Summer isn't coming fast enough? Can't wait to travel, see the world? Do not fret - immerse yourself in books and travel the world. As John Lubbock said: "We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth."
Start with authors who were...
Born this week:
Daniel Defoe, UK
"All men would be tyrants if they could."
Mary Wollstencraft, UK
"The endeavor to keep alive any hoary establishment beyond its natural date is often pernicious and always useless."
Andre Baillon, Belgium
Paul Cazin, France
His works "the lost generation by transcending divisions of religion and secularism that characterized boyhood activities in France before the war."
Bruno Apitz, Germany
Jaroslav Hasek, Czech Republic
"Great times call for great men. There are unknown heroes who are modest, with none of the historical glamour of a Napoleon. If you analysed their character you would find that it eclipsed even the glory of Alexander the Great. Today you can meet in the streets of Prague a shabbily dressed man who is not even himself aware of his significance in the history of the great new era. He goes modestly on his way, without bothering anyone. Nor is he bothered by journalists asking for an interview. If you asked him his name he would answer you simply and unassumingly: 'I am Švejk….'"
Ignazio Silone, Italy
"Liberty is the possibility of doubting, the possibility of making a mistake, the possibility of searching and experimenting, the possibility of saying No to any authority - literary, artistic, philosophic, religious, social and even political."
Joseph Heller, USA
"The only wisdom I think I've attained is the wisdom to be skeptical of other people's ideology and other people's arguments. I tend to be a skeptic, I don't like dogmatic approaches by anybody."
Died this week:
Alan Sillitoe, UK
"Government wars aren't my wars; they've got nowt to do with me, because my own war's all that I'll ever be bothered about."
Bjornstjerne Bjornson, Norway
Henrik Ibsen on Bjornson: "The State has its root in time, and will ripe and rot in time."
Augusto Roa Bastos, Peru
"Let us be free, the rest matters not."
Ralph Waldo Emerson, USA
"Immortality. I notice that as soon as writers broach this question they begin to quote. I hate quotation. Tell me what you know."
Gustav Freytag, Germany
"Not every age allows its sons to reap the results which remain great for all time, and . . . not every century is fitted to make the men who live in it distinguished and happy."
Nagai Kafu, Japan
Eldridge Cleaver, USA
"The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less."