Category Archives: Literature

August 01

Jim Carroll: Punk and Poetry

On the 1st of August 1949, American poet and punk musician Jim Carroll was born in Manhattan, New York City. Initially a pupil at Catholic schools, in 1964 he won a scholarship to the elite Trinity School, where he starred at basketball. It is at Trinity that he took up writing and started experimenting with […]

July 31

Primo Levi: Chemistry and the Holocaust

On the 31st of July 1919, the Italian Jewish chemist and writer Primo Levi was born in Turin, Italy. A survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, he emerged after the war as one of the most incisive and candid intellects among those writers who had experienced the Holocaust. He grew up during the years preceding […]

July 16

Censorship in Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’

On the 16th of July 1951, The Catcher in the Rye, a novel by J. D. Salinger was published by Little, Brown and Company in the United States. Initially intended for an adult audience, the book soon found its own readership and has since become enormously popular with adolescents, mainly as it explores themes such as teenage […]

July 04

Alice in Wonderland and Photography

On the 4th of July 1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published in London. Written by Victorian author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898) under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, author, mathematician and Oxford don, this fantasy novel has since made him famous all over the world. Less known is the fact that Dodgson was also an avid […]

June 25

George Orwell’s Childhood Recollections

On the 25th of June 1903, English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic Eric Arthur Blair, known by the pen name George Orwell, was born in Motihari, Bengal Presidency, British India. Regarded as one of the most influential English writers of the twentieth century, he is best known for the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), in which he […]

June 23

Mark Gertler: Figurative Painting and ‘Women in Love’

On the 23rd of June 1939, British figurative painter Mark Gertler gassed himself in his London studio. His suicide ended the period of the artist’s prolonged depression caused by growing financial difficulties, unfavourable reviews after the exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery, and the recent break up with his wife. He had also never fully recovered […]

June 11

Renée Vivien and the Trials of Lesbian Poetry

On the 11th of June 1877, English poet Renée Vivien (née Pauline Mary Tarn) was born in London to a wealthy British father and an American mother. She adopted her French name at the age of twenty-one after moving to Paris, where she lived a notorious bohemian lifestyle defined by her quirky style of dressing, turbulent […]