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The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Selections Annotated and Explained by Malaspina Great Books Web Editor Russell McNeil PhD
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius:
Selections Annotated and Explained

Russell McNeil, PhD
Editor, Malaspina Great Books

In 1862 the English literary critic and poet Matthew Arnold described Marcus Aurelius as "the most beautiful figure in history." The Stoicism of Aurelius is grounded in rationality and rests solidly on an ethical approach rooted in nature. Stoicism promises real happiness and joy in this life and a serenity that can never be soured by personal misfortune. This philosophy has universal appeal with practical implications on problems ranging from climate change and terrorism to the personal management of sickness, aging, depression and addiction. I truly believe that the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius has much to offer us now...(Click on book cover for more)

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Romantic Music
Name:Clara Schumann
Birth Year:1819
Death Year:1896
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Biography, Lectures, and Research Links: Malaspina Great Books - Clara Schumann (1819-1896) Biography

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Clara Schumann (1819 - 1896), wife of composer Robert Schumann, trained from an early age by her father Friedrick Wieck, had a brilliant career as a pianist from the age of thirteen up to her marriage. In the various tours on which she accompanied her husband, she extended her own reputation beyond the borders of Germany, and it was thanks to her efforts that his compositions became generally known in Europe. From the time of her husband's death she devoted herself principally to the interpretation of her husband's works, but when in 1856 she first visited England the critics received Schumann's music with a chorus of disapprobation. She returned to London in 1865 and continued her visits annually, with the exception of four seasons, until 1882; and from 1885 to 1888 she appeared each year. In 1878 she was appointed teacher of the piano at the Hoch Conservatorium at Frankfurt, a post which she held until 1892, and in which she contributed greatly to the modern improvement in technique. As an artist she will be remembered, together with Joseph Joachim, as one of the first executants who really played like composers. Besides being remembered for her eminence as a performer of nearly all kinds of pianoforte music, at a time when such technical ability was considerably rarer than in the present day, she was herself the composer of a few songs and of some charming music, mainly for the piano, and the authoritative editor of her husband's works for Breitkopf and Hartel. [This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Clara Schumann.]

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This web page is part of a biographical database on Great Ideas. These are living ideas that have shaped, defined and directed world culture for over 2,500 years. By definition the Great Ideas are radical. As such they are sometimes misread, or distorted by popular simplifications. Understanding a Great Idea demands personal engagement. Our selection of Great Ideas is drawn from literature and philosophy, science, art, music, theatre, and cinema. We also include biographies of pivotal historical and religious figures, as well as contributions from women and other historically under-represented minorities. The result is an integrated multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary database built upon the framework of the always controversial Great Books Core List published in 1940 by the late Great Books Pioneer Mortimer Adler (1902-2001). Most of the works on that list are available in the 60 volume Great Books of the Western World.

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