National Library of Latvia
The National Library of Latvia known as Castle of Light is a national cultural institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture of Latvia. The National Library of Latvia was formed in 1919 after the independent Republic of Latvia was proclaimed in 1918; the first supervisor of the Library was Jānis Misiņš, a librarian and the founder of the Latvian scientific bibliography. Today the Library plays an important role in the development of Latvia's information society, providing Internet access to residents and supporting research and lifelong education; the National Library was founded on 29 August 1919, one year after independence, as the State Library. Its first chief librarian and bibliographer was Jānis Misiņš who made his immense private collection the basis of the new library. Within a year, until 1920, the stocks had grown to 250,000 volumes. Starting in the same year, all publishers were obliged to hand in a deposit copy of their works. Since 1927, the Library has published the National Bibliography of Latvia.
There were significant additions in 1939 and 1940, when the State Library took over many of the libraries and collections of the Baltic Germans, most of whom resettled to the Reich. Among these was a large part of the collection of the Society for History and Archaeology of Russia's Baltic Provinces, est. 1834, the primary historical society of the Baltic Germans. In 1940, holdings encompassed 1.7 million volumes, so that they had to be stored in two different locations in the Old Town. During the German occupation of Riga, the State Library was renamed Country Library, eliminating reference to a sovereign Latvian state). Under Soviet rule, it was known as State Library of the Latvian SSR. According to Soviet customs, in 1966 it received an honorary name, commemorating Vilis Lācis, a writer and the late prime minister of Soviet Latvia. From 1946, literature deemed'dangerous' from the Soviet perspective was withdrawn from the shelves and could be accessed only with a special permit until 1988.
In 1956, the State Library moved into its new building at Krišjāņa Barona iela. Since the reestablishment of national independence 1991, the institution has been called National Library of Latvia. In 1995, it received as a permanent loan the Baltic Central Library of Otto Bong, a collection pertaining to the history, regional studies and languages of the Baltic countries. In 2006, the National Library joined the European Library online service; the Library's holdings today encompass more than 5 million titles, incl. about 18,000 manuscripts from the 14th century up to modern times. One of the characteristic cornerstones of the NLL, which characterizes every national library, is the formation of the collection of national literature, its eternal storage and long-term access; the NLL is a centre of theoretical research and practical analyses of the activities of Latvian libraries. The Library carries out the functions of the centre of Latvia Interlibrary Loan, ensures the library and information service to the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia – the Saeima, implements the standardisation of the branch.
Since the outset, its main concern has been the national bibliography. The massive union catalogue Seniespiedumi latviešu valodā received the Spīdola Prize in 2000 and was awarded The Beautiful Book of the Year 99. In 2005, the Letonikas grāmatu autoru rādītājs was published, providing information about versatile branches of science and representatives of various nations, Latvia being the main focus of their publications; the NLL includes several collections of posters. Digitising collections at the NLL started in 1999. At present the Latvian National Digital Library Letonica, formed in 2006, holds digitized collections of newspapers, maps, sheet-music and audio recordings. In 2008 NLL launched two major digital projects. Periodika.lv is the NLL's collection of digitized historical periodicals in Latvian with the possibility to read full texts and search page by page. Latvia has Dance Festivals organized every four years; the historical materials from the first Song Festival in 1864 till the Latgale Song Festival in 1940 can be explored in another digital collection of the National Library of Latvia.
The first discussions about the need for a new National Library had started in 1928, the significance of the project of this century was further confirmed by the high-level international recognition. In 1999 all 170 UNESCO member states during its General Conference adopted a resolution, calling the member states and the international community to ensure all possible support for the implementation of the NLL project; the continuous growth of the Library had made it necessary to transfer parts of the stocks into other buildings. Thus, in 2013, NLL was distributed between five locations in Riga. Furthermore, some stocks were being stored since 1998 in a depot in Silakrogs outside the capital; these inconveniences convinced the Parliament to approve a new building on the left bank of the Daugava. On 15 May 2008, after discussions lasting for many years, the state agency Three New Brothers and the Union of National Construction Companies signed the contract on the construction of the new National Library of Latvia.
