HISTORY OF IDEAS – Romanticism

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Romanticism

Romanticism is one of the most important historical events of all time. Unlike a lot of what gets called history, romanticism isn’t a war or a piece of technology or a political event. It refers to the birth of a new set of ideas. It is about a mindset and a way of feeling. Romanticism […]

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LITERATURE – Voltaire

François-Marie Arouet was born in Paris in 1694 His father, a well-established lawyer, sent him to the best school in the capital, and by all accounts, he was a brilliant student. The young Arouet, decided at an early age to make his name as a writer, or rather to remake his name, as the first […]

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LITERATURE – Jane Austen

LITERATURE – Jane Austen

Jane Austen is loved mainly as a guide to fashionable life in the Regency period, but her own vision of her task was radically different. She was an ambitious and stern moralist. She was acutely conscience of human failings and wanted, through her novels, to make people less selfish and more reasonable. More dignified, and […]

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LITERATURE – Goethe

LITERATURE – Goethe

People have always had trouble pronouncing his name; if you don’t speak German it’s not at all obvious how you’re supposed to say it. A safe bet is to start with a hard G on Ger- and end with a -ter: Ger-ter. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has often been seen as one of Europe’s big […]

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LITERATURE – Samuel Beckett

LITERATURE – Samuel Beckett

The Association [Between] the great irish writer Samuel Beckett and the game of cricket Deserves to Be more Widely Known he Was A fine Player when a student at Trinity College Dublin and Even Married to Mention in A famous Wisdoms The Cricketers Bible the only Nobel Prize Winner to be so lauded on One […]

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LITERATURE – Virginia Woolf

LITERATURE – Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf was a writer concerned, above all, with capturing in words the excitement, pain, beauty, and horror of what she termed, the Modern Age. Born in 1882, she was conscious of herself as a distinctively modernist writer at odds with a raft of the staid and complacent assumptions of nineteenth-century English literature. She realized […]

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LITERATURE – Marcel Proust

LITERATURE – Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust was an early 20th century French writer responsible for what’s officially the longest novel in the world: “A la recherche du temps perdu”/In search of Lost Time. which has 1.2 million words in it, double those in “War and Peace” . The book was published in French in 7 volumes over 14 years, […]

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LITERATURE – George Orwell

LITERATURE – George Orwell

George Orwell was an English intellectual who died in 1950 and used literature for the only reason it ultimately really exists – to try to change the world for the better. He was, in the deeper sense, a political writer, someone who wanted art to help us grow kinder, fairer, wiser. In 1946, a year […]

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SOCIOLOGY – Émile Durkheim

SOCIOLOGY – Émile Durkheim

Émile Durkheim is the philosopher who can best help us to understand why capitalism makes us richer and yet frequently more miserable. He was born in 1858 in the little french town of Épinale near the German border. Before he was forty, Durkheim was appointed to a powerful and prestigious position: as a professor at […]

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POP CULTURE: When and Why We Cry In Films

POP CULTURE: When and Why We Cry In Films

It’s normal to think that we’ll cry when sad stuff happens on screen, when a character we’ve come to like dies, when a relationship we wanted to believe in falls apart, when a favorite animal doesn’t make it. Of course, we do sometimes shed tears here, but the odd thing is, especially the older we […]

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