October 15: Friedrich Nietzsche was born in 1844

Friedrich Nietzsche

“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Wikipedia:

Born Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
15 October 1844
Röcken (near Lützen), Province of Saxony, Kingdom of Prussia
Died 25 August 1900 (aged 55)
Weimar, Saxony, German Empire
Residence Germany
Nationality German
Era 19th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
Main interests
Aesthetics · Ethics
Metaphysics · Nihilism
Psychology · Ontology
Poetry · Value theory
Voluntarism · Tragedy
Fact–value distinction
Anti-foundationalism
Philosophy of history
Notable ideas
Apollonian and Dionysian
Übermensch  · Ressentiment
“Will to power”  · “The Death of God”
Eternal recurrence  · Amor fati
Herd instinct  · Tschandala
“Last Man”  · Perspectivism
Master–slave morality
Transvaluation of values
Nietzschean affirmation
Signature
Friedrich Nietzsche Signature.svg

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October 12: Piero della Francesca passed away in 1492

piero-della-francescaA self-portrait, detail from The Resurrection

Wikipedia:

Birth name Piero della Francesca
Born 1415
Sansepolcro, Republic of Florence
Died October 12, 1492
Sansepolcro, Republic of Florence
Nationality Italian
Field Painting, Fresco
Movement Italian Renaissance
Works The Baptism of Christ
Flagellation of Christ
Brera Madonna

Piero della Francesca (c. 1415 – October 12, 1492) was a painter of the Early Renaissance. As testified by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Artists, to contemporaries he was also known as a mathematician and geometer. Nowadays Piero della Francesca is chiefly appreciated for his art. His painting was characterized by its serene humanism, its use of geometric forms and perspective. His most famous work is the cycle of frescoes “The Legend of the True Cross” in the church of San Francesco in the Tuscan town of Arezzo.

Continue reading “October 12: Piero della Francesca passed away in 1492”

Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849)

Edgar_Allan_Poe

“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

Wikipedia:

Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and American literature as a whole. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

Born in Boston, Poe was the second child of two actors. His father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year. Thus orphaned, the child was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia. Although they never formally adopted him, Poe was with them well into young adulthood. Tension developed later as John Allan and Edgar repeatedly clashed over debts, including those incurred by gambling, and the cost of secondary education for the young man. Poe attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. Poe quarreled with Allan over the funds for his education and enlisted in the Army in 1827 under an assumed name. It was at this time his publishing career began, albeit humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to “a Bostonian”. With the death of Frances Allan in 1829, Poe and Allan reached a temporary rapprochement. Later failing as an officer’s cadet at West Point and declaring a firm wish to be a poet and writer, Poe parted ways with John Allan.

Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845 Poe published his poem, “The Raven“, to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication. For years, he had been planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.

Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today. The Mystery Writers of America present an annual award known as the Edgar Award for distinguished work in the mystery genre.

Quotes

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
Edgar Allan Poe

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“We loved with a love that was more than love.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, Eleonora

“I have great faith in fools – self-confidence my friends will call it.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, Marginalia

“I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“From childhood’s hour I have not been. As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone. And all I loved, I loved alone.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, The Complete Stories and Poems

“All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“The best things in life make you sweaty.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

The Raven” is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. First published in January 1845, the poem is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven’s mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow fall into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word “Nevermore”. The poem makes use of a number of folk, mythological, religious, and classical references.

Its publication made Poe widely popular in his lifetime, although it did not bring him much financial success. The poem was soon reprinted, parodied, and illustrated. Critical opinion is divided as to the poem’s literary status, but it nevertheless remains one of the most famous poems ever written.

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”— here I opened wide the door; —
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!” —
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; —
‘Tis the wind and nothing more.”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning— little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

 

Videos

Edgar Allan Poe Documentary

Edgar Allan Poe’s THE RAVEN

SIX CREEPY TALES by Edgar Allan Poe – FULL AudioBook | Greatest Audio Books

Chapter listing and length:

1 – The Telltale Heart — 00:16:47
2 – The Masque of the Red Death — 00:18:27
3 – The Black Cat — 00:29:54
4 – The Raven — 00:09:28
5 – The Casque of Amontillado — 00:18:28
6 – Berenice — 00:26:52

Total running time: 1:59:56
Read by Phil Chenevert

eap

October 6: Alfred, Lord Tennyson died in 1892

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

Wikipedia:

Born 6 August 1809
Somersby, Lincolnshire, England
Died 6 October 1892 (aged 83)
Lurgashall, Sussex, England
Occupation Poet Laureate
Alma mater Cambridge University
Spouse Emily Sellwood (m. 1850)
Children
  • Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson
  • Hon. Lionel Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular British poets.

Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as “Break, Break, Break“, “The Charge of the Light Brigade“, “Tears, Idle Tears” and “Crossing the Bar“. Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses, although In Memoriam A.H.H. was written to commemorate his friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and student at Trinity College, Cambridge, after he died of a stroke aged just 22. Tennyson also wrote some notable blank verse including Idylls of the King, “Ulysses“, and “Tithonus“. During his career, Tennyson attempted drama, but his plays enjoyed little success.

