Showing posts tagged authors
What our favorite authors are giving — the complete series!
Come join us Saturday, November 30, for Indies First! Fourteen local authors will be booksellers-for-a-day at our Burnside and Hawthorne stores.
While cats once ruled the written word, dogs and even dinosaurs are now dipping their claws into the world of publishing. (T-Rex, like Tolstoy and Woolf before him, struggles with putting pen to paper — although for very different reasons.) We’ve curated a selection of books written by some of our favorite animal authors.
The great Joan Didion has won a National Humanities Medal, and in the lead-up I interviewed her (and tried not to faint while sitting in her living room) for a bio-profile just out in Humanities Magazine.
I promised myself I wouldn’t stay at her place more than 45 minutes. Even in that short time, she said many, many interesting things that didn’t fit in the allotted space. Some of my favorites:
- She once told The Paris Review that none of her novels are particularly autobiographical. I mentioned this, and she said The Last Thing He Wanted, her last novel, was an exception.I wondered whether she found quasi-autobiographical fiction more difficult to write than other kinds. She said she did. “Why is it so much harder?” I asked her. “I don’t know,” she said, “but it is.” The Last Thing He Wanted was “depressing to write.”
- She’s written about clothing and linens and furniture, about her mother’s and grandmother’s influence on her tastes. I asked if she saw a relationship between her aesthetics in writing and her aesthetics in the rest of the world. Did they seem related or like two different spheres? “No, they don’t seem like different spheres,” she said. “I have a hard time thinking about it now but I spent a huge amount of my childhood and adult life finding a way to incorporate my family’s ideas into my own…. It seems to me everything you write is so wrapped up in everything you’ve been told and everything you do that it’s hard to separate it.”
- I asked why people don’t tend to notice that her work is funny. “People have absolutely no sense of humor at all,” she said.
When you’ve dedicated your life to words, it’s important to go out eloquently.
- Ernest Hemingway: “Goodnight my kitten.” Spoken to his wife before he killed himself.
- Jane Austen: “I want nothing but death.” In response to her sister, Cassandra, who was asking her if she wanted anything.
- J.M Barrie: “I can’t sleep.”
- L. Frank Baum: “Now I can cross the shifting sands.”
- Edgar Allan Poe: “Lord help my poor soul.”
- Thomas Hobbes: “I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap into the dark,”
- Alfred Jarry: “I am dying…please, bring me a toothpick.”
- Hunter S. Thompson: “Relax — this won’t hurt.”
- Henrik Ibsen: “On the contrary!”
- Anton Chekhov: “I haven’t had champagne for a long time.”
- Mark Twain: “Good bye. If we meet—” Spoken to his daughter Clara.
- Louisa May Alcott: “Is it not meningitis?” Alcott did not have meningitis, though she believed it to be so. She died from mercury poison.
- Jean Cocteau: “Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking towards me, without hurrying.”
- Washington Irving: “I have to set my pillows one more night, when will this end already?”
- Leo Tolstoy: “But the peasants…how do the peasants die?”
- Hans Christian Andersen: “Don’t ask me how I am! I understand nothing more.”
- Charles Dickens: “On the ground!” He suffered a stroke outside his home and was asking to be laid on the ground.
- H.G. Wells: “Go away! I’m all right.” He didn’t know he was dying.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “More light.”
- W.C. Fields: “Goddamn the whole fucking world and everyone in it except you, Carlotta!” “Carlotta” was Carlotta Monti, actress and his mistress.
- Voltaire: “Now, now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies.” When asked by a priest to renounce Satan.
- Dylan Thomas: “I’ve had 18 straight whiskies…I think that’s the record.”
- George Bernard Shaw: “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”
- Henry David Thoreau: “Moose…Indian.”
- James Joyce: “Does nobody understand?”
“Hot weather opens the skull of a city, exposing its white brain, and its heart of nerves, which sizzle like the wires inside a lightbulb. And there exudes a sour extra-human smell that makes the very stone seem flesh-alive, webbed and pulsing.”
― Truman Capote, Summer Crossing: http://powells.us/153KMwI