Dec. 3, 1997

Not Only Marble

by Wendy Cope


Today's Reading:  "Not only marble" by Wendy Cope from MAKING COCOA FOR KINGSLEY AMIS, published by Faber and Faber.

It's the birthday of Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen, who in 1970 discovered that chemical compounds of nitrogen oxide erode the stratospheric ozone layer, born in Amsterdam in 1933.

French new wave film director Jean-Luc Godard, who established his reputation with the film BREATHLESS, was born in Paris in 1930.

American soprano Maria Callas was born in New York City in 1923. "Life is a battlefield....I do not ask for anything.  I let things and people come to me....That is how I am, the basis of my nature. Maybe it is because I do not want the risk of being refused.  Maybe it is pride.  But I do not want to ask.  I do not want to command.  I do not want to be able to command in public or private life.  I let things come to me, and do not complain if they go away again."

Swedish cinematographer Sven Nykvist, who collaborated with Ingmar Bergman on many films, was born in Moheda, Sweden, in 1922.

Novelist Joseph Conrad, author of LORD JIM and HEART OF DARKNESS, was born in the Polish Ukraine in 1857. "The artist appeals to the part of our being which is not dependent on Wisdom; to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition and therefore, more permanently enduring.  He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain."

Cuban epidemiologist Carlos Juan Finlay, the man who discovered that  yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, was born in Puerto Principe, Cuba, in 1833.

Portrait painter Gilbert Stuart, best known for his portraits of George Washington, was born in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, in 1755.

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
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