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
Herman Melville was born in 1819 to a quintessentially American family -- one bestarred with Revolutionary heroes and Tea Party guests. His father, Allan Melvill (who would later add the elegant "e" to the family name), had a mediocre opinion of him, writing around his son's 12th birthday that he was
Berryman is a character of literary history who was a mix of eccentricity, emotional instability, and revelatory genius. And his persona was all of his own creating: for example, this native Oklahoman insisted on speaking in a fabricated British accent, usually in the higher registers of his voice.
Chagall was born into a tradition-steeped Russian household, which inspired in him a love of Russian-Jewish folktales and a deep reverence for the Jewish religion. From these elements he created the fantastical, personal paintings that relate a sense of fairytale atemporality -- in short, a poetic