Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This Week in Reading June 28 - July 4

Authors born this week:

Nobel Prize in Literature
Playwright, novelist Luigi Pirandello (1934) Novelist Herman Hesse (1946) Poet Czelow Milosz (1980), Poet Wislawa Szymborska (1996)

Novelists and story writers
George Sand, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Franz Kafka, George Duhamel, Antoine de Saint Exupery, Joanne Harris, Mark Helprin, Evelyn Lau, Florian Zeller

Poets and Playwrights
Giacomo Leopardi, Vasco Popa, Jose Emilio Pacheco Playwrights: John Gay, George M. Cohan, Neil Simon, Mel Brooks, Tom Stoppard

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Nagel Believers Raymond A. Moody Scientists: Alfred Korzybski Historians John Toland, Harold Evans

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, Media and Others
Humorists: Dave Barry Essayists: Howard Taubman M. F. K. Fisher Editors: William Strunk, Jr., A. E. Hotchner Journalists: Oriana Fallaci, A. A. Gill, Matthew Fraser Media and others: Stephen Foster, Curt Sachs, Ann Landers, Abigail Van Buren, Geraldo Rivera, Ron Kovic, Montel Williams

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Eric Ambler, Winston Graham, Charles Higson, Matthew Reilly

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Fantasy: Darren Shan

Visual Artists
Rube Goldberg, Yoko Komio

Young People’s Writers
Children’s: Esther Forbes, Jean Craighead George Teens: Julie Burchill

Events to read about:

It's all about Independence this week: The colonies separate from England, Thoreau moves out of the city, newspapers gain independence from some workers, businesses that are too big are told to become independent, Amelia Earhart flies so far away from things she disappears, after the Stonewall Riots gays leave the closets, and the voting age gets lowered giving eighteen-year-olds independence. Along the way a military college opens, a war ends, and people strive to end nuclear proliferation. Music and movies keep us entertained during all that.

This Week’s Questions:
Some powerful authors born this week sought independence from their own physical existence and others tried to reconcile the conflicts of being human. Who said what?

"It may be important to great thinkers to examine the world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect."

"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? ... A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."

"Woe to him who doesn't know how to wear his mask, be he king or pope!"

"I write fiction because it is a way of making statements I can disown. I write plays because dialogue is the most respectful way to contradict myself."

"In youth men are apt to write more wisely than they really know or feel; and the remainder of life may be not idly spent in realizing and convincing themselves of the wisdom which they uttered long ago."

"Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish."

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:

"Words are loaded pistols." – Jean Paul Sartre

"Writing is just having a sheet of paper, a pen, and not a shadow of an idea of what you're going to say." – Francoise Sagan

"Inspiration is a farce that poets have invented to give themselves importance." – Jean Anouilh

"All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery." – George Orwell

"Until one has some kind of a professional relationship with books. one does not discover how bad the majority of them are." – George Orwell

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