Sean O'Casey stormed the citadel of English cultural imperialism in his native Ireland with powerhouse plays promoting Irish nationalism. Born and bred in the Dublin slums, illiterate until the age of 14, and a self-taught reader, writer, and theater-goer, O'Casey maintained a strong bias towards the
Arthur Rimbaud made his way through language like some crazed channeler of unseen forces. As a Symbolist poet, Rimbaud scrambled the senses and his prose, forging a synesthetic wash of words sustained by their own momentum and internal sense. There is no clear form (he did not write sonnets); there's
Shortly after arriving in Vienna to study at the Academy of Art, the 17-year-old Egon Schiele encountered the 45-year-old Gustav Klimt, then the leading figure in Austrian Art Nouveau and the Vienna avant-garde. The older painter would become Schiele's lifelong friend and mentor; his affect on Schiel
Probably the most lyrical and emotional of the German Expressionists, Kathe Kollwitz explored the austere themes of suffering and death in her poignant prints and compelling sculptures.
Born to parents with strong Socialist beliefs, Kollwitz later married a doctor but settled in one of the poorest