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Authors, Writers, & Poets ~

Madame de Stael
William E. Stafford
Luther Standing Bear
Wallace Stegner

Gertrude Stein
John Steinbeck
Gloria Steinem
Stendhal

Laurence Sterne
Wallace Stevens
Robert Louis Stevenson



Anne-Louise de Stael, French Salon Hostess Writer and Patron of the Arts, Giclee Print
Anne Louise de Stael, Giclee Print

Anne-Louise Germaine de Stael
née Necker
b. 4-22-1766; Paris, France
d. 7-14-1817; England

Anne-Louise Germaine de Stael, better known as Madame de Stael, was a French-speaking Swiss author living in Paris and abroad who influenced literary tastes in Europe at the turn of the 19th century.

Madame de Stael was noted for her salon which followed the famous salon of her mother, Suzanne Curchod; de Stael was also friends with Madame Recamier, the namesake of the récamier, the type of sofa on which she liked to recline in her salon, Mary Wollstoncraft and Sarah Siddons

Madame de Stael: Selected Correspondence


William Stafford
William E. Stafford

William E. Stafford
b. 1-17-1914; Hutchinson, Kansas
d. 8-28-1993; Lake Oswego, Oregon

Poet and pacifist William Stafford was appointed the twentieth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1970.


Luther Standing Bear, Historic Print
Luther Standing Bear,
Historic Print

Luther Standing Bear
b. 12-1868; Pine Ridge Reservation, SD
d. 2-20-1939; Huntington Park, CA (flu while on the set of the film Union Pacific)

Luther Standing Bear, best remembered as a writer and activist whose books educated the public about Native American and Lakota culture and government policies toward his people, was also an actor who started his entertainment career in a wild west show.

Luther Standing Bear at Amazon


Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West
Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West by Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner
b. 2-18-1909; Lake Mills, Iowa
d. 4-13-1993; Santa Fe, NM

Historian, novelist, short story writer, and environmentalist Wallace Stegner is often called “The Dean of Western Writers”. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1972.


Gertrude Stein, Photographic Print
Gertrude Stein,
Photographic Print

Gertrude Stein
b. 2-3-1874; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
d. 7-27-1946; France

Gertrude Stein was an American expatriate (a person residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence) writer who is considered to have been a primary mover in the development of modern art and literature in the early 20th century. Her Paris salon was a who's who of artists and writers: Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, André Derain, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Alfred North Whitehead, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Thornton Wilder, Sherwood Anderson, and Guillaume Apollinaire.

Gertrude Stein quotes ~
• “A writer should write with his eyes and a painter paint with his ears.”
• “Argument is to me the air I breathe. Given any proposition, I cannot help believing the other side and defending it.”
• “Considering how dangerous everything is, nothing is really very frightening.”
• “Do you know because I tell you so, or do you know, do you know?”
• “Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.”
• “I've been rich and I've been poor. It's better to be rich.”
• “A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”

Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein


John Steinbeck Photographic Print
John Steinbeck
Photographic Print

John Steinbeck
b. 2-27-1902; Salinas, California
d. 12-20-1968; CT

John Steinbeck, who examined the lives of the working class and the migrant worker during the Great Depression through his novels, was the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception”. Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men (1937) and his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1940).

Grapes of Wrath, cited for “vulgar language,” was burned by the St. Louis public library. Steinbeck's classic Of Mice and Men has been described as a “filthy book” by Tennessee officials, and banned from a public school in Ohio in 1980.

FYI - Steinbeck fictionalized marine biologist and ecologist Ed Ricketts in Cannery Row.

Steinbeck also wrote “Travels with Charley: In Search of America”, a travelogue recounting tales of a 1960 road trip with his French standard poodle, Charley, in a camper he called Rocinante after Don Quixote's horse.

John Steinbeck quotes ~
• “The writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit — for gallantry in defeat — for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally-flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.” Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, 1962
• “A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ.”
• “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”
• “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” Interview with Robert van Gelder (April 1947), as quoted in John Steinbeck : A Biography (1994) by Jay Parini
• “It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” Sweet Thursday, 1954
• “If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones.”
• “Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power.” The Short Reign of Pippin IV (1957), p. 102
• “I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”
• “What good men most biologists are, the tenors of the scientific world — temperamental, moody, lecherous, loud-laughing, and healthy. Your true biologist will sing you a song as loud and off-key as will a blacksmith, for he knows that morals are too often diagnostic of prostatitis and stomach ulcers. Sometimes he may proliferate a little too much in all directions, but he is as easy to kill as any other organism, and meanwhile he is very good company, and at least he does not confuse a low hormone productivity with moral ethics.” The Log from the Sea of Cortez, 1951

History Through Literature- Grapes of Wrath poster
John Steinbeck at Amazon.com


Writer Gloria Steinem Sitting on Floor with Sign "We Shall Overcome" Regarding Pop Culture, Photographic Print
Writer Gloria Steinem Sitting on Floor with Sign "We Shall Overcome" Regarding Pop Culture,
Photographic Print

Gloria Steinem
b. 3-25-1934; Toledo, OH

“No worthwhile battle can be won only once. Now we have a past to celebrate... and a big future to plan. It’s the end of the Beginning. The stage is set.”

