Browsing: Literature

A Brief History On June 8, 1949, the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by English writer Eric Blair, writing as George Orwell, was published, telling a story of a dystopian future where an intrusive government controls all, sees all, and wages never ending war. Digging Deeper Modeled after the regimes of the USSR under Stalin and Germany under Adolf Hitler, the novel terrified a generation about the dangers of big government and what the future might hold.  Politicians and others often referred to the work in an effort to prevent the creep of government power. Some other novels that have shaped public…

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A Brief History On March 1, 2024, American sci-fi movie fans will be treated to the opening of the latest of the movies based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, Dune.  After the highly successful Denis Villeneuve 2021 reboot of the Dune story, the 2024 film, Dune: Part Two, is a sequel also brought to us by Villeneuve and with the same main cast. Digging Deeper Casting is indeed great, with Timothée Chalamet returning as the main character, Paul, and his frenemy/love interest Chani played by Zendaya. The all-star cast includes Christopher Walken, David Bautista, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Rebecca Ferguson,…

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A Brief History On February 21, 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published The Communist Manifesto, a book that has become the antithesis of capitalists everywhere and to many, synonymous with all that is wrong with the communist sympathizers of the world. Digging Deeper Another book that has achieved a distinct level of distaste among a large part of humanity is Mein Kampf, the fascist manifesto by Adolf Hitler that inspired the catastrophe of World War II and the Holocaust, and continues to inspire haters even today. Obviously, people of certain religions detest the holy books of competing religions, such…

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A Brief History On January 2, 1921, Czech playwright Karel Čapek premiered his classic play, R.U.R. in Hradec Králové, in what was then the First Czechoslovak Republic.  The most important legacy of this famous play is the coining of the word, “Robot.”  As used in the play, “robot” does not really mean the mechanical gizmo we think of today. Digging Deeper Prior to R.U.R., people used words such as “android” and “automaton” to describe what we think of as robots, but in the actual play, the “robots” were not the metal men the name evokes, but more along the line…

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A Brief History On November 19, 1887, Emma Lazarus, the author of “The New Colossus,” a sonnet that appears on a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty, died in New York city at the age of 38, possibly of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Despite her brief life, her famous poem is familiar to almost all Americans.  Is it in fact the most famous American poem? Digging Deeper Here are some contenders for that title, and you can tell us if one of these poems is the most famous American verse or nominate your own in the comments section for…

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