literature

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg – Master of Aphorism

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg – Master of Aphorism

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799) On July 1, 1742, German scientist, satirist and Anglophile Georg Christoph Lichtenberg was born. He is remembered best for his posthumously published notebooks, which he himself called Sudelbücher, a description modeled on the English bookkeeping term “scrapbooks”, and his aphorisms. A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out. We have no words for speaking of wisdom to…
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Yamamoto Tsunetomo and the Way of the Samurai

Yamamoto Tsunetomo and the Way of the Samurai

On June 12, 1659 (other sources report June 11, 1659 – according to the Julian calendar July 13), Japanese Samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo was born. He is best known for the publication of his compiled commentaries and aphorisms about the life of the Samurai under the title of Hagakure, a word that can be translated as either In the shadow the Leaves or The Hidden Leaves. Above all, the Way of the Samurai…
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Giacomo Casanova and his Underestimated Literary Legacy

Giacomo Casanova and his Underestimated Literary Legacy

On June 4, 1798, Italian adventurer and author Giacomo Girolamo Casanova passed away. Although being famous or almost notorious because of his frequent and elaborate love affairs, he also is considered to be a brilliant author. His autobiography ‘Histoire de ma vie‘ (The Story of my Life), is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. Being associated with European…
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Honoré de Balzac and the Comédie Humaine

Honoré de Balzac and the Comédie Humaine

On May 20, 1799, French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac was born. He is best known for his his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, which is reflected in his opus magnum, the Comédie Humaine, sequence of short stories and novels, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, the period of the Restoration and the July Monarchy (1815–1848).…
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Sebastian Brant and the Ship of Fools

Sebastian Brant and the Ship of Fools

On May 10, 1521, German humanist and satirist Sebastian Brant passed away. He is best known for his book of satire entitled ‘Das Narrenschiff” (The Ship of Fools) published in 1494 in Basel, Switzerland. It is most likely that you might have never heard of Brant nor of his famous book. Anyway, if you continue reading, you won’t regret… Sebastian Brant was born in Strasbourg in 1457. The exact date is unknown as…
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Reshaping India’s Literature – Rabindranath Tagore

Reshaping India’s Literature – Rabindranath Tagore

On May 7, 1861, Bengali polymath and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore was born. He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally considered as the outstanding creative artist of modern India. Many of you might never have heart of the great Indian poet, who also was the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature back in 1913. But, besides…
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The Incredible Story of Robinson Crusoe

The Incredible Story of Robinson Crusoe

On May, 6, 1719 (julian calendar, April 25), Daniel Defoe‘s famous novel ‘Robinson Crusoe‘ was published under the title ‘The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With…
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F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby

On April 10, 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s famous socially critical novel ‘The Great Gatsby‘ was published. The story takes place in 1922, during the Roaring Twenties, a time of prosperity in the United States after World War I. The book received critical acclaim and is generally considered Fitzgerald‘s best work. It is also widely regarded as a “Great American Novel” and a literary classic, although it didn’t sell very well during Fitzgerald‘s…
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Jane Austen, a Keen Observer Always with a Twinkle in the Eye

Jane Austen, a Keen Observer Always with a Twinkle in the Eye

Jane Austen (1775-1817) On December 16, 1775, English novelist Jane Austen was born. She is considered to be one of the most widely read writers in English literature. I do really like Jane Austen’s novels for many years now, esp. her ‘Pride and Prejudice‘ and also ‘Emma‘ or ‘Nothanger Abbey‘ which all of them I can recommend to you if you haven’t read them up to now. I like Jane Austen’s style…
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Mark Twain – Keen Observer and Sharp-tongued Critic

Mark Twain – Keen Observer and Sharp-tongued Critic

On November 30, 1835, famous American author Samuel Longhorn Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was born in the tiny village of Florida, Missouri. He is most noted for his humorous novels about the mischievous boys Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and their adventures on the mighty Mississippi River. “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will…
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