Literary Birthday – 24 July – Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas was born 24 July 1802, and died 5 December 1870.

12 Quotes

  1. Learning does not make one learned: there are those who have knowledge and those who have understanding. The first requires memory and the second philosophy.
  2. One’s work may be finished someday, but one’s education never.
  3. Infatuated, half through conceit, half through love of my art, I achieve the impossible working as no one else ever works.
  4. There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness.
  5. There are two distinct sorts of ideas: Those that proceed from the head and those that emanate from the heart.
  6. In business, sir, one has no friends, only correspondents.
  7. Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.
  8. As a general rule…people ask for advice only in order not to follow it; or if they do follow it, in order to have someone to blame for giving it.
  9. The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates.
  10. There are two ways of seeing: with the body and with the soul. The body’s sight can sometimes forget, but the soul remembers forever.
  11. True love always makes a man better, no matter what woman inspires it.
  12. Your life story is a novel; and people, though they love novels bound between two yellow paper covers, are oddly suspicious of those which come to them in living vellum, even when they are gilded.
Alexandre Dumas literary birthday. Mind on Fire Books post.

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Literary Birthday – 21 July – Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was born 21 July 1899, and died  2 July 1961.

Ernest Hemingway Quotes

  1. The world breaks everyone … those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
  2. One cat just leads to another.
One cat leads to another. Mind on Fire Books
  1. We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
  2. My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible. The game of golf would lose a good deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green. You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements.
  3. You know what makes a good loser? Practice.
  4. Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure only death can stop it.
  5. You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.
  6. It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.
  7. Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.
  8. All stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.

Ernest Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical style strongly influenced 20th-century fiction. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. He is the author of The Sun Also Rises,  A Farewell To ArmsFor Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man And The Sea.

Hemingway in Florida Keys. Mind on Fire Books

Pandemic Reading List

The following Pandemic Reading list of books are our literary picks addressing race, love, dominant governments, and the effects of a plague.

Sure, you’ve read article after article and watched countless you tube videos about COVID and the Spanish Flu of 1917 – we’re all experts by now. But have you actually read anything of sustenance, with brilliant characters, exceptional prose and in-depth analysis of why we live and die, and how communities navigate through such perils? 

The following list of books are our literary picks, addressing questions of race, love, death and dominant governments, and the effect on national borders after a plague hits. Authors include Mary Shelley, Albert Camus, Daniel Defoe, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Yuri Hererra, Michael Crichton, and more.

The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years,’ by Sonia Shah

“Sonia Shah’s tour-de-force history of malaria will convince you that the real soundtrack to our collective fate … is the syncopated whine-slap, whine-slap of man and mosquito duking it out over the eons,” Abigail Zuger wrote in The Times.

A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe (1722)

From 1665 to 1666, bubonic plague returned to Britain and devastated the city of London — killing roughly one quarter of its population in the span of 18 months. “[I]t was generally in such houses that we heard the most dismal shrieks and outcries of the poor people, terrified and even frighted to death by the sight of the condition of their dearest relations, and by the terror of being imprisoned as they were.”

Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter (1939)

Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider is set around the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 and focuses on a young woman falling in love with a soldier, as both influenza and World War I loom ominously. As novelist Alice McDermott makes clear in her commentary on the novel, it’s a book that hasn’t lost its contemporary resonance.

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The Plague by Albert Camus (1947)

As befits a novel with the archetypal title The Plague, there are multiple ways one can interpret Camus’s 1947 work. Writing in the Guardian in 2015, journalist and war correspondent Ed Vulliamy contends it can be read in two ways: first, as a metaphor for the horrors of fascism; and second, as an allusion to a cholera epidemic in Algeria in 1849.

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton (1969)

A group of scientists deal with an epidemic caused by an extraterrestrial microorganism — one that’s constantly evolving and has no precedent in human history.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1985)

“Plagues are like imponderable dangers that surprise people,” Gabriel García Márquez told the New York Times in 1988. “They seem to have a quality of destiny.” In the same interview, he spoke of his fondness for Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, and how it was one of the inspirations for this decades-spanning tale of star-crossed lovers, where death is never far from the reader’s mind.

Journal of the Plague Years by Norman Spinrad (1988)

The novel uses a widespread outbreak of a constantly mutating virus to critique conservative responses to HIV and AIDS in the 1980s. “For twenty years, sex and death were inexorably intertwined,” writes an fictional editor at the beginning of Spinrad’s book — what follows are an arrangement of voices, each struggling with literal questions of life and death.

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Beauty Salon by Mario Bellatin (1994)

“Over time I have realized that the disease comes in spurts,” writes the narrator of Bellatin’s short novel Beauty Salon. It’s set in a world devastated by a pandemic affecting only men, leading to their rapid deaths in the face of governmental inaction. The novel’s narrator runs a beauty salon, which becomes a hospice for those afflicted.

The Children’s Hospital by Chris Adrian (2006)

Adrian’s fiction blends his own career in medicine alongside the mythological and fantastical. In his second novel, The Children’s Hospital, a plague called the Botch emerges after a series of events, some apocalyptic, some miraculous. Adrian “wants to know why people die, what meaning can be divined from their lives and their ends, and whether anything lies beyond. ”

The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera (2013)

Herrera’s fiction is often set near the border between the United States and Mexico. The Transmigration of Bodies follows a familiar noir scenario — two crime families at war in a single town, during the aftereffects of a deadly plague.

They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell

To eight-year old Bunny Morison, his mother is an angelic comforter in whose absence nothing is real or alive. To his older brother, Robert, his mother is someone he must protect, especially since the deadly, influenza epidemic of 1918 is ravaging their small Midwestern town. To James Morison, his wife, Elizabeth, is the center of a life that would disintegrate all too suddenly were she to disappear

The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic — and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World,’ by Steven Johnson

In August 1854, many poor Londoners “suddenly took sick and began dying. Their symptoms included upset stomach, vomiting, gut cramps, diarrhea and racking thirst. Whatever the cause, it was fast — fast to kill (sometimes within 12 hours of onset) and fast in spreading to new victims,” David Quammen wrote in his review of this fascinating and detailed account of the city’s worst cholera epidemic. “Seventy fatalities occurred in a 24-hour period, most within five square blocks, and hundreds more people were in danger.”

The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Set at the end of the twenty-first century, The Last Man is a moving and fantastical account of the apocalypse. Faced with a populace clamoring for more democratic rule, the last king of England relinquishes his throne. Suddenly a mysterious plague sweeps the globe, drawing ever nearer to England. As war, disease, and death ravage humanity, ideals of fairness and love are quickly supplanted by the imperative of survival.

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How Long it Took 40 Writers to Complete Their Works

 
 
Ever wonder how long it took some writers to finish their masterpiece?
 
There are just individuals who were born to #write. Ideas and words just flow out of their mind like a tap water. One might argue that it takes a lof of #reading and practice as well to be a good writer. A great of number of famous #authors write like a machine, going at an average of a few thousand words a day, and have written hundreds of books during their whole writing career, and sold millions of copies.
 
In this video, we’ll cover 40 famous writers, and how long they took to write one of their great works. We’ve gathered this information from an infographic created by PrinterInks (https://goo.gl/X43aSZ) and added another 10, a few that we think are too important to be left out. Enjoy the video, feel free to leave any comments or your thoughts, and happy reading!