A Quotation From William Shakespeare Part I

Standard

I am beginning a new series of quotations, in which I will feature pieces from one particular author for several weeks. I begin with the best and most important, William Shakespeare.

photo of black ceramic male profile statue under grey sky during daytime

(Photo by Mike on Pexels.com)

You do look, my son, in a moved sort,
As if you were dismayed: be cheerful, sir.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with sleep.

The Tempest (4. 1. 146-158)

Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works of Shakespeare Seventh Edition. David

Bevington. Editor. Pearson. Boston. 2014.

Rest In Peace Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Standard

R. I. P. Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Readers of the world have suffered a terrible loss.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon, the Spanish author of The Shadow of the Wind, died of cancer on June 19, 2020. He was a brilliant author, and his novel and the others in his series of the Cemetery of Forgotten books touched many readers.

I consider The Shadow of the Wind not only to be one of my favorite books, but also one of the best and most important novels. If you have not yet read it, you should. It would be the best way to pay homage to this brilliant writer.

Here is a quotation from  that book: “Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens” (5-6).

He was an extraordinary writer, who communicated his love of stories and books to his readers, and he will be missed.

Carlos_Ruiz_Zafón_-_002

(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

Works Cited

Zafón, Carlos Ruiz. The Shadow of the Wind. Penguin. 2005.

Celebrate the Solstice and Litha!

Standard

summer-2391348__340

(https://pixabay.com)

June 20-June 21st is one of the most important times in the pre-Christian Celtic calendar. It is the solstice and the day with the longest daylight of the year, and it is a celebration of the coming summer.

Please understand, that there is nothing evil or Satanic in this holiday or its celebration. It is simply an expression of seasonal joy.

Happy Solstice!

Happy Litha!

year-celebrations-3088405_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

Magic In Stories!

Standard

typewriter-801921_960_720

(www.pixabay.com)

There is magic in stories. Magic is the transmutation of objects or the manipulation of the world in ways that move outside the realm of science. Whether or not magic is real in the sense of the here and now world is not the point; magic is a metaphor for fiction. Stephen King says, “books are a uniquely portable magic” (104). This magic is in the words, in their transmitting from the writer to the reader other worlds and ideas. In writing fiction, writers create a world that was not there; even so-called realistic, literary writers create an alternate world that readers inhabit when they read the book. The writers and the readers, in a mystical incantation, create another reality, one that can be so strong sometimes that readers can be moved to tears or laughter or sadness or joy or grief or sorrow or despair or hope. Readers come to care about the characters and feel empathy as if they were real. That is a kind of magic.

Neil Gaiman, in his introduction to Ray Bradbury’s  60th Anniversary Edition Fahrenheit 451, speaks to the power of the written word and stories: “Ideas—written ideas—are special. They are the way we our stories and our thoughts from one generation to the next. If we lose them, we lose our shared history. We lose much of what makes us human. And fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gift of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over” (xvi). It is through the creation of artificial worlds, no matter how speculative or fantastic, that we experience our world in more intensity and with deeper clarity. This act of magic is what we share as writers and readers. I am honored to be a mere apprentice in the magic of writing novels.

Works Cited

Gaiman, Neil. “Introduction.” Ray Bradbury. 60th Anniversary Edition Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013.

King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner, 2000.

book-863418_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

A New Poem By Robert Fillman

Standard

I am proud to announce that my friend, Robert Fillman, has published another poem–“Losing The Bed”, and it appears here: Jacar Press — Robert Fillman.  This poem is both deeply personal and powerful. Please take the time to read it.

Robert Fillman is the author of November Weather Spell, a brilliant collection of his poetry. This book can be found here: November Weather Spell

CvrNovWeather_bookstore-200x300

Robb Fillman

You can visit Robert Fillman’s website here: Robert Fillman. Please visit the extraordinary poet’s site, consider buying his book, and enjoy the poetry of one of America’s finest poets.

Please consider reblogging this post, so as many as possible can read  his work.

Quotations on Leadership

Standard

martin-luther-king-jr-393870_960_720

(www.pixabay.com)

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

                                                               Martin Luther King, Jr.

