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Book Chat > This Day in Literary History

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message 1: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (11 August) in 1937, expatriate Edith Wharton died in France, in the quiet, Old World style she liked to live and describe; also on this day in 1937, and in New World contrast, ex-expatriate Ernest Hemingway bared his hairy chest to Max Eastman's unhairy one, demanded "What do you mean accusing me of impotence?" and then wrestled Eastman to the floor.


message 2: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4175 comments Quite a character, then!


message 3: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments Wow!


message 4: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 8793 comments So glad to see this, that's quite an interesting one to start off with, haha.


message 5: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments Indeed it is Alannah!


message 6: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (12 August) in 1827 William Blake died at the age of sixty-nine. Blake's last years passed more or less as his others: in such poverty and obscurity that his burial in Bunhill Fields was largely unnoticed and on borrowed money -- nineteen shillings for an unmarked grave, the body nine feet down, stacked on top of three others, and eventually followed by four more.


message 7: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments I love some of his poems ...


message 8: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 8793 comments I studied Songs of Innocence and of Experience and found it very interesting.


message 9: by Katy (new)

Katy | 422 comments I read Songs of Innocence and Experience when I was in college. I recently re-read it (almost 20 years later) and really liked it. My perspective changed a lot in 20 years.


message 10: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments Katy wrote: "I read Songs of Innocence and Experience when I was in college. I recently re-read it (almost 20 years later) and really liked it. My perspective changed a lot in 20 years."

So true! I have started rereading some books from my school days & it is interesting to see which I like better and which I find disappointing.


message 11: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments Katy wrote: "I read Songs of Innocence and Experience when I was in college. I recently re-read it (almost 20 years later) and really liked it. My perspective changed a lot in 20 years."

Alannah wrote: "I studied Songs of Innocence and of Experience and found it very interesting."

I also had to study in University for my english literature degree and loved it there.


message 12: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (13 August) in 1923, Ernest Hemingway published his first book, Three Stories and Ten Poems. This was an edition of 300 copies, put out by friend and fellow expatriate, the writer-publisher Robert McAlmon. Both had arrived in Paris in 1921, Hemingway an unpublished 22-year-old with a handful of letters of introduction provided by Sherwood Anderson, and with his own clear imperative: "All you have to do is write one true sentence."


message 13: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments May I confess? I've never discovered those famous 7/8 of his writings!!!


message 14: by Petra (last edited Aug 13, 2013 01:27PM) (new)

Petra | 3101 comments I would read that. I've recently rediscovered Hemingway after avoiding him with a passion since high-school. Why, why do they choose to teach The Old Man and the Sea to high-schoolers?!!! :D
But...thinking about it, I don't think I would have liked Islands in the Stream much better back then either (although I loved it now).
Perhaps Hemingway isn't an author for teenagers? Maybe his readers need more background and history than a teenager? I'm not sure.

Anyways, I've digressed. I think it's sweet that his friend took it upon himself to publish Hemingway's works like that.


message 15: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments Petra wrote: "I would read that. I've recently rediscovered Hemingway after avoiding him with a passion since high-school. Why, why do they choose to teach The Old Man and the Sea to high-schoolers?!!! :D
But......"


Also in University for what I think!!!! ;)


message 16: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (14 August) in 1834, nineteen-year-old Richard Dana boarded the merchant brig, Pilgrim for the Boston-California return voyage that would become Two Years Before the Mast. His 1840 book, written with a desire to tell in "a voice from the forecastle" of the ordinary seaman's life, was an immediate international hit.


message 17: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments Shall I confess? Never heard of before!!!!


message 18: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments No, me neither but it would be a good book for our Sea Theme!


message 19: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments Thinking the same!!!


message 20: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (15 August) in 1947, India and Pakistan gained independence from Britain. Salman Rushdie got the title for his 1981 Booker Prize-winner, Midnight's Children from the speech Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru gave in the first minutes of the new day: "At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. . . ."


message 21: by Petra (new)

Petra | 3101 comments Interesting. I found (and purchased) a copy of Midnight's Children at a thrift shop recently. I haven't read any of Salman Rushdie's works yet.


message 22: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 8793 comments Leslie wrote: "On this day (15 August) in 1947, India and Pakistan gained independence from Britain. Salman Rushdie got the title for his 1981 Booker Prize-winner, Midnight's Children from the speech Prime Minist..."

