Meet some of the world’s most fascinating writers and their works. A weekly celebration of literary anniversaries, an opportunity to read a book! Read and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of books or, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said: "The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books."
Born this week:
Charles Dickens, Great Britain
"Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."
Laura Wilder, USA
"Today our way of living and our schools are much different. It has been many years since I beat eggs with a fork, or cleaned a kerosene lamp; many things have made living and learning easier. But the real things haven't changed; they can never change… Great improvements in living have been made because every American has been free to pursue his happiness, and so as long as Americans are free they will continue to make our country even more wonderful."
Sinclair Lewis, USA
"Every compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile. In protest, I declined election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters some years ago, and now I must decline the Pulitzer Prize."
Jules Verne, France
"To describe my despair would be impossible. No words could tell it. I was buried alive, with the prospect before me of dying of hunger and thirst."
John Coetzee, South Africa
"I am looking for such a place in order to settle there, perhaps only till things improve, perhaps forever. I am not so foolish, however, as to imagine that I can rely on maps and roads to guide me."
Bertolt Brecht, Germany
"Mixing one's wines may be a mistake, but old and new wisdom mix admirably."
Charles Montesquieu, France
"Not to be loved is a misfortune, but it is an insult to be loved no longer."
Georges Simenon, France
"Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness. I don't think an artist can ever be happy."
Died this week:
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Ireland
"There is no dealing with great sorrow as if it were under the control of our wills. It is a terrible phenomenon, whose laws we must study, and to whose conditions we must submit, if we would mitigate it."
Iris Murdoch, Great Britain
"The chief requirement of the good life... is to live without any image of oneself."
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Russia
"If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself."
Halldor Laxness, Iceland
"A man is not independent unless he has the courage to stand alone."
Alexandr Pushkin, Russia
"Upon the brink of the wild stream
He stood, and dreamt a mighty dream."
Edgar Wallace, Great Britain
"What is a highbrow? He is a man who has found something more interesting than women."
Alex Haley, USA
"In my writing, as much as I could, I tried to find the good, and praise it."
Arthur Miller, USA
"I regard the theater as a serious business, one that makes or should make man more human, which is to say, less alone."
Sylvia Plath, USA
"What a man is is an arrow into the future and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from."
Peter Benchley, USA
Author of Jaws.
Julio Cortazar, Argentina
"The snail lives the way I like to live; he carries his own home with him."