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American alternative rock group Nirvana released its breakthrough album Nevermind, which helped make grunge an international phenomenon and gave voice to Generation X.
Nirvana, American alternative rock group whose breakthrough album, Nevermind (1991), announced a new musical style (grunge) and gave voice to the post-baby boom young adults known as Generation X. The members were Kurt Cobain (b. February 20, 1967, Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.—d. April 5, 1994, Seattle, Washington), Krist Novoselic (b. May 16, 1965, Compton, California), and Dave Grohl (b. January 14, 1969, Warren, Ohio).
From Aberdeen, near Seattle, Nirvana was part of the postpunk underground scene that centred on K Records of Olympia, Washington, before they recorded their first single, “Love Buzz” (1988), and album, Bleach (1989), for Sub Pop, an independent record company in Seattle. They refined this mix of 1960s-style pop and 1970s heavy metal–hard rock on their first album for a major label, Geffen; Nevermind, featuring the anthemic hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” was the first full expression of punk concerns to achieve mass-market success in the United States.
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American author and illustrator
Dr. Seuss, pseudonym of Theodor Seuss Geisel, (born March 2, 1904, Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.—died September 24, 1991, La Jolla, California), American writer and illustrator of immensely popular children’s books, which were noted for their nonsense words, playful rhymes, and unusual creatures.
Early career and first Dr. Seuss books
After graduating from Dartmouth College (B.A., 1925), Geisel did postgraduate studies at Lincoln College, Oxford, and at the Sorbonne. He subsequently began working for Life, Vanity Fair, and other publications as an illustrator and humorist. In addition, he found success in advertising, providing illustrations for a number of campaigns. Geisel was especially noted for his work on ads for Flit insect repellent. Some of his characters later appeared in his children’s works.
After illustrating a series of humour books, Geisel decided to write a children’s book, which was reportedly rejected by nearly 30 publishers. After his chance meeting with a friend who was an editor at Vanguard Press, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was finally released in 1937. The work centres on a young boy who transforms his ordinary walk home from school into a fantastical story. Later, however, he describes only the facts of his walk to his father, who frowns on the boy’s imaginative nature. Geisel used the pen name Dr. Seuss, planning to publish novels under his surname; the Dr. was a tongue-in-cheek reference to his uncompleted doctorate degree. However, his first book for adults, The Seven Lady Godivas (1939), fared poorly, and thereafter he focused on children’s books, which he preferred. According to Geisel, “Adults are obsolete children, and the hell with them.”
After publishing several more children’s works, Geisel released Horton Hatches the Egg in 1940. With it, he introduced the features that would come to define his books: a unique brand of humour, playful use of words, and outlandish characters. It centres on an elephant who is duped into sitting on the egg of a bird who goes on vacation. Despite various hardships, Horton refuses to leave: “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one hundred percent!” In the end, he is rewarded when the egg hatches, and a creature with bird wings and an elephant’s head emerges.
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