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Last Build Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2017 05:00:00 GMT

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Giacomo Leopardi (1798)

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) Leopardi was an Italian poet and scholar who suffered throughout his life from chronic physical ailments and dashed hopes. Despite these challenges, he was devoted to philosophy and the classics from early childhood and became one of the most formidable linguists and writers of his time. His pessimistic poetry is admired for its brilliance, intensity, and musicality. He is considered among the great Italian poets of the 19th century. What are some of his most famous works? Discuss

Melvin Kaminsky, AKA Mel Brooks (1926)

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) Brooks is an American film director, writer, actor, and producer best known for his wild parodies that mix satire with slapstick. He started out as a television comedy writer but soon turned to film. He won an Oscar for his first feature film, The Producers (1968), a comic masterpiece of bad taste, and followed it with such films as the Western-inspired Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, a parody of the horror genre. Who speaks the only word in his Silent Movie?

Lafcadio Hearn (1850)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) Born in Greece and educated in Ireland, Hearn immigrated to the US at age 19 and lived in poverty for a time until he found employment as a journalist. He was a colorful but morbidly discontented man, admired for his highly polished tales of the macabre. In 1890, a magazine sent him to Japan, where he married a Japanese woman, took a Japanese name, and became a citizen. His subsequent books offered the West its first thoughtful view of Japanese culture. What partial disability did he have?