The Life You Give / La Vida Que Das: Rosario Castellanos *1925

Biografía en español a fin de página Rosario Castellanos, born May 25, 1925, in Mexico City, Mexico, is the novelist, short-story writer, poet, essayist, and diplomat who was probably the most important Mexican woman writer of the 20th century. Her 1950 master’s thesis, Sobre cultura femenina (“On Feminine Culture”), became a turning point for modern… Continue reading The Life You Give / La Vida Que Das: Rosario Castellanos *1925

The Life You Give: Søren Kierkegaard *1813

Søren Kierkegaard, born Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, on May 5, 1813, in Copenhagen, Denmark, is the philosopher, theologian, and cultural critic who was a major influence on existentialism and Protestant theology in the 20th century. He attacked the literary, philosophical, and ecclesiastical establishments of his day for misrepresenting the highest task of human existence—namely, becoming oneself… Continue reading The Life You Give: Søren Kierkegaard *1813

The Life You Give: Ethel Smyth *1858

Dame Ethel Smyth, born Ethel Mary Smyth, on April 22, 1858, in London, is the composer whose work was notably eclectic, ranging from conventional to experimental.Born into a military family, Smyth studied at the Leipzig Conservatory and was encouraged by Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák. She first gained notice with her sweeping Mass in D… Continue reading The Life You Give: Ethel Smyth *1858

The Life You Give: Maya Angelou *1928

Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson, on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., is the poet, memoirist, and actress whose several volumes of autobiography explore the themes of economic, racial, and sexual oppression.Although born in St. Louis, Angelou spent much of her childhood in the care of her paternal grandmother in rural Stamps,… Continue reading The Life You Give: Maya Angelou *1928

The concept of The Life You Give, and why Frédéric Chopin

As a pianist, Chopin was unique in acquiring a reputation of the highest order on the basis of a minimum of public appearances—few more than 30 in the course of his lifetime. His original and sensitive approach to the keyboard allowed him to exploit all the resources of the piano of his day. He was… Continue reading The concept of The Life You Give, and why Frédéric Chopin

The Live You Give: Yukio Mishima *1925

Mishima Yukio, born Hiraoka Kimitake, January 14 1925 in Tokyo, Japan, was a prolific writer who is regarded by many critics as the most important Japanese novelist of the 20th century.Mishima was the son of a high civil servant and attended the aristocratic Peers School in Tokyo. During World War II, having failed to qualify… Continue reading The Live You Give: Yukio Mishima *1925

The Life You Give: J.R.R. Tolkien *1892

J.R.R. Tolkien, born John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, January 3 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa, is the English writer and scholar who achieved fame with his children’s book The Hobbit (1937) and his richly inventive epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings (1954–55).At age four Tolkien, with his mother and younger brother, settled near Birmingham, England,… Continue reading The Life You Give: J.R.R. Tolkien *1892

Celebration Day I: January 1 2022 — Happy Birthday, Edmund Burke *1.1.1729

Edmund Burke, born January 1, [Old Style], 1729, in Dublin, Ireland, was statesman, parliamentary orator, and political thinker prominent in public life from 1765 to about 1795 and important in the history of political theory. He championed conservatism in opposition to Jacobinism in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790).Early lifeBurke, the son of a… Continue reading Celebration Day I: January 1 2022 — Happy Birthday, Edmund Burke *1.1.1729

The Life You Give: Edgard Varèse *1883

Edgard Varèse, born Edgar Varèse on Dec. 22, 1883, in Paris, France, was a composer and innovator in 20th-century techniques of sound production.Varèse spent his boyhood in Paris, Burgundy, and Turin, Italy. After composing without formal instruction as a youth, he later studied under Vincent d’Indy, Albert Roussel, and Charles Widor and was strongly encouraged… Continue reading The Life You Give: Edgard Varèse *1883

The Life You Give: Marina Abramović *1946

Marina Abramović, born November 30, 1946, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia [now in Serbia]), is a performance artist known for works that dramatically tested the endurance and limitations of her own body and mind. Abramović was raised in Yugoslavia by parents who fought as Partisans in World War II and were later employed in the communist government… Continue reading The Life You Give: Marina Abramović *1946

The Life You Give: Gaetano Donizetti *1797

Gaetano Donizetti, born on Nov. 29, 1797, in Bergamo, Cisalpine Republic, was an Italian opera composer whose numerous operas in both Italian and French represent a transitional stage in operatic development between Rossini and Verdi. Among his major works are Lucia di Lammermoor (1835), La fille du régiment (1840), and La favorite (1840). In his… Continue reading The Life You Give: Gaetano Donizetti *1797

The Life You Give: William Blake! *1757

William Blake, born Nov. 28, 1757, in London, England, was engraver, artist, poet, and visionary, author of exquisite lyrics in Songs of Innocence (1789) and Songs of Experience (1794) and profound and difficult “prophecies,” such as Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793), The First Book of Urizen (1794), Milton (1804[–?11]), and Jerusalem (1804[–?20]). These… Continue reading The Life You Give: William Blake! *1757

I

That is the selfSimpleSingularMajusculeQuite a featIn the mind with the English tonguewriting it displays a highly concerted and concentrated effortIn that which I prepare to drink or eatand in how I drink or eat itIn the sounds with timing I wish to composethe words I conveyeither for poetryor conversation In the frames I freeze through… Continue reading I

Happy Birthday, Frida Kahlo!

Celebrate with us the life of who remains a popular and impressive figure, appreciated for her presence, as woman, as artist, even today — seven decades after her death. The painter Frida Kahlo was born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón, on July 6 1907, in Coyoacán, Mexico. Join us in celebration of her wonderful… Continue reading Happy Birthday, Frida Kahlo!

February 13 1883

Around three in the afternoon, one hundred and thirty-eight years ago today, Dr. Friedrich Keppler established that the great master did not survive a heart attack. Friedrich Nietzsche completed the first part of his Thus Spoke Zarathustra in the “sacred hour of Wagner's death”. After reading the news in the papers the next morning, he… Continue reading February 13 1883

Celebration Day — fourteen / Yukio Mishima

In 1925, on this day, January 14, the novelist Yukio Mishima was born as Kimitake Hiroaka, in Nagazumi-cho 2-chome, Yotsuya-ku, Tokyo City, Tokyo Prefecture, Empire of Japan In 1982, a Cutty Sark ad with a portrait of Philip Glass caught my eye. In his hand he held a bunch of music notes, and in the… Continue reading Celebration Day — fourteen / Yukio Mishima