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Franz Kafka (1883 – 1924) was a Czech Bohemian novelist and short-story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work fuses elements of realism and the fantastic. His best known works include the short story "The Metamorphosis" and novels The Trial and The Castle.  Kafka's unfinished novels, including "The Man Who Disappeared" (also known as "Amerika" or "The Missing Person"), "The Castle," and "The Trial," were published posthumously and have come to be regarded as among the most influential works of 20th-century literature.The term Kafkaesque has entered English to describe absurd situations, like those depicted in his writing.

JOHN O'DONOHUE (1956 - 2008) was an Irish poet, philosopher and scholar, a native Gaelic speaker. He wrote numerous international best-selling books including: Anam Cara, Beauty, Eternal Echoes, and Benedictus: A Book of Blessings- Published in the US as To Bless the Space Between Us. John O'Donohue Official Website.

Quote source: Excerpt from John O’Donohue's book "Anam Cara" (p17)

Frederick Douglass (1817 - 1895) - Frederick Augustus Washington  American abolitionist, social reformer, writer, orator and statesman. Born a slave, he escaped from slavery in Maryland and became a national leader of the abolitionist movement. Known for his oratory and antislavery writings. He was described by abolitionists in his time as a living counterexample to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Douglass wrote three autobiographies, describing his experiences as a slave and later times of his life. Douglass also actively supported women's suffrage, and held several public offices.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874 –1936) was an English writer,[philosopher, Christian apologist, and literary and art critic. He has been referred to as the "prince of paradox" Chesterton created the fictional priest-detective Father Brown,] and wrote on apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognized the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an "orthodox" Christian, and eventually converted to Roman Catholicism from high church Anglicanism. 

"In The Story of Ferdinand (public library), a gentle-souled young misfit bull sits out the perpetual head-butting by which his peers hone their bull-skills, choosing instead to smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree in solitude. His mother, at first worried about his bullness, recognizes her son’s difference and trusts that he would find his way" And so he does..... Read more

"Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love"

Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) was an American Reformed theologian, political activist ethicist, commentator on politics and public affairs, and professor. Niebuhr was one of America's leading public intellectuals of the 20th century and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. A public theologian, he wrote and spoke frequently about the intersection of religion, politics, and public policy, with his most influential books including Moral Man and Immoral Society and The Nature and Destiny of Man. Niebuhr battled with religious liberals over what he called their naïve views of the contradictions of human nature and the optimism of the Social Gospel, and battled with religious conservatives over what he viewed as their naïve view of scripture and their narrow definition of "true religion". More

"A symbolic moment of peace, grace, and humility amidst one of humanity’s most violent and disgraceful events".
"In December of 1914, a series of grassroots, unofficial ceasefires took hold of the Western Front in the heat of WWI. On Christmas, soldiers from an estimated 100,000 British and German troops began to exchange seasonal greetings and sing songs across the trenches",........ Continue Reading

Charles Kingsley (1819 – 1875) was a broad church priest of the Church of England, a university professor, social reformer, historian, novelist and poet. He is particularly associated with Christian socialism, the working men's college, and forming labour cooperatives, which failed, but encouraged later working reforms.
Source: Britannica

From Rumi to Blake to Nick Cave, by way of trees, hummingbirds, grief, and music. In this sixteenth year of The Marginalian, which draws primarily on the timeless wonders and wisdoms of the past, here are sixteen books of the immediate present that left on me a mark on par with those immortals — Read more

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