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(1866-1946, United Kingdom). He used speculative fiction to explore the social issues of his day from a left-wing perspective. In the 1895 novella The Time Machine, he wrote about a "Time Traveller" who visits the year AD 802,701, and learns that humanity has diverged into two different species—the surface-dwelling Eloi, who are gentle and beautiful but intellectually limited, and the subterranean Morlocks, who resemble apes but are strong and clever enough to use the Eloi as livestock. The Time Traveller speculates that the Eloi are descended from aristocrats who were once served by the ancestors of the Morlocks. After writing about time travel, he helped to establish another of science fiction's key themes by depicting an alien invasion in the 1897 novel The War of the Worlds. The anonymous narrator of The War of the Worlds observes a Martian spaceship that lands in Surrey, and flees the "Tripods" and "Black Smoke" that the Martians use as weapons in the conquest of Earth. The invaders easily overcome human resistance, but eventually perish from lack of immunity to Earth microbes. He also wrote several novels about researchers who use science to pursue unethical goals. In the 1896 novel The Island of Dr. Moreau, the shipwrecked Edward Prendick discovers that the title vivisectionist performs painful experiments to transform animals into human-like "Beast Folk." A year later he published The Invisible Man, which centers on a student of physics named Griffin who plans to use his invisibility to enact a "reign of terror." However, Griffin's invisibility makes it difficult for him to exist in society (he must cover himself with clothes and thick bandages if he wishes to be seen), and he is eventually killed by an angry crowd.
(1903-1950, United Kingdom). This man (the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair) condemned the totalitarian government of Joseph Stalin in the fantasy Animal Farm and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. His speculative fiction was part of a wide-ranging body of work that also included attacks on British colonialism (the essay "Shooting an Elephant" and the novel Burmese Days), first-hand accounts of war (Homage to Catalonia) and poverty (Down and Out in Paris and London, The Road to Wigan Pier), and works of cultural criticism (the essay "Politics and the English Language"). After taking part in the Spanish Civil War and growing alarmed at the authoritarian nature of Russian communism, he wrote the 1945 novel Animal Farm as an allegory of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. Animal Farm describes barnyard animals who revolt against their owner, and try to create a more equitable society under the leadership of the pig Snowball, who develops principles of "Animalism" such as "Four legs good, two legs bad." However, Snowball is soon ousted by his fellow pig Napoleon, who exploits the other animals, sends the horse Boxer to be slaughtered, and degrades the principles of Animalism to "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." Four years later, he imagined a future Britain subsumed into Oceania, a superpower under the harsh rule of "Big Brother", in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Winston Smith and his lover Julia try to rebel against Big Brother, but are tortured into compliance in the Ministry of Love. Nineteen Eighty-Four also described the distortion of the English language for political purposes ("Newspeak"), and introduced many words and phrases that are still used with reference to oppressive governments (thoughtcrime, doublethink, memory hole, "we've always been at war with Eastasia," "war is peace," "Big Brother is watching you").
(1920-1992, United States). Along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was one of genre science fiction's "Big Three" writers. During the 1930s' and 1940s' "Golden Age" of science fiction pulp magazines, he worked closely with Astounding Science Fiction editor John W. Campbell Jr. to create stories such as "Nightfall," which describes a rare moment of darkness on a planet with multiple suns, and "Robbie," the first of his many works about robots with positronic brains. (The word "robot" was introduced by the Czech author Karel Čapek in the 1920 play R.U.R., which depicts the worldwide uprising of "Rossum's Universal Robots"). Before him, most stories about artificial life had followed the template established by Shelley's Frankenstein, in which a scientist who tries to usurp God's power to create life is ultimately destroyed by his own creation. He challenged this trope by creating the "Three Laws of Robotics," which robots in his stories are obligated to follow: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
By using these laws in dozens of stories (some of which were collected in the book I, Robot), he helped to promote a conception of robots as useful machines rather than inhuman monsters. He is also known for his Foundation series, which was inspired by Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The Foundation series begins when the "psychohistorian" Hari Seldon realizes that the Galactic Empire will soon fall, and creates the title organization to limit the length of the ensuing Dark Age. He eventually linked together his Robot and Foundation series into a far-reaching "history of the future," which also includes his novels The Caves of Steel, Pebble in the Sky, and The Stars, Like Dust.
