Never be alone again: LitBash 17

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Feeling lonely? Pick up a book because: “Book lovers never go to bed alone.” Here’s a good opportunity, an entire week of celebrations…

Born this week:

Samuel Beckett, Ireland
“There is a little of everything, apparently, in nature, and freaks are common.”

Erich von Daniken, Switzerland
“Some people live so cautiously that they die practically brand-new – others use their brains exclusively for reading, never for thinking.”

Henry James, USA
“It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature.”

Boris Strugatsky, Russia
“You can imagine anything at all… and real life is never what you imagine.”

Anatole France, France
“Christianity has done a great deal for love by making it a sin.”

Karen Blixen, Denmark
“Real art must always involve some witchcraft.”

Thornton Wilder, USA
“Many who have spent a lifetime in it can tell us less of love than the child that lost a dog yesterday.”

Died this week:

Erskine Caldwell, USA

Crebillon, France
“No gall has ever poisoned my pen.”

Kurt Vonnegut, USA
“Well, I’ve worried some about, you know, why write books … why are we teaching people to write books when presidents and senators do not read them, and generals do not read them. And it’s been the university experience that taught me that there is a very good reason, that you catch people before they become generals and presidents and so forth and you poison their minds with … humanity, and however you want to poison their minds, it’s presumably to encourage them to make a better world.”

Jean de la Fontaine, France
“People must help one another; it is nature’s law.”

Jean Genet, France
“Excluded by my birth and tastes from the social order, I was not aware of its diversity. I wondered at its perfect coherence, which rejected me.”

Simone de Beauvoir, France
“Society cares about the individual only in so far as he is profitable. The young know this. Their anxiety as they enter in upon social life matches the anguish of the old as they are excluded from it.”

Gaston Leroux, France

Robert Musil, Austria
“His appearance gives no clue to what his profession might be, and yet he doesn’t look like a man without a profession either. Consider what he’s like: He always knows what to do. He knows how to gaze into a woman’s eyes. He can put his mind to any question at any time. He can box. He is gifted, strong-willed, open-minded, fearless, tenacious, dashing, circumspect — why quibble, suppose we grant him all those qualities — yet he has none of them! They have made him what he is, they have set his course for him, and yet they don’t belong to him. When he is angry, something in him laughs. When he is sad, he is up to something. When something moves him, he turns against it. He’ll always see a good side to every bad action. What he thinks of anything will always depend on some possible context — nothing is, to him, what it is: everything is subject to change, in flux, part of a whole, of an infinite number of wholes presumably adding up to a super-whole that, however, he knows nothing about. So every answer he gives is only a partial answer, every feeling an opinion, and he never cares what something is, only ‘how’ it is — some extraneous seasoning that somehow goes along with it, that’s what interests him.”

Jean-Paul Sartre, France
“I cannot make liberty my aim unless I make that of others equally my aim.”

Yasunari Kawabata, Japan
“My own works have been described as works of emptiness, but it is not to be taken for the nihilism of the West. The spiritual foundation would seem to be quite different.”

Roland Topor, Polish-French

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