On 18 May 2014, the main facility of the Library at Krišjāņa Barona iela was close
The San Francisco Examiner
The San Francisco Examiner is a daily newspaper distributed in and around San Francisco, published since 1863. The longtime "Monarch of the Dailies" and flagship of the Hearst Corporation chain, the Examiner converted to free distribution early in the 21st century and is owned by the San Francisco Media Company LLC; the San Francisco Examiner was sold to Black Press Group, a Canadian media publisher, in 2011. As of 2014, The San Francisco Media Company LLC is held under Oahu Publications Inc. a subsidiary of Black Press Group Ltd. The Examiner was founded in 1863 as the Democratic Press, a pro-Confederacy, pro-slavery, pro-Democratic Party paper opposed to Abraham Lincoln, but after his assassination in 1865, the paper's offices were destroyed by a mob, starting on June 12, 1865, it was called the Daily Examiner. In 1880, mining engineer, entrepreneur and US Senator George Hearst bought the Examiner. Seven years after being elected to the U. S. Senate, he gave it to his son, William Randolph Hearst, 23 years old.
The elder Hearst "was said to have received the failing paper as partial payment of a poker debt."William Randolph Hearst hired S. S. Chamberlain, who had started the first American newspaper in Paris, as managing editor and Arthur McEwen as editor, changed the Examiner from an evening to a morning paper. Under him, the paper's popularity increased with the help of such writers as Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, the San Francisco-born Jack London, through the Examiner's version of yellow journalism, with ample use of foreign correspondents and splashy coverage of scandals such as two entire pages of cables from Vienna about the Mayerling Incident. William Randolph Hearst created the masthead with the "Hearst Eagle" and the slogan Monarch of the Dailies by 1889 at the latest. After the great earthquake and fire of 1906 destroyed much of San Francisco, the Examiner and its rivals — the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Call — brought out a joint edition; the Examiner offices were destroyed on April 18, 1906, but when the city was rebuilt, a new structure, the Hearst Building, arose in its place at Third and Market streets.
It opened in 1909, in 1937 the facade and lobby underwent an extensive remodeling designed by architect Julia Morgan. Through the middle third of the twentieth century, the Examiner was one of several dailies competing for the city's and the Bay Area's readership. Strident competition prevailed between the two papers in the 1960s. Circulation battles ended in a merging of resources between the two papers. For 35 years starting in 1965, the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner operated under a Joint Operating Agreement whereby the Chronicle published a morning paper and the Examiner published in the afternoon; the Examiner published the Sunday paper's news sections and glossy magazine, the Chronicle contributed the features. Circulation was 100,000 on weekdays and 500,000 on Sundays. By 1995, discussion was brewing in print media about the possible shuttering of the Examiner due to low circulation and an disadvantageous revenue sharing agreement for the Chronicle. In its stylebook and by tradition, the Examiner refers to San Francisco as "The City", both in headlines and text of stories.
San Francisco slang has traditionally referred to the newspaper in abbreviated slang form as "the Ex". When the Chronicle Publishing Company divested its interests, the Hearst Corporation purchased the Chronicle. To satisfy antitrust concerns, Hearst sold the Examiner to ExIn, LLC, a corporation owned by the politically connected Fang family, publishers of the San Francisco Independent and the San Mateo Independent. San Francisco political consultant Clint Reilly filed a lawsuit against Hearst, charging that the deal did not ensure two competitive newspapers and was instead a generous deal designed to curry approval. However, on July 27, 2000, a federal judge approved the Fangs' assumption of the Examiner name, its archives, 35 delivery trucks, a subsidy of $66 million, to be paid over three years. From their side, the Fangs paid Hearst US$100 for the Examiner. On February 24, 2003, the Examiner became a free daily newspaper, printed Sunday through Friday. On February 19, 2004, the Fang family sold the Examiner and its printing plant, together with the two Independent newspapers, to Philip Anschutz of Denver, Colorado.
