A Year in Books/Day 100: Living Authors

  • Title: Living Authors
  • Editor: Dilly Tante
  • Year Published: Original Edition-1931/This Edition-2001 (The H.W. Wilson Company/Bookspan)
  • Year Purchased: 2004
  • Source: Unknown
  • About: Since I spend so much time writing about dead writers, this is one of the most-used volumes in my personal reference library. Although I don’t remember where I bought it, I know that it only cost about $5; practically speaking, it is the best investment I have ever made in a book! ‘Living Authors’ features biographies of pretty much every still-breathing writer (400 of them!) of any importance at the time of initial publication (1931), which means that it covers the years that I most frequently focus on in my own writing. Each entry also has a detailed bibliography. For those of you wondering why I don’t just head over to Wikipedia/other informative web-site, I’ll stop you right there. It’s not the same! Dilly Tante filled his book with strange data and odd minutia, often provided by the authors themselves. It’s simply more interesting and fulfilling.
  • Motivation: I’m always excited to find reference materials contemporaneous to the subjects I write about.
  • Times Read: Cover-to-cover-1/As reference-countless
  • Random Excerpt/Page vi: “In themselves these facts are trivial and meaningless. If they concerned the man in the brown hat next door or the discreet lady across the way, they might be dismissed as idle gossip, both inexcusable and dull. But in the world of art, where talent is primarily a consolidation of personality, we have a right to be curious. Our desire to know the artist is matched by his desire to reveal himself, for the art of the modern world is fundamentally autobiographical, and Goethe, described by Spengler as “the man who forgot nothing, the man whose works, as he avowed himself, are only fragments of a single great confession,” may well stand as the type of the Western artist.”
  • Happiness Scale: Off the charts!
My copy of 'Living Authors' Edited by Dilly Tante

My copy of 'Living Authors' Edited by Dilly Tante: I'll award 2 bragging points for every writer you can name!


4 thoughts on “A Year in Books/Day 100: Living Authors

  1. Holy balls – I love this even though it’s a bit morbid. Over 400 – that’s so ridiculous, but awesome. Creepy, horrible question but have any of them died since it’s been in print? I would be the person who marked those pages with an X because I’m terrible.


    • Yes, they have all died! It was originally published in 1931…However, here’s a creepy footnote for you: between compilation and publishing, several of the profiled writers died. Their names are marked with an asterisk and date/mode of death!


    • Thanks! I’m really enjoying doing my Project 366. It’s made me take a serious look at why I buy, read and keep the books I do; part of that has to do with happiness, which is sometimes a slippery concept!


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