Raymond Carver's collection of short stories Will you please be quiet, please? is celebrating its 40th publication anniversary this coming Monday (the 22nd of February). This is a not-so-known short fiction book, but it is rather significant in literary history, since Carver influenced many short story writers to come, offering a new, minimalistic short form, with a different structure and an unconventional approach to writing. Carver left his mark on 20th century literature (and beyond) with his narratives about common people, but he did so by showing us their intimate profiles, twisting the characters inside-out, making us feel a bit uncomfortable, but also fascinated.
The great artist of the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo Buonarotti, is best known as a sculptor and a painter. Not many are familiar with the fact that he was also a prolific poet. This is not surprising, since he was truly a Renaissance uomo universale. Michelangelo’s sonnets throw a different light on his personal life and work.
The notion of friendship has always been in the spotlight. Dozens of studies written by sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, historians, and philosophers demonstrate the need of humans to define and explain what friendship is exactly and what role it plays at different times. One attempt of this kind is a book of essays edited by Barbara Caine, titled Friendship: A History. The book covers the last 2500 years, starting in classical Athens and extending to modern times, which gives readers an opportunity to see how the concept of friendship has altered and evolved through a rather long period time.