His new company, Clarity Media Group, launched The Washington Examiner in 2005 and published The Baltimore Examiner from 2006 to 2009. In 2006, Anschutz donated the archives of the Examiner to the University of California, Berkeley Bancroft Library, the largest gift to the library. Under Clarity ownership, the Examiner pioneered a new business model for the newspaper industry. Designed to be read the Examiner is presented in a compact size without story jumps, it focuses on local news, business and sports with an emphasis on content relevant to local readers. It is delivered free to select neighborhoods in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, to single-copy outlets throughout San Franc
Realism, sometimes called naturalism, in the arts is the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, or implausible and supernatural elements. Realism has been prevalent in the arts at many periods, can be in large part a matter of technique and training, the avoidance of stylization. In the visual arts, illusionistic realism is the accurate depiction of lifeforms and the details of light and colour, but realist or naturalist works of art may, as well or instead of illusionist realism, be "realist" in their subject-matter, emphasize the mundane, ugly or sordid. This is typical of the 19th-century Realist movement that began in France in the 1850s, after the 1848 Revolution, social realism, regionalism, or kitchen sink realism; the Realist painters rejected Romanticism, which had come to dominate French literature and art, with roots in the late 18th century. There have been various movements invoking realism in the other arts, such as the opera style of verismo, literary realism, theatrical realism, Italian neorealist cinema.
Realism is the precise and accurate representation in art of the visual appearance of scenes and objects i.e. it is drawn in photographic precision. Realism in this sense is called naturalism, mimesis or illusionism. Realistic art was created in many periods, it is in large part a matter of technique and training, the avoidance of stylization, it becomes marked in European painting in the Early Netherlandish painting of Robert Campin, Jan van Eyck and other artists in the 15th century. However such "realism" is used to depict, for example, angels with wings, which were not things the artists had seen in real life. 19th-century Realism art movement painters such as Gustave Courbet are by no means noted for precise and careful depiction of visual appearances. It is the choice and treatment of subject matter that defines Realism as a movement in painting, rather than the careful attention to visual appearances. Other terms such as naturalism, naturalistic and "veristic" do not escape the same ambiguity, though the distinction between "realistic" and "realist" is useful, as is the term "illusionistic" for the accurate rendering of visual appearances.
The development of accurate representation of the visual appearances of things has a long history in art. It includes elements such as the accurate depiction of the anatomy of humans and animals, of perspective and effects of distance, of detailed effects of light and colour; the Art of the Upper Paleolithic in Europe achieved remarkably lifelike depictions of animals, Ancient Egyptian art developed conventions involving both stylization and idealization that allowed effective depictions to be produced widely and consistently. Ancient Greek art is recognised as having made great progress in the representation of anatomy, has remained an influential model since. No original works on panels or walls by the great Greek painters survive, but from literary accounts, the surviving corpus of derivative works it is clear that illusionism was valued in painting. Pliny the Elder's famous story of birds pecking at grapes painted by Zeuxis in the 5th century BC may well be a legend, but indicates the aspiration of Greek painting.
As well as accuracy in shape and colour, Roman paintings show an unscientific but effective knowledge of representing distant objects smaller than closer ones, representing regular geometric forms such as the roof and walls of a room with perspective. This progress in illusionistic effects in no way meant a rejection of idealism. Roman portraiture, when not under too much Greek influence, shows a greater commitment to a truthful depiction of its subjects; the art of Late Antiquity famously rejected illusionism for expressive force, a change well underway by the time Christianity began to affect the art of the elite. In the West classical standards of illusionism did not begin to be reached again until the Late medieval and Early Renaissance periods, were helped, first in the Netherlands in the early 15th century, around the 1470s in Italy, by the development of new techniques of oil painting which allowed subtle and precise effects of light to be painted using small brushes and several layers of paint and glaze.