(1920-2012, United States). His science fiction and fantasy stories often contain nostalgic elements related to his Midwestern childhood. The Illinois community Green Town is the setting of his novels Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes, both of which center on boys beginning to enter adulthood. Similarly, small towns on Earth and Mars are the setting of many stories in his 1950 collection The Martian Chronicles, which is made up of loosely connected works about the expeditions of human astronauts, the displacement of indigenous Martians as human settlers arrive, and a nuclear war that destroys most life on Earth. He also wrote about Mars in several stories that appear in his collection The Illustrated Man, whose title character has tattoos that foretell the future. Another theme that recurs in his works is censorship and the importance of literature. This theme is expressed most strongly in his 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, which depicts a dystopian future in which "firemen" burn books. The protagonist of Fahrenheit 451 is Guy Montag, a fireman whose wife Mildred is deeply depressed and addicted to television programs that she watches on large "parlor walls." Montag begins to question his profession after meeting the free-spirited Clarisse McClellan, and secretly preserves books to read, leading to a rebuke from Fire Captain Beatty. Montag is eventually pursued by a robotic attack dog called the "Mechanical Hound," but escapes to join a community of rebels who memorize classic works of literature.
(1922-2007, United States). His fiction provides a darkly humorous response to the absurdities and violence of the twentieth century. During World War II, he was a prisoner of war in Germany, and lived through the Allied firebombing of Dresden. That experience was the basis for his novel Slaughterhouse-Five, in which the soldier Billy Pilgrim becomes "unstuck in time," and perceives his life in a non-linear fashion. Billy travels between the present, past, and future as he is captured by the German army, witnesses the destruction of Dresden, becomes a prosperous optometrist in the town of Ilium, is kidnapped by aliens and placed in a zoo along with the actress Montana Wildhack, and is eventually assassinated. Slaughterhouse-Five contains a number of elements that recur in other novels, including the veteran Eliot Rosewater, aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, the unsuccessful science fiction writer Kilgore Trout, and members of the wealthy Rumfoord family. He also wrote the novel Cat's Cradle, which describes a substance called "ice-nine" that instantly turns liquid water into a solid. Ice-nine was created by the atomic scientist Felix Hoenikker, whose life is researched by the novel's narrator, John. Another thread in Cat's Cradle concerns the "bittersweet lies" of the prophet Bokonon, who lives on the Caribbean island San Lorenzo. Bokonon comments on human stupidity after an accident that occurs during the funeral of the San Lorenzan dictator Papa Monzano causes ice-nine to fall into the ocean, destroying almost all life on Earth.
(1952-2001, United Kingdom). He wrote comic science fiction and fantasy novels that poked fun at genre tropes and the quirks of British culture. After working on Monty Python's Flying Circus, he created the BBC radio series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which premiered in 1978. The radio series became the basis of a series of novels (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe, and Everything; So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish; Mostly Harmless; and the authorized sequel And Another Thing..., which was written by Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer after he died). The Hitchhiker's series focuses on Arthur Dent, an ordinary Englishman who becomes one of the last humans in the universe after Earth is destroyed by the alien Vogons. Arthur and his friend Ford Prefect travel on a starship named the Heart of Gold, along with the "paranoid android" Marvin, the two-headed galactic president Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the human scientist Trillian. Arthur eventually discovers that "answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything" is 42 (although the question itself remains unknown). Characters in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series sometimes consult the title reference work, which offers the advice "Don't Panic," encourages hitchhikers to carry towels at all times, and provides the recipe for a drink called the "Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster." Besides the Hitchhiker's series, he also co-authored two books offering comic definitions of British place names (The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff), and wrote a pair of novels about the supernatural adventures of the private investigator Dirk Gently (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul).
