literature

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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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 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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Egon Friedell’s Fascinating Cutural Histories

Egon Friedell’s Fascinating Cutural Histories

On 16 March 1938, at about 22:00, two SA men arrived at the house of prominent Austrian philosopher, historian, journalist and critic Egon Friedell to arrest him. While they were still arguing with his housekeeper, Friedell committed suicide by jumping out of the window. Before leaping, he warned pedestrians walking on the sideway where he hit by shouting “Watch out! Get out of the way!“. This was the tragic end of a brilliant…
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H.P. Lovecraft and the Inconceivable Terror

H.P. Lovecraft and the Inconceivable Terror

On March 15, 1937, Howard Philips Lovecraft – better known as H.P. Lovecraft – author of horror, fantasy and science fiction, especially the subgenre known as weird fiction, passed away. He is reknown as the originator of the Cthulhu Mythos story cycle and the Necronomicon, a fictional magical textbook of rites and forbidden lore. My first acquaintance with the weird literary fiction of H.P. Lovecraft dates back to my schooldays, when hanging…
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The Amazing Diary of Samuel Pepys, Esq.

The Amazing Diary of Samuel Pepys, Esq.

On February 23, 1633, English naval administrator and Member of Parliament Samuel Pepys was born, who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man. The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century, and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. Personally, I really enjoyed reading Samuel Pepys’…
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James Joyce and Literary Modernism

James Joyce and Literary Modernism

On February 2, 1882, Irish novelist and poet James Joyce was born, who is considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for his Ulysses, a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer‘s Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles. James Augustine Aloysius Joyce on February 2, 1882 just south of Dublin in a…
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