I go to seek a Great Perhaps.
French Renaissance man Francois Rabelais died 464 years ago today. His legacy includes the word Rabelaisian—used to describe good-natured, bawdy humor—and these brief last words that are in dispute but still worth remembering.
I live for coincidences. They briefly give to me the illusion or the hope that there’s a pattern to my life, and if there’s a pattern, then maybe I’m moving toward some kind of destiny where it’s all explained.
Happy 53rd birthday, Jonathan Ames! The writer first found fame with his funny yet depressing columns for New York Press; he has gone on to write novels and created the HBO series Bored to Death.
If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it’s within your reach. And it’ll be worth every minute you spend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you want to design or build. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
On this day in 1975, the Homebrew Computer Club had its first meeting. Steve Wozniak was a founding member of this group of Silicon Valley computer hobbyists and says that it inspired the Apple I.
What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?
Ralph Ellison (born March 1, 1914) took about six years to write his first novel, Invisible Man, which won a National Book Award. His second, Juneteenth, had a harder road. First, 300 pages of the manuscript burned in a house fire, then he wrote 2,000 pages that were pared down and published posthumously.
It is easy to crush an enemy outside oneself but impossible to defeat an enemy within.
Japanese novelist Eiji Yoshikawa (born August 11, 1892) is best known for his historical work Musashi, a vivid account of the life of a samurai. The author’s real name was Yoshikawa Hidetsugu, and primary school was the extent of his formal education. But he went on to write more books on Japanese historical figures, and he won major awards and was highly regarded for his literary achievements, historical knowledge, and psychological insight.
Take a good book to bed with you—books do not snore.
Happy birthday, Thea Dorn! The award-winning German writer (real name Christiane Scherer) focused on philosophy and theater studies in school, and she chose her pseudonym to allude to philosopher Theodor Adorno. She is largely known for her crime fiction, though she has also felt at home with theatrical pieces and as a TV host for a literary program.
Reading was a joy, a desperately needed escape — I didn’t read to learn, I was reading to read.
Happy birthday, Christian Bauman! In between serving in the United States Army and writing two successful novels about soldiers, he made a living as a a folk singer. For several years, he toured North America as a solo act and as part of the group Camp Hoboken.
Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.
~José Ortega y Gasset
How many philosophers can say they have a fruit named after them? Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset (born May 9, 1883) can! German grape breeder Hans Brieider was so impressed with Ortega y Gasset’s work, he named a grape variety Ortega in the philosopher’s honor.