Meet some of the world’s most fascinating writers and their works. A weekly celebration of literary anniversaries, an opportunity to read a book because "A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever."
Born this week:
Mikhail Prishvin, Russia
Author of the excellent The Chain of Kashchey, the book that took some 30 years to write.
Nikos Kazantzakis, Greece
"Two equally steep and bold paths may lead to the same peak."
Andre Breton, France
"Of all those arts in which the wise excel, Nature's chief masterpiece is writing well."
Pierre Boulle, France
Author of The Planet of the Apes. "Ape is of course the only rational creature, the only one possessing a mind as well as a body. The most materialistic of our scientists recognize the supernatural essence of the simian mind."
Died this week:
Benvenuto Cellini, Italy
"Let all the world witness how many different means Fortune employs when she wishes to destroy a man."
"One must eat to live, and not live to eat."
Heinrich Heine, Germany
"Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people."
Ernst Junger, Germany
"I came to realize that one single human being, comprehended in his depth, who gives generously from the treasures of his heart, bestows on us more riches than Caesar or Alexander could ever conquer. Here is our kingdom, the best of monarchies, the best republic. Here is our garden, our happiness."
"Equality may be a right, but no power on earth can convert it into fact."
Andre Gide, France
"The sole art that suits me is that which, rising from unrest, tends toward serenity."
Knut Hamsun, Norway
"In old age... we are like a batch of letters that someone has sent. We are no longer in the past, we have arrived."