Monday, 31 October 2016

John Keats...

John Keats
Born: October 31st, 1795 - London, U.K.
Died: February 23rd, 1821 - Rome, Italy


Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
 Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
- Ode on a Grecian Urn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness 
- Ode to Autumn

I met a lady in the meads, 
Full beautiful, a faery's child: 
Her hair was long, her foot was ligh, 
And her eyes were wild. 
- La Belle Dame Sans Merci

This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou would wish thine own heart dry of blood,
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calm'd.
See, here it is --
I hold it towards you --
Keats scribbled the lines hastily on the back of a longer work he was writing in December 1819.
It is probably the last poem he ever wrote...
More details on this poem so connected with Halloween mysteries HERE...

I will clamber through the clouds and exist. 
- Letters of John Keats to His Family and Friends

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Oscar Wilde...

Oscar Wilde 
Born: October 16th, 1854 - Dublin, Ireland
Died: November 30th, 1900 - Paris, France


The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated.
I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
- The Importance of Being Earnest

I can resist anything except temptation.
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.
- Lady Windermere's Fan

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.
Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.
Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray

Every woman is a rebel, and usually in wild revolt against herself.
- A Woman of No Importance

The only people I would care to be with now are artists and people who have suffered: those who know what beauty is, and those who know what sorrow is: nobody else interests me.
- De Profundis

There is no sin except stupidity.
- The Critic as Artist 

A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave.
- source???

Friday, 7 October 2016

Thomas Keneally...

Thomas Keneally 
Born: October 7th, 1935 - Sydney, Australia

Booker Prize
Miles Franklin Award - twice
Order of Australia - 1983

non-fiction writer

Oskar showed that virtue emerged where it would, and the sort of churchy observance bishops called for was not a guarantee of genuine humanity in a person.
- Searching for Schindler: A Memoir

The afternoon is hot in this alien forest. The sunlight burrows like a worm in both eye-balls. His jacket looks pallid, the arms are rotted out of his yellowing shirt, and, under the gaiters, worn for the occasion, the canvas shoes are too light for this knobbly land. Yet, as already seen, he takes long strides, he moves with vigour. He’s on his way to Mr Commissary Blythe’s place, where his secret bride, Ann Rush, runs the kitchen and the house.
The Whales came back in white froth, and went again; back and went again. Whenever they went, they whacked the water with what looked like wrath in such big creatures. Yet perhaps it was horror. Whichever way, men disappeared amongst curds of angry water . . . the creatures did not come back the third time.
- Bring Larks and Heroes

The dogs were really keening now, like Irish widows.
- Victim of the Aurora

In the mind of a true snob there are certain limited criteria to denote the value of human existence. Jimmie's criteria were: home, hearth, wife, land. Those who possessed these had beatitude unchallengable. Other men had accidental, random life. Nothing better.
The truest crime remaining to him to commit was the waste of love. It should be bequeathed, as land is.
- The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire. 
The principle was, death should not be entered like some snug harbor. It should be an unambiguous refusal to surrender.
- Schindler's List

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Denis Diderot...

Denis Diderot
Born: October 5th, 1713 - Langres, France
Died: July 31st, 1784 - Paris, France

art critic

For me, my thoughts are my prostitutes. 
- Le neveu de Rameau 

There's a bit of testicle at the bottom of our most sublime feelings and our purest tenderness.
- Letter to Étienne Noël Damilaville (1760-11-03)

I picture the vast realm of the sciences as an immense landscape scattered with patches of dark and light. The goal towards which we must work is either to extend the boundaries of the patches of light, or to increase their number. One of these tasks falls to the creative genius; the other requires a sort of sagacity combined with perfectionism.
- Thoughts on the Interpretation of Nature and Other Philosophical Works

"Spirit of the staircase" or "Staircase inspiration"...
This phrase is a famous allusion to the witty remarks one thinks of when it is too late, as when one is leaving a meeting and going down the stairs.
- Paradoxe sur le Comédien (1773-1777)

Scepticism is the first step towards truth. 
- Pensées philosophiques 

It is better to reveal a weakness than allow oneself be suspected of a vice. 

