literature

Primo Levi and The Periodic Table

Primo Levi and The Periodic Table

On July 31, 1919, Italian Jewish chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi was born. As a writer, he is noted for his restrained and moving autobiographical account of and reflections on survival in the Nazi concentration camps. His book The Periodic Table, a collection of short stories published in 1975, and named after the periodic table in chemistry, was named it the best science book ever by the Royal…
The Love Affairs of George Sand

The 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. Always known simply as Aurore, she was born in Paris,…
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…
Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia

On May 19, 1935, archaeologist and British Army officer Thomas Edward Lawrence died fatally injured in a motorcycle accident in Dorset. Renowned especially for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, and the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia. Thomas Edward Lawrence…
Edward Lear and his Book of Nonsense

Edward Lear and his Book of Nonsense

On May 12, 1812, English artist, illustrator, musician, author and poet Edward Lear was born. He is known now mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose and especially his limericks, a form he popularised. As an author, he is known principally for his popular nonsense collections of poems, songs, short stories, botanical drawings, recipes, and alphabets. Edward Lear was born as the penultimate of twenty-one children of Ann…
Conrad Celtis, the first Poeta Laureata

Conrad Celtis, the first Poeta Laureata

On April 18, 1487, German Renaissance humanist scholar and Neo-Latin poet Conrad Celtis was claimed “poeta laureatus“, the prince of poets, the first German to receive this honor by emperor Frederic III at the Imperial Diet in Nuremberg. Conrad Celtis‘ teachings had lasting effects, particularly in the field of history, where he was the first to teach the history of the world as a whole. He is also often referred…
The Works of Heinrich Mann

The Works of Heinrich Mann

On March 27, 1871, German novelist Luiz (Ludwig) Heinrich Mann was born. Being the elder brother of Nobel laureate Thomas Mann, 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…
Georg Friedrich Philipp von Hardenberg aka Novalis

Georg Friedrich Philipp von Hardenberg aka Novalis

On March 25, 1801, poet, author, and philosopher of early German Romanticism Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg, better known under his pen name Novalis passed away. In spite of his early death at age 28, Novalis left behind a complex philosophical legacy that encompasses discussions of subjectivity and self-consciousness, issues in epistemology, moral theory, political philosophy, problems of interpretation, philosophy of history, philosophy of religion, the proto-existentialist experience of…
Friedrich Schiller ‘The Robbers’

Friedrich Schiller ‘The Robbers’

  On January 13, 1782, Friedrich Schiller’s play ‘The Robbers‘ (Die Räuber) was premiered at the national theatre in Mannheim. The “Sturm und Drang” play astounded its Mannheim audience and made Schiller an overnight sensation. It is believed that Schiller began working on The Robbers more intensively in 1777, but, in secret. Around 1780, he read some passages at first so some friends to see their impact. He was at first unlucky in finding…
The famous illustrations of Gustave Doré

The famous illustrations of Gustave Doré

On January 6, 1832, French artist, printmaker, illustrator and sculptor Paul Gustave Louis Christophe Doré was born. Doré is primarily known for his wood engravings and illustrations of literary works such as Dante’s inferno, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Cervantes’ Don Quixote or the Bible. Gustave Doré’s earliest dated drawings were from the age of five and by 1844, he started carving lithographic stones and made first sets of engravings. He grew…
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