G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG, was an English writer, philosopher, journalist, lay theologian and literary and art critic. Chesterton is referred to as the "prince of paradox". Time magazine has observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, allegories—first turning them inside out."Chesterton is well known for his fictional priest-detective Father Brown, for his reasoned apologetics. Some of those who disagree with him have recognised the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton referred to himself as an "orthodox" Christian, came to identify this position more and more with Catholicism converting to Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, his "friendly enemy", said of him, "He was a man of colossal genius." Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Cardinal John Henry Newman, John Ruskin. Chesterton was born in Campden Hill in Kensington, the son of Marie Louise, née Grosjean, Edward Chesterton.
He was baptised at the age of one month into the Church of England, though his family themselves were irregularly practising Unitarians. According to his autobiography, as a young man Chesterton became fascinated with the occult and, along with his brother Cecil, experimented with Ouija boards. Chesterton was educated at St Paul's School attended the Slade School of Art to become an illustrator; the Slade is a department of University College London, where Chesterton took classes in literature, but did not complete a degree in either subject. Chesterton married Frances Blogg in 1901. Chesterton credited Frances with leading him back to Anglicanism, though he considered Anglicanism to be a "pale imitation", he entered full communion with the Catholic Church in 1922. In September 1895 Chesterton began working for the London publisher Redway, where he remained for just over a year. In October 1896 he moved to the publishing house T. Fisher Unwin, where he remained until 1902. During this period he undertook his first journalistic work, as a freelance art and literary critic.
In 1902 the Daily News gave him a weekly opinion column, followed in 1905 by a weekly column in The Illustrated London News, for which he continued to write for the next thirty years. Early on Chesterton showed talent for art, he had planned to become an artist, his writing shows a vision that clothed abstract ideas in concrete and memorable images. His fiction contained concealed parables. Father Brown is perpetually correcting the incorrect vision of the bewildered folks at the scene of the crime and wandering off at the end with the criminal to exercise his priestly role of recognition and repentance. For example, in the story "The Flying Stars", Father Brown entreats the character Flambeau to give up his life of crime: "There is still youth and honour and humour in you. Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has been able to keep on one level of evil; that road goes down. The kind man turns cruel. Many a man I've known started like you to be an honest outlaw, a merry robber of the rich, ended stamped into slime."
Chesterton loved to debate engaging in friendly public disputes with such men as George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell and Clarence Darrow. According to his autobiography, he and Shaw played cowboys in a silent film, never released. Chesterton was a large man, weighing around 20 stone 6 pounds, his girth gave rise to a famous anecdote. During the First World War a lady in London asked why he was not "out at the Front". On another occasion he remarked to his friend George Bernard Shaw, "To look at you, anyone would think a famine had struck England." Shaw retorted, "To look at you, anyone would think you had caused it." P. G. Wodehouse once described a loud crash as "a sound like G. K. Chesterton falling onto a sheet of tin". Chesterton wore a cape and a crumpled hat, with a swordstick in hand, a cigar hanging out of his mouth, he had a tendency to forget where he was supposed to be going and miss the train, supposed to take him there. It is reported that on several occasions he sent a telegram to his wife Frances from some distant location, writing such things as "Am in Market Harborough.
