The Dead Writers Round-Up: 3rd-6th June

  • Franz Kafka died on 6/3/1924. “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” (The Metamorphosis; The Trial; The Castle)
  • Allen Ginsberg was born on 6/3/1926. “I don’t think there is any truth. There are only points of view.” (Howl; Kaddish; September on Jessore Road)
  • Ivy Compton-Burnett was born on 6/5/1884. “Everything is breaking stones, up to a point.” (Pastors and Masters; A House and Its Head; The Present and the Past)
  • Federico García Lorca was born on 6/5/1898. “…I am the immense shadow of my tears.” (Poem of Deep Song; Six Galician poems; First Songs)
  • Stephen Crane died on 6/5/1900. “It was not well to drive men into final corners; at those moments they could all develop teeth and claws.” (Maggie: A Girl of the Streets; The Red Badge of Courage; George’s Mother)
  • O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) died on 6/5/1910. “No friendship is an accident.” (Cabbages and Kings; The Gift of the Magi; The Cop and the Anthem)
  • Pierre Corneille was born on 6/6/1606. “To win without risk is to triumph without glory.” (La Veuve; Le Cid; Rodogune)
  • Thomas Mann was born on 6/6/1875. “It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death.” (Buddenbrooks; Tristan; Death in Venice)


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) Continue reading

The Dead Writers Round Up: 9th-10th November

  • Ivan Turgenev was born on 11/9/1818. “However much you knock at nature’s door, she will never answer you in comprehensible words.” [Fathers and Sons; Torrents of Spring; A Month in the Country]
  • Guillaume Apollinaire died on 11/9/1918. “Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” [Alcools; Calligrammes; Soldes]
  • Anne Sexton was born on 11/9/1928. “As for me, I am a watercolor. I wash off.” [Live or Die; The Book of Folly] Continue reading

The Dead Writers Round-Up: 3rd-8th November

  • André Malraux was born on 11/3/1901. “Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” [Man’s Fate; Man’s Hope; The Psychology of Art]
  • Wilfred Owen died on 11/4/1918. “All a poet can do today is warn.” [Insensibility; Anthem for Doomed Youth; Futility]
  • Ella Wheeler Wilcox was born on 11/5/1850. “So many gods, so many creeds, so many paths that wind and wind while just the art of being kind is all the sad world needs.” [The Heart of New Thought; Hello, Boys!; Poems of Purpose]
  • Leo Tolstoy died on [O.S.]11/7/1910. “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” [War and Peace; Anna Karenina; The Death of Ivan Ilyich]
  • Albert Camus was born on 11/7/1913. “Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.” [The Stranger; The Plague; The Guest]
  • Janet Flanner died on 11/7/1978. “Genius is immediate, but talent takes time.” [Conversation Pieces; Paris Was Yesterday; The Cubicle City]
  • John Milton died on 11/8/1674. “A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit.” [Lycidas; Paradise Lost; Paradise Regained]
  • Margaret Mitchell was born on 11/8/1900. “With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.” [Gone with the Wind]


The Dead Writers Round-Up: August 8th-10th

  • Sara Teasdale was born on 8/8/1884. “I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes.” (Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems; Helen of Troy and Other Poems; Rivers to the Sea; Love Songs)
  • Shirley Jackson died on 8/8/1965. “I delight in what I fear.” (Hangsaman; The Haunting of Hill House; We Have Always Lived in the Castle; Life Among the Savages; many, many short stories)
  • Philip Larkin was born on 8/9/1922. “Life has a practice of living you, if you don’t live it.” (The North Ship; The Less Deceived; The Whitsun Weddings; Jill)
  • Hermann Hesse died on 8/9/1962. “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.” (Peter Camenzind; Gertrud; Siddhartha; Der Steppenwolf)
  • Adela Rogers St. Johns died on 8/10/1988. “Happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you’re lucky.” (A Free Soul; Tell No Man; The Honeycomb; many, many screenplays)
Sara Teasdale, July 11, 1919, by Arnold Genthe.

Sara Teasdale, July 11, 1919, by Arnold Genthe.

Hermann Hesse, 1929

Hermann Hesse, 1929.

The Dead Writers Round-Up: May 18th-20th

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne died on 5/18/1864. “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.” (The Scarlet Letter; The House of the Seven Gables; The Blithedale Romance; Twice-Told Tales)
  • George Meredith died on 5/18/1909. “There is nothing the body suffers the soul may not profit by.” (The Adventures of Harry Richmond; Diana of the Crossways; Modern Love)
  • William Saroyan died on 5/18/1981. “No enemy is so annoying as one who was a friend, or still is a friend, and there are many more of these than one would expect.” (The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze; The Human Comedy; The Time of Your Life)
  • James Boswell died on 5/19/1795. “I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.” (The Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides; Life of Samuel Johnson) Continue reading

The Dead Writers Round-Up: May 1st-6th

  • Joseph Addison was born on 5/1/1672. “A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants.” (Cato; numerous essays)
  • John Dryden died on 5/1/1700. “He has not learned the first lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.” (Astraea Redux; Secret Love, or The Maiden Queen; All for Love; Amphitryon; King Arthur)
  • Marie Corelli was born on 5/1/1855. “If we choose to be no more than clods of clay, then we shall be used as clods of clay for braver feet to tread on.” (A Romance of Two Worlds; Wormword: A Drama of Paris; The Sorrows of Satan)
  • Joseph Heller was born on 5/1/1923. “Rise above principle and do what’s right.” (Catch-22; Something Happened; Closing Time)
  • Harold Nicolson died on 5/1/1968. “We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their acts.” (Paul Verlaine; Public Faces; Dwight Morrow; King George V)
  • Alfred de Musset died on 5/2/1857. “Great artists have no country.” (Lorenzaccio; Le Chandelier; Bettine; The Confession of a Child of the Century) Continue reading

The Dead Writers Round-Up: April 17th-19th

  • Marie de Sévigné died on 4/17/1696. “The desire to be singular and to astonish by ways out of the common seems to me to be the source of many virtues.” (A voluminous correspondence, via letters to her daughter)
  • Isak Dinesen was born on 4/17/1885. “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” (Seven Gothic Tales; Out of Africa; Anecdotes of Destiny)
  • Thornton Wilder was born on 4/17/1897. “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?” (The Long Christmas Dinner; Our Town; The Merchant of Yonkers; The Skin of Our Teeth; The Matchmaker; The Bridge of San Luis Rey; Ides of March; The Eighth Day) Continue reading

The Dead Writers Round-Up: April 13th-15th

  • Jean de La Fontaine died on 4/13/1695. “Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer.” (Fables)
  • Sameul Beckett was born on 4/13/1906. “James Joyce was a synthesizer, trying to bring in as much as he could. I am an analyzer, trying to leave out as much as I can.” (More Pricks than Kicks; Murphy; Waiting for Godot; Endgame; Molloy; Ohio Impromptu) Continue reading