Japanese diarist and poet Sei Shōnagon.

Sei Shonagon

(c. 966 - c. 1025)

Black and white photograph of German writer Hermann Hesse.

Hermann Hesse

(1877 - 1962)

Black and white photograph of E. B. White sitting at his typewriter with his dachshund.

E.B. White

(1899 - 1985)

Polish American writer and academic Eva Hoffman.

Eva Hoffman

Engraving of a bust of Lucretius.


(c. 95 BC - c. 50 BC)

Black and white photograph of Friedrich Nietzsche with a huge mustache.

Friedrich Nietzsche

(1844 - 1900)

Photograph of American literary critic George Steiner.

George Steiner

Dorothy Parker working at her typewriter.

Dorothy Parker

(1893 - 1967)

Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

(106 BC - 43 BC)

Painting of Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes

(1588 - 1679)

Painting of Benjamin Franklin reading a batch of papers next to a classical bust.

Benjamin Franklin

(1706 - 1790)

Former chairman of the FCC Newton Minow.

Newton Minow

American linguist Arika Okrent.

Arika Okrent

American author Gay Talese.

Gay Talese

Hungarian-born British novelist, journalist, and critic Arthur Koestler.

Arthur Koestler

(1905 - 1983)

Sepia toned photograph of Lewis Carroll in a suit, reading a book

Lewis Carroll

(1832 - 1898)

Printer and publisher Aldus Manutius the Elder.

Aldus Manutius the Elder

(1449 - 1515)

Photograph of Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov

(1899 - 1977)

American novelist Tim O’Brien.

Tim O’Brien

James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw

(c. 1705 - 1775)

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

(1842 - c. 1914)

German Nazi leader Martin Bormann.

Martin Bormann

(1900 - 1945)

Greek philosopher Epictetus.


(c. 55 - c. 135)

Lewis Lapham at his desk

Lewis H. Lapham

Engraving of Roman poet Horace.


(65 BC - 8 BC)

William Lightfoot Visscher

(1842 - 1924)

French man of letters Denis Diderot.

Denis Diderot

(1713 - 1784)

Black and white photograph of German-language writer Franz Kafka.

Franz Kafka

(1883 - 1924)

Photograph of Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges

(1899 - 1986)

English novelist, essayist, and critic George Orwell.

George Orwell

(1903 - 1950)

Flann O'Brien in an overcoat standing next to a Dublin Diversion sign

Flann O’Brien

(1911 - 1966)

Portrait of Swiss-born philosopher, writer, and political theorist Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

(1712 - 1778)

Black and white photo of Lenny Bruce being frisked by an officer

Lenny Bruce

(1925 - 1966)

Portrait of young Arthur Schopenhauer wearing a brown suit and a cravat.

Arthur Schopenhauer

(1788 - 1860)

Black and white photograph of a young H.G. Wells with a mustache.

H.G. Wells

(1866 - 1946)

Color photograph of Oliver Sacks with a white beard and glasses.

Oliver Sacks

(1933 - 2015)

Black and white photograph of American poet Marianne Moore.

Marianne Moore

(1887 - 1972)

Apollinaris the Younger

(c. 310 - c. 390)

Color engraving of Italian poet, scholar, and humanist Petrarch.


(1304 - 1374)

Linguist, lexicographer, columnist, and editor Ben Zimmer.

Ben Zimmer

Portrait of Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky

(1821 - 1881)

Exiled South African writer Breyten Breytenbach.

Breyten Breytenbach

Bishop, polemicist, and historian Eusebius.


(c. 260 - c. 339)

British writer Bruce Chatwin.

Bruce Chatwin

(1940 - 1989)

Black power leader H. Rap Brown.

H. Rap Brown

American novelist Madeline Miller.

Madeline Miller

Depiction of Greek philosopher Plato.


(c. 427 BC - c. 347 BC)

American writer John Cheever.

John Cheever

(1912 - 1982)

Black and white photograph of American author Edith Wharton.

Edith Wharton

(1862 - 1937)

German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht.

Bertolt Brecht

(1898 - 1956)

Soldier and writer Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon.

Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon

(1675 - 1755)

Color portrait of German theologian and reformer Martin Luther.

Martin Luther

(1483 - 1546)

Fourth President of the United States James Madison.

James Madison

(1751 - 1836)

Portrait of English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792 - 1822)

Chinese statesman Li Si.

Li Si

(c. 280 BC - c. 208 BC)

St. Benedict

Saint Benedict

(c. 480 - c. 547)

American writer Toni Morrison.

Toni Morrison

Russian author Viktor Pelevin.

Viktor Pelevin

Oil painting portrair Michel de Montaigne in red robes and white collar

Michel de Montaigne

(1533 - 1592)

Portrait of Francis Bacon in sixteenth-century armor.

Francis Bacon

(1561 - 1626)

American poet, journalist, and essayist Walt Whitman.

Walt Whitman

(1819 - 1892)

Black and white image of Greek biographer and writer Plutarch.


(46 - c. 120)

Greek geographer and historian Strabo.


(c. 64 BC - c. 25)

Belgian Symbolist poet, playwright, and essayist Maurice Maeterlinck.

Maurice Maeterlinck

(1862 - 1949)

American writer, computer scientist, and composer Jaron Lanier.

Jaron Lanier

Pope Clement V.

Pope Clement V

(c. 1260 - 1314)

Painting of François Rabelais.

François Rabelais

(1494 - 1553)

American newspaper commentator and author Walter Lippmann.

Walter Lippmann

(1889 - 1974)

Scottish born doctor and writer Alexander Hamilton.

Dr. Alexander Hamilton

(1712 - 1756)

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

(1817 - 1862)

Cherokee leader and newspaper editor Elias Boudinot.

Elias Boudinot

(c. 1803 - 1839)

Historian and novelist Philipp Blom.

Philipp Blom

Image of medieval traveler Sir John Mandeville.

John Mandeville

(c. 1300 - 1371)

Photograph of British writer and journalist Simon Winchester.

Simon Winchester

Black and white photograph of a young Marshall McLuhan with a think mustache.

Marshall McLuhan

(1911 - 1980)

Italian Franciscan friar and historian Salimbene Di Adam.

Salimbene di Adam

(1221 - c. 1290)

English writer and essayist William Hazlitt.

William Hazlitt

(1778 - 1830)

Political consultant and media advisor Mandy Grunwald.

Mandy Grunwald

American writer Nicholson Baker.

Nicholson Baker

American author and educator Helen Keller.

Helen Keller

(1880 - 1968)

Portrait bust of Greek dramatist Aeschylus.


(c. 525 BC - 456 BC)

Photograph of Joan Didion

Joan Didion

Andreas the Chaplain

(1174 - 1238)

American feminist, activist, and editor Gloria Steinem.

Gloria Steinem

American black militant Eldridge Cleaver.

Eldridge Cleaver

(1935 - 1998)