(1889) by Leo Tolstoy. Both Russia and the U.S. censored this novella, which describes the fatal results of an affair. As passengers on a train discuss marriage and love, a "nervous man" named Basile Posdnicheff breaks into the conversation, and insists that romantic love cannot endure for a lifetime. Posdnicheff recalls the dissipations of his bachelor days before explaining how he courted his wife, whom he accuses of trapping him into marriage with her physical charms. According to Posdnicheff, the idleness of the well-fed upper classes leads to an unhealthy emphasis on romance, giving women power over men. He advocates the ideal of celibacy even in marriage, astonishing the other train passengers. Posdnicheff describes quarrels with his wife, complaining that she was overly concerned with the health of their children, and that she eventually used contraception. As the marriage grows intolerable, Posdnifcheff's wife spends more time playing the piano, and is introduced by Posdnicheff to Troukhatchevsky, who studied the violin in Paris. Although Posdnicheff is initially suspicious of Troukhatchevsky, he is comforted by his wife's disavowal of interest in the musician, and by the elevated emotions he feels while listening to his wife and Troukhatchevsky play Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata. However, Posdnicheff's jealousy returns during a work trip, when he receives a letter from his wife mentioning Troukhatchevsky. He takes a long journey back to his house, where he finds Troukhatchevsky's overcoat. Posdnicheff removes his shoes to walk more quietly, takes a dagger from the wall, and surprises the pair in the dining room. Because he does not wish to run after Troukhatchevsky without shoes, Posdnicheff turns on his wife, and fatally stabs her. Although jailed while awaiting trial, Posdnicheff is ultimately acquitted because of his wife's suspected infidelity.
(1889) by Anton Chekhov. An old banker recalls a bet that he made 15 years ago at a party, in response to an argument about whether capital punishment is more or less cruel than life in prison. A lawyer suggests that life in prison is superior, because it would be better to have some existence than none at all. The rash banker bets two million roubles that the lawyer would not last five years in solitary confinement; the lawyer insists he could withstand 15 years, and the bet is on. The lawyer is often unhappy during the early years of his confinement in a lodge on the banker's estate. However, the lawyer betters himself by refusing wine and tobacco, and gradually studies languages, history, literature, philosophy, the Bible, theology, and science. Meanwhile, the banker grows steadily poorer, and realizes that paying off the bet will leave him bankrupt. On the last day of the bet, the banker resolves to kill the lawyer, and sneaks into the lodge while the lawyer is sleeping. There, the banker finds a letter in which the lawyer explains that years of study have taught him to scorn earthly knowledge and riches, and to care only about the salvation of his soul. The lawyer thus plans to leave the lodge five hours before 12 o'clock on November 14, 1885, when he would have won the bet. The banker departs without doing the lawyer harm and the lawyer carries out his plan, allowing the banker to avoid ruin. The banker then hides the lawyer's note in a safe, to avoid "unnecessary talk."
Is a novelist born in India, who holds British and American citizenship. This author's 1981 Booker Prize-winning novel Midnight's Children follows Saleem Sinai, a man with an enormous nose who is born at precisely the moment that India becomes independent, giving him telepathic powers. Other members of the novel's title group—the people born within an hour of independence—include Shiva, a child with enormous knees, and the magical Parvati-the-witch. This author's 1988 novel The Satanic Verses begins as the actors Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha are miraculously saved after their plane explodes over the English Channel. Upon being betrayed by Gibreel, Saladin seeks revenge by ruining Gibreel's relationship with the mountaineer Allie Cone. The Satanic Verses was condemned in a fatwa, or religious decree, issued by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini. The fatwa accused this author of blasphemy and ordered Muslims to kill this author, his editors, and his publishers. In 1998, Iran agreed not to actively seek this author's death. This author described his years of hiding in the memoir Joseph Anton; the title refers to the pseudonym that this author adopted, which was inspired by the authors Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov. This author's other novels include The Moor's Last Sigh, which is narrated by the swiftly aging Moraes Zogoiby; The Ground Beneath Her Feet, which was loosely inspired by the legend of Orpheus; and the young adult books Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Luka and the Fire of Life.
