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
Wary friend of Existentialism and gentle foe of nature's illusions, Irish novelist, poet, and playwright Samuel Beckett is one of the foremost artists of the twentieth century, and certainly one of the most influential. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1969 against his more modest wishes, Beckett specializ
Gertrude Stein may challenge Jacqueline Susann as the biggest self-promoter of twentieth-century letters. Stein had a habit of proclaiming herself a "genius" and each of her works a "masterpiece." She was perhaps stretching it a bit, but she did become a pivotal figure in Modernism, influencing a
Marcel Proust wrote one novel. It took a transformation from aristocrat to hermit, long nights in a cork-lined room (to drown out the bustling clamor of the Paris boulevards below), and more than ten years to write it. He called his opus, a tomb replete with half-page sentences and sinuous revelation