Literary Birthdays – March 14 – 20

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March 14

(Albert) Horton Foote, Jr. (born March 14, 1916) – U.S. screenwriter, playwright – To Kill A Mockingbird

Read about Horton Foote in The Guardian

“Texas was a perennial inspiration for Foote, whose characters, haunted by the past, fret over their changing lives. He was born in Wharton, in the south-east of the state, where his parents, Albert and Harriet, had defied their own parents and eloped all of five blocks to be married by a Baptist minister.”

Watch Horton Foote talk about family inspiration for his writing A Trip To Bountiful

Read the New York Times obituary for Horton Foote (March 2009)


March 15



Veronica Maggio (born March 15, 1981) – Swedish singer/songwriter

Read about Veronica Maggio

Watch the music video of Måndagsbarn / Monday’s Children

and Veronica Maggio performing live


Jag blev ett måndagsbarn / I was a Monday’s child

Hela livet blev en helg / My whole life a weekend

Mmm, nu är det måndag snart / Now it’s Monday

Och jag lever för ikväll / And I live for tonight

Sena nätter, tomma glas, / Late nights, empty glasses

Femhundra skjuter upp problemet för ett tag (för stunden) / 500 postpones the problem for a while (for now)

Men jag tror att alla snart / But I think soon everyone

har fått nog av mig / will have enough of me.

Vad har du gjort av dig, för dig, med dig själv / What have you done to yourself, for yourself, with yourself

Situationen är så sjuk /This situation is so sick

Vad har du gjort, för dig är det alltid helg / What have you done, always a weekend

Och helgen måste ta slut / And the weekend must end.

Det är fullt en lördag klockan 5, / They’re full on a Saturday at 5

Jag längtar alltid härifrån men aldrig hem / I long to always be here, and never go home

Skulle vilja ta det sen, vad ska det bli av mig / I’d like to take it but what will become of me?

Det finns dagar som idag, hopplösa mornar / These days the mornings are hopeless

Då jag vaknar som ett vrak / When I wake up, I’m a wreck

Åh jag märker alla har – har fått nog av mig / Oh, I see everyone has had enough of me. Vad har du gjort av dig, för dig, med dig själv / What have you done to yourself, for yourself, with yourself Situationen är så sjuk / This situation is so sick Vad har du gjort, för dig är det alltid helg / What have you done, always a weekend Och helgen måste / The weekend must …

Jag blev ett måndagsbarn Hela livet blev en helg De är måndag snart Men jag lever för ikväll Föddes en lördag, mamma kalla mig för discotjej Så på en lördag, ja då vet du var du hittar mig Föddes en lördag, alla kallar mig för discotjej Men man frågar sig… Vad har du gjort av dig, för dig, med dig själv Situationen är så sjuk Vad har du gjort, för dig är det alltid helg Och helgen måste ta slut Vad har du gjort av dig, för dig, med dig själv Situationen är så sjuk Vad har du gjort Veronica med dig själv Helgen måste ta slut… Du är ett måndagsbarn Du är ett måndagsbarn



(Rene Francois Armand) Sully Prudhomme (born March 16, 1839) – French poet, essayist, winner of the first Nobel Prize for Literature (1901)

Read about Sully Prudhomme

Read the Authors Calendar biography of Sully Prudhomme

At Water’s Edge

To sit and watch the wavelets as they flow
Two – side by side;
To see the gliding clouds that come and go
And mark them glide;

If from low roofs the smoke is wreathing pale,
To watch it wreath;
If flowers around breathe perfume on the gale,
To feel them breathe;
If the bee sips the honeyed fruit that glistens,
To sip the dew;
If the bird warbles while the forest listens,
To listen too;
Beneath the willow where the brook is singing,
To hear its song;
Nor feel, while round us that sweet dream is clinging
The hours too long;
To know one only deep over mastering passion –
The love we share;
To let the world go worrying in its fashion
Without one care –
We only, while around all weary grow,
Unwearied stand,

And midst the fickle changes others knows,
Love – hand in hand


Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953) – U.S. computer software designer, activist, essayist – The GNU Manifesto (1985)

Read the Wikipedia biography of Richard Stallman

Read about The GNU Manifesto

Watch Richard Stallman explain the Free Software Project

Watch Revolution OS, a 2001 documentary about the history of open source (free) software