DP156671

(https://www.metmuseum.org)

“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”

                                                                       Lao Tzu

 

theodore-roosevelt-393205_960_720

(www.pixabay.com)

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

                                                                      Theodore Roosevelt

398px-Michelle_Obama_2013_official_portrait

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.”

                                                                     Michelle Obama

Trump as Dictator

Standard

I try to avoid political posts in this blog, but I cannot remain silent. Our country and our democracy are under attack from the highest level of government–the President.

Today, Donald Trump used tear gas and military force to dispel peaceful protestors in Washington, DC, so he could have a photo-op holding a Bible. Please remember that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees the right of citizens to protest peacefully.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

He then held up the Bible in front of a church to justify his actions, and that is the highest level of hypocrisy.  All Americans who love this country, who admire our democracy, and who want to preserve freedom must oppose this would be dictator. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents must oppose him.

Please make no mistake–I am not condoning violence or rioting, not at all, but Trump is using this time to project strength, but the strength he projects is that which is reminiscent of Mussolini and Hitler, not of Reagan, FDR, JFK or President Bush.

Remember that freedom and democracy are fragile and precious, and they must not be sacrificed to the altar of a projection of power. America needs and deserves better.

 

Please Honor Memorial Day

Standard

bereavement-1239415_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend, but I also hope you remember why this holiday exists.  The word “holiday” comes from “holy day,” and the remembrance of this day and its purpose should be sacred. It was originally known as Decoration Day after the end of the Civil War, and it was designated Memorial Day in the 20th Century.

This day is intended to honor, give thanks, and remember those who have sacrificed their lives for The United States of America.  Please honor the fallen and the wounded on this day.  I realize the day was meant originally for the dead, but I extend my wishes and  thanks to the wounded also. Regardless of political beliefs or stands on a war, these are the men and women who fought to keep us safe, and they deserve our remembrance.

They deserve our thanks and our honor.

Please keep in mind that this day is not merely the beginning of the summer season, nor is it intended to be the time of a special sale. This should be a sacred and somber time. There will be plenty of opportunity for shopping and vacationing afterwards. Please remember those who sacrificed.

arlington-national-cemetery-354846_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

Suggest A Book To Read! (Part 1)

Standard
person in white t shirt standing beside books inside a library

(Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com)

One of the parts of life that I miss intensely during the lockdowns due to the pandemic is the ability to browse in bookstores. Books are a main part of my life; I read constantly, teach English Literature courses at college, and I write novels. One of my great pleasures in life is spending times exploring books in a store. Where I live, the Lehigh Valley, PA, is blessed with having more bookstores than many other areas,  but like most businesses, they are not open for in-person browsing.

So, let us help the readers out there. Let us suggest one book for others to consider reading.

I will continue this book suggestion as a weekly series, and that is the reason for only one recommendation per post.

Here is my suggestion:

A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin. I consider this book to be one of the very best novels ever written.  This magnificent novel requires a commitment of time and thinking as you read it.

“Exceptional . . . a mammoth, elegaic, moving exegesis on love, beauty,  the meaning of life, and the meaninglessness of war . . . a compelling vision of humanity . . . ” (From the inside cover quotation from the Washington Post Book World.)

I consider this novel to stand with Cervantes’ Don Quixote as one of the essential books to read in a person’s life.

A Soldier Of The Great War

Quotations on Perseverance

Standard

In these difficult times when many are feeling great stress and fear, please do not be upset about inconvenience. I hope a few quotations might be useful.

theodore-roosevelt-393205_960_720

(www.pixabay.com)

“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”

                                                                       Teddy Roosevelt

 

Sir_Winston_S_Churchill

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”

                                                                   Winston Churchill

 

Franklin-roosevelt

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

                                                                  Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

 

charles-french

“Let us all remember that we have a responsibility to the greater good, and let us take a lesson in action from the behavior of the Greatest Generation. We must sacrifice and endure inconvenience so that others may live.”

                                                                      Charles F. French