Sarah Polley “Can you describe the whole story, from the beginning until now, in your own words?”
“In one of these riots, in 422, the prefect Callistus was killed, and in another was committed the murder of a female philosopher Hypatia, a highly-respected teacher of neo-Platoism, of advanced age and (it is said) many virtues.”
APA citation. (1908). St. Cyril of Alexandria. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved May 16, 2013 from New Advent:http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04592b.htm
Juror #8 “It’s always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this.”
Sylvia Plath “The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.”
Howard Beale: ”I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job.”
John Kenneth Galbraith “Wealth, in even the most improbable cases, manages to convey the aspect of intelligence.”
Beatrix Potter (1866–1943)
John Gielgud (1904–2000)
Peter Finch (1916–1977)
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Sidney Lumet (1924–2011) directed 12 Angry Men (1957) and Network (1976), which was written Paddy Chayefsky (1923–1981) who also wrote Marty for which Earnest Borgnine (1917–2012) won the Best Actor Oscar
Proof playwright David Auburn was born November 30, 1969 in Chicago.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870), Christopher Hitchens (1949-) John Madden were born in Portsmouth
John Kenneth Galbraith () was born on October 15, Iona Station is a hamlet located on the border of Dutton-Dunwich and Southwold Townships, in Elgin County, Ontario
It’s an irrefutable and therefore paradoxical fact that when we write nonfiction, we are simultaneously reading the words that we are in process of writing as if they were ‘true’ regardless of the facts, which means that in 1881 when Picasso, Pope John XXIII, Branch Rickey and Cecil B. DeMille were born, Victoria was Queen of the British Empire but that there were no computers or digital camera because we are not designed to be intelligent, which also explains why John Scopes to convicted of teaching evolution 1925.
CBC Archives “The year 1809 was remarkable for producing figures of great historical importance, including Lincoln, Chopin, Poe, Braille, Tennyson and many others. But no other figure produced as dramatic an effect on society as the English naturalist Charles Darwin. His groundbreaking theory of evolution had a major impact on religion, education, history and our conception of humankind. Now, 200 years after his birth and 150 years since the publication of The Origin of Species, the CBC Digital Archives looks at the history of Darwin, his controversial theory and the ways in which his thoughts still affect the world.”
CBC Archives ”A master of the short story, Alice Munro is one of Canada’s most acclaimed literary treasures. With characters and settings that often mirror her own background and memories, her unadorned yet emotionally searing stories have enthralled readers since her first collection was published in 1968. With this selection of eight interviews from 1974 to 2007, CBC Digital Archives uncovers a witty, revealing and generous author.”
(Click on the images to enlarge)
L. Frank Baum was born on May 15, 1856, near Syracuse, New York.
James Gleick ”Siobhan Roberts has achieved something extraordinary in this book, a paean to a geometer and all geometry. It tells a brave, compelling story. It comprehends a whole universe — our universe — of kaleidoscopes and crystals, groups and symmetry, bicycles and snowflakes, music and movement. It is lucid, beautiful, and exalting.”
Isaac D’Israeli ”A Cento primarily signifies a cloak made of patches. In poetry it denotes a work wholly composed of verses, or passages promiscuously taken from other authors, only disposed in a new form or order, so as to compose a new work and a new meaning.”
Born May 11:
Salvador Dali ”Have no fear of perfection - you’ll never reach it.”
Natasha Richardson (1963–2009)
Arthur Schopenhauer “Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills. It is the courage to make a clean breast of it in the face of every question that makes the philosopher.”
Vannevar Bush ”Two centuries ago Leibnitz invented a calculating machine which embodied most of the essential features of recent keyboard devices, but it could not then come into use.”
Vannevar Bush, Claude Shannon, Norbert Wiener
Ludwig Wittgenstein was born April 26, 1889 in Vienna and he died on April 29, 1951 in Cambridge, England. Karl Popper was born July 28, 1902 in Vienna and he died September 17, 1994
The Open Society and Its Enemies was published in 1945 which was the year that the philosopher Ernst Cassirer died in New York City and the comedian Goldie Hawn was born on November 21 in Washington D.C.
1. The Second World War, Winston S. Churchill
6. The Open Society and Its Enemies, Karl Popper
43. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, John Maynard Keynes
44. God & Man at Yale, William F. Buckley Jr.
57. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein
Alexander Graham Bell “Don’t keep forever on the public road, going only where others have gone. Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods. You’ll be certain to find something you have never seen before.”
Buddy Holly (1936-1959) Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009), Roy Orbison (1936-1988) were born there were no no such products as cellphones, computers or digital video cameras because our brains were designed to make us think about finding food and having sex so that we do not starve or go extinct and not to solve the mathematical equations necessary to convert electricity into music and photographs that can be posted on youtube.
Jean-Paul Sartre “ I distrust the incommunicable; it is the source of all violence. ”
“All Along the Watchtower” is a song written and recorded by the American singer -songwriter Bob Dylan.
Skandar Keynes is a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin and great-great-nephew of John Maynard Keynes.
When Craig Ferguson was born on May 17, 1962, I was 11-years-old and there were no personal computers, internet or twitter.
Alice Munro was born July 10, 1931 in Wingham, Ontario
I was born November 20, 1951 in London, Ontario which appears to be about 100 miles due south of Wingham.
Conservapedia ”Scotland has given the English speaking world many of the language’s finest writers, poets and philosophers. Among these are Adam Smith, David Hume, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns, Frances Hutcheson, James Hogg, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, J.M Barrie and Hugh MacDiarmid.”
National Post “Do you have four books to recommend?”
National Post ”In an ongoing series — Four, Fourteen, Forty, Forever — National Post contributors weigh in on the best books to read to young children, to nourish one’s intellect during the formative teenage years, to sustain readers in middle age, and to provide succor in life’s final stages. ”
Conrad Black was born August 25, 1944 in Montreal.
Conrad Black “A truthful answer to my editors’ request for a book to read to four-year-olds would revive that hardy perennial, America’s best-selling and most prolific non-apostolic author, Franklin W. Dixon. But I don’t think the Hardy Boys are what the editors are looking for.
“My father used to read my brother and me gripping tails of lion and tiger hunts, but my sympathies were always with the cats. I cheered when a lion devoured a guide, because I regarded the guide as a turncoat. When my turn came to read to little children, I couldn’t find such books, and Kipling seemed a bit dated.
“So this choice goes to Alexandre Dumas and The Three Musketeers. Both as auditor and lector, it came in fairly soon after the age of four, and my early appreciation of it was heightened by seeing a rerun of the early 1930’s film, Richelieu, with George Arliss in the title role, which I still rate as one of the best movies I have ever seen. I strongly recommend it to readers should it come up as a late movie some time.
“The result of seeing the movie while hearing the book being read was that I was one of the few who felt the real heroes of the story were not the Musketeers or D’Artagnan, but the sly cardinal and his grey eminence, du Tremblay. I particularly enjoyed the so-called (real life) Day of Dupes, when the king (Louis XIII), was briefly induced to arrest Richelieu, who had in fact foiled a plot to dispose of the king and the cardinal (who was prime minister), hatched by the king’s mother and brother. Arliss splendidly uplifted his pectoral cross, wagged it at the constables and said: “Mere politicians you may arrest; the custodian of the consciences of popes, kings, and our nation, you shall not presume to detain”; or some such trumpery.
“In Dumas’ hands, he is one of literature’s more memorable villains. The Three Musketeers is a fine tale of adventure, chivalry, and the risks and rewards of life in tumultuous times.
“The field of contenders is more crowded where 14-year-olds are concerned. Shouldering aside Foster Hewitt’s immortal He Shoots, He Scores! and La Vie Sensationnelle de Maurice Richard (good pictures), and the Boy’s Own Annual description of the pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck, I stretch the rules slightly and offer a pocket book I read on a trans-continental train trip when I was 15, which contained Joseph Conrad’s short novel Youth, and his regular-length book Almayer’s Folly. (I recommended them to my sons and daughter 35 years later, but am not sure of the results.)
Youth made a great impression because of the brilliant description by the narrator, the young junior officer of a merchant vessel, of first working frantically to bail water from the bilge of the storm-tossed and fragile ship, and then, “Fire at Sea!,” reintroducing water into the burning hold. It has always remained in my thoughts as the perfect illustration of how abruptly and ironically conditions can change. And when the ship had to be abandoned, the narrator was assigned the second lifeboat, and “assumed my first command.” Thus can misfortune advance careers.
Almayer’s Folly is the story of an East Indies merchant competing for 40 years with a wily Arab competitor across the strait, and gradually losing, until he had lost everything, including, as I recall, romantically. My takeaway on that book was that there are times when even a long-held position simply has to be abandoned.
As I read more, and took an interest in the world, I concluded that this was the lesson of the careers of some of the greatest statesmen of my time, including Mao Tse-tung’s Long March to northwest China in the 1930s; Charles de Gaulle’s removal to London, to “assume France,” in 1940, bringing with him, as Mr. Churchill wrote, “in his little airplane, the honour of France”; and Richard Nixon’s retirement as president in 1974, to launch his greatest comeback of all.
