Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Major Authors’ Category

There is perhaps no branch of work amongst the arts so free at the present time as that of the writing of fiction. There are no official prohibitions, no embarrassing or hampering limitations, no oppressive restraints.  Subject and method of treatment are both free.  A writer is under no special obligation, no preliminary guarantee; he may choose his own subject and treat it in his own way.  In fact, his duty to the public—to the State—appears to be nil. What one might call the cosmic police do not trouble him at all.  Under these conditions, hitherto kept possible by the self-respect of authors, a branch of the art of authorship has arisen and gone on perfecting itself in mechanical excellence, until it has become an important factor of the life of the nation.  Today if the supply of fiction were to be suddenly withdrawn the effect would be felt almost as much as the failure of the supply of breadstuffs.

 

~ From “The Censorship of Fiction” by Bram Stoker, born on this day in 1847

 

Bram Stoker, circa 1906

Bram Stoker, circa 1906

Read Full Post »

Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.

Nor the woman in the ambulance

Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly –

 

A gift, a love gift

Utterly unasked for

By a sky

 

Palely and flamily

Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes

Dulled to a halt under bowlers.

 

O my god, what am I

That these late mouths should cry open

In a forest of frost, in a dawn of cornflowers.

 

                                                  ~ Sylvia Plath, born on this day in 1932

 

"Oriental Poppies" by Laura Muntz Lyall (1860-1930)

“Oriental Poppies” by Laura Muntz Lyall (1860-1930)

Read Full Post »

The seasons send their ruin as they go,

For in the spring the narciss shows its head

Nor withers till the rose has flamed to red,

And in the autumn purple violets blow,

And the slim crocus stirs the winter snow;

Wherefore yon leafless trees will bloom again

And this grey land grow green with summer rain

And send up cowslips for some boy to mow.

 

But what of life whose bitter hungry sea

Flows at our heels, and gloom of sunless night

Covers the days which never more return?

Ambition, love and all the thoughts that burn

We lose too soon, and only find delight

In withered husks of some dead memory.

 

                                                 ~ Oscar Wilde, born on this day in 1854

 

Oscar Wilde with "Poems" (Napoleon Sarony, New York, 1882)

Oscar Wilde with “Poems” (Napoleon Sarony, New York, 1882)

Read Full Post »

From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were – I have not seen

As others saw – I could not bring

My passions from a common spring –

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow – I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone –

And all I lov’d – I lov’d alone –

Then – in my childhood – in the dawn

Of a most stormy life – was drawn

From ev’ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still –

From the torrent, or the fountain –

From the red cliff of the mountain –

From the sun that ’round me roll’d

In its autumn tint of gold –

From the lightning in the sky

As it pass’d me flying by –

From the thunder, and the storm –

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view –

 

                                  ~ Edgar Allan Poe, died on this day in 1849

 

"Тамара и демон" ("Tamara and Demon") by Konstantin Makovsky, 1889

“Тамара и демон” (“Tamara and Demon”) by Konstantin Makovsky, 1889

Read Full Post »

It is therefore of the utmost importance that those who have any intention of deviating from the beaten roads of life, and requiring a reputation superior to names hourly swept away by time among the refuse of fame, should add to their reason, and their spirit, the power of persisting in their purposes; acquire the art of sapping what they cannot batter, and the habit of vanquishing obstinate resistance by obstinate attacks.

 

~ Samuel Johnson, born on this day in 1709

 

Portrait of Samuel Johnson by Joshua Reynolds, 1775 Johnson's "A Dictionary of the English Language" was published in 1755 and has been described as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship."

Portrait of Samuel Johnson by Joshua Reynolds, 1775.  Johnson’s “A Dictionary of the English Language” was published in 1755 and has been described as “one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship.”

Read Full Post »

He didn’t remember that a mere book might reek of sex, possibility, fecundity.  Yet a book has a ripe furrow and a yielding spine, he thought, and the nuances to be teased from its pages are nearly infinite in their variety and coquettish appeal.  And what new life can emerge from a book.  Any book, maybe.

 

~ A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire, born on this day in 1954

 

Photograph by Tom Woodward

Photograph by Tom Woodward

Read Full Post »

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

I summon up remembrance of things past,

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:

Then can I drown an eye, unus’d to flow,

For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,

And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe,

And moan th’ expense of many a vanish’d sight;

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,

And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er

The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,

Which I new pay as if not paid before.

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,

All losses are restor’d, and sorrows end.

 

~ William Shakespeare, died on this day in 1616

 

"Meditation" by Wilhelm Amberg, circa 1880

“Meditation” by Wilhelm Amberg, circa 1880

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: