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Better to Reign in Hell...

With apologies on my "daily" thing. Been busy. To make up for it, I'll begin my catch-up with some authors born today:


"Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; perhaps . . . perhaps . . . love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath."

Anne of Avonlea, by L.M. Montgomery


"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought."

Gulliver's Travels, by Johnathan Swift


"Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane - like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell - mouths mercy and invented hell - mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!"

The Mysterious Stranger, by Mark Twain

(incidentally, The Mysterious Stranger is my favourite piece by Mark Twain).


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2010 11:01 am (UTC)
... than serve in heaven.

The Mysterious Stranger is a book I need to read. I only knew Twain as the author of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, because that's what I read as a child. It was quite a revelation that he wrote more and a different kind of books.
Nov. 30th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
It was his final novel, and was never truly finished (though the third version was published). I feel like I have a copy around here somewhere (printed off the web).
I first heard of it from a cartoon in the 80s called The Adventures of Mark Twain. Here's the clip:
Nov. 30th, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
Oh wait, I think this may be the whole story!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )