Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.
Historian Henry Adams (born February 16, 1838) published his memoirs, titled The Education of Henry Adams, privately. After his death they were reissued and won the Pulitzer Prize.
Look at the sky: that is for you. Look at each person’s face as you pass them on the street: those faces are for you. And the street itself, and the ground under the street, and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you.
Happy 43rd birthday, Miranda July! The multi-faceted artist’s oeuvre is a testament to trying your hand at everything—she has made work as a writer, musician, filmmaker, actor, and visual artist.
Over the river and through the wood
To grandfather’s house we go
Lydia Maria Francis Child
American activist Lydia Maria Child (born February 11, 1802) may have been the first prominent abolitionist to advocate immediate emancipation without compensation to slave owners—she also wrote anti-slavery fiction. However, Child is best known for her children’s poem, Over the River and Through the Wood.
Sometimes thou seem’st not as thyself alone, But as the meaning of all things that are.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
February 10, 1862: Poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s wife, Lizzie Siddal, died 152 years ago today. At her funeral the distraught husband lay the only manuscript of his poems to rest in his wife’s coffin. Seven years later, he had her body exhumed and retrieved his work.
Become major, Paul. Live like a hero. That’s what the classics teach us. Be a main character. Otherwise what is life for?
Happy 77th birthday, J.M. Coetzee! The reclusive South African writer did not show up to the awards ceremony for his two Booker Prizes, but he did make an appearance when he won the Nobel Prize in 2003.
1. to make a crackling sound; crackle.
Kate could hardly remember now the dry rigid pallor of the heat, when the whole earth seemed to crepitate viciously with dry malevolence; like memory gone dry and sterile, hellish. – D. H. Lawrence, The Plumed Serpent, 1926
When she came into the room, shaking rain-pearls from the hem of her black coat, I could feel her excitement–when she was like that the air around her seemed to crepitate as if an electric current were passing through it. – John Banville, Athena, 1995
Crepitate derives from Latin crepitātus, the past participle of crepitāre “to rattle, rustle, chatter,” a frequentative verb from crepāre and having the same meaning. The word entered English in the 17th century and meant “to break wind, fart,” a meaning that crepitāre had in Latin; the word’s politer senses date from the 19th century.
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
During a five-decade literary career, American poet and political activist Muriel Rukeyser (born December 15, 1913) produced work rich with commentary on human rights issues and inequalities of gender, race and class. Her more than a dozen poetry collections reacted to events including the Spanish Civil War and American aggression in Vietnam. One of her last poems, The Gates, was written after she traveled to South Korea to protest the imprisonment of poet Kim Chi-Ha.