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Voltaire, Selections from the Philosophical Dictionary

Source

Voltaire was the pen name of François–Marie Arouet (1694–1778), an Enlightenment writer known for his plays and histories and his acerbic criticism of the French Catholic Church. This set of selections is from his Philosophical Dictionary of 1764. They demonstrate his range of reading, including travel literature about China, but the main target remains religious bigotry and fanaticism,... Read More »

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Writers of the Heian Era

Teaching

Japanese cultural history is rather unique because it includes writings by women from the Heian Era (794-1185 CE) among its earliest works of important literature. During this era, Japan saw the creative assimilation of Chinese influences and the flowering of a distinctly native literature and culture. This native literature, to which women made the major contribution, became Japan’s classical... Read More »

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Writers of the Heian Era: Diary, Sei Shônagon 1

Source

Sei Shônagon, a lady-in-waiting to Empress Teishi (or Sadako), left a journal of anecdotes, impressions, and commentary called The Pillowbook (covering the years 986-1000 CE) that has become a valuable source for the court society and cultural life of the Heian Period. Sei’s description of natural scenes and phenomena are admired for their vividness and subtlety, their both poetic and... Read More »

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Writers of the Heian Era: Diary, Sei Shônagon 2

Source

Sei Shônagon, a lady-in-waiting to Empress Teishi (or Sadako), left a journal of anecdotes, impressions, and commentary called The Pillowbook (covering the years 986-1000 CE) that has become a valuable source for the court society and cultural life of the Heian Period. By the Heian period, the gender parity that is believed to have existed in ancient times was giving way to a system of male... Read More »

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Writers of the Heian Era: Diary, Sei Shônagon 3

Source

Sei Shônagon, a lady-in-waiting to Empress Teishi (or Sadako), left a journal of anecdotes, impressions, and commentary called The Pillowbook (covering the years 986-1000 CE) that has become a valuable source for the court society and cultural life of the Heian Period. For a Heian lady, service at court was the sphere for pursuing a career, the stage where she could develop and display her... Read More »

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Writers of the Heian Era: Diary, Sei Shônagon 4

Source

Sei Shônagon, a lady-in-waiting to Empress Teishi (or Sadako), left a journal of anecdotes, impressions, and commentary called The Pillowbook (covering the years 986-1000 CE) that has become a valuable source for the court society and cultural life of the Heian Period. Sei was not shy about expressing her opinions and exercising her wit on all manner of subjects, including the conduct of a... Read More »

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Writers of the Heian Era: Fiction, The Tale of Genji 1

Source

The greatest work produced during the Heian era was The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, lady-in-waiting to Empress Akiko. Considered the world’s first novel, Genji is written as an absorbing portrait of Heian court life, the splendor of its rituals, and aesthetic culture. One of the most fascinating passages in the novel is a long conversation among the hero, Genji, and his friends one... Read More »

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Writers of the Heian Era: Fiction, The Tale of Genji 2

Source

The greatest work produced during the Heian era was The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, lady-in-waiting to Empress Akiko. Considered the world’s first novel, Genji is written as an absorbing portrait of Heian court life, the splendor of its rituals, and aesthetic culture. One of the most fascinating passages in the novel is a long conversation among the hero, Genji, and his friends one... Read More »

A line of women and children wait by a train

Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center

Review
The museum Yad Vashem is one of the foremost research centers for holocaust studies in the world.

Zalkind–Hourwitz, Vindication of the Jews (1789)

Source

In 1789, 40,000 Jews lived in France, most of them in the eastern provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. In some respects, they were better treated than Calvinists under the laws of the monarchy; Jews could legally practice their religion, though their other activities were severely restricted. They had no civil or political rights, except the right to be judged by their own separate courts, and... Read More »

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