Jul. 14, 1998

Sonnet 18: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

by William Shakespeare


Today's Reading: "Sonnet 18" by William Shakespeare.

It's BASTILLE DAY in France, commemorating the day in 1789 when citizens stormed and burned the prison that symbolized the monarchy's autocratic rule. King Louis XVI was forced to withdraw from Paris and face the consequences of the French Revolution.

Today is the birthday in 1918 of Swedish writer-director INGMAR BERGMAN in Uppsala, Sweden. The son of a stern Lutheran pastor he was raised with authoritarian discipline, and the traumatic experiences of childhood later played a huge role in his work as a film director. He became famous in the 1950s with such films as The Seventh Seal and Smiles of a Summer Night. In 1983 he came out with the film Fanny and Alexander – a story of childhood with an adult's perception of pleasure and pain.

It's also the birthday in 1918 of electrical engineer and management expert, JAY WRIGHT FORRESTER, born in Anselmo, Nebraska. He invented the random-access magnetic core memory, or RAM, the information storage device used in most digital computers.

It's the birthday of one of Italy's most important writers, NATALIA GINZBURG, born in Palermo in 1916. She wrote her first book, The Road to the City, during the 1940s when she and her husband were confined to a small village near Rome because they were Jews.

It's the birthday of singer, songwriter WOODROW WILSON "WOODY" GUTHRIE, born in Okemah, Oklahoma, 1912. He was 15 years old when he left home to travel the country by freight train, often visiting the hobo and migrant camps of the Great Depression where he played his harmonica and guitar. He went on to write over 1,000 songs during his career including, "So Long (It's Been Good to Know Ya)," "Blowing Down This Old Dusty Road," "Union Maid" and "Tom Joad" (inspired by Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath") and the famous "This Land Is Your Land."

Yiddish writer, ISAAC BASHEVIS (bah-SHEV-vuhs) SINGER, was born in Poland, on this day in 1904, the author of novels, short stories, memoirs, and children's books, often about Jewish life and his native Poland. In 1935 he sailed for the United States after becoming alarmed at the growing Nazism in Europe. He settled in New York where he went to work for the Yiddish newspaper, Daily Forward, where most of his fiction was first serialized. He lived a modest life and was eating in a neighborhood drugstore when he learned he had won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978. Among his over 30 books are the novels "The Family Moskat," (1950), "The Manor" (1967) and "A Crown of Feathers" for which he received The National Book Award in 1973.

It's the birthday of author IRVING STONE, born Irving Tennenbaum in San Francisco in 1903. Whose novels include Lust for Life – about Vincent Van Gogh, Love Is Eternal (1954) about Mary Todd Lincoln, and The Agony and the Ecstasy (1961) about the life of the Renaissance artist, Michelangelo.

It's the birthday of novelist OWEN WISTER, born in North Kingstown, Rhode Island in 1860. The author of The Virginian, the 1902 novel that helped establish the cowboy as an American folk hero.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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