Happy Birthday, Hans Christian Andersen, born 2 April 1805, died 4 August 1875
- Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.
- Travelling expands the mind rarely.
- Most of the people who will walk after me will be children, so make the beat keep time with short steps.
- Where words fail, music speaks.
- Everything you look at can become a fairy tale and you can get a story from everything you touch.
Andersen was a Danish author and poet. Although he wrote many plays, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales.
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Just in time for your afternoon snack! We’re so excited to announce that all Doubleday titles will soon be available with a side of fresh guacamole. Be sure to watch your favorite online retailers for our guacamole shipping options.
This happens to me more often than I would like to admit.
I kind of want a sentence diagram tattoo…
Tin House Books would like to officially state our support of sentence diagram tattoos.
April Fool’s Day occurs on 1 April every year. It is a day that is celebrated in countries that take their traditions from the UK. There don’t seem to be any facts about its origins, but it is a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other.
The Top 21 Literary Quotes about Fools
- April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four. ~Mark Twain
- There are two indiscretions that generally distinguish fools: a readiness to report whatever they hear, and a practice of communicating with secrecy what is commonly understood. ~Norman Macdonald
- The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience. ~Arthur Schopenhauer
- For fools rush in where angels fear to tread. ~Alexander Pope
- The young people think the old people are fools — but the old people know the young people are fools. ~Agatha Christie
- Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever. ~Charles Lamb
- You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. ~Abraham Lincoln
- The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected. ~Will Rogers
- A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. ~Douglas Adams
- It is better to weep with wise men than to laugh with fools. ~Spanish Proverb
- I have great faith in fools - self-confidence, my friends call it. ~Edgar Allan Poe
- You can educate a fool, but you cannot make him think. ~Talmud
- The fool wonders, the wise man asks. ~Benjamin Disraeli
- Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. ~Henry David Thoreau
- A lot of good arguments are spoiled by some fool who knows what he is talking about. ~Miguel de Unamuno
- A learned fool is more of a fool than an ignorant fool. ~Molière
- Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it. ~HL Mencken
- People have discovered that they can fool the devil, but they can’t fool the neighbours. ~Francis Bacon
- He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool. ~Albert Camus
- The majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That’s one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population — the intelligent ones or the fools? ~Henrik Ibsen
- I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth. ~Thomas Jefferson
Our new rare book catalog is now available, just in time for Rare Book Week in NYC! This edition features signed and modern first editions; including David Foster Wallace, Don DeLillo, W.E.B. Du Bois, Anais Nin, and many more. View the catalog here.
“Young writers should read books past bedtime and write things down in notebooks when they are supposed to be doing something else.” @gabijaklara
“Where [do I go from here]? I asked myself that question when I was twenty, again when I was thirty, again when I was forty, fifty … I could never answer it. Now I know something: I have to persist. That means live, write, and face, like everyone else, the other side of every life—the unknown.”
In honor of the centennial of the birth of Octavio Paz, read his 1991 Art of Poetry interview.
Lavengro by George Borrow
George Borrow (1803-1881) described his romanticized autobiography, Lavengro: The Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest (1851), as 'a dream of study and adventure.' The curious blend of fact and fiction, travel and philosophy, aristocrats and gypsies, baffled critics when it was released. Blackwood’s Magazine wrote that: 'The adventures, though interesting in their way, neither bear the impress of the stamp of truth, nor are they so arranged as to make the work valuable, if we consider it in the light of fiction.' If also failed to impress the public: as after an initial print-run of 3000, it was not reprinted again for over 20 years.
Lavengro, the gypsy word for Word Master, describes two of Borrow’s greatest passions: languages and gypsies. Whilst he was considered a poor student and his early career in law floundered, Borrow was a prodigious linguist who by the end of his life is estimated to have acquired knowledge of around 100 languages. His great affinity for gypsies runs through all his works and his vivid depictions of them in his earlier novel A Bible in Spain: or the Journey, Adventures, and Imprisonment of an Englishman in an Attempt to Circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula (1843) also went on to influence Prosper Mérimée, who after reading the book used one of its characters as a basis for Don Jose in his novel Carmen that was adapted by Bizet for opera.
