literature

The Scandalous Love Affairs of George Sand

The Scandalous Love Affairs of George Sand

On July 1, 1804, French novelist and memoirist Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupi better known under her pseudonym George Sand was born. She was one of the most successful female writers of the nineteenth century, but equally well known for her much publicized romantic affairs with a number of artists, including the composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin and the writer Alfred de Musset. “I have an object, a task, let me say the word, a…
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Maxim Gorky and the Socialist Realism

Maxim Gorky and the Socialist Realism

On June 18, 1936, Russian writer Alexei Maximovich Peshkov, better known as Maxim Gorky passed away. He was the founder of the Socialist realism literary method and a political activist. He worked in many jobs during an impoverished and abusive childhood before finding fame and fortune as a writer. Initially a Bolshevik supporter, Gorky became a critic when Vladimir Lenin seized power. However, Gorky later served as a Soviet advocate and headed…
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The Passionate Life of Charlotte Brontë

The Passionate Life of Charlotte Brontë

On April 21, 1816, English novelist and poet Charlotte Brontë, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters was born, whose novels are English literature standards. Most notably she wrote Jane Eyre under the pen name Currer Bell. “I can be on guard against my enemies, but God deliver me from my friends!” – Charlotte Brontë, in response to George Henry Lewes (LL, II, v, 272) Why I read Charlotte Brontë Following the usual stereotype, computer scientists…
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The Inestimable Life of the Great Renaissance Writer Francois Rabelais

The Inestimable Life of the Great Renaissance Writer Francois Rabelais

Probably on April 9, 1553, French Renaissance writer, physician, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar François Rabelais passed away. Because of his literary power and historical importance, Western literary critics consider him one of the great writers of world literature and among the creators of modern European writing. His best known work is Gargantua and Pantagruel, telling the adventures of two giants, Gargantua and his son Pantagruel. he work is written in…
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Heinrich Mann – Social Criticism, Marlene Dietrich, and Californian Exile

Heinrich Mann – Social Criticism, Marlene Dietrich, and Californian Exile

On March 27, 1871, German novelist Luiz (Ludwig) Heinrich Mann was born. Being the elder brother of Nobel laureate Thomas Mann,[4] he wrote works with strong social themes. His numerous criticisms of the growth of fascism forced him to flee for his life after the Nazis came to power in 1933. His book “Professor Unrat” was freely adapted into the legendary movie “Der Blaue Engel” starring Marlene Dietrich in her first major role.…
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Me Miserum! – The sad beautiful Poetry of Ovid

Me Miserum! – The sad beautiful Poetry of Ovid

On March 20, 43 BCE, Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso, better know as Ovid, was born. Ovid lived during the reign of Augustus. He composed both epic and elegiac poetry, some of which contributed to his exile from Rome in 8 AD. Back in high school, we had to translate from some of Ovid’s stories of his Metamorphosis from Latin. However, later we also turned to his rich and affectfully sophisticated poetry,…
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The Literary Decadence of Arthur Machen

The Literary Decadence of Arthur Machen

On March 3, 1863, Welsh author and mystic Arthur Machen was born. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. His novella The Great God Pan (1890) has garnered a reputation as a classic of horror. Stephen King has called it “Maybe the best horror story in the English language“. “For, usually and fitly, the presence of an introduction is held to imply that there is something of…
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The Lyric Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Lyric Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

On February 27, 1807, American poet and educator Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born. He was the first American to translate Dante Alighieri‘s Divine Comedy.[1] Longfellow wrote many lyric poems known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and had success overseas. “It was the schooner Hesperus, That sailed the wintry sea; And the skipper had taken his little…
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Entangled in his own Legend – Karl May’s Fantastic Adventures

Entangled in his own Legend – Karl May’s Fantastic Adventures

On February 25, 1842, German writer of adventure novels Karl May was born. He is probably best known for his novels set in the American Old West with their main protagonists Winnetou and Old Shatterhand. Likewise he wrote similar popular adventures set in the Orient and Middle East in which the main protagonists were Kara Ben Nemsi and Hadschi Halef Omar. Being an efficient author and salesman, he often staged himself as…
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Johann Heinrich Voss’ Translations

Johann Heinrich Voss’ Translations

On February 20, 1751, German poet and translator Johann Heinrich Voss was born. He is probably best known for his translation of Homer‘s Odyssey (1781) and Iliad (1793) into German. He also undertook, with his sons, a translation of Shakespeare which was completed in nine volumes in 1829, but this translation cannot stand a comparison with Schlegel‘s.[1] Being a native German, I know Homer‘s works only in the translation by Voss, and…
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