literature

Clark Ashton Smith – The Last of the Great Romantics

Clark Ashton Smith – The Last of the Great Romantics

On January 13, 1893, self-educated American poet, sculptor, painter Clark Ashton Smith was born. Smith achieved recognition as author of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories. As a poet, Smith is grouped with the West Coast Romantics alongside Ambrose Bierce, Joaquin Miller, Sterling, Nora May French, and remembered as “The Last of the Great Romantics” and “The Bard of Auburn“. Together with Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft Smith was…
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Simone de Beauvoir and the Second Sex

Simone de Beauvoir and the Second Sex

On January 9, 1908, French novelist, philosopher and feminist Simone de Beauvoir was born. The politically active author of numerous novels, short stories, essays and memoirs is considered a representative of existentialism. Her worldwide success The Second Sex (1949) is considered a milestone in feminist literature and made her the most famous intellectual in France. ” On ne naît pas femme, on le devient “. “One is not born a woman, one…
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Wilkie Collins and the Birth of the Modern Detective Novel

Wilkie Collins and the Birth of the Modern Detective Novel

On January 8, 1824, British novelist Wilkie Collins was born. Wilkie Collins is best known for his novels The Woman in White (1859) and The Moonstone (1868). The last has been called the first modern English detective novel. “Ask yourself if there is any explanation of the mystery of your own life and death.” – Wilkie Collins, The Haunted Hotel: A Mystery of Modern Venice (1878) Wilkie Collins – Youth and Education William…
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Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s ‘The Physicists’

Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s ‘The Physicists’

On January 5, 1921, Swiss author and dramatist Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born. Dürrenmatt was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author‘s work included avant-garde dramas, philosophical crime novels, and macabre satire. Especially his play “The Physicists” (1961) deals with questions of scientific ethics and humanity‘s ability to handle its intellectual responsibilities. “A story is not finished, until it has taken…
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Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

On October 20, 1854, French poet Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was born. Rimbaud is known for his influence on modern literature and arts, prefiguring surrealism. As a poet, Rimbaud is well known for his contributions to symbolism and, among other works, for A Season in Hell, a precursor to modernist literature. “Lighter than a cork I danced on the waves.” – Arthur Rimbaud, The Drunken Boat (1871) Arthur Rimbaud – Family Background…
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Lion Feuchtwanger and his Ardous Path of Knowledge

Lion Feuchtwanger and his Ardous Path of Knowledge

On July 7, 1884, German-Jewish novelist and playwright Lion Feuchtwanger was born. A prominent figure in the literary world of Weimar Germany, he is best known today for his novel Jud Süß and is considered one of the most widely read German-language authors of the 20th century, whose work influenced contemporary playwrights such as Bertolt Brecht.[1] “Thoughts about what you should have done and what you shouldn’t have done, they lead nowhere.” …
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The Very First Pulitzer Prize

The Very First Pulitzer Prize

On June 4, 1917, the very first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded. The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American (Hungarian-born) publisher Joseph Pulitzer, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City. Joseph Pulitzer When Pulitzer offered the Columbia University money in order to set up the…
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The Poetry of Walt Whitman

The Poetry of Walt Whitman

On May 31, 1819, American poet, essayist and journalist Walt Whitman was born. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. “It is a beautiful truth that all men contain something of the artist in them. And perhaps it is the case that…
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The Poet and the Lunatics – The Works of C. K. Chesterton

The Poet and the Lunatics – The Works of C. K. Chesterton

On May 29, 1874, English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born. Chesterton created the fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and wrote on apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognised the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. I remember that I really enjoyed reading Chesterton’s short novel The Man Who Was Thursday (1908), somehow a political satire or almost…
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The Misfortune of Virtue – Marquis de Sade and his Writings

The Misfortune of Virtue – Marquis de Sade and his Writings

On March 6, 1801, French novelist Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, better known as the Marquis de Sade, was arrested for being the author of the anonymously published book ‘Justine or the Misfortune of Virtue‘ by order of Napoleon Bonaparte. “…there is a sum of evil equal to the sum of good, the continuing equilibrium of the world requires that there be as many good people as wicked people…” – Marquis de…
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