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Archive for the ‘Major Authors’ Category

I don’t want to die because I keep on thinking of the future. I’m desperately curious to know what life will bring to me. What will happen to me, how I’ll develop, what I’ll be in five years’ time, in ten, in thirty. The man I will marry and the places I will live in and get to know. Children. It isn’t just a selfish curiosity. This is the worst possible time in history to die. Space-travel, science, the whole world waking up and stretching itself. A new age is beginning. I know it’s dangerous. But it’s wonderful to be alive in it.

 

~ From The Collector by John Fowles, born on this day in 1926

 

Blue Morpho Butterfly by Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904)

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There were days when she was very happy without knowing why.  She was happy to be alive and breathing, when her whole being seemed to be one with the sunlight, the color, the odors, the luxuriant warmth of some perfect Southern day.  She liked then to wander alone into strange and unfamiliar places.  She discovered many a sunny, sleepy corner, fashioned to dream in.  And she found it good to dream and to be alone and unmolested. 

There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why,—when it did not seem worth while to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead; when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation.  She could not work on such a day, nor weave fancies to stir her pulses and warm her blood.

 

~ From The Awakening by Kate Chopin, born on this day in 1850

 

“A Willing Captive” by Frederick Stuart Church, 1888

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It evaded her now when she thought of her picture.  Phrases came.  Visions came.  Beautiful pictures.  Beautiful phrases.  But what she wished to get hold of was that very jar on the nerves, the thing itself before it has been made anything.  Get that and start afresh; get that and start afresh; she said desperately, pitching herself firmly again before her easel.  It was a miserable machine, an inefficient machine, she thought, the human apparatus for painting or for feeling; it always broke down at the critical moment; heroically, one must force it on.

 

~ To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, born on this day in 1882

 

Miklós Barabás, 1838

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In visions of the dark night

   I have dreamed of joy departed –

But a waking dream of life and light

   Hath left me broken-hearted.

 

Ah!  what is not a dream by day

   To him whose eyes are cast

On things around him with a ray

   Turned back upon the past?

 

That holy dream – that holy dream,

   While all the world were chiding,

Hath cheered me as a lovely beam

   A lonely spirit guiding.

 

What though that light, thro’ storm and night,

   So trembled from afar –

What could there be more purely bright

   In Truth’s day star?

 

~ Edgar Allan Poe, born on this day in 1809

 

“The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of” by John Anster Fitzgerald, 1858

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Winter dawn is the color of metal,

The trees stiffen into place like burnt nerves.

 

                             ~ Sylvia Plath

 

“The Frosty Morning” by Nikolay Dubovskoy, 1894

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I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. 

From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked.  One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. 

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.  I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

 

~ From The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, born on this day in 1932

 

Fir0002

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There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer station.  He lives in the ground.  He’s a basement guy.  You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in.  You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you.  Do you think this is fair?  I think it’s fair.  He may not be much to look at, that muse-guy, and he may not be much of a conversationalist (what I get out of mine is mostly surly grunts, unless he’s on duty), but he’s got the inspiration.  It’s right that you should do all the work and burn all the midnight oil, because the guy with the cigar and the little wings has got a bag of magic.  There’s stuff in there that can change your life.

 

~ Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

 

Ensio Ilmonen

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