Meet some of the world’s most fascinating writers and their works. A weekly celebration of literary anniversaries, an opportunity to read, and read, and re-read because "A sure sign of a good book is that you like it more the older you get."
Born this week:
Karel Capek, Czech
Coined the word "robot". "My dear Miss Glory, Robots are not people. They are mechanically more perfect than we are, they have an astounding intellectual capacity, but they have no soul."
Anais Nin, France
"The morning I got up to begin this book I coughed. Something was coming out of my throat: I have just spat out my heart."
James Lowell, USA
"Who speaks the truth stabs Falsehood to the heart."
Danilo Kis, Serbia
"Do not get involved with anyone, a writer is alone."
Carlo Goldoni, Italy
"Each day a day goes by."
Karl May, Germany
A very popular author of novels set in the American Wild West.
Anthony Burgess, UK
"I suppose the only real reason for travelling is to learn that all people are the same."
Victor Hugo, France
"A day will come when a cannon will be a museum-piece, as instruments of torture are today. And we will be amazed to think that these things once existed!"
John Steinbeck, USA
"The discipline of the written word punishes both stupidity and dishonesty"
Died this week:
Mikhail Sholokhov, Russia
Author of "Quiet Flows the Don", and "Destiny of Man."
Stefan Zweig, Austria
"The organic fundamental error of humanism was that it desired to educate the common people (on whom it looked down) from its lofty stance instead of trying to understand them and to learn from them."
Alexey Nikolaevich Tolstoy, Russia
Author of historical novels.
Hans Hellmut Kirst, Germany
"All you have to do is anesthetize the masses by telling them they’re an elite, that they’ve got a mission, that they’re making history, that they’re fulfilling their destiny and fighting for a better world — and they swallow it like lambs — even when a guttersnipe says it."
James Wight, UK
"For years I used to bore my wife over lunch with stories about funny incidents. The words 'My book,' as in 'I'll put that in it one day,' became a sort of running joke. Eventually she said, 'Look, I don't want to offend you, but you've been saying that for 25 years. If you were going to write a book, you'd have done it. You're never going to do it now. Old vets of 50 don't write books.' So I purchased a lot of paper right then and started to write."
Lothar-Gunther Buchheim, Germany
Author of Das Boot.
Tennessee Williams, USA
"I think that moral earnestness is a good thing for any times, but particularly for these times."