To be honest I had only heard of him a couple of months ago when I was looking for famous people who had a history degree. haha


message 23: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (16 August) in 1762, Samuel Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds departed on their six-week trip to Devonshire, an excursion now rich in Johnsonia. It was made possible by the impoverished and very Tory Johnson having received a government pension from the ruling Whigs, to great outcry and this retort: "I wish my pension were twice as large that they might make twice as much noise."


message 24: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments English irony!


message 25: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (17 August) in 1945, George Orwell's Animal Farm was published. The book was delayed by the WWII paper shortage and very nearly a casualty of the war itself, either at the hands of German bombs or British politics. "The enemy is the gramophone mind," he wrote in his preface to the book, "whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment."


message 26: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 8793 comments Leslie wrote: "On this day (17 August) in 1945, George Orwell's Animal Farm was published. The book was delayed by the WWII paper shortage and very nearly a casualty of the war itself, either at the hands of Germ..."

Still something I haven't read. I would love to though, has anyone here read it? What did you think?


message 27: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (18 August) in 1850 Honore de Balzac died, at the age of fifty-one. Balzac's last months were as tumultuous as all the others, and as brimming with life as anything in his seventeen-volume Human Comedy. Balzac believed that such adventures and appetites finally killed him, his finite store of vital fluid having been used up.


message 28: by Petra (new)

Petra | 3101 comments Alannah wrote: "Still something I haven't read. I would love to though, has anyone here read it? What did you think? ..."

I've read both Animal Farm and 1984. I enjoyed both; 1984 is my favorite of the two but both are very good.


message 29: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 8793 comments Petra wrote: "Alannah wrote: "Still something I haven't read. I would love to though, has anyone here read it? What did you think? ..."

I've read both Animal Farm and 1984. I enjoyed both; 1984 is my favorite o..."


I've read 1984 and loved it, a few people thought I was a bit weird because it was apparently so depressing.


message 30: by Petra (new)

Petra | 3101 comments LOL! I don't think you're weird. :D


message 31: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments Alannah wrote: "Leslie wrote: "On this day (17 August) in 1945, George Orwell's Animal Farm was published. The book was delayed by the WWII paper shortage and very nearly a casualty of the war itself, either at th..."

I reread it when Orwell was Perks monthly author back in May. I would recommend it, although it is primarily a satire of Soviet Russia which doesn't exist anymore so some find it dated. But it is quite short & human nature hasn't changed so I think it still has something relevant to say.


message 32: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 8793 comments Leslie wrote: "Alannah wrote: "Leslie wrote: "On this day (17 August) in 1945, George Orwell's Animal Farm was published. The book was delayed by the WWII paper shortage and very nearly a casualty of the war itse..."

I can see why most people would think it's dated. I studied Russia from 1903-1941 focusing especially on Lenin and Revolution (1917-1924) and Stalin and Revolution (1924-1941) which is the main reason I want to read. I never got around to reading it at Perks which is a big shame.


message 33: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments Leslie wrote: "Alannah wrote: "Leslie wrote: "On this day (17 August) in 1945, George Orwell's Animal Farm was published. The book was delayed by the WWII paper shortage and very nearly a casualty of the war itse..."