by Wilkie Collins. Rachel Verinder's 18th birthday party is marred by the theft of the Moonstone, a sacred gem plundered from India that Rachel had just inherited. Suspicion falls on a trio of Indian jugglers, but also on Rachel herself, who behaves oddly and breaks off her engagement with Franklin Blake when Franklin leads the search. The maid Rosanna Spearman is also suspected, especially after she commits suicide by jumping into quicksand. Local inspector Sergeant Cuff cannot solve the mystery, but one year later, Franklin returns from abroad and learns that Rosanna, who was secretly in love with him, began impeding the investigation after a paint smudge made her suspect he was the thief. Franklin then meets with Rachel, who claims she saw Franklin steal the Moonstone but never told anyone to save their reputations. Eventually, Franklin learns that he was secretly fed laudanum at the party by Dr. Candy, and while in a drugged stupor took the Moonstone to protect it. The Moonstone later turns up for sale, upon which it is stolen by the trio of Indians. The Indians also kill the seller, who is revealed to be Godfrey Ablewhite, another party guest whose personal debts prompted him to keep the Moonstone when the drugged Franklin gave it to him. Other characters who narrate portions of the book include Miss Drusilla Clack, an Evangelical who constantly hands out moralizing tracts; Gabriel Betteredge, a servant obsessed with Robinson Crusoe; and Dr. Candy's opium-addicted assistant Ezra Jennings, an odd man with multi-colored hair.
by Dashiell Hammett. This classic of the "hard-boiled" genre follows Sam Spade, a San Francisco private eye hired by "Ms. Wonderly" to tail Floyd Thursby, with whom her sister has eloped. The next day, Sam's partner Miles Archer is found dead, shot by Thursby, who is also dead. The cops suspect Spade, who is sleeping with Archer's wife. Spade learns that "Ms. Wonderly" is actually Brigid O'Shaughnessy, a woman hunting for a priceless statuette called the Maltese Falcon alongside the obese Caspar Gutman and a homosexual Middle Easterner named Joel Cairo. At a private meeting in which Gutman explains how Brigid, Thursby, and Cairo found the Falcon in Constantinople, Spade suddenly faints, having been drugged by Gutman. Spade returns to his office, where a ship captain gives him a package containing the falcon, then dies. Brigid calls, urgently requesting Spade's help, but Spade returns home only to find Brigid, Gutman, and Cairo waiting, demanding the Falcon. Spade reminds them that one of them will be pegged for the murders, and they turn on each other. Gutman decides his bodyguard, Wilmer, will be the patsy, but when they discover the Falcon is a fake, Wilmer escapes. Cairo and Gutman leave to find the real Falcon, but Spade doesn't let Brigid go, certain she cannot be trusted. She confesses she shot both Archer and Thursby but is in love with Spade; Spade, refusing to "play the sap" for her, turns her over to the cops, who report that Wilmer has just murdered Gutman. The novel's 1941 film adaptation, starring Humphrey Bogart, is considered a film noir masterpiece.
by Raymond Chandler. Wealthy patriarch General Sternwood hires private eye Philip Marlowe to help his daughter Carmen, who is being blackmailed by bookseller Arthur Geiger. Sternwood also worries about Regan, his daughter Vivian's missing husband. Pretending to be a gay book collector, Marlowe learns that Geiger's bookstore is a pornography front, and after staking out Geiger's home, he hears gunshots and sees two cars speeding away. Geiger is dead, and Carmen Sternwood is naked and drugged in front of a camera from which the film has been taken. The next day, Sternwood's chauffeur is found dead in a car driven off a pier. Marlowe meets with Joe Brody, who is taking over Geiger's bookstore, when Carmen busts in with a gun, demanding the photographs in Brody's possession. Marlowe forces her to leave, then learns the chauffeur killed Geiger to protect Carmen from disrepute; Brody, also spying on Geiger that night, pursued and killed the chauffeur. Geiger's homosexual lover then arrives and kills Brody, thinking Brody killed Geiger. With the case seemingly solved, Marlowe still wonders about Vivien's missing husband Regan, as well as the missing wife of Eddie Mars, a criminal who backed Geiger's business. Carmen and Vivien each try to seduce Marlowe while Marlowe investigates those disappearances. On returning to Sternwood's house, Carmen asks Marlowe to teach her to shoot; at the lesson, she tries to shoot Marlowe, but Marlowe put blanks in the gun. This proves Marlowe's theory: Carmen is a nymphomaniac who killed Regan when he spurned her advances. Vivien admits she hid the body and lied to save her father from shame, and she promises to put Carmen in an asylum.