Scientific methods of representing perspective were developed in Italy in the early 15th century and spread across Europe, accuracy in anatomy rediscovered under the influence of classical art. As in classical times, idealism remained the norm; the accurate depiction of landscape in painting had been developing in Early Netherlandish/Early Northern Renaissance and Italian Renaissance painting, was brought to a high level in 17th-century Dutch Golden Age painting, with subtle techniques for depicting a range of weather conditions and degrees of natural light. After being another development of Early Netherlandish painting, by 1600 European portraiture could give a good likeness in both painting and sculpture, though the subjects were idealized by smoothing features or giving them an artificial pose. Still life paintings, still life elements in other w
National Diet Library
The National Diet Library is the national library of Japan and among the largest libraries in the world. It was established in 1948 for the purpose of assisting members of the National Diet of Japan in researching matters of public policy; the library is similar in scope to the United States Library of Congress. The National Diet Library consists of two main facilities in Tōkyō and Kyōtō, several other branch libraries throughout Japan; the National Diet Library is the successor of three separate libraries: the library of the House of Peers, the library of the House of Representatives, both of which were established at the creation of Japan's Imperial Diet in 1890. The Diet's power in prewar Japan was limited, its need for information was "correspondingly small"; the original Diet libraries "never developed either the collections or the services which might have made them vital adjuncts of genuinely responsible legislative activity". Until Japan's defeat, the executive had controlled all political documents, depriving the people and the Diet of access to vital information.
The U. S. occupation forces under General Douglas MacArthur deemed reform of the Diet library system to be an important part of the democratization of Japan after its defeat in World War II. In 1946, each house of the Diet formed its own National Diet Library Standing Committee. Hani Gorō, a Marxist historian, imprisoned during the war for thought crimes and had been elected to the House of Councillors after the war, spearheaded the reform efforts. Hani envisioned the new body as "both a'citadel of popular sovereignty'", the means of realizing a "peaceful revolution"; the Occupation officers responsible for overseeing library reforms reported that, although the Occupation was a catalyst for change, local initiative pre-existed the Occupation, the successful reforms were due to dedicated Japanese like Hani. The National Diet Library opened in June 1948 in the present-day State Guest-House with an initial collection of 100,000 volumes; the first Librarian of the Diet Library was the politician Tokujirō Kanamori.
The philosopher Masakazu Nakai served as the first Vice Librarian. In 1949, the NDL became the only national library in Japan. At this time the collection gained an additional million volumes housed in the former National Library in Ueno. In 1961, the NDL opened at its present location in Nagatachō, adjacent to the National Diet. In 1986, the NDL's Annex was completed to accommodate a combined total of 12 million books and periodicals; the Kansai-kan, which opened in October 2002 in the Kansai Science City, has a collection of 6 million items. In May 2002, the NDL opened a new branch, the International Library of Children's Literature, in the former building of the Imperial Library in Ueno; this branch contains some 400,000 items of children's literature from around the world. Though the NDL's original mandate was to be a research library for the National Diet, the general public is the largest consumer of the library's services. In the fiscal year ending March 2004, for example, the library reported more than 250,000 reference inquiries.
As Japan's national library, the NDL collects copies of all publications published in Japan. Moreover, because the NDL serves as a research library for Diet members, their staffs, the general public, it maintains an extensive collection of materials published in foreign languages on a wide range of topics; the NDL has eight major specialized collections: Modern Political and Constitutional History. The Modern Political and Constitutional History Collection comprises some 300,000 items related to Japan's political and legal modernization in the 19th century, including the original document archives of important Japanese statesmen from the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century like Itō Hirobumi, Iwakura Tomomi, Sanjō Sanetomi, Mutsu Munemitsu, Terauchi Masatake, other influential figures from the Meiji and Taishō periods; the NDL has an extensive microform collection of some 30 million pages of documents relating to the Occupation of Japan after World War II. This collection include the documents prepared by General Headquarters and the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, the Far Eastern Commission, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey Team.
