Classics Calendar for May 25

Illustration of Calderón's La Vida Es Sueño (Life Is a Dream)

Here are today's milestones:

Born on this day:

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803; died April 27, 1882) American writer; Essays ("Nature"; "Self-Reliance"; "The Transcendentalist"; "The Over-Soul"; "The American Scholar"; etc.); English Traits

Theodore Roethke (1908; died August 1, 1963) American poet; The Waking; The Lost Son; The Far Field; Words for the Wind; Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1954)

Raymond Carver (1938; died August 2, 1988) American short-story writer and poet who contributed to the revitalization of the American short story during the 1980s. His story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" was the "play within a play" in Alejandro Iñárritu's film Birdman; the short story collection Where I'm Calling From is cited by Bloom.

Died on this day:

Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1681; born January 17, 1600) Spanish playwright; La Vida Es Sueño (Life Is a Dream); La Dama Duende (The Phantom Lady)

Madame de La Fayette (1693; born March 18, 1634) French writer; La Princesse de Clèves

Gustav Holst (1934; born September 21, 1874) English composer known for The Planets

Bonus Classic:

Nicomachus of Gerasa (60-120) Syrian-born Greek mathematician who wrote Introduction to Arithmetic and Manual of Harmonics, both in Greek. As a Neopythagorean, he also wrote about the mystical properties of numbers.

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