Friday, March 16, 2018

Notes For March 16th, 2018

This Day In Literary History

On March 16th, 1850, The Scarlet Letter, the classic novel by the legendary American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published in the United States.

The author, born in Salem, Massachusetts, changed the spelling of his name from Hathorne to Hawthorne to distance himself from the shameful acts of his relatives. His great-great-great grandfather, William Hathorne, was a magistrate infamous for his lack of compassion and extremely harsh sentences.

Hathorne's son John was even worse. John Hathorne served as a judge during the notorious Salem Witch Trials, where many innocent people were falsely accused of witchcraft, convicted in kangaroo courts, then tortured and executed.

John Hathorne was the only judge who refused to repent or express any regret for his contemptible actions during the Salem Witch Trials. His infamy would besmirch the Hathorne family name for generations.

It was the shame and guilt that Nathaniel Hawtorne felt for the actions of his ancestors and his own contempt for Puritanism that moved him to write his greatest novel.

Set in a Puritan village in 17th century Boston, The Scarlet Letter told the story of Hester Prynne, a married woman whose much older husband had sent her ahead to America while he settled some business affairs.

He never came to join her in Boston and is presumed dead, lost at sea. In the meantime, the lonely Hester had an affair and became pregnant as a result.

The novel opens with Hester led from the town prison with her baby daughter Pearl in her arms and a piece of scarlet cloth in the shape of the capital letter A pinned to the breast of her dress - a penalty for her adultery.

The scarlet letter is a badge of shame that she must wear for all to see. Hester is led to the town scaffold, where she is forced to endure the verbal abuse of the town fathers. An elderly spectator asks what's going on, and a man in the crowd tells him.

The elderly spectator is actually Hester's missing husband, who is now a doctor living under the assumed name of Roger Chillingworth. He wants to take revenge on the man who seduced his wife. He reveals his true identity to Hester, but she won't reveal the identity of her lover.

Several years pass, and Pearl has become a willful and impish little girl. Hester supports herself and her daughter by working as a seamstress.

Still scorned by the community, they live in a small cottage on the outskirts of Boston. When town officials try to take Pearl away from her mother, the young, eloquent minister Arthur Dimmesdale intervenes to thwart their plans.

Dimmesdale appears to be dying, wasting away from a mysterious heart condition. Chillingworth takes him on as a patient, later moving in with him to provide round-the-clock medical care. The doctor believes that Dimmesdale's condition is psychosomatic, perhaps caused by guilt.

He begins to suspect that the minister is his wife's lover. One day, while Dimmesdale sleeps, Chillingworth discovers something that convinces him that his suspicions are correct - supposedly the capital letter A burned into the minister's chest.

Meanwhile, Hester Prynne's kindness, charity, and quiet humility finally earn her a reprieve from public scorn. When she and Pearl return home one night, they find Dimmesdale atop the town scaffold, trying to punish himself for his sins. They join him on the scaffold.

The three hold hands, and Pearl asks the minister to publicly acknowledge that she is his daughter. He refuses. A streaking meteor forms a dull letter A in the night sky. Dimmesdale believes it's the sign of adultery, but the townspeople think that it means "angel," as a prominent member of the community died that night.

When Chillingworth refuses to abandon his plan for revenge, Hester tells Dimmesdale that Chillingworth is really her missing husband. The lovers decide to flee with Pearl to Europe, where they can live as a family.

They both feel a great sense of release and relief. Hester removes her scarlet letter and lets down her hair. In one of the novel's most striking metaphors, sunlight immediately breaks through the clouds and trees to illuminate Hester's joyous release.

The day before their ship is to sail, Dimmesdale gives his most eloquent sermon ever. Hester finds out that her husband has learned of her plans and booked passage on her ship. When Dimmesdale leaves the church, he sees Hester and Pearl standing before the town scaffold.

Dimmesdale impulsively takes them to the top and publicly confesses to being Hester's lover and the father of her child, exposing the mark supposedly seared into his chest. Pearl kisses him. Relieved of his burden, Dimmesdale collapses and dies.

Frustrated over being denied his revenge, a bitter Chillingworth dies a year later, and Hester and Pearl leave Boston. Although she is not his daughter, Pearl inherits all of Chillingworth's money.

Many years later, Hester Prynne returns to her old cottage alone and resumes her charity work. She receives letters from Pearl, now married to a European aristocrat and with children of her own. The townspeople finally forgive Hester for her indiscretion, and she - and the other women in town - feel a strong sense of liberation.

The Scarlet Letter is rightfully considered one of the greatest works of 19th century literature, and is still widely read and appreciated. It would be adapted numerous times for the radio, stage, screen, and television.

The most famous feature film adaptations were the brilliant 1973 version directed by legendary German filmmaker Wim Wenders, and the dreadful 1995 Hollywood version starring Demi Moore as Hester Prynne, which took great liberties with the novel and was widely - and rightfully - panned by critics.

