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Quick Guide: The House of the Spirits By College Guide World
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The novel was critically acclaimed around the world, and catapulted Allende to literary stardom. That same year, the novel was named Best Novel of the Year in Chile, and she received the country's... More > Panorama Literario award. The novel has been translated to over 20 languages worldwide. The book was first conceived by Isabel Allende when she received news that her one hundred year-old grandfather was dying, and she began to write him a letter that ultimately became the starting manuscript of The House of the Spirits.< Less
Quick Guide: Death In Venice By College Guide World
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The plot of the work presents a great writer suffering writer's block who visits Venice and is liberated and uplifted, then increasingly obsessed, by the sight of a stunningly beautiful youth. Though... More > he never speaks to the boy, much less touches him, the writer finds himself drawn deep into ruinous inward passion; meanwhile Venice, and finally the writer himself, succumb to a cholera plague. The novella is powerfully intertextual, with the chief sources being first the connection of erotic love to philosophical wisdom traced in Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus, and second the Nietzschean contrast between the god of restraint and shaping form, Apollo, and the god of excess and passion, Dionysus.< Less
Quick Guide: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings By College Guide World
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the 1969 autobiography about the early years of African-American writer and poet Maya Angelou. The first in a six-volume series, it is a coming-of-age story that... More > illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. The book begins when three-year-old Maya and her older brother are sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother and ends when Maya becomes a mother at the age of 17. In the course of Caged Bird, Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice.< Less
Quick Guide: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin By College Guide World
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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is the traditional name for the unfinished record of his own life written by Benjamin Franklin from 1771 to 1790; however, Franklin himself appears to have... More > called the work his Memoirs. Although it had a tortuous publication history after Franklin's death, this work has become one of the most famous and influential examples of an autobiography ever written. Franklin's account of his life is divided into four parts, reflecting the different periods at which he wrote them. There are actual breaks in the narrative between the first three parts, but Part Three's narrative continues into Part Four without an authorial break (only an editorial one).< Less
Quick Guide: Waiting for Godot By College Guide World
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Waiting for Godot is an absurdist play in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot. Godot's absence, as well as numerous other... More > aspects of the play, have led to many different interpretations since the play's premiere. It was voted "the most significant English language play of the 20th century". Waiting for Godot is Beckett's translation of his own original French version, En attendant Godot, and is subtitled (in English only) "a tragicomedy in two acts". The original French text was composed between 9 October 1948 and 29 January 1949. The première was on 5 January 1953 in the Théâtre de Babylone, Paris. The production was directed by Roger Blin, who also played the role of Pozzo.< Less
Quick Guide: Mother Courage and Her Children By College Guide World
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Mother Courage and Her Children is a play written in 1939 by the German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) with significant contributions from Margarete Steffin. After four very... More > important theatrical productions in Switzerland and Germany from 1941 to 1952—the last three supervised and/or directed by Brecht—the play was filmed several years after Brecht's death in 1959/1960 with Brecht's widow and leading actress, Helene Weigel. Mother Courage is considered by some to be the greatest play of the 20th century, and perhaps also the greatest anti-war play of all time.< Less
Quick Guide: On the Origin of Species By College Guide World
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Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species is a work of scientific literature which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of... More > Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. For the sixth edition of 1872, the short title was changed to The Origin of Species. Darwin's book introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution. Darwin included evidence that he had gathered on the Beagle expedition in the 1830s and his subsequent findings from research, correspondence, and experimentation.< Less
Quick Guide: 2001 A Space Odyssey By College Guide World
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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film. The story... More > is based in part on various short stories by Clarke, most notably "The Sentinel" (written in 1948 for a BBC competition but first published in 1951 under the title "Sentinel of Eternity"). For an elaboration of Clarke and Kubrick's collaborative work on this project, see The Lost Worlds of 2001, Arthur C. Clarke, Signet, 1972. The first part of the novel (in which aliens influence the primitive human ancestors) is similar to the plot of an earlier Clarke story,< Less
Quick Guide: Pygmalion By College Guide World
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Pygmalion is a 1912 play by George Bernard Shaw. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an... More > ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of gentility, the most important element of which, he believes, is impeccable speech. The play is a sharp lampoon of the rigid British class system of the day and a commentary on women's independence.< Less
Quick Guide: The Cherry Orchard By College Guide World
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The play concerns an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family's estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the... More > mortgage. While presented with options to save the estate, the family essentially does nothing and the play ends with the estate being sold to the son of a former serf, and the family leaving to the sound of the cherry orchard being cut down. The story presents themes of cultural futility — both the futility of the aristocracy to maintain its status and the futility of the bourgeoisie to find meaning in its newfound materialism.< Less

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