I’m German and Askenazi by birth, but as a baby, I was adopted by a Sephardic family hailing from the Isle of Rhodes. They were, and remain, hot-blooded, eccentric, and whimsical, and growing up among them was mostly wonderful.
If These Walls Could Talk: A Century of Scandals and Secrets Behind the Oldest House in Beverly Hills
When Beverly Hills was still nothing but a bean field, only one farmhouse stood on the horizon. This is the true story of one family who lived in that famous house and the scandals and secrets that it kept locked up and hidden until now.
Most people associate blockchain with cryptocurrency, and the buzz around distributed ledger technology continues to make news. Presently, Samuel Bankman-Fried of FTX Trading is being prosecuted for allegedly using the tool, or at least exploiting its allure, to defraud investors around the world out of billions of dollars. But fortunately, entrepreneurs and computer scientists like Ashish Gadnis have demonstrated that you can also use blockchain for the common good.
Explorations of emotional development, self-formation, and coming-of-age themes are universal and timeless when it comes to literature. They’re central themes in many outstanding works and can be traced from before the Greeks into the modern-day. However, examining personal growth and life experiences within a new canvas and genre, the Bildungsroman provided post-colonial writers with an entirely new palate from which to draw insight and a unique opportunity to portray widely different protagonists responding to modern challenges. Perhaps the most recognized features of the form, dealing with education, rebellion, and reconciliation, are exemplified in Oscar Wilde’s aesthetic gothic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, where the author so extraordinarily deconstructed the bildungsroman, that his masterpiece fundamentally transformed the genre.
Rudyard Kipling was revered as a literary giant in his lifetime. His talents were even compared to those of Shakespeare by renowned philosophers such as William James. But for a few decades now, the author’s Marxist critics, especially those loyal to the poetics of new historicism, have treated the writer and his exotic stories with utter contempt and disdain. Their observations and commentary are predictably focused on the role and influence of colonialism and imperialism present in his narratives, highlighting those factors as not just an essential context for understanding the breadth of his plotlines, their characters, and intent in creating them but as the only lens through which one can reasonably interpret them. This absolutism does a disservice not only to the writer but to future generations of readers fully capable of enjoying Kipling without an Orwellian literati looking over their shoulder, reminding them of his thought crimes.
In literature like Prufrock, modernists often recycled myths and other masterworks to support their impressions of daily life and present-day experiences. They juxtaposed different voices, traditions, and arguments and emphasized form itself as the “carrier of meaning.”
Alain Locke (1885-1954), an essayist, professor, and, notably, the first Black Rhodes Scholar, was an only child, born to a postman and a schoolteacher from Philadelphia almost twenty-one years after the American Civil War.
Over sixty years have passed since a young Robert Zimmerman began making his mark on history, poetics, and culture. Still, much of the inspiration behind his poignant contributions remains mysterious, partly due to the artist’s secretive nature. His eclectic collection of records, books, and films makes him a platypus amongst aesthetic polymaths, eclipsing accomplished peers who’ve mastered multiple domains. But
Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish’s futuristic novel, The Description of A New World Called The Blazing World, from 1666, has received renewed interest in recent years as feminist academics and other woke literary praetorians obsessed with their crusade of presentism, struggle to revise every page of the western canon. Their intent is not wholly without merit as the ambitious work by Cavendish had gone overlooked for centuries and delights this modern reader with illuminating descriptions of bizarre new worlds that predate some of today’s best science fiction. Many of her insights, although often coated with a generous layer of snark, remain fresh even four hundred years later.
In March of 1783, as the American Revolutionary War dragged on and its outcome remained uncertain, George Washington felt compelled to deliver a speech before senior officers of the army. His goal was to quell a mutiny brewing in the ranks and aimed at ousting Congress. There were rumors they might not follow through on promises made to soldiers for their wartime sacrifices. Washington’s oration that day was effective and so moving that it reportedly brought many servicemen to tears. Had that passionate appeal been rejected, a breakdown in the chain of command would have led to a genuine insurrection and resulted in a British victory. And certainly, our United States would never have come into existence.