In July of 1883, an average middle-class Jewish family in an average suburb of Prague (then in Austria) ushered into the average world a new creature: Franz Kafka. He would never forgive them for this unnatural act of torture.
Franz kept his neurosis quietly to himself throughout his childhood, r
T. S. Eliot looked out on the landscape of the modern world after World War I and saw a place of disillusionment, shattered community, and lost spirituality. His poems describe the greyness of this sterile terrain and summon the traditions of the past -- both literary and religious -- to transcend t
French critic and novelist Simone de Beauvoir reinvented the feminist debate with her shocking text, "The Second Sex" (1953), which has become a theoretical bible for those interested in Existentialist and Marxist analysis of women's societal subservience. Since the arrival of Postmodernism at the ce
According to Lotte Lenya, longtime leading lady and intermittent wife of collaborator Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht was a brilliant and shameless appropriator of other writers' material. Whether a brilliant reinterpreter or shrewd plagiarizer -- the critics have been divided -- there's been no debate