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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East vs west — the myths that mystify | Devdutt Pattanaik

East vs west — the myths that mystify | Devdutt Pattanaik

To understand the business of mythology and what a Chief Belief Officer is supposed to do, you have to hear a story of Ganesha, the elephant-headed god who is the scribe of storytellers, and his brother, the athletic warlord of the gods, Kartikeya. The two brothers one day decided to go on a race, three […]

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Cultural Mining

Cultural Mining

Cultural mining describes the process by which the most valuable parts of culture by which we understand the arts, humanities and philosophy are recovered and made useful for our own times. In cultural mining the pratical sides of culture are carefully extracted, cleaned, blasted and remolded and then used to manufacture the mental tools that […]

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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: Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka was a great chech writer who has come to own a part of the human emotional spectrum, which we can now call the Kafkaesque and which thanks to him we are able better to recognize and to gain a measure of perspective over and relief from. Kafka’s world isn’t pleasant. It feels in […]

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LITERATURE – Ralph Waldo Emerson

LITERATURE – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson is the father of American literature. In a series of strikingly original essays, written in the mid-nineteenth century, he fundamentally changed the way that America saw its cultural and artistic possibilities, and he enabled a separation from transatlantic literary traditions. “We have listened too long…”, he wrote, “…to the Courtly muses of […]

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LITERATURE: Leo Tolstoy

LITERATURE: Leo Tolstoy

The Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy was a believer in the novel not as a source of entertainment but as a tool for psychological education and reform. It was in his eyes, the supreme medium by which we can get to know others especially those who might from the outside seem unappealing and thereby expand our […]

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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 – Gustave Flaubert

LITERATURE – Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert was a great French 19th century novelist who deserves our love and sympathy as much for what he wrote as who he was. We can admire him for four reasons at least. Flaubert wrote arguably the single greatest tragic novel ever written, Madame Bovary, which he worked on for five years and published […]

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