The Curse of the Ninth is the superstition that a composer will die after writing a ninth symphony. Belief in the curse arose after Beethoven, Dvorák, and Schubert—among others—all died after composing their ninth symphonies. Mahler, perhaps the first prominent composer to fear the curse, attempted to elude it by naming his ninth symphony "The Song of the Earth," but he died after writing "Symphony No. 9"—which was technically his 10th. Who are the other supposed victims of the curse?
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Back in the day
A founding work of modern Western literature, Cervantes's Don Quixote presents a profound picture of the divide between idealistic and realistic world views. A burlesque of chivalric romances, it was an immediate success. In 1614, a spurious Part II was published by an unidentified author who insulted Cervantes in his prologue. Offended, Cervantes responded by publishing his own Part II, which some literary critics consider superior to Part I. What is Don Quixote's real name in the book?
Born on a day like today
Liddell was a Scottish athlete and missionary. Because of his Christian convictions, Liddell refused to run track events on Sundays, a decision that forced him to withdraw from his best event, the 100-meter sprint, during the 1924 Paris Olympics. Instead, he ran the 400 meters, winning the gold medal and breaking the existing world record. His story is depicted in the Academy Award-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire. Why is he listed in some literature as China's first Olympic champion?