Quotation of the Day

A savage servility slides by on grease

Robert Lowell, "For the Union Dead"

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Beat Generation

Beat Generation

This is an exhaustive essay on one of the most significant literary, musical and cultural phenomena of post-war America, explaining the huge influence of this otherwise small group of intricately connected writers not only on the literary and artistic panorama of the time, but on successive waves of “counter-culture”, particularly in the civil-rights movement of the 1960s. Starting with a discussion of the three most representative figures of the movement, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, the article expands on the concentric circles of friends that have led to the Beats’ foray into Eastern religions and philosophy, as well as its loose connection with many (often unacknowledged) women writers who left a deep imprint on the beat lexicon. The article argues that they were the precursors of almost all major cultural trends of the second half of the 20th century, from the Hippies to Punk, Goth and cyber-punk to postmodern literature in general.

Black British Children's Literature

Black British Children's Literature

This is a comprehensive article spanning more than two centuries of literary creation, and encompassing not only stories written for children and young people by Black British writers – a relatively recent category – but also representations of Black people in children’s literature in general, particularly after the abolition of slavery. In addition to written work, it also discusses other cultural outlets such as radio programmes, music and television, which offered more opportunities for Black British creative minds, and had a more direct impact on young people. In the past few decades, independent  publishers and organizations concerned with diversity have tried to fill the literary gap as well, with some degree of success.

Greco-Roman Pantomime

Greco-Roman Pantomime

An interesting survey of one of the less known dramatic genres that came down to us from Greco-Roman Antiquity. Starting from its origins in Rome during the early Imperial period, the article discusses its connection with pre-existing types of visual entertainment and literary genres (e.g., mimes, Atellan farces, non-dramatic dances) and its popularity as a form of mass entertainment, mainly because it generated strong emotional responses among the spectators. While in many ways a “minor” generic form, its non-verbal nature led to a widespread influence on the theatrical world in general due to its accessibility and versatility.

Revocation of the Edict of Nantes

Revocation of the Edict of Nantes

The article provides a general context and analysis of a crucial moment in the history of 17th century Europe and the conflicts brought about by the widespread movements of religious Reform across the continent. It discusses the particular historical background in France, one of the central pillars of Catholicism, and the revocation by Louis XIV through the Edict of Fointainebleau of 1685 of the liberties previously accorded to the Protestant population in 1598 through the Edict de Nantes. This led to a widespread exodus of the Huguenots from France into more tolerant neighbouring countries, which, among others, caused a significant loss of highly-educated people (scholars, doctors, lawyers, artisans and craftsmen, etc.). The effects of this “brain-drain” were felt in France for more than a century.

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