It was not until after Borrow’s death that Lavengro finally began to garner praise and find an audience. Described as having passages that are 'unsurpassed in the prose literature of England,' it was included in the Oxford University Press World’s Classics series in 1904, and in Everyman’s Library in 1906.
The book in the photographs was published by Macmillan in 1896 and is a first edition with illustrations by E.J.Sullivan.
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Come rain or shine. At this time of year, we start to notice the seasons changing. Have you ever noticed how your moods often change with the seasons? The way we eat, dress, socialise – a lot of this is dependent on the weather. Use this in your writing.
Recently, I read a detective story set in a cold New York December. The writer used the elements in a way that added to his story in a dramatic way. The bloody body found in the snow, a grey sky, the detective’s black coat and red hair all formed a frame to set the mood.
In another romance novel, a family retreats to their island home for the holidays—but while the children run around in costumes and tan on the beach, the mother feels hot and frumpy in her dress. She yearns to be able to swim but she is self-conscious about her body.
For most us, we only think about the weather as a backdrop to the story. If we look at more closely, we soon see it adds a new vitality to the story—to colour emotions, to infuse the plot, to bring a character to life.
- Play with extremes. Make it the hottest day of the year and your heroine’s car breaks down. The hero has to strip off his shirt to stay cool under the hood. What mood will this create? It’s been raining for days and the rain has washed the blood and prints from a crime scene? How will this affect a police inspector’s mood and his case?
- A colourful palette. Each season gives a paint box to add tone and description to our stories. A bride in an ivory gown getting married on the family farm – her father has picked sunflowers from the fields; a page boy wears a gold bow tie. These touches of gold and yellow add to a theme or set piece. Think like an artist when writing.
- Think tradition. For many of us, we mark the seasons with traditions both big and small. It’s winter so a grandmother starts her annual blanket-for-harity collection - but slips on the ice and is forced to spend time with her estranged granddaughter. A family goes on their annual summer camping in the woods – when one of the children disappears. How has the weather added tension or helped the plot along?
by Anthony Ehlers for Writers Write
Happy Birthday, Russell Banks, born 28 March 1940
- My major allegiance has been to storytelling, not to history.
- With a short story, I never know where I’m going until I get there. I just know where I entered. That is what comes to me—the opening, a sentence or phrase, even. But with a novel it’s like entering a huge mansion—it doesn’t matter where you come in, as long as you get in. I usually imagine the ending, not literally and not in detail, but I do have a clear idea whether it’s going to end with a funeral or wedding. Or if I am going to burn the mansion down or throw a dinner party at the end. The important question—the reason you write the novel—is to discover how you get from here to there.
- I think the reason you write, after all, is to inform your own life with a book that is made out of the subconscious materials of that life.
- Lists of books we reread and books we can’t finish tell more about us than about the relative worth of the books themselves.
- If you dedicate your attention to discipline in your life you become smarter while you are writing than while you are hanging out with your pals or in any other line of work.
- Storytelling is an ancient and honourable act. An essential role to play in the community or tribe. It’s one that I embrace wholeheartedly and have been fortunate enough to be rewarded for.
- The faster I can write, the more likely I’ll get something worth saving down on paper. From the very beginning, I’ve grabbed onto any technology that would allow me to write faster—a soft pencil instead of a hard pencil, ballpoint instead of a fountain pen, electric typewriter instead of manual, and now, working with light on a screen rather than marks on a page, I find that I can noodle and doodle and be much more spontaneous.
Banks is an American writer of fiction and poetry. Two of his 11 novels, The Sweet Hereafter and Affliction, have been made into award-winning motion pictures,
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Gothic reads - Rebecca, The Thirteenth Tale, and a cup of coffee