Nathaniel Hawthorne was one of the greatest writers of his generation. His other great works include the novel The House of the Seven Gables (1851) and the short story collections Twice-Told Tales (1837) and Tanglewood Tales (1853). He died in 1864 at the age of 59.

Quote Of The Day

"It is beautiful, admirable, extraordinary; it has in the highest degree that merit which I have spoken of as the mark of Hawthorne's best things - an indefinable purity and lightness of conception... one can often return to it; it supports familiarity and has the inexhaustible charm and mystery of great works of art." - Henry James on Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel, The Scarlet Letter.

Vanguard Video

Today's video features a complete reading of Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel, The Scarlet Letter. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Notes For March 15th, 2018

This Day In Literary History

On March 15th, 1956, My Fair Lady, the acclaimed hit musical based on the classic play Pygmalion by the legendary Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, opened on Broadway.

It premiered at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City. The production then moved to the Broadhurst Theatre, and finally, to the Broadway Theatre, where it closed in 1962 after 2,717 performances.

Set in Edwardian London, My Fair Lady told the story of Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics who meets a young flower seller named Eliza Dolittle when she tells off a young man named Freddy Eynsford-Hill for spilling her violets.

The ill-mannered Eliza speaks with an ear-torturing Cockney accent, her words filled with slang expressions and colloquialisms.

Professor Higgins makes a wager with his linguist friend Colonel Pickering, betting that Eliza could be taught to speak and act like a proper lady, after which, he will introduce her at the Embassy Ball. Pickering doesn't believe that he can make a lady out of such a vulgar girl.

Eliza moves into Higgins' house and begins taking lessons from him. Her father soon pays a visit, concerned that the Professor is compromising her virtue. Higgins buys him off with five pounds.

As Eliza's lessons progress, she grows frustrated and fantasizes about killing Higgins. But soon, the flower seller begins to bloom.

Eliza's first public presentation, at the Ascot Racecourse, proves successful, but then she suffers a relapse, returning to her Cockney vulgarity. This charms Freddy Eynsford-Hill, the young man she had met and scolded earlier. He falls in love with her.

Higgins continues with Eliza's lessons. She faces her final test at the Embassy Ball and passes with flying colors. Afterward, Colonel Pickering praises Higgins for his triumph in making a lady out of Eliza.

When she learns of their bet, she feels that Higgins used her and is now abandoning her. Their relationship ends in a huff when Higgins insults Eliza and she storms off. Soon, even Colonel Pickering becomes annoyed with Higgins, who has always been a self-absorbed misogynist.

When Eliza plans to marry Freddy Eynsford-Hill, Higgins realizes that he loves her, but can't bring himself to confess his true feelings to her. The musical ends on an ambiguous note, suggesting a possible reconciliation between Higgins and Eliza.

My Fair Lady became a huge hit, one of Broadway's most famous and popular musicals. It was written by the legendary team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe.

The original cast featured Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins, and a young, virtually unknown British actress named Julie Andrews as Eliza. The Original Cast Recording became the best selling album of 1957 and 1958.

George Bernard Shaw died in 1950; he never lived to see the Broadway musical adaptation of his play, Pygmalion. If he had, there wouldn't have been a musical for him to see.

In 1908, Shaw's classic play The Chocolate Soldier was adapted as an operetta, and he hated it so much that he vowed that none of his plays would ever be set to music again. He kept that vow for the rest of his life.

In 1964, eight years after the musical debuted on Broadway, My Fair Lady was adapted as a feature film, directed by George Cukor.

Rex Harrison reprised his role as Professor Higgins, but producer and studio boss Jack Warner decided to cast Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Dolittle instead of Julie Andrews.

This decision angered fans of the musical, but Warner was concerned that casting Andrews would be risky because she had no film experience. Then he found that Audrey Hepburn couldn't sing, so her vocals had to be dubbed by Marni Nixon.

But Julie Andrews got the last laugh - she gave an Oscar winning performance in the classic Disney movie musical Mary Poppins - beating Hepburn for the Academy Award!

Quote Of The Day

"All great truths begin as blasphemies." - George Bernard Shaw

Vanguard Video

Today's video features the original theatrical trailer for the 1964 feature film adaptation of My Fair Lady. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Notes For March 14th, 2018

This Day In Literary History

On March 14th, 1916, the famous American playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote was born. He was born Albert Horton Foote, Jr in Wharton, Texas. When he was ten years old, he determined to become an actor.

By the age of sixteen, Foote had convinced his parents to let him go to acting school. So, he moved to California, where he studied at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Two years later, he moved to New York City to continue his studies and begin his acting career in the theater. He scored several minor roles that got him noticed, but good parts were few and far between.

Foote decided that the best way to get good parts was to write his own plays, so he took up play writing. His first play, Wharton Dance, debuted in 1940. It was the first of many plays that were set in his Texas hometown.

