Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Twentieth Century Defended

Earlier this week you may remember me talking about how I believed that the nineteenth century far outshone the twentieth in terms of its greatness. At least one person who has read my list has chastised me because I inexplicably left out some fairly memorable figures that I should never have forgotten. As it turns out, a friend of mine has compiled a list of her own to counter my slanderous allegations against the twentieth century. With her blessing and the guarantee that I wouldn't add Peter Andre to make a mockery of the list, I've seen fit to make a few additions of my own:


Louis Armstrong
Irving Berlin
David Bowie
Leonard Cohen
Bob Dylan
Duke Ellington
Brian Eno
Ella Fitzgerald
John Lennon
Paul McCartney
Joni Mitchell
Cole Porter
Elvis Presley
Paul Simon
Stephen Sondheim
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Brian Wilson

Novelists, Poets and Playwrights

Jorge Luis Borges
Bertolt Brecht
Miles Davis
T.S. Eliot
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Günter Grass
Ernest Hemingway
Aldous Huxley
James Joyce
Milan Kundera
Arthur Miller
George Orwell
Harold Pinter
J.D. Salinger
Tom Stoppard
Kurt Vonnegut
Virginia Woolf
W.B. Yeats

Philosophers and Theologians

Theodor Adorno
Karl Barth
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Rudolf Bultmann
Jacques Derrida
Albert Einstein
Michel Foucault
Mahatma Gandhi
Jürgen Habermas
Stanley Hauerwas
Jacques Lacan
Marshall McLuhan
Jurgen Moltmann
Reinhold Niebuhr
Karl Rahner
Edward Said
Jean-Paul Sartre
Gloria Steinem
John Howard Yoder

Politicians and World Leaders

Yasser Arafat
Winston Churchill
Adolf Hitler
Saddam Hussein
J.F. Kennedy
Ayatollah Khomeini
Vladimir Lenin
Martin Luther King
Nelson Mandela
Benito Mussolini
Pope John Paul II
Pol Pot
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Josef Stalin
Mao Tse Tung
Malcolm X


Wassily Kandinsky
Paul Klee
Pablo Picasso
Jackson Pollock
Andy Warhol
Paul Klee

World Events

World War I and II
The Russian Revolution
The 1929 Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression
The Holocaust
The bombing of Hiroshima
The cultural revolution in China
Decolonisation and Globalisation
The rise and fall of the Berlin Wall
The Cold War and the Cuban missile crisis
Vatican II
The assassination of John F. Kennedy
The Vietnam War
The Iranian Revolution
The invention of television
The birth of feminism
The civil rights movement
The space race
The invention of computers

Well, I'm sure that more could be added, especially with respect to movie icons throughout the twentieth century, which weren't added because no comparison can be made with the nineteenth century. This said, I think that this is a somewhat more comprehensive list than I gave for the nineteenth century. I think the biggest difference between the nineteenth century and the twentieth is that with the rise of true globalisation in the twentieth century, significant events began to have worldwide ramifications. I suspect now that my comments were born primarily out of the fact that I am currently going through a phase where I am becoming quite enamoured with nineteenth century literature. While I still lean toward the 19th century at the moment (I should point out however that I am yet to read James Joyce's "Ulysses"), I think it is clear that the jury is out for at least the next century or so.

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