Where ought I to be?" to which she would reply, "Home". In 1931, the BBC invited Chesterton to give a series of radio talks, he accepted, tentatively at first. However, from 1932 until his death, Chesterton delivered over 40 talks per year, he was allowed to improvise on the scripts. This allowed his talks to maintain an intimate character, as did the decision to allow his wife and secretary to sit with him during his broadcasts; the talks were popular. A BBC official remarked, after Chesterton's death, that "in another year or so, he would have become the dominating voice from Broadcasting House." Chesterton died of congestive heart failure on the morning of 14 June 1936, at his home in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. His last known words were a greeting spoken to his wife; the homily at Chesterton's Requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral, was delivered by Ronald Knox on 27 June 1936. Knox said, "All of this generation has grown up under Chesterton's influence
José de Alencar
José Martiniano de Alencar was a Brazilian lawyer, orator and dramatist. He is considered to be one of the most famous and influential Brazilian Romantic novelists of the 19th century, a major exponent of the literary tradition known as "Indianism". Sometimes he signed his works with the pen name Erasmo, he was patron of the 23rd chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters. José Martiniano de Alencar was born in Messejana, Ceará, on May 1, 1829, to politician José Martiniano Pereira de Alencar and his cousin Ana Josefina de Alencar, his family was a rich and influential clan in Northeastern Brazil, his grandmother being famous landowner Barbara Pereira de Alencar, heroine of the Pernambucan Revolution. Moving to São Paulo in 1844, he graduated in Law at the Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de São Paulo in 1850 and started his career in law in Rio de Janeiro. Invited by his friend Francisco Otaviano, he became a collaborator for the journal Correio Mercantil, he wrote many chronicles for the Diário do Rio de Janeiro and the Jornal do Commercio.
Alencar would compile all the chronicles he wrote for these newspapers in 1874, under the name Ao Correr da Pena. It was in the Diário do Rio de Janeiro, during the year of 1856, that Alencar gained notoriety, writing the Cartas sobre A Confederação dos Tamoios, under the pseudonym Ig. In them, he bitterly criticized the homonymous poem by Gonçalves de Magalhães; the Brazilian Emperor Pedro II, who esteemed Magalhães much, participated in this polemic, albeit under a pseudonym. In 1856, he wrote and published under feuilleton form his first romance, Cinco Minutos, that received critical acclaim. In the following year, his breakthrough novel, O Guarani, was released. O Guarani would be first novel of what is informally called Alencar's "Indianist Trilogy" – a series of three novels by Alencar that focused on the foundations of the Brazilian nation, on its indigenous peoples and culture; the other two novels and Ubirajara, would be published on 1865 and 1874, respectively. Although called a trilogy, the three books are unrelated in its plots.
Alencar was affiliated with the Conservative Party of Brazil, being elected as a general deputy for Ceará. He was the Brazilian Minister of Justice from 1868 to 1870, having famously opposed the abolition of slavery, he planned to be a senator, but Pedro II never appointed him, under the pretext of Alencar being too young. He was close friends with the famous writer Machado de Assis, who wrote an article in 1866 praising his novel Iracema, published the year before, comparing his Indianist works to Gonçalves Dias, saying that "Alencar was in prose what Dias was in poetry"; when Assis founded the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 1897, he chose Alencar as the patron of his chair. In 1864 he married daughter of an eccentric British aristocrat, they would have six children – Augusto, Ceci, Elisa, Mário and Adélia. Alencar died in Rio de Janeiro in a victim of tuberculosis. A theatre in Fortaleza, the Theatro José de Alencar, was named after him. Portuguese Wikiquote has quotations related to: José de Alencar Works by José Martiniano de Alencar at Project Gutenberg Works by or about José de Alencar at Internet Archive Works by José de Alencar at LibriVox José de Alencar's biography at the official site of the Brazilian Academy of Letters A biography of Alencar at the official site of Messejana
Emil Cioran was a Romanian philosopher and essayist, who published works in both Romanian and French. His work has been noted for its pervasive philosophical pessimism, engages with issues of suffering and nihilism. Among his best-known works are On the Heights of Despair and The Trouble with Being Born. Cioran's first French book, A Short History of Decay, was awarded the prestigious Rivarol Prize in 1950; the Latin Quarter of Paris was his permanent residence and he lived much of his life in isolation with his partner Simone Boué. Cioran was born in Resinár, Szeben County, part of Austria-Hungary at the time, his father, Emilian Cioran, was an Orthodox priest. His mother, was from Veneția de Jos, a commune near Făgăraș. After focusing on Humanities at the Gheorghe Lazăr High School in Sibiu, Cioran, at age 17, entered the University of Bucharest, where he studied philosophy and met Eugène Ionesco and Mircea Eliade, who became his friends. Future Romanian philosopher Constantin Noica and future Romanian thinker Petre Țuțea became his closest academic colleagues.