The Laws and Preliminary Records Collection consists of some 170,000 Japanese and 200,000 foreign-language documents concerning proceedings of the National Diet and the legislatures of some 70 foreign countries, the official gazettes, judicial opinions, international treaties pertaining to some 150 foreign countries. The NDL maintains a collection of some 530,000 books and booklets and 2 million microform titles relating to the sciences; these materials include, among other things, foreign doctoral dissertations in the sciences, the proceedings and reports of academic societies, catalogues of technical standards, etc. The NDL has a collection of 440,000 maps of Japan and other countries, including the topographica
St John's College, Cambridge
St John's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college was founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort. In constitutional terms, the college is a charitable corporation established by a charter dated 9 April 1511; the aims of the college, as specified by its statutes, are the promotion of education, religion and research. The college's alumni include the winners of ten Nobel Prizes, seven prime ministers and twelve archbishops of various countries, at least two princes and three Saints; the Romantic poet William Wordsworth studied at the college, as did William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson, the two abolitionists who led the movement that brought slavery to an end in the British Empire. Prince William was affiliated with St John's while undertaking a university-run course in estate management in 2014. St John's College is well known for its choir, its members' success in a wide variety of inter-collegiate sporting competitions and its annual May Ball. In 2011, the college celebrated its quincentenary, an event marked by a visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The site was occupied by the Hospital of St John the Evangelist founded around 1200. By 1470 Thomas Rotherham Chancellor of the university, extended to it the privileges of membership of the university; this led to St. John's House, as it was known, being conferred the status of a college. By the early 16th century the hospital was suffering from a lack of funds. Lady Margaret Beaufort, having endowed Christ's College sought to found a new college, chose the hospital site at the suggestion of John Fisher, her chaplain and Bishop of Rochester. However, Lady Margaret died without having mentioned the foundation of St John's in her will, it was the work of Fisher that ensured that the college was founded, he had to obtain the approval of King Henry VIII of England, the Pope through the intermediary Polydore Vergil, the Bishop of Ely to suppress the religious hospital, by which time held only a Master and three Augustinian brethren, convert it to a college. The college received its charter on 9 April 1511.
Further complications arose in obtaining money from the estate of Lady Margaret to pay for the foundation and it was not until 22 October 1512 that a codicil was obtained in the court of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In November 1512 the Court of Chancery allowed Lady Margaret's executors to pay for the foundation of the college from her estates; when Lady Margaret's executors took over they found most of the old Hospital buildings beyond repair, but repaired and incorporated the Chapel into the new college. A kitchen and hall were added, an imposing gate tower was constructed for the College Treasury; the doors were to be closed each day at dusk. Over the course of the following five hundred years, the college expanded westwards towards the River Cam, now has twelve courts, the most of any Oxford or Cambridge College; the first three courts are arranged in enfilade. The college has retained its relationship with Shrewsbury School since 1578, when the headmaster Thomas Ashton assisted in drawing up ordinances to govern the school.
Under these rulings, the borough bailiffs had power to appoint masters, along with Ashton's old college, St John's, having an academic veto. Since the appointment of Johnian academics to the Governing Body, the historic awarding of'closed' Shrewsbury Exhibitions, has continued; the current Master of St. John’s, Chris Dobson, has remained an ex officio Governor of Shrewsbury since 2007. St John's College first admitted women in October 1981, when K. M. Wheeler was admitted to the fellowship, along with nine female graduate students; the first women undergraduates arrived a year later. St John's distinctive Great Gate follows the standard contemporary pattern employed at Christ's College and Queens' College; the gatehouse is adorned with the arms of the foundress Lady Margaret Beaufort. Above these are displayed her ensigns, the Red Rose of Lancaster and Portcullis; the college arms are flanked by curious creatures known as yales, mythical beasts with elephants' tails, antelopes' bodies, goats' heads, swivelling horns.
Above them is a tabernacle containing a socle figure of St John the Evangelist, an Eagle at his feet and symbolic, poisoned chalice in his hands. The fan vaulting above is contemporary with tower, may have been designed by William Swayne, a master mason of King's College Chapel. First Court is entered via the Great Gate, is architecturally varied. First Court was converted from the hospital on the foundation of the college, constructed between 1511 and 1520. Though it has since been changed, the front range is still much as it appeared when first erected in the 16th century; the south range was refaced between 1772–6 in the Georgian style by the local architect, James Essex, as part of an abortive attempt to modernise the entire court in the same fashion. The most dramatic alteration to the original, Tudor court, remains the Victorian amendment of the north range, which involved the demolition of the original mediaeval chapel and the construction of a new, far larger set of buildings in the 1860s.
These included the Chapel, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, which includes in its interior some pieces saved from the original chapel. It is the tallest building in Cambridge; the alteration of the north range necessitated the restructuring of the connective sections of First Court.
