Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category
Elie Wiesel’s Auschwitz novel Night was rejected by twenty American publishers.Charles Baudelaire spent two hours a day getting dressed.
The genius poet-priest Gerard Manley Hopkins wanted to change his name to Pook Tunks.
“I am a eunuch,” Gerard Hopkins told his friend and fellow poet Robert Bridges, “but it is for the Kingdom of God’s sake.”
Robert Frost had only five poems accepted in his first seventeen years of writing and submitting poetry.
The poetess Sara Teasdale committed suicide with sleeping pills.
The poetess Anne Sexton, who sexually abused her older daughter, slowly committed suicide by locking herself in her garage, starting the engine of her car, and inhaling carbon monoxide. She drank vodka all the while as she waited to die.
“Pouring out liquor is like burning books,” said William Faulkner.
When Edgar Allen Poe married his cousin Virginia, he was twenty-seven, and she was thirteen. And consumptive.
René Descartes (1596 – 1650), generally regarded as the first modern philosopher, whose influence on philosophy was monumental, almost never read anything except the Bible and the work of Thomas Aquinas. He called the classics “a waste of time.”
“A man will turn over half a library to make one book,” said Samuel Johnson, who singlehandedly compiled A Dictionary of the English Language, which took him nearly nine years to complete.
Thales of Miletus (624 BC – 546 BC), generally considered the father of western philosophy, is believed to have predicted an eclipse of the sun for May 28th, 585 BC.
Sir Thomas Browne wished that men could produce without intercourse: “Like trees,” he said. Which, however, did not preclude him fathering twelve children.Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe, was for many years a hosier.
John Keats wrote all four of his great odes in one month.
As an adult, T.S. Eliot powdered his face with greenish make-up — to make himself look as if he were suffering, Edith Stillwell suggested.
Lord Alfred Tennyson yanked his son out of Cambridge to be his biographer.
John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, once visited Galileo.
Baruch Spinoza (1632 – 1677), Dutch philosopher of genius, died at age 44 of tuberculosis, which was aggravated by the glass dust in his lungs from his twenty years of grinding lenses for a living.
The poet John Masefield, off a ship at 18, worked for a while in a Greenwich Village saloon.
Said the surrealist Andre Breton, explaining the possible provenance of some of his strange and early literature.
They rowed her in across the rolling foam –
The cruel, crawling foam — to her grave beside the sea.
Wrote the English author Charles Kingsley (1819 – 1875) — in response to which John Ruskin pedantically said:
“The foam is not cruel, neither does it crawl.”
We talk about our assholes, and we talk about our cocks, and we talk about who we fucked last night, or who we’re going to fuck tomorrow, or when we got drunk, or when we stuck a broom in our ass in the Hotel Ambassador in Prague — anybody tell one’s friends about that?
Said “poet” Allen Ginsberg, in an anthologized interview.
A writer of something occasionally like English — and a man of something occasionally like genius.
Said Swinburne of Walt Whitman.
A man standing up to his neck in a cesspool — and adding to its contents.
Said Thomas Carlyle of Swinburne.
Lice in the locks of literature.
Said Lord Alfred Tennyson, describing critics.
Sergei Yesenin (1895-1925) was a Russian lyric poet who, at age 30, hung himself. Vladimir Mayakovsky, his contemporary and also a Russian poet, angrily and in public print condemned Sergei Yesenin for his “cowardly” suicide. Five year later he, Mayakovsky, then shot himself.
The earliest hints of evolutionary theory can be found in Anaximander, Sixth Century, BC.
A damned good poet and a fair critic; but he can kiss my ass as a man.
Said Ernest Hemingway of T.S. Eliot.
John Keats pronounced his own name with such a thick cockney accent that his friend Leigh Hunt nicknamed him “Junkets.”
Junkets evidently being the way “John Keats” sounded coming out of John Keats’s own mouth.
The “Wicked Bible,” from London, 1632, omitted the word not from the 7th Commandment:
Thou shalt commit adultery.
The first priest was the first rogue who crossed paths with the first fool.
Man is the only animal that knows he must die.
A man may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.
Said Samuel Butler.
Death is not an event in life; we do not live to experience death.
The English writer Anthony Burgess — most famous for his novella A Clockwork Orange, which Stanley Kubrick subsequently made into a movie — had eyesight so poor that he once accidentally walked into a bank in Stratford-on-Avon and ordered a drink!
Shakespeare’s name, you may depend on it, stands absurdly too high and will go down.
Said Lord Byron.
“The Shakespeare of the lunatic asylum” an early French critic called Dostoevsky.
The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon;
Where gott’st thou that goose look?
Wrote Shakespeare in Act 5, Scene III of Macbeth.
Now, friend, what means thy change of countenance?
Substituted one William Davenant, in a hacked-up version which nevertheless played for nearly a century.