Literary Birthdays – Week of March 8 – 14

Kenneth Grahame 1912
March 8

Kenneth Grahame (b. 1859) – Scottish novelist, essayist –The Wind in the Willows (1908)

Paul-Bransom.-Wayfarers-All-Wind in the Willows

Paul Bransom, illustrator

Excerpt from Chapter 4 “Mr. Badger” of
The Wind in the Willows

`Weren’t you at all — er — nervous?’ asked the Mole, some of yesterday’s terror coming back to him at the mention of the Wild Wood.
`Nervous?’ The Otter showed a gleaming set of strong white teeth as he laughed. `I’d give ’em nerves if any of them tried anything on with me. Here, Mole, fry me some slices of ham, like the good little chap you are. I’m frightfully hungry, and I’ve got any amount to say to Ratty here. Haven’t seen him for an age.’
So the good-natured Mole, having cut some slices of ham, set the hedgehogs to fry it, and returned to his own breakfast, while the Otter and the Rat, their heads together, eagerly talked river-shop, which is long shop and talk that is endless, running on like the babbling river itself.
A plate of fried ham had just been cleared and sent back for more, when the Badger entered, yawning and rubbing his eyes, and greeted them all in his quiet, simple way, with kind enquiries for every one. `It must be getting on for luncheon time,’ he remarked to the Otter. `Better stop and have it with us. You must be hungry, this cold morning.’

Bobby Fischer in 1962

March 9
Robert James (Bobby) Fischer
(b. 1943) – U.S. chess master, author on the subject of chess – My 60 Memorable Games (1969)

Bobby Fischer in 1962

Mickey (Frank Morrison) Spillane (b. 1918) – U.S. detective fiction novelist (Mike Hammer series) – Kiss Me Deadly (1953)

March 10
Lorenzo Da Ponte
(b. 1749) – Italian opera librettist (for Mozart) – The Marriage of Figaro

Aria  “Non più andrai, farfallone amoroso” –  End of Act 1

No more, you amorous butterfly,
Will you go fluttering round by night and day,
Disturbing the peace of every maid,
You pocket Narcissus, you Adonis of love.

No more will you have those fine feathers,
That light and dashing cap,
Those curls, those airs and graces,
That roseate womanish colour.

You’ll be among warriors, by Bacchus!
Long moustaches, knapsack tightly on,
Musket on your shoulder, sabre at your side,
Head erect and bold of visage,
A great helmet or a head?dress,
Lots of honour, little money,
And instead of the fandango,
Marching through the mud.
Over mountains, through valleys,
In snow and days of listless heat,
To the sound of blunderbusses,
Shells and cannons,
Whose shots make your ears sing
On every note.

Cherubino, on to victory,
On to military glory!

Listen to Ezio Pinza sing “Non più andrai, farfallone amoroso” in this 1939 recording:

March 11albadecespedes-2nd
Alba de Céspedes (b. 1911) – Italian novelist and feminist – Prima e Dopo (Between Then and Now) (1956)


March 12
Jack (Jean Lous) Kerouac (b. 1922) – U.S. author and poet – On the Road
See Jack Kerouac talk about his work and read from it
The Steve Allen Show (1959):
James Taylor (born March 12, 1948) – U.S. songwriter – “Fire and Rain”

March 13
Common (Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.)
(b. 1972) U.S. rapper

See Joshua Green’s 2006 music video of Common performing “I Have a Dream”

Same video mirrored here:

March 14 carylphillips
Caryl Phillips (b. 1958) – British/Caribbean novelist – A Distant Shore



About litbirthdays

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