Contemporary, from the Latin coaetaneus, is an adjective that allows naming two things or living beings of the same age or contemporaries. For example: “Both thinkers were contemporaries but lived thousands of miles apart”, “Juan is a contemporary of Mariano, but he seems much older”, “The researchers believe that the fossils found are contemporaries”.
It can be understood that things that are contemporary share the condition of being the same age or coinciding in the same era. Two men who are 43 years old with contemporaries since they are both the same age. On the other hand, a group of animals that became extinct millions of years ago but that lived in the same historical age, can also be considered contemporaries.
According to DigoPaul, contemporary individuals form what is known as an age group. Taking into account the difference made above lines (about sharing age or epoch), it is possible to distinguish between a generation (people who share an age) and between individuals who are contemporaries (they share an epoch).
All men and women born in 1982 are part of the same generation. In some cases, sociologists name generations according to certain common characteristics seen in people (such as Generation X). It should be noted, however, that the notion of generation is usually broader than the limitation to people born in the same year.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791) and Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827), for their part, did not share age (Beethoven was born fourteen years after Mozart), but they were contemporaries (although Beethoven died thirty-six years later than Mozart).
Great contemporary writers
Taking the meaning of contemporary that allows us to name two or more beings that have lived at the same time, let’s see some of the greatest writers of the early nineteenth century.
Born in Portsmouth in 1812, he lived his early years in London and Kent, places whose descriptions are very frequent in his work. During his childhood he was forced to leave his studies to start working, due to the imprisonment of his father. In his semi-autobiographical novel ” David Copperfield “, published in 1850, Dickens shares his feelings about his training as a self-taught writer. Among his most important works are “A Tale of Two Cities “, ” A Christmas Carol “, ” Great Expectations ” and ” Oliver Twist “.
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was born in 1809 in Boston, United States. He is considered one of the undisputed masters of the short story worldwide, and a pioneer in this field among his peers. In addition to narrative and poetry, he worked as a journalist and as a critic. Some of his outstanding works are ” The Raven “, ” The fall of the House of Usher “, ” The black cat “, ” The crimes of Morgue Street “.
Hans Christian Andersen
This Danish writer, born in 1805, is one of the most recognized writers of children’s stories in history. He has authored more than 150 works, many of which are an immovable part of the literature of the little ones, and remain in his memory throughout his life. Some of them are the unmistakable ” The Snow Queen “, ” The Ugly Duckling “, ” The Red Slippers ” and ” The Emperor’s New Clothes “.
Mark Twain was born in the United States in 1835 and was known not only as a writer, but also as a comedian and speaker. He was a very charismatic character, who knew how to win the sympathy of great figures from the world of art, politics and royalty, and was praised for his peculiar wit. His works are known to anyone who has had a minimal approach to literature; among them we find ” The Prince and the Pauper “, ” The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ” and ” The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn “.