James Joyce: Modernist Master.

James Joyce: Modernist Master.

By Drew Mercantini | January 31, 2023 | Comments Off on James Joyce: Modernist Master.

Born in Ireland in 1882, James Joyce is regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of the 20th century. His novel Ulysses (1922) is a landmark in which the episodes of Homer’s Odyssey are paralleled in a variety of literary styles, particularly stream of consciousness and his other well-known works include A…

Read More >
John le Carré: Sophisticated Spy Novelist

John le Carré: Sophisticated Spy Novelist

By Drew Mercantini | January 24, 2023 | Comments Off on John le Carré: Sophisticated Spy Novelist

John le Carré, born in October of 1931 as David John Moore Cornwell, was a British intelligence officer and and novelist during the latter half of the 20th century. After serving in British intelligence during the 1950s and 60s, le Carré‘s fame as a novelist in post-war Britain was established with his third novel, The…

Read More >
Benjamin Franklin: Founding Father, Philosopher, and Scientist

Benjamin Franklin: Founding Father, Philosopher, and Scientist

By Drew Mercantini | November 19, 2022 | Comments Off on Benjamin Franklin: Founding Father, Philosopher, and Scientist

Born on January in either 1705 or 1706, Benjamin Franklin is one of the most well known Founding Fathers in American history. A polymath, Franklin was well known for both his political and scientific contributions to colonial America. Along with these pursuits, he also established the first newspaper chain, the first public library in America,…

Read More >
Ulysses S. Grant: Statesman and General

Ulysses S. Grant: Statesman and General

By Drew Mercantini | November 8, 2022 | Comments Off on Ulysses S. Grant: Statesman and General

Born in 1822, Ulysses S. Grant was an American military officer and politician who served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877. As Commanding General, he led the Union Army to victory in the American Civil War in 1865 and thereafter briefly served as Secretary of War. Later, as president,…

Read More >
José de Sousa Saramago: Nobel Prize-Winning Portuguese Author.

José de Sousa Saramago: Nobel Prize-Winning Portuguese Author.

By Drew Mercantini | October 3, 2022 | Comments Off on José de Sousa Saramago: Nobel Prize-Winning Portuguese Author.

In 1982, a novel called Memorial do Convento was published in Portugal. A love story set against 18th-century Inquisitorial Lisbon, the novel captured the imagination of many readers, garnering widespread acclaim. Its author, then sixty year old José Saramago, was not known for literature, but for journalism. With this novel, his fourth to be published,…

Read More >
Celebrating Stephen King: Master of the Horror Genre.

Celebrating Stephen King: Master of the Horror Genre.

By Drew Mercantini | September 24, 2022 | Comments Off on Celebrating Stephen King: Master of the Horror Genre.

Thursday, September 21st marked Stephen King‘s seventy-fifth birthday. Born in 1947 in Maine, King was raised by his mother who, with her two sons, moved several times before settling in Durham, Maine. King’s love for horror blossomed in his childhood, when he discovered a collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories in an attic. As he entered…

Read More >
William Klein: Photographer and Filmmaker

William Klein: Photographer and Filmmaker

By Drew Mercantini | September 14, 2022 | Comments Off on William Klein: Photographer and Filmmaker

Born in April of 1926, William Klein grew up in the heart of New York City, during the Great Depression and World War 2. Despite his economic circumstances, Klein proved to be a precocious student, enrolling at the City College of New York when he was only 14 years old. After joining the Army, Klein…

Read More >
Remembering Roald Dahl: Stories that Shaped a Generation

Remembering Roald Dahl: Stories that Shaped a Generation

By Drew Mercantini | September 10, 2022 | Comments Off on Remembering Roald Dahl: Stories that Shaped a Generation

September 13th marks the birthday of Roald Dahl, one of the most popular authors of children’s literature of the 20th century. Born in Wales in 1916, Dahl was a first generation Englishman who spent most of his life in the United Kingdom. His famous stories, such as Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and…

Read More >
Richard Feynman: Quantum Physics and the Subatomic Universe

Richard Feynman: Quantum Physics and the Subatomic Universe

By Drew Mercantini | September 7, 2022 | Comments Off on Richard Feynman: Quantum Physics and the Subatomic Universe

Richard Feynman, born in May 1918, became one of the most well-known physicists of all time. Feynman was born in New York to Jewish parents, though he held no strong feelings toward his faith. He discovered early on his talent for engineering, maintaining a small experimental laboratory where he would repair radios. His practical scientific…

Read More >
Remembrance of Things Past: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Marcel Proust’s Masterpiece.

Remembrance of Things Past: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Marcel Proust’s Masterpiece.

By Drew Mercantini | August 27, 2022 | Comments Off on Remembrance of Things Past: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Marcel Proust’s Masterpiece.

Born on July 10, 1871 in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, famed French novelist Marcel Proust was born into a France torn by internal conflict. Though Paris was gripped by political turmoil and France’s modernization put pressure on the class system, Proust and his educated aristocratic parents were largely unaffected. Marcel, however, was a…

Read More >