April 23, 2003
Happy DWEMs Day

Today is the 387th anniversary of the deaths of William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra. Of course, they actually died ten days apart, since England was still using the Julian Calendar, while Spain had long since switched over to the Gregorian, which we still use. That means that it really has been 387 years since Cervantes died, while Shakespeare has been dead (I think) for 387 years and 10 days. Most of their works are on-line. For Shakespeare it looks like the best set of links is at Palomar College in California: Mr. William Shakespeare on the Web. The Cervantes Digital Library at Texas A&M is putting the complete works on-line in several formats, though some are still to come. Only Don Quixote seems to be available in English.

Today is also the birthday of a disproportionate number of Russian cultural eminences: Sergei Rachmaninoff's 130th, Sergei Prokofiev's 112th, and Vladimir Nabokov's 104th. I think I'll reread "The Aurelian" to celebrate the last. It's also J.M.W. Turner's 228th birthday -- not to mention Shirley Temple's 75th, and Bermuda's Peppercorn Day. Though awkwardly laid out, this site has much more useful information on the date, including the calculation that the first Easter was April 23rd, A.D. 33. Of course, Jesus of Nazareth doesn't qualify as a DWEM, being neither European nor (if Easter is worth commemorating at all) dead.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at April 23, 2003 06:39 PM