Cioran, Țuțea became supporters of Ionescu's ideas, known as Trăirism. Cioran had a good command of German, his early studies revolved around Immanuel Kant, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche. He became an agnostic, taking as an axiom "the inconvenience of existence". While at the University, he was influenced by Georg Simmel, Ludwig Klages and Martin Heidegger, but by the Russian philosopher Lev Shestov, whose contribution to Cioran’s central system of thought was the belief that life is arbitrary. Cioran's graduation thesis was on Henri Bergson, whom he rejected, claiming Bergson did not comprehend the tragedy of life. In 1933, he received a scholarship to the University of Berlin, where he came into contact with Klages and Nicolai Hartmann. While in Berlin, he became interested in the policies of the Nazi regime, contributed a column to Vremea dealing with the topic, and, in a letter written to Petru Comarnescu, described himself as "a Hitlerist", he held similar views about Italian fascism, welcoming victories in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, arguing that: "Fascism is a shock, without which Italy is a compromise comparable to today's Romania".
Cioran’s first book, On the Heights of Despair, was published in Romania in 1934. It was awarded the Commission’s Prize and the Young Writers Prize for one of the best books written by an unpublished young writer. Successively, The Book of Delusions, The Transfiguration of Romania, Tears and Saints, were published in Romania. Although Cioran was never a member of the group, it was during this time in Romania that he began taking an interest in the ideas put forth by the Iron Guard—a far right organization whose nationalist ideology he supported until the early years of World War II, despite disapproving of their violent methods. Cioran revised The Transfiguration of Romania in its second edition released in the 1990s, eliminating numerous passages he considered extremist or "pretentious and stupid". In its original form, the book expressed sympathy for totalitarianism, a view, present in various articles Cioran wrote at the time, which aimed to establish "urbanization and industrialization" as "the two obsessions of a rising people".
Marta Petreu's An Infamous Past: E. M. Cioran and the Rise of Fascism in Romania, published in English in 2005, gives an in-depth analysis of The Transfiguration, his early call for modernization was, hard to reconcile with the traditionalism of the Iron Guard. In 1934, he wrote, "I find that in Romania the sole fertile and invigorating nationalism can only be one which does not just dismiss tradition, but denies and defeats it". Disapproval of what he viewed as Romanian traits had been present in his works, which led to criticism from the far right Gândirea, as well as from various Iron Guard papers. After returning from Berlin in 1936, Cioran taught philosophy at the Andrei Șaguna High School in Brașov for a year. In 1937, he left for Paris with a scholarship from the French Institute of Bucharest, prolonged until 1944. After a short stay in his home country, Cioran never returned again; this last period in Romania was the one in which he exhibited a closer relationship with the Iron Guard, which by had taken power.
On 28 November, for the state-owned Romanian Radio, Cioran recorded a speech centered on the portrait of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, former leader of the movement, praising him and the Guard for, among other things, "having given Romanians a purpose". He renounced not only his support for the Iron Guard, but their nationalist ideas, expressed regret and repentance for his emotional implication in it. For example, in a 1972
Alfred Brendel KBE is an Austrian pianist and author, known for his performances of Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven. Brendel was born in Czechoslovakia to a non-musical family, they moved to Zagreb, when Brendel was six and there he began piano lessons with Sofija Deželić. He moved to Graz, where he studied piano with Ludovica von Kaan at the Graz Conservatory and composition with Artur Michel. Towards the end of World War II, the 14-year-old Brendel was sent back to Yugoslavia to dig trenches. After the war, Brendel composed music as well as continuing to play the piano, to write and to paint. However, he never had more formal piano lessons and, although he attended master classes with Edwin Fischer and Eduard Steuermann, he was self-taught after the age of sixteen. Brendel gave his first public recital in Graz at the age of 17, he called it "The Fugue in Piano Literature", as well as fugal works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms and Franz Liszt, it included a sonata of Brendel's own composition.
