Literary Birthday - 24 August - Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges was born 24 August 1899, and died 14 June 1986

Top 10 Jorge Luis Borges Quotes

  1. Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written; I’d rather boast about the ones I’ve read.
  2. I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.
  3. I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.
  4. Personally, I am a hedonistic reader; I have never read a book merely because it was ancient. I read books for the aesthetic emotions they offer me, and I ignore the commentaries and criticism.
  5. We accept reality so readily - perhaps because we sense that nothing is real.
  6. When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation.
  7. I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
  8. A writer - and, I believe, generally all persons - must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
  9. We have shared out, like thieves, the amazing treasures of days and nights.
  10. The dictionary is based on the hypothesis — obviously an unproven one — that languages are made up of equivalent synonyms.

Borges was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator.

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Literary Birthday - 24 August - Paulo Coelho

Happy Birthday, Paulo Coelho, born 24 August 1947

Top 10 Paulo Coelho Quotes

  1. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.
  2. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
  3. The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.
  4. When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.
  5. Tears are words that need to be written.
  6. Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realise that nothing really belongs to them.
  7. When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself.
  8. Life is too short, or too long, for me to allow myself the luxury of living it so badly.
  9. People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.
  10. Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing.

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist.

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Literary Birthday - 24 August - Orson Scott Card

Happy Birthday, Orson Scott Card, born 24 August 1951

Orson Scott Card Quotes

  1. Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any.
  2. Everybody dies. What matters is what you do between now and when it happens to you.
  3. The story is one that you and I will construct together in your memory. If the story means anything to you at all, then when you remember it afterward, think of it, not as something I created, but rather as something that we made together. 
  4. Science Fiction has rivets, fantasy has trees.
  5. Life is full of grief, to exactly the degree we allow ourselves to love other people.
  6. We don't read novels to have an experience like life. Heck, we're living lives, complete with all the incompleteness. We turn to fiction to have an author assure us that it means something.
  7. Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.
  8. Today, Mr. Darcy is a vampire.
  9. Home is anywhere that you know all your friends and all your enemies.
  10. You know how writers are… they create themselves as they create their work. Or perhaps they create their work in order to create themselves.
  11. Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.
  12. All the stories are fictions. What matters is which fiction you believe.

Orson Scott Card is an American author, critic, public speaker, essayist, columnist, and political activist. He is best known for his science fiction books, which include Ender's Game.

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Literary Birthday - 22 August - Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker was born 22 August 1893, and died 7 June 1967. 

The 10 Most Memorable Dorothy Parker Quotes

  1. This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
  2. Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.
  3. I don’t know much about being a millionaire, but I’ll bet I’d be darling at it.
  4. I hate writing, I love having written.
  5. That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgement.
  6. I’d like to have money. And I’d like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but if that’s too adorable, I’d rather have money.
  7. But I don’t give up; I forget why not.
  8. The only “ism” Hollywood believes in is plagiarism.
  9. Living well is the best revenge.
  10.   Razors pain you,
          Rivers are damp,
          Acids stain you,
          And drugs cause cramp.
          Guns aren’t lawful,
          Nooses give,
          Gas smells awful.
          You might as well live.

Read about Dorothy Parker's thoughts on writing here.

Parker was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist.

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Literary Birthday - 30 July - Emily Bronte

Five Classic Emily Brontë Quotes

  1. He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.
  2. I love the ground under his feet, and the air over his head, and everything he touches and every word he says. I love all his looks, and all his actions and him entirely and all together.
  3. Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them.
  4. Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.
  5. I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

Emily Brontë (30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) wrote Wuthering Heights. She published under the pen name Ellis Bell.


 compiled by Amanda Patterson

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Literary Birthday - 22 April - Henry Fielding

22 April 2012

Today is the anniversary of the birthday of Henry Fielding, English novelist (Joseph Andrews, Tom Jones), born 22 April 1707.

Clowns & Cowards

The story behind this note:

“Residing in Lyme Regis, Dorset in the summer of 1725, eighteen-year-old Henry’s affections soon latched onto fifteen-year-old Sarah Andrew, and her sizable inheritance.

But Sarah (and her fortune) were closely guarded by her uncle, Andrew Tucker, who hoped to see Sarah married to his own son and viewed Henry as an unsavory rival.

Undaunted, Henry persevered throughout the fall. The wooing came to a head in November, when Henry and his servant attempted to abduct the lady one Sunday as she was on her way to church. While the abduction was thwarted by Mr. Tucker, Henry’s attempt must have been a forceful one. Records in Lyme Regis show “A. Tucker feared that [Fielding] would beat, maim, or kill him.”

Miss Andrew was swiftly hustled from Lyme Regis to Modbury, where she was soon married to a more suitable gentleman. Disappointed and disgruntled, Henry also left Lyme Regis - but not before he posted the petulant public notice, right, now on display in Lyme Regis Museum:

This is to give notice to the World that Andrew Tucker and his Son John Tucker are Clowns, and Cowards. Witness my hand Henry F[ie]lding.

After this unsuccessful attempt at marrying money, Fielding decided he’d do better by earning it. As he wrote later, his choice was to be “a Hackney Writer, or a Hackney Coachman.” Fortunately for us, he chose the former.” 


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Literary Birthday - 13 April - Eudora Welty

Eudora Welty was born 13 April 1909, and died 23 July 2001


  1. A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.
  2. Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.
  3. Human life is fiction’s only theme.
  4. Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.
  5. I am a writer who came from a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.
  6. It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. 
  7. It doesn t matter if it takes a long time getting there; the point is to have a destination.
  8. Writing a story or a novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer’s own life.
  9. Gardening is akin to writing stories. No experience could have taught me more about grief or flowers, about achieving survival by going, your fingers in the ground, the limit of physical exhaustion.
  10. If you haven’t surprised yourself, you haven’t written.

Welty was an American author of short stories and novels about the American South. Her novel The Optimist’s Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973.

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