The Dead Writers Round-Up: 20th-24th December

  • James Hilton died on 12/20/1954. “The right mixture of caring and not caring-I suppose that’s what love is.” (Knight Without Armour; Lost Horizon; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Random Harvest)
  • John Steinbeck died on 12/20/1968. “Maybe ever’body  in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” (The Red Pony; Tortilla Flat; Of Mice and Men; The Grapes of Wrath; The Moon is Down; Cannery Row; The Pearl; East of Eden)
  • Denise Levertov died on 12/20/1997. “You have come to the shore. There are no instructions.” (The Double Image; Life in the Forest; Candles in Babylon)
  • Dame Rebecca West was born on 12/21/1892. “It’s the souls duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.” (The Return of the Soldier; The Fountain Overflows; Black Lamb and Grey Falcon; 1900)
  • Anthony Powell was born on 12/21/1905. “Books do furnish a room.” (A Dance to the Music of Time; Afternoon Men)
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald died on 12/21/1940. “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.” (This Side of Paradise; The Great Gatsby; Tender is the Night; Tales of the Jazz Age; Taps at Reveille)
  • Jean Racine was born on 12/22/1639. “Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.” (Andromaque; Britannicus; Esther; Athalie)
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson was born on 12/22/1869. “Life is the game that must be played.” (Merlin; Modred; King Jasper)
  • George Eliot died on 12/22/1880. “It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.” (Adam Bede; The Mill on the Floss; Middlemarch; Daniel Deronda)
  • Beatrix Potter died on 12/22/1943. “Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.” (The Tale of Peter Rabbit; The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher; The Tale of Tom Kitten; The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies)
  • Samuel Beckett died on 12/22/1989. “You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.” (Happy Days; Come and Go; Breath; That Time)
  • William Makepeace Thackeray died on 12/24/1863. “Bravery never goes out of fashion.” (The Luck of Barry Lyndon; The Book of Snobs; Vanity Fair; The History of Henry Esmond; The Rose and the Ring)

4 thoughts on “The Dead Writers Round-Up: 20th-24th December

  1. Ha! The quote from Beatrix Potter is terrific.

    There is a 12 year-old kid in the writers’ group I facilitate who, I hope, can take Ms Potter’s words to heart. This girl is a free spirit in every sense of the term; she doesn’t believe in matching socks; she draws on her arm if she feels she needs to; she wears sunglasses indoors if she decides that’s what the day calls for. I’m sure her parents and teachers are thoroughly exasperated with her, but she inspires me. She isn’t a rebellious, angry child; she cheerfully writes her own rules about what is or is not acceptable.


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