In 1949 he won fourth prize in the Ferruccio Busoni Piano Competition in Italy. He toured throughout Europe and Latin America building his career and participating in a few masterclasses of Paul Baumgartner, Eduard Steuermann and Edwin Fischer. At the age of 21, in 1952, he made his solo first recording, Franz Liszt's Weihnachtsbaum, the work's world premiere recording, his first concerto recording, Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 5 had been made a couple of years earlier. He went on to make a string of other records, including three complete sets of the Beethoven piano sonatas, he was the first performer to record the complete solo piano works of Beethoven. He has recorded works by Liszt, Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. An important collection of Alfred Brendel is the complete Mozart piano concertos recorded with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, included in the Philips 180 CD complete Mozart Edition, he has recorded or performed little of the music of Frédéric Chopin, but not because of any lack of admiration for the composer.
He considers Chopin's Preludes "the most glorious achievement in piano music after Beethoven and Schubert". Brendel recorded extensively for the Vox label, providing them his first of three sets of the complete Beethoven sonatas, his breakthrough came after a recital of Beethoven at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the day after which three major record labels called his agent. Around this time he moved to Hampstead, where he still resides. Since the 1970s, Brendel has recorded for Philips Classics Records. Brendel completed many tours in Europe, the United States, South America and Australia, he had a close association with the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, but played with all major orchestras in the US and elsewhere. Brendel has performed many cycles of the Beethoven Sonatas and Concertos, was one of the few pianists who, in years, could continue to fill large halls, he is only the third pianist to have been awarded honorary membership of the Vienna Philharmonic, he was awarded the Hans von Bülow Medal by the Berlin Philharmonic.
Reviewing his 1993 Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas, Damian Thompson of The Daily Telegraph described it as "a more magisterial approach... sprinkled with touches of Brendel's strange, quirky humour," while Robert Cummings at classical.net said, "There have been many fine pianists who have recorded the Beethoven sonatas with acclaim, including Richard Goode.. Vladimir Ashkenazy, the justly praised Artur Schnabel. Brendel takes his place among the greatest Beethoven interpreters of any time, this disc finds him at his most inspiring."In April 2007 Brendel was one of the initial signatories of the "Appeal for the Establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations". In 2009 Brendel was featured in the award-winning German-Austrian documentary Pianomania, about a Steinway & Sons piano tuner, directed by Lilian Franck and Robert Cibis; the film premiered theatrically in North America, where it was met with positive reviews by The New York Times, as well as in Asia and throughout Europe, is a part of the Goethe-Institut catalogue.
Brendel performed the music of Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart. He has played few 20th century works but has performed Arnold Schoenberg's Piano Concerto. Toward the end of his concert career he stopped playing some physically demanding pieces, such as the Hammerklavier Sonata of Beethoven, due to arthritis. Critical reaction to Brendel's playing has been mixed, he was lauded by music critic Michael Steinberg as "the new Schnabel", whereas NY Times critic Harold C. Schonberg noted that some critics and specialists accused the pianist of "pedanticism". Brendel's playing is sometimes described as being "cerebral", he has said that he believes the primary job of the pianist is to respect the composer's wishes without showing off himself, or adding his own spin on the music: "I am responsible to the composer, to the piece". Brendel cites, in addition to his mentor and teacher Edwin Fischer, pianists Alfred Cortot, Wilhelm Kempff, the conductors Bruno Walter and Wilhelm Furtwängler as particular influences on his musical development.