Leland Stanford Junior University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is known for its academic strength, proximity to Silicon Valley, ranking as one of the world's top universities; the university was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr. who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Stanford was a U. S. Senator and former Governor of California who made his fortune as a railroad tycoon; the school admitted its first students on October 1, 1891, as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Stanford University struggled financially after the death of Leland Stanford in 1893 and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, Provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates' entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would be known as Silicon Valley; the university is one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.
The university is organized around three traditional schools consisting of 40 academic departments at the undergraduate and graduate level and four professional schools that focus on graduate programs in Law, Medicine and Business. Stanford's undergraduate program is the most selective in the United States by acceptance rate. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, the university is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pac-12 Conference, it has gained the most for a university. Stanford athletes have won 512 individual championships, Stanford has won the NACDA Directors' Cup for 24 consecutive years, beginning in 1994–1995. In addition, Stanford students and alumni have won 270 Olympic medals including 139 gold medals; as of October 2018, 83 Nobel laureates, 27 Turing Award laureates, 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford as students, faculty or staff. In addition, Stanford University is noted for its entrepreneurship and is one of the most successful universities in attracting funding for start-ups.
Stanford alumni have founded a large number of companies, which combined produce more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue and have created 5.4 million jobs as of 2011 equivalent to the 10th largest economy in the world. Stanford is the alma mater of 30 living billionaires and 17 astronauts, is one of the leading producers of members of the United States Congress. Stanford University was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford, dedicated to Leland Stanford Jr, their only child; the institution opened in 1891 on Stanford's previous Palo Alto farm. Despite being impacted by earthquakes in both 1906 and 1989, the campus was rebuilt each time. In 1919, The Hoover Institution on War and Peace was started by Herbert Hoover to preserve artifacts related to World War I; the Stanford Medical Center, completed in 1959, is a teaching hospital with over 800 beds. The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, established in 1962, performs research in particle physics. Jane and Leland Stanford modeled their university after the great eastern universities, most Cornell University and Harvard University.
Stanford opened being called the "Cornell of the West" in 1891 due to faculty being former Cornell affiliates including its first president, David Starr Jordan. Both Cornell and Stanford were among the first to have higher education be accessible and open to women as well as to men. Cornell is credited as one of the first American universities to adopt this radical departure from traditional education, Stanford became an early adopter as well. Most of Stanford University is on one of the largest in the United States, it is located on the San Francisco Peninsula, in the northwest part of the Santa Clara Valley 37 miles southeast of San Francisco and 20 miles northwest of San Jose. In 2008, 60% of this land remained undeveloped. Stanford's main campus includes a census-designated place within unincorporated Santa Clara County, although some of the university land is within the city limits of Palo Alto; the campus includes much land in unincorporated San Mateo County, as well as in the city limits of Menlo Park and Portola Valley.
The academic central campus is adjacent to Palo Alto, bounded by El Camino Real, Stanford Avenue, Junipero Serra Boulevard, Sand Hill Road. The United States Postal Service has assigned it two ZIP Codes: 94305 for campus mail and 94309 for P. O. box mail. It lies within area code 650. Stanford operates or intends to operate in various locations outside of its central campus. On the founding grant: Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is a 1,200-acre natural reserve south of the central campus owned by the university and used by wildlife biologists for research. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a facility west of the central campus operated by the university for the Department of Energy, it contains the longest linear particle accelerator in the world, 2 miles on 426 acres of land. Golf course and a seasonal lake: The university has its own golf course and a seasonal lake, both home to the vulnerable California tiger salamander; as of 2012 Lake Laguni
Not to be confused with Pierre Boileau. Pierre Boulle was a French novelist best known for two works, The Bridge over the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes, that were both made into award-winning films. Boulle was an engineer serving as a secret agent with the Free French in Singapore, when he was captured and subjected to two years' forced labour, he used these experiences in The Bridge over the River Kwai, about the notorious Death Railway, which became an international bestseller. The film, named The Bridge on the River Kwai, by David Lean won seven Oscars, Boulle was credited with writing the screenplay, because its two actual screenwriters had been blacklisted, his science-fiction novel Planet of the Apes, in which intelligent apes gain mastery over humans, was adapted into a series of nine award-winning films that spawned magazine and TV versions and popular themed toys. Born Pierre François Marie Louis Boulle in Avignon, Boulle was baptised and raised as a Catholic, although in life he became an agnostic.
