Category Archives: Books

March 25

Stories of Venice: Joseph Brodsky’s ‘Watermark’

According to legend, on the 25th of March 421, Venice was founded. Its founding is identified with the dedication of the first church San Giacomo at the islet of Rialto. Nevertheless, it has been hard to place it within historical context, as the church had not been mentioned in any form of document until 1152. […]

March 23

John Lennon: James Joyce’s Illegitimate Son?

On the 23rd of March 1964, In His Own Write by John Lennon was first published. The book was the first solo Beatle project in any form that turned out to be an instant success. Printed initially by Jonathan Cape of Great Britain, it sold only in England 50,000 copies on the first day. In […]

March 19

Tarzan and the Story of White Settlers in Africa

On the 19th of March 1950, the American writer widely known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs, died in Enciano, California. After doing various low paid jobs, first at a ranch in Idaho, then at his father’s firm, and later as a pencil sharpener wholesaler, he did not take up […]

March 07

Alice B. Toklas and Her Famous Pot Fudge

On the 7th of March 1967, Alice Babette Toklas, a longtime lover, secretary, editor, cook, and companion of the writer Gertrude Stein, died in Paris, France. An American of Polish descent, Toklas met Stein in Paris on the 8th of September 1907, and fell in love with her. The feeling was mutual, and so the […]

February 25

Bullfighting: Art vs Moral Dilemma

On the 25th of February 1906, the Spanish bullfighter Domingo Ortega was born in Borox, Toledo, Spain. His career as a bullfighter had been prompted by a spectacular incident, which took place in the summer of 1928 during a novillada – a bullfight of young bulls. Ortega, witnessing the bullfighter being dangerously injured, jumped into […]

February 17

Sadeq Hedayat: Forbidden Voice of Iranian Literature

On the 17th of February 1903, the Iranian modern writer Sadeq Hedayat was born in Tehran, Iran. A child of Iranian aristocratic parents, Hedayat went to a French catholic school, and in 1925, was selected together with a few other students to travel to Europe to continue his studies. There, he pursued various unsuccessful enterprises […]

January 17

Chekhov’s ‘The Cherry Orchard’: Comedy or Tragedy?

On the 17th of January 1904, The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov had its premiere at the Moscow Art Theatre. The play was staged by the famous actor/director and creator of the eponymous Stanislavski method, known as “method acting”, Constantin Stanislavski. The original intention of Chekhov was for The Cherry Orchard to be a comedy; […]