Brendel has worked with younger pianists such as Paul Lewis, Till Fellner and, most Kit Armstrong. He has performed in concert and recorded with his son Adrian and has appeared in many Lieder recitals with Herm
Jens Ingvald Bjørneboe was a Norwegian writer whose work spanned a number of literary formats. He was a painter and a Waldorf school teacher. Bjørneboe was a harsh and eloquent critic of Norwegian society and Western civilization on the whole, he led a turbulent life and his uncompromising opinions cost him both an obscenity conviction as well as long periods of heavy drinking and bouts of depression, which in the end led to his suicide. Jens Bjørneboe's first published work was Poems in 1951, he is considered to be one of Norway's most important post-war authors. Bjørneboe identified himself, as an anarcho-nihilist. During the Norwegian language struggle, Bjørneboe was a notable proponent of the Riksmål language, together with his famous cousin André Bjerke. Jens Bjørneboe was born in Kristiansand to Ingvald and Anna Marie Bjørneboe, he grew up in his father a shipping magnate and a consul for Belgium. The Bjørneboe family immigrated from Germany in the 17th century and adopted their Norwegian name.
Coming from a long line of marine officers, Bjørneboe went to sea as a young man. Bjørneboe had a troubled childhood with depressions, he was bedbound for several years following severe pneumonia. At thirteen he attempted suicide by hanging himself, he began drinking when he was twelve, he would consume large amounts of wine when his parents were away. It is rumored that he drank his father's aftershave on several occasions. In 1943 Bjørneboe fled to Sweden to avoid forced labor under the Nazi occupation. During this exile, he met the German Jewish painter Lisel Funk, who became his first wife. Lisel Funk introduced him to many aspects of German culture German literature and the arts. Bjørneboe's early work was poetry, his first book was Poems, consisting of religious poetry. Bjørneboe wrote a number of critical novels. Among those were Ere the Cock Crows and The Evil Shepherd. Ere the Cock Crows is a critique of what Bjørneboe saw as the harsh treatment, after the Second World War, of people suspected of having associated in any way with the Nazis.
Jonas deals with injustices and shortcomings of the school system and The Evil Shepherd with the Norwegian prison system. His most significant work is considered to be the trilogy The History of Bestiality, consisting of the novels Moment of Freedom and The Silence. Bjørneboe wrote a number of plays, among them The Bird Lovers and Amputation, a collaboration with Eugenio Barba and the Danish theatre ensemble Odin Teatret. In 1967, he was convicted for publishing a novel deemed pornographic, Without a Stitch, confiscated and banned in Norway; the trial, made the book a huge success in foreign editions, Bjørneboe's financial problems were solved. His last major work was the novel The Sharks. After having struggled with depression and alcoholism for a long time, he committed suicide by hanging on 9 May 1976. In his obituary in Aftenposten, Bjørneboe's life and legacy were described as follows: For 25 years Jens Bjørneboe was a center of unrest in Norwegian cultural life: Passionately concerned with contemporary problems in nearly all their aspects and with the courage to be so, with a conscious will to carry things to extremes.
He was not to be pigeonholed. He dropped in on many philosophical and political movements, but couldn't settle down in any of them, he was a wanderer, always traveling on in search of what was for him the truth—and he was a free man, in that he always ruthlessly followed his innermost intentions. He could say, like Søren Kierkegaard, that "subjectivity is truth," for he knew no other guide than his personal conviction and his own impulses—but he related not to himself, his subjective grasp always involved the totality. Ere the Cock Crows Jonas Under a Harsher Sky Winter in Bellapalma Little Boy Blue The Evil Shepherd The Dream and the Wheel, about author Ragnhild Jølsen Moment of Freedom Without a Stitch Powderhouse Duke Hans The Silence The Sharks Many Happy Returns The Bird Lovers Semmelweis Amputation. Reprinted as: Amputations: Texts for an Extraordinary Spectacle The Torgersen Case Blue Jeans Poems Ariadne The Great City Happy Birthday Norway, my Norway We Who Loved America Police and Anarchy Gary Kern on Jens Bjørneboe and the History of Bestiality
Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, a book of lyric poetry titled Les Fleurs du mal, expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the mid-19th century. Baudelaire's original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé, among many others, he is credited with coining the term "modernity" to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, the responsibility of artistic expression to capture that experience. Baudelaire was born in Paris, France, on April 9, 1821, baptized two months at Saint-Sulpice Roman Catholic Church, his father, Joseph-François Baudelaire, a senior civil servant and amateur artist, was 34 years older than Baudelaire's mother, Caroline. François died during Baudelaire's childhood, at rue Hautefeuille, Paris, on February 10, 1827.
