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Famous Europeans

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Friedrich Nietzsche
German philosopher who said that "God is dead," that lackadaisical people killed him with their false values. Said that Christianity and all religion is a "slave morality." He also said that the only hope for mankind was to accept the meaninglessness of human life, and to then use that meaninglessness as a source of personal integrity and liberation. Also stated that from this meaninglessness people called Supermen would exert their mind on other and rise to power. he appealed to people who liked totalitarianism.
Henri Bergson
In the 1890's, French philosophy professor Henri Bergson (1859-1941) convinced many young people through his writing that immediate experience and intuition were as important as rational and scientific thinking for understanding reality. Indeed, according to Bergson, a religious experience or a mystical poem was often more accessible to human comprehension than a scientific or a mathematical equation. (929)
georges Sorel
Another thinker who agreed about the limits of rational thinking was French socialist Georges Sorel (1847-1922). Sorel characterized Marxian socialism as an inspiring but un-provable religion rather than a rational scientific truth. Socialism would come to power, he believed, through a great, violent strike of all working people, which would miraculously shatter capitalist society. Sorel rejected democracy and believed that the masses of the new socialist society would have to be tightly controlled by a small revolutionary elite. (929)
Sigmund Freud
1856-1939; Field: psychoanalytic, personality; Contributions: id/ego/superego, reality and pleasure principles, ego ideal, defense mechanisms (expanded by Anna Freud), psychoanalysis, transference
Oswald Spengler
In 1918 an obscure German high-school teacher named Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) published The Decline of the West, which quickly became an international sensation. According to Spengler, every culture experiences a life cycle of growth and decline. Western civilization, in Spengler's opinion, was in its old age, and death was approaching in the form of conquest by the yellow-race. (934)
T.S. Eliot
Pd: Modernism. Abt: born American, became British citizen. Work: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (The poem's structure was heavily influenced by Eliot's extensive reading of Dante Alighieri (in the Italian). References to Shakespeare's Hamlet and other literary works are present in the poem: this technique of allusion and quotation was developed in subsequent poetry.)
Franz Kafka
one of the major German-language fiction writers of the 20th century. Kafka's works - including the stories Das Urteil (1913, "The Judgement"), In der Strafkolonie (1920, "In the Penal Colony"); the novella Die Verwandlung ("The Metamorphosis"); and unfinished novels Der Prozess ("The Trial") and Das Schloß ("The Castle") - have come to embody the blend of absurd, surreal and mundane which gave rise to the adjective "kafkaesque".
Jean Paul Sartre
A French existentialist who said that people just "turned up" and that there was no God to help honest people. Also said "man is condemned to be free" and people had to choose their actions.
Albert Camus
(1913-1960) was the leading French existentialist; he became extremely influential, and joined the French resistance. Him and Sartre offered powerful answers to moral issues and the contemporary crisis.
George Orwell
Englishman George Orwell (1903-1950), however, had seen both that reality and its Stalinist counterpart by 1949, when he wrote perhaps the ultimate anti-utopian literature: 1984. Orwell set the action in the future, in 1984. Big Brother-the dictator-and his totalitarian states use a new kind of language, sophisticated technology, and psychological terror to strip a weal individual of his last shred of human dignity. A phenomenal bestseller, 1984, spoke to millions of people in the closing years of the age of anxiety. (935)
Max Planck
German physicist whose explanation of blackbody radiation in the context of quantized energy emissions initiated quantum theory (1858-1947)
Albert Einstein
German-born physicist whose work undermines Newtonian physics, Theory of special relativity postulated that time and space are relative to the viewpoint of the observer and only the speed of light is constant. States that matter and energy are interchangeable and particle of matter contains enormous energy.
Ernest Rutherford
Scientist from New Zealand working in England whose results of his experiment led to the first modern scientific model of the atom. He concluded that most of the mass of an atom is found in a very small core at its center called the nucleus. He is the scientist responsible for the discovery of the proton..
Werner Heisenberg
A German physicist that speculated that there was no real certainty in where an electron was, and only tendencies. This broke down Newton's dependable laws to only probabilities.
Walter Gropius
A German architect who is considered one of the founders of modern architecture. In 1923, designed what is now the modern door-handle. He was the first director of the Bauhaus (1919 1925), and established the Architect's Collaborative (TAC) in 1945 (an American architectural firm).
Pablo Picasso
A Spaniard in Paris who formed a movement in 1907 called Cubism. Cubism concentrated on a complex geometry of zigzagging lines and sharply angled, overlapping plane.
Georges Braque
20th century artist that collaborated with Picasso on their experimental artistic style (cubism). Up until Braque's unfortunate wounding in WWI, the Picasso and his friend continued to influence each other greatly. The artistic alliance between Picasso and this co-founder of cubism influenced the world greatly with their unique brand of artistic expression that exercises the minds of the modern world
Dadaism
A new artistic development that emerged during the prewar years. Dadaism rejected all accepted standards of art and behavior, delighting in outrageous conduct. The name comes from the French word, "dada" which means hobbyhorse - deliberately nonsensical. EX: Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa where the woman with a mysterious smile wears a mustache and is ridiculed with an obscene inscription.
Salvador Dali
a Spanish (Catalan) artist and one of the most important painters of the 20th century. He was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking, bizarre, and beautiful images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters
Igor Stravinsky
A modern composer who composed the ballet The Rite of spring. This ballet almost caused a riot when it first was performed in Paris in 1913, because its combination of pulsating, dissonant rhythms from the orchestra pit and an earthy representation of lovemaking by the dancers shocked the audience.
Arnold Schoenberg
1874-1951; Austrian, moved back and forth between Austria and Germany, later moved to France and eventually the United States; wrote dramatic works, orchestral music, piano music, chamber music and music theory writings.
Charlie Chaplin
a funny Englishman working in Hollywood that was unquestionably the king of the "silver screen" in the 1920's. He symbolized the "gay spirit of laughter in a cruel and crazy world." He also demonstrated that in the hands of a genius, the new medium could combine mass entertainment and artistic accomplishment.
Sergei Eisenstein
Motion picture also became powerful tools of indoctrination, especially in countries with dictatorial regimes. Lenin himself encouraged the development of Soviet film making, believing that the new medium was essential to the social and ideological transformation of the country. Beginning in the mid-1920's, a series of epic films, the most famous of which were directed by Sergie Eisenstein (1898-1898), brilliantly dramatized the communist view of Russian history. (940)
Gugielmo Marconi
His most publicized experiment was the simultaneous transmission and reception of a transatlantic signal in 1901. In 1907 his company began sending transatlantic wireless messages for the public.
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