“He says: when you go to a Cuban marketplace, your first instinct is to catalog everything you see, especially the stuff that’s typical of a third-world market place. But his advice is to find the one thing that isn’t typical. The example he uses is of a cockfight, where one of the handlers is literally putting the chicken’s head in his mouth and blowing into the chicken, which—not surprisingly—enrages the chicken. And when you get that one odd detail, the whole marketplace will spring up in the reader’s mind. All of the commonplace things—you know, the stalls, the dirt path, the dead pigs and so on—will be supplied by your mind.”—http://www.worldhum.com/features/travel-interviews/george_saunders_interview_20070831/
A young lady named Jane Hoag, a reporter at Life’s Los Angeles bureau who had attended the same school as Sinatra’s daughter, Nancy, had once been invited to a party at Mrs. Sinatra’s California home at which Frank Sinatra, who maintains very cordial relations with his former wife, acted as host. Early in the party Miss Hoag, while leaning against a table, accidentally with her elbow knocked over one of a pair of alabaster birds to the floor, smashing it to pieces. Suddenly, Miss Hoag recalled, Sinatra’s daughter cried, “Oh, that was one of my mother’s favorite…” — but before she could complete the sentence, Sinatra glared at her, cutting her off, and while forty other guests in the room all stared in silence, Sinatra walked over, quickly with his finger flicked the other alabaster bird off the table, smashing it to pieces, and then put an arm gently around Jane Hoag and said, in a way that put her completely at ease, “That’s okay, kid.”
“Writing is a deep-sea dive. You need hours just to get into it: down, down, down. If you’re called back to the surface every couple of minutes by an email, you can’t ever get back down. I have a great friend who became a Twitterer and he says he hasn’t written anything for a year.”— Dave Eggers
There is nouniversal term for it—for the elegant, un-complaining angle at which Leigh Fermor and his kind stand in relation to the world—although, ﬁttingly, the best approximation is in Greek. The word leventiá, he writes in *Roumeli*, “comprises the dash and ﬁre of youth, a cheerful temperament, courage, speed, quick reactions, good looks, skill in singing, dancing, marksmanship, capacity for wine-drinking and fun, often accompanied by meraklidilíki, its sartorial expression.”
Mark Twain said of Tom Sawyer that it ‘is simply a hymn, put into prose form to give it a wordly air.’ He might have said the same, and with even more reason, of Huckleberry Finn, which is a hymn to an older America forever gone, an America which had its great national faults, which was full of violence and even of cruelty, but which still maintained its sense of reality, for it was not yet enthralled by money, the father of ultimate illusion and lies. Against the money-god stands the river-god, whose comments are silent—sunlight, space, uncrowded time, stillness, and danger. It was quickly forgotten once its practical usefulness had passed, but, as Mr. Eliot’s poem says, ‘The river is within us….’
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.
But even if there had been less to like, I would have felt warmly towards them: I was abroad at last, far from my familiar habitat and separated by sea from the tangles of the past; and all this, combined with the wild and growing exhileration of the journey, shed a golden radiance.
The will contained detailed instructions to his family and friends; both in regards to immediate burial arrangements as well as to how Sholem Aleichem wished to be commemorated and remembered on his annual yartzheit. He told his friends and family to gather, “read my will, and also select one of my stories, one of the very merry ones, and recite it in whatever language is most intelligible to you.” “Let my name be recalled with laughter,” he added, “or not at all”. The gatherings continue to the present-day, and in recent years have become open to the public.