The following year, Caroline married Lieutenant Colonel Jacques Aupick, who became a French ambassador to various noble courts. Baudelaire's biographers have seen this as a crucial moment, considering that finding himself no longer the sole focus of his mother's affection left him with a trauma, which goes some way to explaining the excesses apparent in his life, he stated in a letter to her that, "There was in my childhood a period of passionate love for you." Baudelaire begged his mother for money throughout his career promising that a lucrative publishing contract or journalistic commission was just around the corner. Baudelaire was educated in Lyon. At fourteen he was described by a classmate as "much more refined and distinguished than any of our fellow pupils... we are bound to one another... by shared tastes and sympathies, the precocious love of fine works of literature." Baudelaire was erratic in his studies, at times diligent, at other times prone to "idleness". He attended the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris, studying law, a popular course for those not yet decided on any particular career.
He may have contracted gonorrhea and syphilis during this period. He began to run up debts for clothes. Upon gaining his degree in 1839, he told his brother "I don't feel I have a vocation for anything." His stepfather had in mind a career in law or diplomacy, but instead Baudelaire decided to embark upon a literary career. His mother recalled: "Oh, what grief! If Charles had let himself be guided by his stepfather, his career would have been different.... He would not have left a name in literature, it is true, but we should have been happier, all three of us." His stepfather sent him on a voyage to Calcutta, India, in 1841 in the hope of ending his dissolute habits. The trip provided strong impressions of the sea and exotic ports, that he employed in his poetry. On returning to the taverns of Paris, he began to compose some of the poems of "Les Fleurs du Mal". At 21, he squandered much of it within a few years, his family obtained a decree to place his property in trust, which he resented bitterly, at one point arguing that allowing him to fail financially would have been the one sure way of teaching him to keep his finances in order.
Baudelaire became known in artistic circles as a dandy and free-spender, going through much of his inheritance and allowance in a short period of time. During this time, Jeanne Duval became his mistress, she was rejected by his family. His mother thought Duval a "Black Venus" who "tortured him in every way" and drained him of money at every opportunity. Baudelaire made a suicide attempt during this period, he wrote for a revolutionary newspaper. However, his interest in politics was passing, as he was to note in his journals. In the early 1850s, Baudelaire struggled with poor health, pressing debts, irregular literary output, he moved from one lodging to another to escape creditors. He undertook many projects that he was unable to complete, though he did finish translations of stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Upon the death of his stepfather in 1857, Baudelaire received no mention in the will but he was heartened nonetheless that the division with his mother might now be mended. At 36 he wrote her: "believe that I belong to you and that I belong only to you."
His mother died on August 16, 1871, outliving her son by four years. His first published work, under the pseudonym Baudelaire Dufaÿs, was his art review "Salon of 1845", which attracted immediate attention for its boldness. Many of his critical opinions were novel in their time, including his championing of Delacroix, some of his views seem remarkably in tune with the future theories of the Impressionist painters. In 1846, Baudelaire wrote his second Salon review, gaining additional credibility as an advocate and critic of Romanticism, his continued support of Delacroix as the foremost Romantic artist gained widespread notice. The following year Baudelaire's novella La Fanfarlo was published. Baudelaire was a slow and attentive worker; however he was sidetracked by indolence, emotional distress and illness, it was not until 1857 that he published his first and most famous volume of poems, Les Fleurs du mal. Some of these poems had appeared in the Revue des deux mondes (Review of Two