Sunday, June 20, 2021

Literary Bits for June 21


Top 10 quotes from existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre, author of L'Être et le Néant, born June 21, 1905:

Do you think that I count the days? There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.

If you are lonely when you're alone, you are in bad company.

Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.

It's quite an undertaking to start loving somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment right at the start where you have to jump across an abyss: if you think about it you don't do it.

Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.

Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.

Hell is—other people!

There may be more beautiful times, but this one is ours.

Life begins on the other side of despair.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Literary Bits for June 7


More authors born June 7:

1907 Peruvian writer and composer César Miró (Cielo y Tierra de Santa Rosa, La Mariscala, Los íntimos de La Victoria) (d. 1999)

1927 Guyanese poet and political activist Martin Carter (Poems of Resistance from British Guiana, Poems of Affinity) (d. 1997)

1935 American novelist Harry Crews (The Gospel Singer, A Feast of Snakes) (d. 2012)

1943 American poet Nikki Giovanni (Black Judgment, Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day, Bicycles: Love Poems)

1943 Brazilian Emmy award-winning telenovela writer Aguinaldo Silva (Império); also known for Partido Alto, Porto dos Milagres, Senhora do Destino, Fina Estampa

1952 Turkish Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk (Kara Kitap, Beyaz Kale, Benim Adım Kırmızı, Kar, Masumiyet Müzesi)

1954 American author Louise Erdrich (Love Medicine, The Plague of Doves, The Round House, The Night Watchman)

1963 Italian-born American screenwriter Alessandro Camon (The Messenger)

1966 English playwright Mark Ravenhill (Shopping and F***ing, Mother Clap's Molly House, The Cut, Over There, Ten Plagues - A Song Cycle, The Boy in the Dress)

1978 American novelist and poet Jesse Ball (The Village on Horseback, "Speech in a Chamber," Samedi the Deafness, "The Early Deaths of Lubeck, Brennan, Harp, and Carr," The Way Through Doors, The Curfew, The Divers' Game)

1981 American cookbook author Jocelyn Delk Adams (Grandbaby Cakes)

1990 American YA author Adam Silvers (More Happy Than Not, They Both Die at the End)

1995 Welsh YA author Beth Reekles (The Kissing Booth, Rolling Dice)

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021


Quotes from authors born on this date:

poet John Masefield (1878-1967):

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky; and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.

Coming in solemn beauty like slow old tunes of Spain.

It's a warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries.


source: Sydney Morning Herald

novelist Colleen McCullough (1937-2015):

Best of all she liked his eyes, such a translucent golden brown, and so laughing.

...she looked like the sort of woman most men would want to get to know because they weren't sure what went on inside.

Truly God was good, to make man so blind.



poet Katerina Gogou (1940-1993):

Idionymon 3

My head in smitherings
from the vise of your flea markets

at rush hour and against the
I will light a huge fire

and in there I’ll throw all Marxist
so that Myrto never finds out

the causes of my death
You can tell her
that I could not bear the spring or that I went through a red light.
Yes. That is more believable.
Red. Tell her that.



novelist Michael McDowell (1950-1999):

In the hour before a thunderstorm, the color of the forest deepens: the pine needles take on a dense vibrant greenness they possess at no other time, the slender trunks go black, and the leaden sky above sinks lower by the minute.



poet Matthew Hittinger (1978-    ):

Marlene Dietrich remembers the night of the Marilyn Monroe Productions press conference, New York City, January 1955


I wanted to be that trace of scarlet lipstick

when you arrived, tipsy, a bit chartreuse

a subdued platinum angel, a white mink


stole. I am at heart—Come up for a drink—

a gentleman. You, a question here to seduce,

a pink thought traced by scarlet lipstick