by Umberto Eco. This mystery is set in 1327 at a Catholic conference to resolve a potential heresy. William of Baskerville and his novice, Adso of Melk, are tasked with investigating the death of the comical manuscript artist Adelmo. The abbey's librarian, Malachi, bars the two men from entering a mysterious, labyrinthine library, so they meet with Jorge of Burgos, a blind monk who hates laughter. The next day, after the monk Venantius is found dead in a vat of pig blood, William and Adso find that both victims had sought out a book from a secret room called the Finis Africae. Upon breaking into the labyrinth, they find odd writings left by Venantius; later, the monks discover that Venantius's fingers and tongue were stained black. Eventually, William and Adso realize the letters above rooms in the library spell out regions of the world, and they locate the Finis Africae behind a mirror. As the conference ramps up, a monk named Severinus tells William about an odd book in his own library, but he is murdered before he can say more and the book goes missing. On the sixth day, Malachi is killed; his tongue and fingers are also black. On the final day of the conference, William and Adso enter the Finis Africae and find Jorge of Burgos within. Severinus's secret book is a sequel to Aristotle's Poetics, whose thoughts on comedy will undermine Christianity. Jorge poisoned the pages, knowing any reader would lick his fingers to turn them. Jorge then eats the manuscript, killing himself, but not before using Adso's lantern to set the library ablaze. William and Adso escape.
(206 BC - AD 220) is considered a golden age of Chinese civilization; its influence was so great that the majority ethnic group in China is still called the Han. Its founder, Liu Bang (later Emperor Gaozu), was born a peasant. Through resourceful recruitment of talented followers and strategic violation of ceasefire agreement with his rival Xiang Yu, Liu Bang managed to reunite China and established his capital at Chang'an (modern Xi'an). Instability in the early years of the Han dynasty was caused by the depredations of the nomadic Xiongnu, a problem that was solved by its seventh emperor, Wudi. Emperor Wu, considered one of the greatest rulers of China, began a war of conquest against the Xiongnu and greatly expanded China's frontiers. He also formalized China's bureaucracy, sent envoys like Zhang Qian to Central Asia, and established Confucianism as the official state doctrine. Despite his success, his campaigns drained the treasury and his successors were unable to maintain the land he conquered. After a series of poor rulers, the Wang family — who claimed legitimacy through wives of various emperors — and their leader Wang Mang toppled the Han dynasty. Wang Mang established the Xin (meaning "new") dynasty and attempted to restore the ways of the Zhou dynasty, but he was unable to maintain power because of a catastrophic changing of the course of the Yellow River, which spawned peasant protest movements like the Red Eyebrows. Eventually, a scion of the Liu family — Liu Xiu — restored the Han dynasty, moving the capital to Luoyang and establishing the Eastern Han. Subsequent rebellions called the Yellow Turbans and the Five Pecks of Rice hastened the end of the Han dynasty.
(960-1279) is known for its devotion to cultural activities instead of warfare and for the establishment of Neo-Confucianism as state doctrine, with the imperial examination as the primary way of recruiting talent. It was also during the Song dynasty that gunpowder and the compass were discovered. The Song dynasty, even in its early years, could not rule all of China proper and was forced to relinquish parts of northern China to the "barbarian" Liao dynasty, paying tribute for peace. Although like most dynasties, it began as the ventures of a military leader, its first ruler, Taizu, realized that his rival generals could take power from him. He then induced all his major commanders to retire, setting up the dominance of the scholarly elite over the military elite throughout the Song dynasty. This policy was continued by his successors. In the north, however, the Liao dynasty was eventually replaced by the militaristic Jin dynasty, who captured the Song capital, Kaifeng along with two Emperors. The remnants of the court fled across the Yangtze and established the Southern Song with a new capital at Hangzhou, maintaining peace with the Jin through annual tribute. This state of affairs was brought to an end after the Song dynasty aided the Mongols in crushing the Jin, only to discover that they themselves were the next target. Despite the might of the Mongol war machine, the Song dynasty managed to repel major Mongol offensives for nearly 40 years, before it was finally defeated.
Napoleon's escape from Elba began a period known as the "Hundred Days," in which the emperor briefly returned to the throne of France. The struggle between the restored emperor and the "Seventh Coalition" began when Napoleon's Army of the North marched into the Low Countries, hoping for a showdown with the British, Dutch, and Prussians before the Austrian and Russian armies gathering further east could come to their aid. The French brushed aside Allied advance guards at the two preliminary battles Quatre Bras and Ligny on June 16. Napoleon's victory over the Prussians at Ligny led him to falsely believe that he had enough time to pursue and defeat the British without further Prussian interference. On June 18 Napoleon's advance on Brussels approached the crossroads of Mont St. Jean, where the Duke of Wellington had set up a defensive position for a combined army of British Peninsular War veterans, Dutch, and pro-British Germans. On the French left, British troops defended the walled farm Hougoumont from a series of infantry assaults; in the center, Marshal Michel Ney's massed cavalry charge was broken by the square formations of the British infantry; on the right, Gebhard von Blücher's Prussian army arrived to attack the French army in the flank. Napoleon's final gamble was to commit his Imperial Guard to a renewed assault on the Allied center. The guardsmen were cut down by the fire of British light infantry, leading to the general collapse of the French army. Napoleon was exiled once more, this time to the isolated South Atlantic island St. Helena, where he died in 1821.
(Sophocles, c. 429 BC) This tragedy tells the story of Oedipus, a man who became king of Thebes by defeating a monster called the sphinx. After a mysterious plague devastates Thebes, the title character sends his brother-in-law Creon to ask the Oracle at Delphi about the cause of the affliction. The Oracle attributes the plague to the fact that the murderer of Laius, the previous king of Thebes, has never been caught and punished. The title character then seeks information from the prophet Teiresias, who is provoked into revealing that he himself was the killer. He initially rejects this claim, but begins to have doubts after talking with his wife Jocasta, who was once married to Laius. Jocasta recalls a prophecy that Laius would be killed by his own son, but she claims that this prophecy did not come true, because Laius was murdered by highwaymen. This leads the title character to recall killing a man who resembled Laius, and a prophecy which had claimed that he would kill his own father, and marry his own mother. A shepherd from Mount Cithaeron reveals the awful truth: in response to the prophecy about their son, Laius and Jocasta had tried to expose the infant title character in the wilderness. However, the shepherd had taken pity on the child, and sent him away to be raised in another area. Not knowing his true heritage, he eventually left home to avoid harming the people whom he believed to be his parents, but unknowingly fulfilled the prophecy by killing Laius and marrying Jocasta. Upon learning this, Jocasta commits suicide, and he blinds himself with Jocasta's brooches. Creon assumes control of Thebes as the title character begs to be exiled along with his daughters, Ismene and Antigone.
(1867) Many modern performances of this ballet are based on a revised version of the composer's score prepared after his death by Marius Petipa, Lev ivanov, and Richard Drigo. The ballet opens at Prince Siegfried's 21st birthday party, where Siegfried's mother scolds him for not finding a wife; she plans for him to choose a spouse at a ball the following evening. After the "Dance of the Goblets," Siegfried, his tutor Wolfgang and his friend Benno go hunting. They are about to shoot a swan when it turns into the beautiful Odette. Odette reveals she was cursed by the sorcerer von Rothbart to turn into a swan during the daytime. The curse can only be broken if one who has never loved before declares his love for her. Odette and the other victims of von Rothbart's curse live in the title place, which was creates by Odette's mother's tears. Their presence in usually signified by one of the ballet's recurring musical themes, a B-minor motif for oboe and harp. Odette and Siegfried begin to fall in love, but morning breaks and Odette returns to her swan form. At the palace, the bal begins with nationalistic dances, including Neapolitan and Hungarian dances and a mazurka. Von Rothbart arrives with his daughter Odile, disguised to look like Odette(Odette and Odile are normally played by the same ballerina, who wears white as Odette and black as Odile.) They successfully trick Siegfried into declaring his love for Odile, dooming Odette to live as a swan forever. He hurries back to the lake, where he and Odette drown themselves, killing von Rothbart in the process. The exact ending varies form production to production, with some happier than others.
