Posts made in March, 2015

Happy Birthday to the “Father of Realism”, Henrik Ibsen

Born on 20 March 1828, Henrik Johan Ibsen is often hailed as “the father of realism”. A major Norwegian playwright of the late 19th century, Ibsen is considered as one of the harbingers of modernism in theatre. Ibsen is best known for his powerful plays, most noted among them being A Doll’s House (1879) and Hedda Gabler (1890) and also his volume of poems. Ibsen was born in a family of wealthy merchants but their fortune changed when Ibsen was about seven years old. The financial struggle of the family and the hardships faced by his mother influenced his writings; the plight of women in society and the problems of middle class were a recurring theme in his plays. In an era that hailed morality and propriety, Ibsen brought forward the reality behind the facade and raised questions regarding the conflicts faced by the middle-class, the powerful, and the elites. Many of Ibsen’s writings were considered too controversial for his time. In fact, Nora’s “stepping out” of the house (in A Doll’s House) had such an impact and shock value that Ibsen was made to write what he calls “a barbaric outrage” – an alternate version with a more acceptable ending. He kept the imaginary “fourth wall” in place to provide the audience an honest view into the life of his characters. His works forced the readers/viewers to analysis the problems that plague the society. And the flair and honesty with which he did so has kept his writings contemporary and accessible till today. This is why even 109 years after his death in 1906 his plays are still being adapted and presented on stages around the world; some believe that after Shakespeare, Ibsen’s works are performed most frequently in theatres. Some of his other notable works are Peer Gynt (1867), Ghosts (1881), An Enemy of the People (1882), The Wild Duck (1884), and The Master Builder (1892). – Article by Priyanka Kharbanda...

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Happy Birthday, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Today, the sixth day of March marks the first birth anniversary of Latin American author Gabriel Garcia Marquez after his death in 2014. He was a talented novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist. And what better way to celebrate the man than remember his contribution to the world of words – works that made Marquez’s name almost synonymous with magical realism. Be it the examination of obsession with female virginity in Chronicles of a Death Foretold or the love story of Love in the Time of Cholera inspired by his parent’s romance, Marquez, or Gabo as he was fondly called, always weaved the tale through a magical narrative, which continues to draw in numerous readers over the decades. Born in 1927, Marquez stayed with his grandparents through his early years. His grandmother’s rich storytelling, infused with folklore and his grandfather’s experience of battle and conflict strongly influenced Marquez’s thinking and writing style. Marquez is one of the most beloved authors of modern times. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1982. His writing “profession” started with short stories and journalism, which according to him was his “true profession”. From there he went on to write some of the most memorable books of our times; publishing over 40 books, including a book of his memoirs Living to Tell the Tale (Vintage, 2002). Keeping in mind the widespread readership and popularity of Marquez works, there’s no brief list of his most famous works. We’ve mentioned just two of his works below to encourage you to pick at least any one of his books and enter a magic world woven by Gabo. For those (most) of you familiar with his writings, come reminisce with us and share your personal favourite in the comments! One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967): This tragicomedy tale of the history of the Buendía family and the town of Macondo is considered Marquez’s masterpiece. Originally written in Spanish, it has been translated into over 35 languages and several million copies have been sold. Living to Tell the Tale (2002): Describing a little over first two decades of Marquez’s life, this memoir is first part of the trilogy that was planned to share the author’s life with us readers in his own unique style, filled with author’s usual deadpan humour. Marquez has turned his simplest, everyday memories into fascinating tales that make this a wonderful read. – Article by Priyanka Kharbanda...

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