Category Archives: writers

Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald

So you see that old libel that we were cynics and skeptics was nonsense from the beginning. On the contrary we were the great believers. — F. Scott Fitzgerald, “My Generation” Fitzgerald was one of those writers I liked right … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Emily Brontë: “a solitude-loving raven, no gentle dove”

Emily is the most intriguing and hard-to-get-a-handle-on Brontë sister. Branwell, the mysterious brother, is another story entirely. If I could meet one of the Brontë siblings, it would be hard to choose, but it would be between Emily and Branwell. … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins is a poet near and dear to my heart. I wrote a long post about him here. Biographical information, thoughts on his verse, his philosophy, at that link. Tangent, Yet Related And funny how connections remain, dovetailing, … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Hunter S. Thompson: “Free Enterprise. The American Dream. Horatio Alger gone mad on drugs in Las Vegas. Do it now. Pure Gonzo journalism.”

Thompson on his favorite meal of the day: I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty-four hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Today is the birthday of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Here is an extraordinary excerpt from Wind, Sand and Stars – a book I last read in high school, when I was in my Richard Bach-airplane-writing-soulmate-search phase. Listen to this prose. And … Continue reading

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Happy birthday, poet Frank O’Hara

“Attention equals Life.” – poet Frank O’Hara Sometimes I feel that I know everything I need to know about Frank O’Hara just from reading his work. A fascinating guy off the page, he’s still one of those people whose personality … Continue reading

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R.I.P. Michael Herr

War journalist and screenwriter Michael Herr has died at the age of 76. His Dispatches, the classic of war journalism and so influential you can’t even measure it, is on most Best Nonfiction Books of All Time worth their salt. … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Billy Wilder

Billy and Audrey Wilder I love him for his humor, his realistic (cynical) view of human beings (Ace in the Hole: PROPHETIC), his versatility (noirs, melodramas, war movies, comedies). Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, Some Like It Hot, Double Indemnity, The … Continue reading

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Lester Bangs on Fear, Ghosts, and Nico

There are times when his writing absolutely floors me. Here is an excerpt from his essay “Your Shadow Is Scared of You: An Attempt Not to Be Frightened by Nico” (my essay ABOUT that essay here), included in the collection … Continue reading

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“The Catechism of the Ithaca episode really helped me over there in Iraq.”

Marine and veteran of the war in Iraq reading from ULYSSES at Bloomsday celebration in downtown Manhattan, 2012. He said that while in Iraq he would read the Proteus episode over and over again. He said it helped give him … Continue reading

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