Moving Beyond Words: Age, Rage, Sex, Power, Money, Muscles: Breaking the Boundries of Gender


Portrait of Marie Henri Beyle, Known as Stendhal, Giclee Print
Portrait of Marie Henri Beyle, Known as Stendhal,
Giclee Print

Stendhal
née Marie-Henri Beyle
b. 1-23-1783; Grenoble, France
d. 3-23-1842; Paris

An early practitioners of realism in the 19th century Romantic Period, Marie-Henri Beyle, pen name Stendhal, is remembered for his acute analysis of his characters' psychology. Notable are two novels Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black, 1830) and La Chartreuse de Parme (The Charterhouse of Parma, 1839), and his biography of the composer Gioacchino Rossini.

Stendhal quotes ~
• “A wise woman never yields by appointment. It should always be an unforeseen happiness.”
• “God's only excuse is that he does not exist.”
• “If you think of paying court to the men in power, your eternal ruin is assured.”
• “Life is too short, and the time we waste in yawning never can be regained.”
• “Logic is neither an art nor a science but a dodge.”


Laurence Sterne the Novelist and Clergyman, Giclee Print
Laurence Sterne
Giclee Print

Laurence Sterne
b. 11-24-1713; Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland
d. 3-18-1768; London (consumption)

Laurence Sterne, an Irish-born novelist and an Anglican clergyman, is best remembered for his novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy.

Laurence Sterne quotes ~
• “Alas! if the principles of contentment are not within us, the height of station and worldly grandeur will as soon add a cubit to a man's stature as to his happiness.”
• “Courtship consists in a number of quiet attentions, not so pointed as to alarm, nor so vague as not to be understood.”
• “I take a simple view of life. It is keep your eyes open and get on with it.”
• “I am persuaded that every time a man smiles - but much more so when he laughs - it adds something to this fragment of life.”
• “I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me.” - opening line of Tristram Shandy
• “In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.”
• “Lessons of wisdom have the most power over us when they capture the heart through the groundwork of a story, which engages the passions.”
• “Men tire themselves in pursuit of rest.”
• “Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world, - though the cant of hypocrites may be the worst, - the cant of criticism is the most tormenting!”
• “Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.”
• “Sciences may be learned by rote, but wisdom not.”
• “There have been no sects in the Christian world, however absurd, which have not endeavoured to support their opinions by arguments drawn from Scripture.”
• “When a man is discontented with himself, it has one advantage - that it puts him into an excellent frame of mind for making a bargain.”
• “Writing, when properly managed, (as you may be sure I think mine is) is but a different name for conversation.”


Poet and Vice President of Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co, Wallace Stevens Standing on Steps, Photographic Print
Poet and Vice President of Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co, Wallace Stevens Standing on Steps, Photographic Print

Wallace Stevens
b. 10-12-1879; Reading, Pennsylvania
d. 8-2-1955

Wallace Stevens was a Modernist poet who spent most of his working life as a lawyer with a Hartford, Connecticut insurance company. He was awarded the 1955 Pulitzer in Poetry.

FYI - Stevens, who was friends with George Santayana since college days, disagreed (mild description of the fracas) with both Robert Frost and Ernest Hemingway; his wife Elsie was the model for Winged Liberty profile on the Mercury dime.

Wallace Stevens quotes ~
• “A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman.”
• “After the final no there comes a yes and on that yes the future of the world hangs.”
• “How full of trifles everything is! It is only one's thoughts that fill a room with something more than furniture.”
• “In the world of words, the imagination is one of the forces of nature.”

The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens


Robert Louis Stevenson Art Print
Robert Louis Stevenson,
Art Print

Robert Louis Stevenson
b. 11-13-1850; Edinburgh, Scotland
d. 12-3-1894; Samoa (cerebral hemorrhage)

Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish poet, novelist and travel writer whose classic stories include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Robinson suffered from poor health his entire life and lived in many places, such as Davos and the South Seas, searching for a healthful climate.

Robert Louis Stevenson quotes ~
• “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.”
• “I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.”
• “Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
• “Every path and every plot, Every bush of roses, Every blue forget-me-not Where the dew reposes. / “Up!’ they cry, ‘the day is come On the smiling valleys, We have beat the morning drum; Playmate, join your allies!’”
• “Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences.”
• “I am in the habit of looking not so much to the nature of a gift as to the spirit in which it is offered.”
• “It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”
• “So long as we are loved by others I should say that we are almost indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend.”
• “...it seems a pity I cannot have that other one thing — health. But though you will be angry to hear it, I believe, for myself at least, what is is best. I believed it all through my worst days, and I am not ashamed to profess it now.”

The Complete Short Stories of Robert Louis Stevenson: With a Selection of the Best Short Novels


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