Life is but a series of misunderstandings. 
- Jacques the Fatalist

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Edward Stratemeyer...

Edward Stratemeyer
Born: October 4th, 1862 - New Jersey, U.S.
Died May 10th, 1930 - New Jersey, U.S.


author and founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate,
which published more than eighty juvenile fiction series from a stable of ghostwriters
under a wealth of pseudonyms.
Sratemeyer himself wrote under a number of pseudonyms and provided plot outlines for the ghostwriters.

The juvemile series were mostly mystery stories and included;
Nancy Drew - pen-name Carolyn Keene
Hardy Boys - pen-name Frnklin W. Dixon
Bobbsey Twins - pen-name Laura Lee Hope
Rover Boys - pen-name Arthur W. Winfield

Monday, 3 October 2016

Gore Vidal...

Gore Vidal
Born: October 3rd, 1925 - New York, U.S.
Died: July 31st, 2012 - California, U.S.

non-fiction writer

Interesting fact: Vidal had bitter feuds with other authors, notably Truman Capote.

We affect one another quite enough merely by existing. Whenever the stars cross, or is it comets? fragments pass briefly from one orbit to another. On rare occasions there is total collision, but most often the two simply continue without incident, neither losing more than a particle to the other, in passing.
- The City and the Pillar

Let the dust take me when the adventure's done and I shall make the dust glitter for all eternity with my marvelous fury.
That my plans have lately gone somewhat awry is the sort of risk one must take if life is to be superb.
- Myra Breckinridge

How marvelous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself. 
My memory plays me odd tricks these days [...] Age spares us nothing, old friend. Like ancient trees, we die from the top.
- Julian

I have always regarded as a stroke of good fortune that I was not born or brought up in a small American town; they may be the backbone of the nation, but they are also the backbone of ignorance, bigotry, and boredom, all in vast quantities.
- Death Before Bedtime

In fact, life itself is a contradiction if only because birth is the direct cause, in every single case, of death.
- Creation

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Graham Greene...

Graham Greene 
Born: October 2nd, 1904 - Berkhamstead, U.K.
Died: April 3rd, 1991 - Vevey, Switzerland

short story writer
travel writer
screenplay writer

A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.
Eternity is said not to be an extension of time but an absence of time.
- The End of the Affair

He gave her a bright fake smile; so much of life was a putting off of unhappiness for another time.
- The Heart of the Matter

We never get accustomed to being less important to other people than they are to us.
- The Third Man

It is always of interest to know what strikes another human being as remarkable.
The Ministry of Fear

There was always another side to a joke, the side of the victim.
- Our Man in Havana

Hate is a lack of imagination.
The world was in her heart already, like the small spot of decay in a fruit.
Oh well, perhaps when you're my age you'll know the heart is an untrustworthy beast.The mind too,but it doesn't talk about love.
And when we love our sin then we are damned indeed.
- The Power and the Glory

You cannot love without intuition.
- The Quiet American

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Faith Baldwin...

Faith Baldwin  (wrote about 85 books - New York Times HERE)
Born: October 1st, 1893 - New York, U.S.
Died: March 18th, 1978 - Connecticut, U.S.

short story writer
magazine articles

(special mentor to a child HERE)

All this makes me realize that miracles are everyday things. Not only the sudden, great good fortune, wafting in on a new wind from the sky. They are almost routine, yet miracles just the same.
- Seasons of the Heart

Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.
- American Family

That coffee's strong enough to walk on.
- Give Love the Air

You could get to the bottom of her mind in one dive. And rarely, if ever, come up with a pearl.
- Something Special

Kissing tends to bring on woolgathering, even amnesia.
- One More Time

The plan of Nature is progress and for any progress mankind must pay a price.
Life is rather like a long train ride; you may encounter a great many people, but looking out from your own small compartment of self you catch only a glimpse of other people's joy or despair.
- Evening Star

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.
Sometimes there is a greater lack of communication in facile talking than in silence.
- Face Toward the Spring
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