca – Youth in Granada Federico…
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The Very First Pulitzer Prize

The Very First Pulitzer Prize

On June 4, 1917, the very first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded. The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American (Hungarian-born) publisher Joseph Pulitzer, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City. Joseph Pulitzer When Pulitzer offered the Columbia University money in order to set up the…
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