In the next category, to cover middle years, I propose F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, largely because of a few poignant vignettes. Gatsby was a fraud, scarcely even a parvenu, but the Long Island swells flocked to his parties. He died violently in a misplaced act of vengeance. The narrator’s last words to him were, as an after-thought, at the end of the season, “You’re better than all of them.” Only the narrator and Gatsby’s father made any effort to attend a funeral.
Fitzgerald’s description of Gatsby’s plunge into transient society, though a caricature, is hard to forget. And I doubt if anyone who read it, at any age, ever forgets Fitzgerald’s description, at the end of the season and the book, looking across Long Island Sound at the single light on the dock opposite, of imagining what the first settlers saw of this vast and over-powering continent. This is a vivid imaginary snapshot of the nativity of America, the very moment of creation of one of history’s greatest dramas.
Finally, as a long-term book, I offer Albert Camus’s The Plague. The pestilence is an allegory for the Nazi occupation of France. At the beginning of the book, at points throughout, and at the end, a friend of the narrator is revising the first sentence of the novel he claims to be starting out to write, variations on “the flowered avenues of the Bois de Boulogne,” a send-up of the amiable pandemic of ineffectual good intentions.
The conduct of the collaborators with the occupiers is unforgettably described. I have not reread one word of this book since I read it in Paris in the summer of 1963, but I still remember: “The silent city was no more than an assemblage of huge, inert cubes, between which only the mute effigies of great men, carapaced in bronze, with their blank stone or metal faces, conjured up a sorry semblance of what the man had been.” I took this as a monition, which I have tried to follow, to turn important matters into principles, and not to compromise with them.
Reading The Plague, during that splendid summer of 1963 in Paris, caused me to reread the end of the last volume of Charles de Gaulle’s war-time memoirs. On a lovely spring day 34 years later, I took my sons and daughter to de Gaulle’s famous but modest house at Colombeyles-Deux-Eglises, 180 kilometers east of Paris. We stood in the corner room where he worked at his desk and looked out on a great expanse of the Champagne countryside. Here he concluded those memoirs on a more hopeful note than Camus in The Plague.
He closed his mighty memoir of the redemption of France: “Ancient world, exhausted by rain and storm but always ready to produce what life must have to go on; aged France, wracked by revolutions and wars, vacillating constantly from greatness to decline, but revived century after century by the genius of renewal; old man, feeling the approach of the eternal cold, but waiting in the shadows for the gleam of hope.”
A few months later he was recalled to office with practically unlimited powers, and at that desk, the ageing veteran of the Third and Fourth Republics wrote the constitution of the Fifth. It has proved the most successful of all France’s many monarchies, empires, republics and transitional regimes, mainly because it is really a democratic monarchy covered in the symbols and slogans of a republic. Having led those Frenchmen who resisted Camus’s Plague, he led France to some of the greatest days in its history.
I don’t recommend De Gaulle’s memoirs to casual readers, but I have found it useful to remember that both these eminent authors are wise: Bad times and habits do return, and nobility of character renews itself — and they are in constant tension, within both individuals and societies.
“This sketch is most imperfect; but in so short a space I cannot make it better. Your imagination must fill up very wide blanks.”
It is an irrefutable and therefore paradoxical fact that when we write nonfiction, we are simultaneously reading the ‘words’ that we have just written as it they were ‘true’ regardless of the scientific evidence, which means that in 1859 when Arthur Conan Doyle were born there was no such thing as biology for the same reason that it never occurs to a Catholic nonfiction writer such as Michael Novak that atheists and agnostics such as are not Catholics for the same reason that he is not Buddhist and that Mordecai Richler was not a Mormon and that The Reverend Billy Graham is not a Hindu and so on down the line.
“It seems an ancient controversy, and of course it is. Fifteen minutes after Charles Darwin explained his theory of evolution, his disciples—apostles—ruled out any heresy on the subject of the naturalist explanation for human life.”
Photographs, Victoria, BC, May 11, 2013
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Ludwig Wittgenstein ”The world is all that is the case.”
Ansel Adams “It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”
Rachel Carson ”It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist: the threat is rather to life itself.”
Paul Gauguin “However depressed I may be I am not in the habit of giving up a project without having tried everything, even the ‘impossible’, to gain my end.”
He died on May 8, 1903 in Atuona
George Orwell, Vincente Minnelli and Irving Stone were born in 1903.
In 1956 I was 5.
Lust for Life (1956)
Albin Krebs “Although biographical novels were his specialty, Mr. Stone also produced two biographies, ‘Clarence Darrow for the Defense’ in 1941, and ‘Earl Warren’ in 1948. ‘They Also Ran,’ a lively study of unsuccessful Presidential candidates, was published in 1943.”