He studied at the prestigious École supérieure d'électricité where he received an engineer's degree in 1933. From 1936 to 1939, he worked as a technician on British rubber plantations in Malaya. While there he met a Frenchwoman, separated from her husband, she was to become the love of his life. She chose to return to her husband, an official in French Indochina. During World War II she and her husband escaped into Malaya, but one of her children died in the process. Boulle would meet her after the war, they enjoyed a platonic friendship. At the outbreak of World War II, Boulle enlisted with the French army in Indochina. After German troops occupied France, he joined the Free French Mission in Singapore. During the war he was a supporter of Charles de Gaulle. Boulle served as a secret agent under the name Peter John Rule and helped the resistance movement in China and French Indochina. In 1943, he was captured by Vichy France loyalists on the Mekong River and was subjected to severe hardship and forced labour.
He was made a chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur and decorated with the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille de la Résistance. He described his war experiences in the non-fiction My Own River Kwai. After the war he would keep in touch with his war comrades for the rest of his life. After the war, Boulle returned to work for a while in the rubber industry, but in 1949 he moved back to Paris and began to write. While in Paris, too poor to afford his own flat, he lived in a hotel until his widowed sister, Madeleine Perrusset, allowed him to move into her large apartment, she had a daughter, Françoise, whom Pierre helped raise, but plans for him to adopt the girl never materialized. While in Paris, Boulle used his war experiences in writing Le Pont de la rivière Kwaï, which became a multi-million-copy worldwide bestseller, winning the French "Prix Sainte-Beuve"; the book was a semi-fictional story based on the real plight of Allied POWs forced to build a 415 km railway that passed over the bridge, which became known as the "Death Railway".
16,000 prisoners and 100,000 Asian conscripts died during construction of the line. His character of Lt-Col. Nicholson was not based on the real Allied senior officer at the Kwai bridges, Philip Toosey, but was an amalgam of his memories of collaborating French officers. Both the book and film outraged former prisoners because Toosey did not collaborate with the enemy, unlike the fictional Colonel Nicholson. Boulle outlined the reasoning which led him to conceive the character of Nicholson in an interview which forms part of the 1969 BBC2 documentary "Return to the River Kwai" made by former POW John Coast. A transcript of the interview and the documentary as a whole can be found in the new edition of John Coast's book "Railroad of Death". David Lean made the book into a motion picture that won seven 1957 Oscars, including the Best Picture, Best Actor for Alec Guinness. Boulle himself won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay despite not having written the screenplay and, by his own admission, not speaking English.
Boulle had been credited with the screenplay because the film's actual screenwriters, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, had been blacklisted as communist sympathizers. Boulle was neither a communist; the Motion Picture Academy added Foreman's and Wilson's names to the award in 1984. Kim Novak accepted the Oscar on behalf of Pierre Boulle. In 1963, following several other reasonably successful novels, Boulle published his other famous novel, La planète des singes, translated in 1964 as Monkey Planet by Xan Fielding, re-issued as Planet of the Apes; the book was praised and given such reviews as this example from England's Guardian newspaper: "Classic science fiction... full of suspense and satirical intelligence." In the year 2500, a group of astronauts, including journalist Ulysse Merou, voyage to a planet in the star system of Betelgeuse. They land to discover a bizarre world where intelligent apes are the Master Race and humans are reduced to savages: caged in zoos, used in laboratory experiments and hunted for sport.
The story of Ulysse's capture, his struggle to survive, the shattering climax as he returns to Earth and a horrific final discovery is gripping and fantastic. Yet the novel is a wry parable on science and the relationship between man and animal. In 1968, the book was made into an Oscar-winning film, directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston; the screenplay written by Rod Serling, focused more on action and deviated in many ways from the novel, including the addition of its own classic t