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
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
The unlucky landlord of "Rent" died the night his smash Broadway musical was born in 1996. Following the musical's final dress rehearsal, Broadway's Great White Hope for the American musical unexpectedly perished in his apartment of an aortic aneurysm at the age of 35.
Theater's wunderkind reworked
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