(1916-1925) Deriving its name from a nonsense word that literally means "hobby horse" (supposedly chosen by stabbing a knife into a dictionary), blank was an anti-art movement in Zurich, Cologne, Berlin, Paris, and New York that rejected artistic and social norms in order to protest the establishment. Fervently opposed to the useless slaughter of World War I, blank rejected conventional methods of representation and exhibition: they abandoned oil and canvas, often did work on glass, and accepted "readymades" (commonplace objects selected and exhibited as works of art) as valid art forms. blank works often relied on location or accident, such as if a glass should shatter, the artist would hail the accident as an enhancement or an achievement brought about by chance; much like many other abstract artists, blank favored artistic concept over execution. The foremost proponent of blank was Marcel Duchamp, whose readymades include Fountain, L.H.O.O.Q., Prelude to a Broken Arm, and Bicycle Wheel, in addition to the aforementioned non-blank painting Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2. Duchamp's piece The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), consists of two panes of glass with materials such as lead foil, fuse wire, and dust, and utilizes chance procedures; when the glass broke in a shipping crate and received a large crack, Duchamp left the cracks intact, incorporating the "accident" into the piece. Other key blank artists include Jean Arp (Cloud Shepherd, Shirt Front and Fork), Man Ray (Lampshade, Le Violon d'Ingres), Raoul Hausmann (Mechanical Head (The Spirit of Our Time), Kp'erioum, ABCD (Self-portrait)), Hannah Hoch (Cut with the Kitchen Knife through the Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic), Francis Picabia, and Hans Richter.
(1924-1930s) According to André Breton's "blank Manifesto," blank is "pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought"; inspired by the work of psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, blank sought to represent an unseen world of dreams, subconscious thoughts, and unspoken communication. Similar to metaphysical painting and Dada, blank works are not meant to be clearly understood — they are meant to puzzle, challenge, and fascinate by means of confusing titles, unusual arrangements of reality-based subjects, and abounding contradictions. Painters associated with the blank movement include Salvador Dalí (The Persistence of Memory, Swans Reflecting Elephants, Metamorphosis of Narcissus), Joan Miró (Dog Barking at the Moon, The Tilled Field, Harlequin's Carnival), René Magritte (Time Transfixed, The Treachery of Images, The Son of Man), former Dadaist Max Ernst (Two Children Are Threatened by a Nightingale, The Elephant Celebes), Frida Kahlo (Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, The Two Fridas, The Little Deer), former metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico (whose stark color contrasts and veristic style strongly influenced surrealist painting), and Yves Tanguy. blank sculptors included Alexander Calder (Lobster Tail and Fish Trap, Flamingo), Meret Oppenheim (Object), and Alberto Giacometti (Woman with Her Throat Cut, L'Homme qui marche I). The Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel created a number of films in the surrealist style, collaborating with Dalí on Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog) — which Roger Ebert called the "most famous short film ever made" — and L'Age d'Or (The Golden Age).
Spanish conquistador who participated in the conquest of Cuba. In 1519 the Cuban governor Diego Velázquez (no relation to the painter of the same name) commissioned him to sail west and explore the mainland coast. Fearing that Velázquez would change his mind, he left Cuba secretly and began a mission of conquest rather than exploration. On the coast of the Yucatán, his expedition was joined by the Spanish castaway Gerónimo de Aguilar and a Nahua captive known as "La Malinche" or "Doña Marina," who served as translators. After traveling north, he and his men defied the authority of Velázquez by founding the city Veracruz, an act which allowed him to take legal control of the expedition. The Spanish then pressed inland, surviving an attempted massacre in the city Cholula and making allies with the Tlaxcalans, who were traditional enemies of the Aztecs. Upon reaching the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, he and his men were welcomed by the Aztec emperor Montezuma II. He took Montezuma prisoner, but was forced to return to the coast to deal with a punitive expedition sent by Velázquez and commanded by Panfilo de Narvaez. Although he won the new arrivals over to his side, the situation in Tenochtitlan deteriorated as the conquistador Pedro de Alvarado murdered celebrants at a festival. Shortly after his returned to the city, Montezuma was killed and the Spanish were forced to flee during the Noche Triste (Night of Sorrows). After escaping, he marshalled Spanish and indigenous forces to fight the Aztecs, who were successively led by the emperors Cuitlahuac and Cuauhtemoc. After the Aztec defenders were seriously weakened by an outbreak of smallpox, he and his followers captured Tenochtitlan in 1521 and rebuilt it as Mexico City. Much of our knowledge of the conquest of Mexico comes from a follower of this man named Bernal Díaz del Castillo, who wrote detailed memoirs of the expedition.
