literature

The Wonderful Worlds of Jonathan Swift

The Wonderful Worlds of Jonathan Swift

On November 30, 1667, Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric Jonathan Swift was born. He is probably best remembered for his satire “Gulliver’s Travels” and is regarded as the foremost prose satirist in the English language, who originally published all of his works under pseudonyms. “Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own.” — Jonathan Swift, The Battle of the Books, preface…
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Anna Seghers – Prominent Advocate of German Exile Literature

Anna Seghers – Prominent Advocate of German Exile Literature

On November 19, 1900, German writer Anna Seghers was born. Seghers became famous for depicting the moral experience of the Second World War. I came across the writer at the end high school. “The Seventh Cross” of Anna Seghers was the last piece of literature that we officially had to read in the German literature courses before high school graduation. And I remember that I was rather impressed by this novel. “What…
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The Fantastic Gardens of Hermann von Pückler-Muskau

The Fantastic Gardens of Hermann von Pückler-Muskau

On October 30, 1785, German nobleman Prince Hermann Ludwig Heinrich von Pückler-Muskau was born. Von Pückler-Muskau was an excellent artist in landscape gardening and wrote widely appreciated books, mostly about his travels in Europe and Northern Africa, published under the pen name of “Semilasso“. “Under 20 cases, 19 times the firm will and patience makes the so-called impossible easily possible beyond all expectations.” – Hermann von Pückler-Muskau [1] Family Background and Education…
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Geoffrey Chaucer  – the Father of English Literature

Geoffrey Chaucer – the Father of English Literature

On October 25, 1400, English poet Geoffrey Chaucer passed away. Known as the Father of English literature, Chaucer is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages.He is best known today for The Canterbury Tales and was the first poet to be buried in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote  The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,  And bathed every veyne in…
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More than a Bushy-Browed, Cigar Smoking Wisecracker –  Groucho Marx

More than a Bushy-Browed, Cigar Smoking Wisecracker – Groucho Marx

On October 2, 1890, Julius Henry Marx, better known as Groucho Marx from the famous comedians, the ‘Marx Brothers‘ was born in New York City. The bushy-browed, cigar-smoking wisecracker with the painted on mustache (later on with a real mustache) and stooped walk was the leader of ‘The Marx Brothers‘. With one-liners that were many times full of sexual innuendo, Groucho never used profanity in any of his performances and said he never…
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Goethe’s Most Famous Poem – Wanderers Nachtlied

Goethe’s Most Famous Poem – Wanderers Nachtlied

On September 6, 1780, the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote with a pencil on the wall of a wooden cabin on the Kickelhahn mountain in Ilmenau, Thuringia the poem ‘Wanderers Nachtlied‘.   Über allen Gipfeln Ist Ruh,   In allen Wipfeln Spürest du   Kaum einen Hauch;   Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.  Warte nur, balde  Ruhest du auch. This poem called ‘Über allen Gipfeln‘ depicts the second poem after ‘Der du vom Himmel…
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Johann Gottfried Herder and the Philosophy of History and Culture

Johann Gottfried Herder and the Philosophy of History and Culture

On August 25, 1744, German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic Johann Gottfried Herder was born. He was one of the most influential writers and thinkers of the German language in the Age of Enlightenment and, together with Christoph Martin Wieland, Johann Wolfgang Goethe [1] and Friedrich Schiller,[2] is one of the classical four stars of Weimar. Early life and Education Johann Gottfried Herder was born as son of the cantor and school…
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The Tragedy of MacBeth and its Historical Background

The Tragedy of MacBeth and its Historical Background

On August 14, 1040 AD, Mac Bethad mac Findlaích, Mormaer of Moray, today better known as Macbeth, killed the Scottish King Duncan I. to become the new King of Scotland. But, he has to commit further murder to maintain his power. So far the story goes. Most of the rest we know from Shakespeare‘s adaptation of the historical events is merely pure fiction.[2,3] Macbeth’s life, like that of his predecessor King Duncan…
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Herman Melville’s Iconic Nightmare and Masterpiece

Herman Melville’s Iconic Nightmare and Masterpiece

Most people know American author Herman Melville only by his most famous novel, the story of Captain Ahab and his paranoid and nightmarish  hunt for the gigantic white whale Moby Dick. Of course, it is Melville‘s singular and also very best story. But, if you are trying to get to know the author Herman Melville better, you should also consider the rest of his oevre, especially some of his other short stories or…
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Anton Chekov and the Birth of early Modernism in the Theatre

Anton Chekov and the Birth of early Modernism in the Theatre

On July 15, 1904, Russian playwright and short-story writer Anton Chekov passed away. Chekov is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classics, and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Chekhov was working as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career: “Medicine is my lawful wife“, he once said, “and literature…
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