March 17

Yokomitsu Riichi

Yokomitsu Riichi (横光 利一) (born March 17, 1898) – Japanese short story writer, novelist, essayist, literary theorist – Shanghai (1928)

Read a brief biography of Riichi here

Read about Riichi’s novel Shanghai

Read literary contemporary Shuichi Kato’s recollection of Yokomitsu Riichi (from Kato’s autobiography A Sheep’s Song)


March 18


Christa Wolf (born March 18, 1929) – German novelist, essayist

Read the Wikipedia biography of Christa Wolf

Read “Remembering Christa Wolf” in the New Yorker

“Throughout her life, Wolf suffered physically when she felt that society was failing. She endured a heart attack and depressions. Still, she didn’t leave East Germany. In the West, she said, there would be no reason to write.”

[Thirty years after she was accused of reporting to the Stasi in the early 1960s on fellow authors, Christa Wolf] struggles to understand how she could have possibly forgotten her early, albeit harmless, collaboration with the secret police. She remembers the meetings, yes. But working with them? That has been wiped from her recollection. “Why I talked to them at all. Why I didn’t send them away, which is what I would have done, if they had appeared just a little bit later.” The answer she comes up with is: “Because I didn’t see them as ‘them,’ yet.”

Read a review of City of Angels, Wolf’s semi-autobiographical novel


March 19

Valerio Zurlini (born March 19, 1926) – Italian filmmaker, screenwriter

Read about Valerio Zurlini’s films

Read Dennis Grune’s blog posts about Zurlini’s films, Family Diary

and The Camp Followers

Watch an excerpt from The Camp Followers


March 20

ovid Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso) (born March 20, 43 BCE) – Roman poet – Ars Amatoria / The Art of Love

Read the PoemHunter biography of Ovid

Love In The Afternoon (Excerpt)

It was very hot. The day had gone just past its noon. I’d stretched out on a couch to take a nap. One of the window-shutters was open, one was closed. The light was like you’d see deep in the woods, or like the glow of dusk when Phoebus leaves the sky, or when night pales, and day has not yet dawned, – a perfect light for girls with too much modesty, where anxious Shame can hope to hide away. When, look! here comes Corinna in a loose ungirded gown, her parted hair framing her gleaming throat, like lovely Semiramis entering her boudoir, or fabled Lais, loved by many men. I tore her gown off – not that it mattered, being so sheer, and yet she fought to keep that sheer gown on; but since she fought with no great wish for victory, she lost, betraying herself to the enemy.

Read the entire poem here…

Read about Ovid’s Ars Amatoria

Excerpt from Ars Amatoria, Book I Part XII: Write and Make Promises

Try wax to pave the way, pour it out on scraped tablets: let wax be your mind’s true confidante. Bring her your flattering words and play the lover: and, whoever you are, add a humble prayer. Achilles was moved by prayer to grant Hector’s body to Priam: a god’s anger’s deflected by the voice of prayer. Make promises: what harm can a promise do? Anyone can be rich in promises. Hope lasts, if she’s once believed in, a useful, though deceptive, goddess. If you’ve given, you can quite reasonably be forgotten: she carried it off, and now she’s nothing to lose. But if you don’t give, always appear about to: like barren fields that always cheat the farmer, like the gambler who goes on losing, lest he’s finally lost, and calls the dice back endlessly into his eager hand.

Read Ars Amatoria online


Vera Panova (born March 20, 1905) – Russian novelist, journalist

Read the Authors Calendar biography of Vera Panova

Read Lizok’s blog post about Panova’s Seryozha (Time Walked)

Read a 1959 Time magazine book review of Panova’s Time Walked

Read a New York Times review of A Summer To Remember (the film adaptation of Seryozha / Time Walked)

“…For into this lovely little drama, its writers and directors have put an extraordinary loth of understanding of the relations of parent and child, a great deal of droll appreciation of the normal bewilderment of the tot and especially a wealth of recognition of how to break—and not to break—a youngster’s heart.

Written by Georgy Danelia and Igor Talankin in collaboration with Vera Panova, a popular Soviet author upon whose novel, “Seryozha,” the script is based, and directed by those two young artists in a delightfully fresh and casual style, it sugars wisdom with humor, instruction with honest sentiment.”


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