Jun. 4, 1996

The Persistence of Nature in Our Lives

by Andrew Hudgins


Today's Reading: "The Persistence of Nature in Our Lives" by Andrew Hudgins from SAINTS AND STRANGERS, published by Houghton Mifflin Company (1985).

It was on this day in 1070 that Roquefort cheese was discovered by accident when a shepherd forgot his lunch in a cave and returned several days later to find the cheese covered with mold which gave it a new flavor.

Poet, publisher Harry Crosby was born on this day in 1898; he founded the Black Sun Press, which published works by James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Hart Crane, Ezra Pound, and many others.

It's the birthday in 1904 in New York City of screenwriter and novelist Alvah Bessie.

It was on this day in 1940 that a flotilla of military and civilian crafts evacuated 335,000 Allied troops from the French town of Dunkirk as the German army swept through northern France.

In 1989 on this day, Chinese soldiers backed by tanks and armored personnel carriers opened fire on student pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, killing an estimated 2,600 people.

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
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