Sunday

Dec. 19, 1999

Sartre Misunderstood

by Gerald Locklin

Broadcast Date: SUNDAY: December 19, 1999

Poem: "Sartre Misunderstood" by Gerald Locklin from Gerald Locklinís Chapbook published by The Last Roundup.

It's the birthday in Manchester, England, 1954 of writer TIMOTHY PARKS. He wrote eight unpublished novels during his twenties, then sent the manuscript of one of them, Tongues of Flame, to two-dozen publishers with no luck. As a last resort he entered the book in England's Sinclair Prize competition. He won runner-up, got the book published by a big London firm in 1985 under the title Europa, then took several British literary awards with it. It's the story of Reverend Bowen and the troubled relationship with his oldest son, Adrian, set in London during the late 1960s. Parks' other novels: Loving Roger, (1987) Home Thoughts, (1988), Family Planning, (1989).

It's the birthday of writer DAVE SMITH, 1942, whose poems and short stories that show up in the New Yorker and other magazines are often set in the Tidewater area of Virginia where he was born, near Portsmouth.

It's the birthday of the children's writer EVE BUNTING, born in 1928, in Maghera (MA-huh-ruh), Northern Ireland, and author of over a hundred books, but best known for Smoky Night which won the 1995 Caldecott Prize; the story of the Los Angeles riots as seen through a child's eyes.

CHARLES DICKENS' "A Christmas Carol" was published for the first time on this day in 1843, London. In the early going, Dickens describes Scrooge as: "A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.

THOMAS PAINE published the first of his 16 AMERICAN CRISIS tracts on this day in 1776, beginning with the words, "These are the times that try men's souls." Washington ordered the pamphlet read to the troops at Valley Forge. "The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."

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

 









«

»

  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
  • “I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” —Anne Tyler
  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
  • “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.” —John Edgar Wideman
  • “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Let's face it, writing is hell.” —William Styron
  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
  • “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
  • “Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.” —Shelby Foote
  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
  • “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.” —Iris Murdoch
  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
  • “Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” —Anthony Powell
  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
The Writer's Almanac on Facebook


The Writer's Almanac on Twitter

Subscribe to our daily newsletter for poems, prose and literary history every morning
An interview with Sharon Olds at The Writer's Almanac Bookshelf
Current Faves - Learn more about poets featured frequently on the show
O, What a Luxury

Although he has edited several anthologies of his favorite poems, O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound forges a new path for Garrison Keillor, as a poet of light verse. Purchase O, What a Luxury »