Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This Week in Reading May 3 - 9

Nobel Prize in Literature
Novelist Henryk Seinkiewicz (1905), novelist, poet Rabindranath Tagore (1913), novelist Wladislaw Reymont, (1924), novelist, poet, playwright Harry Martinson (1974)

Marilyn French (1929 - 2009) was the author of The Women's Room, Her Mother's Daughter, and was an important and active voice of feminism. Her most recent work was a three volume academic work, From Eve to Dawn: a history of women,.

Authors born this week -

Novelists and story writers
Alain Rene Le Sage, Gaston Leroux,, Dodie Smith, Romain Gary, Sloan Wilson, Thomas Pynchon, Nelida Pinon, Amos Oz, Peter Carey, Graham Swift, David Guterson, Almudena Grandes

Poets and Playwrights
Poets: Robert Browning, Archibald MacLeish, Mona Van Duyn, Yehuda Amichai, Gary Snyder, Charles Simic Playwrights: J. M. Barrie, William Inge, Betty Comden, Alan Bennett

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Thinkers: Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Jose Ortega y Gasset, Richard Wollheim, Martha Nussbaum Believers Fulton J. Sheen Scientists: Thomas Henry Huxley, Sigmund Freud, David Attenborough Historians: H. H. Bancroft,, T. H. White, Theodore Sorenson

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, and Others
Essayists: Edmund Wilson, George Will, Naomi Klein Journalists: Harry Golden, Mike Wallace, Tim Russert Officials: Niccolo Machiavelli, Harry S. Truman Media and others: Andy Adams, James Beard, Norman Corwin, Orson Welles, Pete Seeger, Don Rickles, Robert Osborne, Michael Palin, Kurt Loder

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Christopher Morley, Ben Eliton Suspense: Peter Benchley: Robin Cook

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Fantasy: Richard Adams, Angela Carter Science Fiction William Tenn

Visual Artists
Jacob Riis

Young People’s Writers
Milton Meltzer, Andrew Clements, Robin Jarvis

Events to read about this week:
Freedom Riders, the Kent State shootings, Cinco de Mayo, the Hindenburg Disaster, Nixon’s impeachment hearings begin.

This Week’s Questions

Which of this week’s authors said the following?

Poetry is the art of understanding what it is to be alive.”

All poetry is putting the infinite with the finite.”

"Words make love on the page like flies in the summer heat and the poet is only the bemused spectator."

The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness.”

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:

Dean of Science Fiction. -- Jack Williamson
Father of Space Operas.E. E. Smith.
Laws of Science Fiction. -- Larry Niven

Among Niven's Laws, “There is no cause so right that one cannot find a fool following it.”

There exists minds that think as you do, but differently.” (Niven’s Collolary “The gene-tampered turkey you’re talking to isn’t one of them.” )

Niven’s 'laws for writers of science fiction' include

Writers who write for other writers should write letters.”

It’s a sin to waste the reader’s time.”

While E. E. Smith particularly credits the public library with inspiring his science fiction imagination, Robert J. Sawyer has been the Science Fiction Writer-in-Residence at several Canadian public libraries. That country’s program also allows for Mystery Writer-in-Residence and representatives of other genres who give writing workshops to the public in addition to speaking programs such as we have in our One Book – One Community programs in this country.

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