Nov. 24, 1997


by Robert Pinsky

MONDAY  11/24

Today's Reading:  "Icicles" by Robert Pinsky from THE WANT BONE, published by The Ecco Press (1990).

The Onion Market festival takes place today in Berne, Switzerland, one of the country's most popular autumn markets.

Writer and director Garson Kanin, best known for writing BORN YESTERDAY, was born in Rochester, New York, 1912.

Dale Carnegie, author of HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE (1936), was born in Maryville, Missouri, 1888.

Editor Margaret Anderson, founder of THE LITTLE REVIEW which published works by James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and many others before they were well known, was born in Indianapolis in 1886.

Composer Scott Joplin, whose song "The Maple Leaf Rag" was the first instrumental sheet music to sell a million copies, was born in Texarkana, Texas, 1868.

Architect Cass Gilbert, who designed New York's Woolworth Building and Minnesota's state capitol, was born in Zanesville, Ohio, 1859.

In 1859 on this day, Charles Darwin published his book THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES BY MEANS OF NATURAL SELECTION, OR THE PRESERVATION OF FAVORED RACES IN THE STRUGGLE FOR LIFE.  The first printing of 1,250 copies sold out the first day.

Novelist Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY and THE SECRET GARDEN, was born in Manchester, England, 1849.

The creator of Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi, was born in Florence, Italy, 1826.

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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