literature

Henry Fielding – the Father of the English Novel

Henry Fielding – the Father of the English Novel

Henry Fielding (1707-1754) On October 8, 1754, famous English novelist, journalist and dramatist Henry Fielding passed away. He is best known for his rich earthy humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the novel Tom Jones. Henry Fielding influenced the main tradition of the English novel through the eighteenth century and the nineteenth century. One of his major contribution to the English novel was a sense of structure to its…
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Miguel de Cervantes and his Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes and his Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) (Probably) on September 29, 1547, famous Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright Miguel de Cervantes was born. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, is considered to be the first modern European novel, a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. Moreover it has been translated into nearly every major language, making it one of the most widely distributed books after the…
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Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy

Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) In the night from September 13 to 14, 1321, major Italian poet Dante Alighieri passed away. His Divine Comedy is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature. Together with his poet colleagues Petrarch and Boccaccio, Dante – the ‘supreme poet’ (il Sommo Poeta) – is referred to as “the three crowns” or “the three fountains”. Moreover, he is also…
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Stanislaw Lem and Mankind’s Place in the Universe

Stanislaw Lem and Mankind’s Place in the Universe

Stanislaw Lem (1921-2006)photo: Wojciech Zemek On September 12, 1921, Polish writer of science fiction, philosophy and satire Stanislaw Lem was born. He is considered to be one of the most widely read science fiction writer in the world with his books translated into 41 languages and have sold over 27 million copies. His best known novel Solaris, about the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species, published in 1961, was made…
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Ludovico Ariosto and the Frenzy of Orlando

Ludovico Ariosto and the Frenzy of Orlando

Ludovico Ariosto (1474 – 1533) On September 8, 1474, Italian Renaissance Poet Ludovico Ariosto was born. He is best known for his romance epic Orlando Furioso (The Frenzy of Orlando), which describes the adventures of Charlemagne, Orlando, and the Franks as they battle against the Saracens. Ariosto studied Latin in Ferrera and enrolled at the city’s university to study law. However, his interest remained in other fields, like humanism, wherefore he never…
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The Man who Invented Science Fiction – Hugo Gernsback

The Man who Invented Science Fiction – Hugo Gernsback

Hugo Gernsback (1885-1967) on the cover of hisown magazine watching TV in 1928 On August 16, 1884, Luxembourgian American inventor, writer, editor, and magazine publisher Hugo Gernsback was born. Gernsback best known for publications including the first science fiction magazine. His contributions to the genre as publisher were so significant that, along with the novelists H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, he is often referred to as “The Father of Science Fiction“.…
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Adventure Time with Alexandre Dumas

Adventure Time with Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas, père (1802-1870) On July 24, 1802, French writer Alexandre Dumas, also known as Alexandre Dumas, père, was born. He is best known for his historical novels of high adventure. Translated into nearly 100 languages, these have made him one of the most widely read French authors in history. Definitely, Alexandre Dumas’ stories have become a popular icon. Think of his ‘Three Musketeers‘, I really don’t know how many versions I…
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Ann Raddcliffe – Pioneer of the Gothic Novel

Ann Raddcliffe – Pioneer of the Gothic Novel

Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823) On July 9, 1764, English author and pioneer of Gothic novel Ann Radcliffe was born. You might have never heard of Ann Radcliffe, if you are not familiar with English literature, but her prose strongly influenced a literature style called ‘Gothic novel’, where the supernatural comes into play and all of today’s vampire, horror, and fantastic literature has originated from. Take, as e.g., her most famous novel Udolpho written…
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Jean de la Fontaine and the Moral of the Story

Jean de la Fontaine and the Moral of the Story

Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695) On July 8, 1621, Jean de la Fontaine, the most famous French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century, was born. He is best known above all for his Fables, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists all across Europe. The Fables of Jean de La Fontaine were issued in several volumes from 1668 to 1694 and are classics of…
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Herman Hesse and his Search for Self-Knowledge

Herman Hesse and his Search for Self-Knowledge

Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) [1] On July 2, 1877, German poet, novelist, painter, and Nobel Laureate Hermann Hesse was born. He is best known for his novels ‘Steppenwolf‘, ‘Siddhartha‘, or ‘The Glass Bead Game‘, in which he explores the individual’s search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. I’ve read the works of Hermann Hesse – as many other of my generation – when I was just 18 years of age. Interestingly, my most favorite…
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