Apr. 22, 1997

Happy the Man

by John Dryden


Today's Reading:"Happy the Man" by John Dryden (1631-1700) from IMITATION OF HORACE.

It's the 54th birthday of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Gluck, born in New York City in 1943.

Jazz bassist Charles Mingus was born on this day in Nogales, Arizona, 1922.

It's the 81st birthday of violinist Sir Yehudi Menuhin, born in New York City in 1916.

J. Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project which developed the atom bomb during World War II, was born on this day in New York City, 1904.

It's the birthday of novelist Vladimir Nabokov (LOLITA), who wrote his first eight novels while making a living by teaching tennis, Russian, English, and by constructing Russian crossword puzzles. He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1899.

The great Oklahoma land rush got underway on this day in 1889, when unorganized Indian Territory was officially opened for white settlement.

It's the birthday of novelist O.E. Rolvaag (GIANTS IN THE EARTH), born on Donna Island, Norway, 1876. He immigrated to the United States when he was 20 and settled in Minnesota where he wrote his novels about Norwegian pioneers.

Novelist Ellen Glassgow, who lived her entire life in Richmond, Virginia, was born on this day in 1873. She received the Pulitzer Prize in 1942.

It's the birthday of philosopher Immanuel Kant, who believed an action must not be based on feelings, but must conform to a law dictated by reason---what he called the "categorical imperative." He was born in Konigsberg, East Prussia, 1724.

Novelist and playwright Henry Fielding (THE HISTORY OF TOM JONES, A FOUNDLING) was born on this day in Sharpham Park, Somerset, England, 1707.

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
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  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
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  • “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
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  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
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  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
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