Born this week:
Herman Melville, USA
"It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness."
Romulo Gallegos, Venezuela
Witold Gombrowicz, Poland
"Any artist who respects himself ought to be, and in every sense of the term, an emigre."
Knut Hamsun, Norway
"And love became the world's origin and the world's ruler, yet littered its path is with flowers and blood, flowers and blood."
Guy de Maupassant, France
"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all."
Jiri Weil, Czech
Carl Brosboll, Denmark
Died this week:
William Burroughs, USA
"A paranoid man is a man who knows a little about what's going on."
Joseph Conrad, Poland / UK
"It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose."
Sidonie Colette, France
"There are days when solitude, for someone my age, is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall."
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russia
"Literature that is not the breath of contemporary society, that dares not transmit the pains and fears of that society, that does not warn in time against threatening moral and social dangers — such literature does not deserve the name of literature; it is only a façade. Such literature loses the confidence of its own people, and its published works are used as wastepaper instead of being read."
Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark
"Death walks faster than the wind and never returns what he has taken."
Salama Musa, Egypt
Jorge Amado, Brasil
Rosario Castellanos, Mexico