The life of James Joyce’s schizophrenic daughter Lucia requires no particular embellishment to move and amaze us. The “received wisdom,” writes Sean O’Hagan, about Lucia is that she lived a “blighted life,” as a “sickly second child” after her brother Giorgio.[...]
Was “air guitar” a thing back in 1891, when a photographer captured young Marcel Proust in this playful photograph? Probably not. Maybe it’s anachronistic to read the photograph this way. But you have to admit, it’s worth suspending disbelief for a moment and imagining what song Marcel was playing.[...]
Ladies and gentlemen, we present the first known footage of the French author Marcel Proust.[...]
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You’ve adjusted to the strangeness of names like Ascalaphus and Phidippus. You’ve more or less figured out who’s on which side in the ancient war between Greece and Troy.
A couple of weeks ago on January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a diverse group gathered for a marathon reading of Night, Nobel Prize winner, Elie Wiesel’s memoir of his youthful experiences as a prisoner in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.[...]
Image by or Rob Bogaerts/Fotocollectie Anefo
To properly honor your cultural role models, don’t try to do what they did, or even to think what they thought, but to think how they thought.
It’s never too late to thank the teacher who changed your life.
Oprah Winfrey fell to pieces when she was reunited on air with Mrs. Duncan, her fourth grade teacher, her “first liberator” and “validator.
Image by United Press International, via Wikimedia Commons
When totalitarian regimes around the world are in power, writing that tells the truth—whether literary, journalistic, scientific, or legal—effectively serves as counter-propaganda. To write honestly is to expose: to uncover what is hidden, stand apart from it, and observe.
The identity of William Shakespeare has been a literary mystery for four hundred years, inspiring theory after theory, book after book. There has been, indeed, little biographical evidence to work with, though paleographer and “literary detective” Heather Wolfe has very recently filled in some critical gaps.[...]
Over the years, we’ve featured the many drawings that have adorned the pages of Dante’s Divine Comedy, from medieval times to modern. Illustrations by Botticelli, Gustave Doré, William Blake and Mœbius, they’ve all gotten their due. Less has been said here, however, about the actual text itself.[...]