Often called "the first of the moderns," Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes trailed legend behind him wherever he went. Even casual acquaintances were struck by Goya's surplus of personality: he was fiercely independent, an amateur toreador, a relentless adventurer, at times a street fighter, and (si
Jean Renoir inherited his acute feel for the poetry of landscapes -- from the famous Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste Renoir, his father. Emotive impressions of place, captured by a slowly panning camera, underlie the movement of his narratives. Renoir's genius lay in fusing environments and narr
As the story goes, Don Quixote has read too many books about knights and experiences the world through the eyes of a valiant soldier. He is a hero and a fool. He is, simply speaking, insane.
When Don Quixote encounters windmills, he sees giants and attacks them as any good knight would. As his
A French anglophile in the Age of Reason, Voltaire is best remembered for his fanciful philosophical tales -- "Candide," the most famous and well-constructed of these, is often referred to as the first novel. A reflective adventure story, "Candide" portrays a thinking everyman who meanders through a