Classics Calendar for December 4

Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young
was featured in Sister Act 2: Back
in the Habit
, with Whoopi Goldberg

Here are today's milestones:

Born on this day:

Thomas Carlyle (1795; died February 5, 1881) Scottish philosopher; On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History; The French Revolution: A History; Sartor Resartus

Samuel Butler (1835; died June 18, 1902) English author; Erewhon; The Way of All Flesh

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875; died December 29, 1926) Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist; poetry collections Duineser Elegien (Duino Elegies) and Die Sonette an Orpheus (Sonnets to Orpheus); novel Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge); and a collection of Letters to a Young Poet

Died on this day:

John of Damascus (749; born Unknown Date, 676) Syrian monk and theologian who wrote On Holy Images; Three Sermons on the Assumption

Omar Khayyam (1131; born May 18, 1048) Persian poet and scientist; The Rubaiyat (Quatrains)

Thomas Hobbes (1679; born April 5, 1588) English philosopher; Leviathan

John Gay (1732; born June 30, 1685) English poet and playwright; The Beggar's Opera

John Tyndall (1893; born August 2, 1820) Anglo-Irish scientist; Heat: a Mode of Motion

Shunryu Suzuki (1971; born May 18, 1904) Japanese Buddhist monk; Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

May Swenson (1989; born May 28, 1913) American poet and playwright known for poetry collections New & Selected Things Taking Place; In Other Words

Bonus Classic:

Feng Menglong (1574-1645) Chinese writer and poet; especially Yushi Mingyan (Illustrious Words to Instruct the World); Dongzhou Lieguo Zhi (Chronicles of the Eastern Zhou Kingdoms); Jingshi Tongyan (Stories to Caution the World)

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