A number of phrases from Tennyson’s work have become commonplaces of the English language, including

  • “Nature, red in tooth and claw” (In Memoriam A.H.H.)
  • “‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all”
  • “Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die”
  • “My strength is as the strength of ten, / Because my heart is pure”
  • “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”
  • “Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers”
  • “The old order changeth, yielding place to new”

He is the ninth most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

Videos/Audio

Alfred Lord Tennyson – The Circle of the Hills – Documentary

The Charge of the Light Brigade audiobook Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Quotes

“Be near me when my light is low,
When the blood creeps, and the nerves prick
And tingle; and the heart is sick,
And all the wheels of Being slow.

Be near me when the sensuous frame
Is rack’d with pangs that conquer trust;
And Time, a maniac scattering dust,
And Life, a fury slinging flame.

Be near me when my faith is dry,
And men the flies of latter spring,
That lay their eggs, and sting and sing
And weave their petty cells and die.

Be near me when I fade away,
To point the term of human strife,
And on the low dark verge of life
The twilight of eternal day.”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control; these three alone lead one to sovereign power.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Shape your heart to front the hour, but dream not that the hours will last.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

By blood a king, in heart a clown.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

We cannot be kind to each other here for even an hour. We whisper, and hint, and chuckle and grin at our brother’s shame; however you take it we men are a little breed.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

“I sometimes find it half a sin,
To put to words the grief i feel,
For words like nature,half reveal,
and half conceal the soul within,”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

“I hold it truth, with him who sings
To one clear harp in divers tones,
That men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

lord tennyson

 

September 29: Caravaggio was born in 1571

carvaggio

“I am always learning.”
~Caravaggio

Caravaggio was probably the most revolutionary artist of his time, for he abandoned the rules that had guided a century of artists who had idealized both the human and religious experience. He can be said almost single-handedly to have created the Baroque style.
~caravaggio.org

Wikipedia:

Born Michelangelo Merisi or Amerighi
29 September 1571
Milan, Lombardy
Died 18 July 1610 (aged 38)
Porto Ercole, Tuscany
Known for Painting
Notable work See Chronology of works by Caravaggio
Movement Baroque
Patron(s) Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte

Michelangelo Merisi (Michael Angelo Merigi or Amerighi) da Caravaggio (29 September 1571 in Milan – 18 July? 1610) was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1592 (1595?) and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on Baroque painting.

Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan under Simone Peterzano who had himself trained under Titian. In his twenties Caravaggio moved to Rome where there was a demand for paintings to fill the many huge new churches and palazzos being built at the time. It was also a period when the Church was searching for a stylistic alternative to Mannerism in religious art that was tasked to counter the threat of Protestantism. Caravaggio’s innovation was a radical naturalism that combined close physical observation with a dramatic, even theatrical, use of chiaroscuro which came to be known as tenebrism (the shift from light to dark with little intermediate value).

He burst upon the Rome art scene in 1600 with the success of his first public commissions, the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew and Calling of Saint Matthew. Thereafter he never lacked commissions or patrons, yet he handled his success poorly. He was jailed on several occasions, vandalized his own apartment, and ultimately had a death warrant issued for him by the Pope after killing a young man, possibly unintentionally, on May 29, 1606.

An early published notice on him, dating from 1604 and describing his lifestyle three years previously, recounts that “after a fortnight’s work he will swagger about for a month or two with a sword at his side and a servant following him, from one ball-court to the next, ever ready to engage in a fight or an argument, so that it is most awkward to get along with him.” In 1606 he killed a young man in a brawl and fled from Rome with a price on his head. He was involved in a brawl in Malta in 1608, and another in Naples in 1609, possibly a deliberate attempt on his life by unidentified enemies. This encounter left him severely injured. A year later, at the age of 38, he died under mysterious circumstances in Porto Ercole in Tuscany, reportedly from a fever while on his way to Rome to receive a pardon.

Famous while he lived, Caravaggio was forgotten almost immediately after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. Despite this, his influence on the new Baroque style that eventually emerged from the ruins of Mannerism was profound. It can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Bernini, and Rembrandt, and artists in the following generation heavily under his influence were called the “Caravaggisti” or “Caravagesques”, as well as tenebrists or tenebrosi (“shadowists”). The 20th-century art historian André Berne-Joffroy claimed: “What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite simply, modern painting.”

 

The Calling of St Matthew (Caravaggio)
The Calling of St Matthew (Caravaggio)

Supper at Emmaus
Supper at Emmaus

Videos

Caravaggios Secrets (55min)

Caravaggio (32min video with a lot of his paintings)

Caravaggio (1986 film – 1h32m)
British film directed by Derek Jarman. The film is a fictionalised re-telling of the life of Baroque painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

 

Inspiration of saint matthew 1602 - by Caravaggio
Inspiration of saint matthew 1602 – by Caravaggio