An old Arabic proverb says: "He who lends a book is an idiot. He who returns the book is more of an idiot." Here's an opportunity to borrow (and, perhaps, never return) books by authors who were...
Born this week:
James Barrie, Scotland
"The best of our fiction is by novelists who allow that it is as good as they can give, and the worst by novelists who maintain that they could do much better if only the public would let them."
Camilo Jose Cela, Spain
"Literature is the denunciation of the times in which one lives."
Farley Mowat, Canada
"Inescapably, the realization was being borne in upon my preconditioned mind that the centuries-old and universally accepted human concept of wolf character was a palpable lie. On three separate occasions in less than a week I had been completely at the mercy of these 'savage killers'; but far from attempting to tear me limb from limb, they had displayed a restraint verging on contempt, even when I invaded their home and appeared to be posing a direct threat to the young pups. "
Daphne du Maurier, UK
"All autobiography is self-indulgent."
Adolf Muschg, Switzerland
Mikhail Bulgakov, Russia
"The tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes never!"
Max Frisch, Switzerland
"Life is boring. I have experiences now only when I am writing."
Died this week:
Fredrich Schiller, Germany
"The joke loses everything when the joker laughs himself."
Rene Maran, Martinique
"Hatred is one long wait."
James Jones, USA
"As far as modern war is concerned I am a pacifist. Hell, it isn't even war anymore... It's an industry..."
Louis Boon, Belgium
"Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have."
Peter Weiss, Germany
"I could buy myself paper, a pen, a pencil and a brush and could create pictures whenever and wherever I wanted. ... That evening, in the spring of 1947, on the embankment of the Seine in Paris, at the age of thirty, I saw that it was possible to live and work in the world, and that I could participate in the exchange of ideas that was taking place all around, bound to no country."
Joris-Karl Huysmans, France
"Worshiping the Devil is no more insane than worshiping God...It is precisely at the moment when positivism is at its high-water mark that mysticism stirs into life and the follies of occultism begin."
Nelly Sachs, Germany
"To me, a fairy tale seems to have become reality."
Sholom Aleichem, Jewish
Fiddler on the Roof.
Johan August Strindberg, Sweden
"I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves."
Henry Rider Haggard, UK
"The food that memory gives to eat is bitter to the taste, and it is only with the teeth of hope that we can bear to bite it."