Cats in the 20th Century (Cats in Literature-Colette)

Cats in Literature The cat naturally came to the pages of 20th century literary works as the usual symbol of feminine sexuality, lust and desire.  However, writers loved cats not because they could use them in their literary works as symbol and metaphor, but because they, just as the independent thinkers of the 17th and […]

Cats in the 19th Century (Part 21-Cats and French Writers)

Cats and French writers seem to be inseparable, and in addition to the other French writers that have already been discussed, there were several others who found the cat to be an important companion and sometimes essential symbol in their literature and poetry. The French novelist, George Sand (1804-1876), her real name Amantine Aurore Lucile […]

Cats in the 19th Century (Part 20-The Life and Opinions of Tomcat Murr)

The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr is an autobiography of a cat written (1819-1821) by the German writer and composer, E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822).  The story is about the very literate  and precocious Tomcat Murr who decides to write  his own autobiography.  He feels he should write it because he has lived a full […]

Cats in the 19th Century (Part 17-Charles Baudelaire’s “Cats”)

Charles Baudelaire’s Cats The short lived French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), had much in common with Edgar Allan Poe.  Both would die young, and both were interested in the macabre and supernatural.  Baudelaire and Poe suffered from depression, drug and alcohol abuse and were sensitive men who enjoyed the company of cats. Baudelaire was often […]

Cats in the 19th Century (Part 14-Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Cat)

The tormented American poet and writer Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), had a beloved pet cat named Catterina.  Edgar Allan Poe’s black cat often perched on his shoulders while he wrote as if overseeing his work and would remain there, observed a visitor, “….purring as if in complacent approval of the work proceeding under [her] supervision.”  Catterina […]

Cats in the 19th Century (Part 11-Cats in Literature-Charles Dickens)

Even though loved by artists and musicians, cats in literature and poetry found their optimum medium of influence.  Almost all of the great writers and poets from all over the world referred to the feline in their writings.  From Dickens to Kafka, cats were at the sides of the century’s writers and poets. When one […]

THE CAT IN SHAKESPEARE

The cat is referred to in many of Shakespeare’s 37 plays, albeit always negatively.  And it was Shakespeare who borrowed the name Tybalt from the fable Reynard the Fox, and used it in his play Romeo and Juliet, wherein Mercutio insultingly remarks that Tybalt is a “rat catcher” and the “king of cats.” He also […]

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