Monthly Archives: December 2017

December 31

Andersen’s Little Match Girl

Here is an aspirational dramatic story about hope, love and generosity, the important matters in life, set in the last day of the calendar year, 31st of December. The Little Match Girl  (Danish: Den Lille Pige med Svovlstikkerne) is a short story by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), first published in 1845. The editor […]

December 30

Guru Ramana Maharshi on Meditation

We all want to be that little bit better in the new year, both on the inside and on the outside . Love yourself, love the world around you, better yourself through meditation! Heed the advice of Ramana Maharshi (1879–1950), born on the 30th of December 1879 in Tamil Nadu, South India; here are some snippets from interviews with […]

December 29

The Awakening of Joyce’s Lust for Beauty

For those soul-searching, here is an excerpt from  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the first novel of Irish writer James Joyce (1882 – 1941). This autobiographical Künstlerroman is unprecedented in literature for its use of free indirect speech prefiguring Joyce’s stream of consciousness technique. American modernist poet Ezra Pound had the novel published in book format […]

December 28

How to Read a Book

You might have some welcome time on your hands in the holiday season, so why not dig into a new book! But do you really know how to read a book? Mortimer J. Adler (1902 – 2001) was born in New York City on the 28th of December 1902 to Jewish immigrants. Adler co-founded the […]

December 27

Darwin’s Beagle Journals

Here is something for those explorers planning a new year full of exciting travels! On the 27th of December 1831, Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) embarked on his first journey aboard the HMS Beagle, during which he began to formulate the theory of evolution. The trip lasted almost 5 years taking him from Plymouth to […]

December 26

Boxing Day Bonanza

To celebrate festive traditions, here is an excerpt from The Book of Christmas descriptive of the Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling, and Festivities of the Christmas Season (1836) by Victorian poet and critic Thomas Kibble Hervey (1799 – 1859). “Boxing-day is still a great day in London. Upon this anniversary, every street resounds with the clang of […]

December 25

The Story Of the First Christmas Ads

The following excerpt about the age-old material significance of Christmas comes from Pulitzer nominated Prof. Stephen Nissenbaum’s The Battle for Christmas, (Random House, 1997): “If the domestic reform of Christmas began as an enterprise of patricians, fearful for their authority, it was soon being reinforced by merchants, who needed the streets to be cleared of […]