I find Animal farm more "universal" than 1984, which was much mire centred on the Soviet system.I think that humanity tends to behave like that, not on.y soviet rusdians. Different with 1984, too closed to that system


message 34: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (19 August) in 1915 Ring Lardner Jr. was born. Though Lardner's adult fame was earned -- screenplay Oscars for Woman of the Year (1942) and M*A*S*H (1970), the novel The Ecstasy of Owen Muir (1954); blacklisting as one of McCarthy's "Hollywood Ten" -- he met the public early, often and hilariously in his father's daily column, usually as "Bill."


message 35: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (20 Auguast) in 1667, John Milton's Paradise Lost was entered in the Stationers' Register. The fifty-eight-year-old Milton was totally blind, probably from glaucoma, throughout the decade it took to write Paradise Lost; his habit was to compose at night and then present himself to a scribe each morning to be, as he put it, "milked."


message 36: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments Milton blind, Behetoven deaf. Genius are genius...


message 37: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 8793 comments Leslie wrote: "On this day (20 Auguast) in 1667, John Milton's Paradise Lost was entered in the Stationers' Register. The fifty-eight-year-old Milton was totally blind, probably from glaucoma, throughout the dec..."

I read it, thought there was such beautiful imagery in it.


message 38: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (21 August) in 1920, Christopher Robin Milne was born, an only child to A. A. Milne. Christopher also wrote, his first two books being memoirs of his growing up and out from under the shadow of the fictional Christopher Robin. The writing of the first of these was "like a session on the analyst's couch," and reads partly as setting-the-record-straight, partly as settling-the-score.


message 39: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments It can be difficoult to live with such a father!!!


message 40: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (22 August) in 1893 Dorothy Parker was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, to Henry and Eliza Rothschild ("My God, no, dear! We'd never even heard of those Rothschilds"). Her birth was two months premature, allowing her to say that it was the last time she was early for anything; her early writing was a "following in the exquisite footsteps of Edna St. Vincent Millay, unhappily in my own horrible sneakers."


message 41: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments I've never read anything by her!


message 42: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (23 August) in 1305 Scotland's William Wallace was executed -- to be accurate: hanged, disemboweled, beheaded and quartered. The William Wallace legend and the popularity of the Braveheart movie owe much to a 15th century epic poem by Blind Harry the Minstrel. Robert Burns added to Wallace literature too, though his "Scots Wha Hae" went forth behind cover.


message 43: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments LauraT wrote: "I've never read anything by her!"

You should try some of her short stories - I really like her sarcastic sense of humor.


message 44: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 8793 comments Leslie wrote: "On this day (23 August) in 1305 Scotland's William Wallace was executed -- to be accurate: hanged, disemboweled, beheaded and quartered. The William Wallace legend and the popularity of the Bravehe..."

I only know of this guy through the children's book series and tv show Horrible Histories.


message 45: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments Leslie wrote: "LauraT wrote: "I've never read anything by her!"

You should try some of her short stories - I really like her sarcastic sense of humor."


I will then!


message 46: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (24 August) in 1899 Jorge Luis Borges was born. Borges's Ficciones, his breakthrough collection of "essays" - the collection which introduced us to "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" and other such strangeness - is regarded as one of the essential postmodern texts and Borges, eighteen years after his death, retains his reputation as a unique writer in postmodern world literature.


message 47: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 209 comments Leslie wrote: "On this day (21 August) in 1920, Christopher Robin Milne was born, an only child to A. A. Milne. Christopher also wrote, his first two books being memoirs of his growing up and out from under the s..."

Its interesting how so many lovable stories come from dark times in an author's life.


message 48: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 8793 comments Judy wrote: "Leslie wrote: "On this day (21 August) in 1920, Christopher Robin Milne was born, an only child to A. A. Milne. Christopher also wrote, his first two books being memoirs of his growing up and out f..."

Oh, what do you mean Judy?


message 49: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 14717 comments On this day (25 August) in 1949, Martin Amis was born. In any history of the last half-century of English Literature, a chapter will have to be given to the Amis family's seventy-five books -- and still counting, in Martin's case. Two chapters might be better: one of father Kingsley's many "failures of tolerance," to use Martin's phrase, was his contempt for his son's postmodern novels, or the few he'd tried reading.


message 50: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 11622 comments :-)


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