literature

Gothic – The Life and Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Gothic – The Life and Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley

On July 8 1822 the great English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was drowned near the Italian coast. He was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. Shelley was famous for his association with John Keats and Lord Byron. And actually he was married with novelist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of the famous ‘Frankenstein‘.[1] “When the lamp is…
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Elementary, my Dear Watson! – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous Sherlock Holmes

Elementary, my Dear Watson! – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous Sherlock Holmes

On July 7, 1939, one of the most prolific, versatile and successful authors of the late 19th and early 20th century, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle passed away. Besides his best known character, the ‘consulting detective’ of the London police, Sherlock Holmes and his dear friend and advisor Dr. John Watson, he also wrote science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels. “It is an old maxim of mine that when you…
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Nothing Really Mattered to Ambrose ‘Bitter’ Bierce

Nothing Really Mattered to Ambrose ‘Bitter’ Bierce

Author, journalist, satirist, and critic Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was born on June 24, 1842. He had a great influence in the literature of the 20th century through his works, most of them dealing with the American Civil War. A prolific and versatile writer, Bierce was regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States. “Happiness, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.” — The Devil’s Dictionary,…
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“The war has ruined us for everything” – Erich Maria Remarque

“The war has ruined us for everything” – Erich Maria Remarque

On June 22, 1898, German novelist Erich Maria Remarque was born. The German writer was best known for his pacifist novels, especially All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen nichts Neues), published in 1928. The son of a bookbinder was born in the German city of Osnabrück and originally named ‘Erich Paul Remark’. In the 1920’s he changed his name to Erich Maria Remarque. During the last two years of World War…
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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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