The Dead Writers Round-Up: 7th-10th December

  • Cicero died on 12/7/43 BC. “A friend is, as it were, a second self.” (On the Laws; Brutus; On Duties)
  • Willa Cather was born on 12/7/1873. “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” (O Pioneers!; My Antonia; The Song of the Lark; One of Ours)
  • Thornton Wilder died on 12/7/1975. “An incinerator is a writer’s best friend.” (The Bridge of San Luis Rey; Our Town; The Skin of Our Teeth; The Matchmaker)
  • Robert Graves died on 12/7/1985. “There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.” (Good-bye to All That; The White Goddess; I, Claudius; The Greek Myths)
  • Thomas De Quincey died on 12/8/1859. “The public is a bad guesser.” (Confessions of an English Opium-Eater)
  • James Thurber was born on 12/8/1894. “Love is what you’ve been through with somebody.” (The Owl in the Attic and Other Perplexities; My Life and Hard Times; My World and Welcome to It; The Male Animal (with Elliot Nugent); The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
  • John Milton was born on 12/9/1608. “A Mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell , a Hell of Heaven.” (Paradise Lost; Paradise Regained)
  • Dame Edith Sitwell died on 12/9/1964. “I am not eccentric. It’s just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of goldfish.” (Clowns’ Houses; Alexander Pope; I Live Under a Black Sun)
  • Emily Dickinson was born on 12/10/1830. “I’m nobody, who are you?”
  • Luigi Pirandello died on 12/10/1936. “Drama is action, sir, drama and not confounded philosophy.” (Six Characters in Search of an Author; The Rules of the Game)
  • Damon Runyon died on 12/10/1946. “I came to the conclusion long ago that all life is six to five against.” (Guys and Dolls; The Damon Runyon Omnibus)
  • Mark Van Doren died on 12/10/1972. “Bring ideas in and entertain them royally, for one of them may be the king.” (Spring Thunder; Winter Diary; Collected Poems 1922-1938; The Transients)

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[All images are in the Public Domain and are courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

7 thoughts on “The Dead Writers Round-Up: 7th-10th December

  1. Quotes are super! Hard to choose a favorite …I’m going to have to go with Milton. And Wallace Stevens would strongly disagree with Graves. He thought money was a form of poetry.


    • Sometimes I have an excellent group of quote generators! My favourites from this edition are Milton and my hometown boy, Thurber. As far as Graves’ sentiment is concerned, I agree with the first half of the quote: for most practitioners, there is very little monetary gain from poetry or writing. The veracity of the second half of his quote concerns me less, as for some it is true and for others not at all.


    • Always! Pop culture would not be what it is if it weren’t for Damon Runyon. I included Wilder and Thurber for the same reason. Well, that and I have an affinity for all three gents.


  2. Pingback: These are a few of my favorite things: #16 (Mrs. Frola & Mr. Ponza, Her Son-In-Law by Luigi Pirandello) « Ritu’s Weblog

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