[Alternative Muses] Coming and Going: Bret Harte/Truman Capote Mashup

Bret Harte was born on 8/25/1836.

Bret Harte, 1862

Bret Harte, 1862.

“If, of all words of tongue and pen, The saddest are, ‘It might have been,’/More sad are these we daily see: ‘It is, but hadn’t ought to be.”-Bret Harte

Truman Capote died on 8/25/1984.

Truman Capote, 1959, by Roger Higgins

Truman Capote, 1959, by Roger Higgins.

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”-Truman Capote

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.

[Alternative Muses] Coming and Going: Jane Austen/Clifford Odets Mashup

Jane Austen died on 7/18/1817.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen

“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”-Jane Austen

Clifford Odets was born on 7/18/1906.


Clifford Odets, 1936

Clifford Odets, 1936

“Life shouldn’t be printed on dollar bills.”-Clifford Odets

[Alternative Muses] Birthday Mashup: Gustav Klimt/Woody Guthrie

Nixen (Silberfische) by Gustav Klimt, c. 1899

Nixen (Silberfische), c. 1899,  by Gustav Klimt (born 14 July 1862)

“I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that.”-Woody Guthrie (born 14 July 1912)

Ten Quotes and a Photograph in Honor of Henry David Thoreau’s Birthday

Happy 196th Birthday, Mr. Thoreau!

  • “It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate.”
  • “Simplify, simplify.”
  • “The world is wider than our views of it.”
  • “How vain it is to sit down and write when you have not stood up to live.”
  • “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”
Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

  • “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.”
  • “Things do not change; we change.”
  • “One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.”
  • “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”
  • “It’s not worth our while to let our imperfections disturb us always.”

Happy 130th Birthday, Franz Kafka!

Happy Birthday to Franz Kafka! Here he is, looking suitably, well, Kafkaesque.

Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka

QUOTE: “Books are a narcotic.”

SOME WORKS: Amerika; The Trial; The Castle; A Country Doctor; The Metamorphosis; The Village Schoolmaster; Letters to Felice


Franz Kafka Tote Bag by Little Shop of Joy

Franz Kafka Tote Bag by Little Shop of Joy. $5.00

The Well-Groomed Samuel Pepys Died 310 Years Ago Today

The well-groomed Samuel Pepys died on 26 May 1703. He was seventy.

Samuel Pepys, 1666

Samuel Pepys, 1666.

QUOTE: “But me thought is lessened my esteem of a king, that he should not be able to command the rain.”

KNOWN FOR: His incredibly diary.


Samuel Pepys' Diary at Lady Frans Library

Samuel Pepys’ Diary at Lady Frans Library. $19.00

Hey There, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, You Natty Gent! It’s Your Birthday!

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born on this day in 1859. In addition to being a physician and wildly famous author, he was quite the fashion plate.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1890

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1890.

QUOTE: “I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children.”

SOME WORKS: The Sherlock Holmes books; The Stark Munro Letters; The Maracot Deep; The Lost World; dozens of short stories.


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle print by Pemberley Pond

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle print by Pemberley Pond. $19.92

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