Living Authors: A Book of Biographies

Living Authors: A Book of Biographies

Living Authors: A Book of Biographies

Living Authors: A Book of Biographies

Excerpt

Running thru this alphabet of authors, one snatches random scraps of knowledge from their lives. Sherwood Anderson, manager of a paint factory, halted his dictation in the middle of a letter, uttered one cryptic sentence, and went away; Henri Barbusse's mother was English; Algernon Blackwood is a convert to Buddhism; E. F. Benson's father was Archbishop of Canterbury; Karel Capek has been influenced most by American philosophy; Willa Cather cried in the French wheat fields because she was homesick for the prairies; Paul Claudel calls himself a moron in his prayers; A. E. Coppard did not begin to write till he was forty; Walter De La Mare was a bookkeeper for eighteen years; Theodore Dreiser was the conservative editor of a woman's magazine; Lord Dunsany is six feet, four inches, in height; T. S. Eliot became a British subject in 1927; Ford Madox Ford was gassed in the war; E. M. Forster lives with his mother; David Garnett discovered a new species of mushroom; André Gide wears a skull cap and a shawl in the Mallarmé tradition; Gorky's name is a pseudonym, meaning "the bitter one"; Ernest Hemingway served in the Italian army during the World War and was twice decorated by the Italian government; A. E. Housman spent 30 years editing the Latin poet Manilius; Aldous Huxley, who might have been a doctor but for an attack of blindness, writes his novels in Italy; Robinson Jeffers built with his own hands the tower in which he writes; James Joyce cultivated his voice for the concert stage; Margaret Kennedy began her literary career with a textbook on European history; Rudyard Kipling married an American girl; Sinclair Lewis was the janitor of Helicon Hall, Upton Sinclair's Utopian colony in New Jersey; John Livingstone Lowes has read everything that Coleridge read; William McFee was born at sea; Maeterlinck thinks that most Americans are hypocrites; Thomas Mann has six children; H. L. Mencken was destined for the tobacco business; Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote Renascence at nineteen; George Moore still has trouble with grammar and spelling; Sean O'Casey did not learn how to read till he was twelve years old; Eugene O'Neill has sketched the plots of thirty plays to come; Julia Peterkin is mistress of a plantation; Pirandello taught in a girls' school for thirty years; Llewelyn Powys has fought tuberculosis since he was twenty-five; Erich Remarque All Quiet on the Western Front was rejected by several publishers; Edwin Arlington Robinson's favorite reading is detective stories; Bertrand Russell inherited an earldom in 1931; Siegfried Sassoon won a Military Cross for heroism in the World War, but threw it into the sea; Edith Sitwell is an accomplished pianist and her favorite sport is "reviewer-baiting"; Frank Swinnerton eats a plum pudding every time he finishes writing a novel; Arthur Symons was insane for a year and a half and wrote a book . . .

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