(1873-1913) This man led the 1910 revolution against Porfirio Díaz, and served as president of Mexico from 1911 to 1913. As the idealistic son of a wealthy Coahuilan family, he was in some ways an unlikely revolutionary. However, his idealism allowed him to challenge Díaz with a boldness that more powerful politicians and generals had lacked. After the Creelman interview was released, he wrote a book titled The Presidential Succession in 1910, which argued that it was time for Díaz to be replaced, and which revived Díaz's former slogan, "Effective Suffrage and No Re-Election." he then ran for president, but was arrested before the election. After escaping from prison, he issued the Plan of San Luis Potosí, which called for a general revolt in November 1910. Dissatisfaction with the Díaz regime coalesced around him, who unseated the dictator and took power after democratic elections were held in the fall of 1911. However, he was unable to satisfy the far-reaching demands of the diverse coalition that had brought him to power. he was also disliked by the American ambassador Henry Lane Wilson and by former supporters of the Díaz regime, many of whom retained their positions in the government and army. In February 1913, Wilson encouraged General Victoriano Huerta to participate in a coup against him. After a period of fighting within Mexico City that is known as the Decena Trágica, or Tragic Ten Days, he was forced to resign. Huerta became president, and He was murdered a few days later.
(1859-1920) was the "First Chief" of the Constitutionalist army during the Mexican Revolution, and president of Mexico from 1917 to 1920. After the death of Francisco Madero, this man issued the Plan of Guadalupe, and became the nucleus of opposition to Victoriano Huerta's regime. his movement was supported by the generals Pablo González, álvaro Obregón, and Pancho Villa, who assembled armies in northern Mexico and pushed south to the capital. The southern general Emiliano Zapata also allied with Him to remove Huerta from power. After Huerta was forced to resign in 1914, members of his movement held a convention in the city Aguascalientes. The convention formed a new government that was supported by Villa and Zapata, but opposed by González and Obregón. Constitutionalist and Convention forces battled until 1915, when his adherents gained the upper hand and the Convention split into separate factions, some of which continued to fight the Constitutionalists for years. he went on to call for a new constitution, to be based on the Liberal Constitution of 1857. The ensuing Constitution of 1917 went far beyond the minor reforms that he had envisioned, and promoted land redistribution, workers' rights, anticlericalism, and national ownership of Mexico's natural resources. Over the next several years, he proved reluctant to enact the 1917 constitution's more radical provisions, or to give up control of the government. Obregón forced him to flee the capital in 1920, and likely had a role in this man's subsequent assassination.
(1879-1919) and Pancho Villa (born Doroteo Arango) (1878-1923) were both early supporters of Francisco Madero, opponents of Victoriano Huerta, and leaders of the Convention forces during the Mexican Revolution. Villa chiefly operated in northern Mexico, while he was based in his home state, Morelos, south of Mexico City. In 1911 Villa and Pascual Orozco led Maderista forces at the Battle of Ciudad Juárez, while he issued the Plan of Ayala, which called for the breakup of large haciendas and the restoration of communal lands known as ejidos. During Madero's presidency Villa was imprisoned by Victoriano Huerta, who also conducted a brutal military campaign against the peasant supporters of this man. After Madero's death, Villa joined Carranza's army as the leader of the División del Norte, or Division of the North, and he established himself as the central leader of the various southern guerrilla movements. At the Convention of Aguascalientes, Villa's supporters sought to promote the rights of peasants and workers; Zapatistas took a less active role at the meeting, but were willing to support the Convention government in opposition to Carranza. In the subsequent fighting, Zapatista soldiers took the capital several times but were unable to hold it after 1915, the same year that Villa suffered defeats at the battles of Celaya and Agua Prieta. he retreated to Morelos and carried out local land reforms as the Constitutionalists focused on defeating Villa, who sought to obtain supplies by carrying out a 1916 raid on the American town of Columbus, New Mexico. In response to this incursion, the U.S. sent a "punitive expedition" led by General John J. Pershing to (unsuccessfully) pursue Villa across northern Mexico. The influence of Villa and he declined, and both were eventually assassinated. However, the two men remain symbols of the Revolution's popular aspirations. this man in particular has served as an inspiration to later movements such as the Chiapas-based EZLN.