Wharton Dance and Foote's other early plays would be produced Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and at many local theaters. He often acted in his own plays. In 1944, he debuted on Broadway with his play Only the Heart.

Although Horton Foote had originally become a playwright to help his acting career along, he found that he got far better reviews for his writing than his acting. So, he decided to become a full time playwright, and spent the rest of the 1940s writing for the theater. He wrote both mainstream and experimental plays.

By 1948, Foote found a new dramatic medium that he could write for, which would allow him to support himself and subsidize his theatrical career. It was called television, and in its golden age, live TV theater was hugely popular.

Foote wrote his first "teleplay" for the Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse in 1948. He would also write for other celebrated live drama series, including The United States Steel Hour and Playhouse 90, where Rod Serling made his name as a playwright before he created the legendary TV series, The Twilight Zone.

Besides writing original teleplays, Foote also adapted classic novels as teleplays. His skill at adapting novels as teleplays would lead him to become a screenwriter. He would also adapt his own plays for the screen and write original screenplays as well.

In 1962, Foote adapted Harper Lee's classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird as a feature film. The movie, which starred Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and featured an incredible performance by 8-year-old Mary Badham as Scout Finch, is rightfully considered one of the greatest films of all time and one of the greatest novel adaptations of all time.

Foote personally recommended a young actor named Robert Duvall for the part of Boo Radley, and Duvall's stunning performance made his name as an actor. Gregory Peck would win the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Atticus Finch.

Horton Foote also won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay Adaptation, but he didn't go to the Oscars ceremony because he was sure that he wouldn't win. It was a mistake that he wouldn't make again.

Years later, in 1984, Foote won another Oscar, for Best Original Screenplay for Tender Mercies, which featured his old friend Robert Duvall as a broken down, has-been country singer struggling to rebuild his troubled personal life. This time, Foote attended the ceremony and accepted his Oscar in person.

Actress Tess Harper, who co-starred as Rosa Lee in Tender Mercies, famously described Horton Foote as "America's Chekhov," saying that "If he didn't study the Russians, he's a reincarnation of the Russians. He's a quiet man who writes quiet people."

The year after his original screenplay for Tender Mercies won him a second Oscar, he was nominated for a third Oscar for his screenplay adaptation of his own play, The Trip to Bountiful, which he wrote in 1962.

Throughout his incredible theatrical career, Horton Foote wrote nearly 60 plays. He was most famous for The Orphans' Home Cycle, a trilogy of plays that were each comprised of three one act plays.

All these works were written between the early 1960s and mid 1990s. They were set in Foote's Texas hometown and took place between the turn of the 20th century and the early 1930s.

In 1995, Foote brought back characters from The Orphans' Home Cycle for a new play called The Young Man From Atlanta that would win him the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Horton Foote died in March of 2009, ten days short of his 92nd birthday. The following year, the last feature film he wrote was released. It was called Main Street.

Quote Of The Day

"I've redone plays of mine and made changes. A play is a living thing, and I'd never say I wouldn't rewrite years later. Tennessee Williams did that all the time and it's distressing, because I'd like the play to be out there in its finished form. And then you also have new interpretations. At the same time, you do realize how much you are at the mercy of your interpreters." - Horton Foote

Vanguard Video

Today's video features the first part of a 3+ hour interview with Horton Foote. Enjoy! Note: you can watch the whole interview on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Notes For March 13th, 2018

This Day In Literary History

On March 13th, 1891, Ghosts, the classic play by the legendary Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, opened in London. Like Ibsen's previous classic play, A Doll's House, it dealt with women suffering at the hands of self-centered, hypocritical, weak men.

However, Ghosts proved to be even more of a shocker to Victorian English audiences and critics because it also dealt with adultery, venereal disease, incest, and euthanasia.

The play opens with the widowed Helene Alving about to open an orphanage she built in dedication to her late husband, the respected Captain Alving. She also built the orphanage to prevent her son Oswald, a degenerate painter, from inheriting his father's wealth.

It turns out that the late, respected Captain Alving was far from respectable. He was a compulsive philanderer who died of syphilis. His wife Helene's clergyman, Pastor Manders, advised her not to leave her husband, believing that Helene's love would ultimately reform him. It never happened.

Still, Helene remained with her husband, but not because she still loved him. Her top priority was to protect the family's reputation from scandal. So, she projected a phony air of respectability and superiority. But now, she's paying the price for her moral smugness.

Her son, Oswald, has inherited Captain Alving's depraved character. He's having an affair with Regina Engstrand, his family's serving maid. His mother soon learns that Oswald has also inherited his father's syphilis, condemning him to the same fate: progressive, incurable insanity and death.

Helene's wall of denial finally crumbles when it's revealed that Regina Engstrand's real father wasn't Jacob Engstrand, the carpenter who raised her - it was Captain Alving. Oswald has committed incest with his own half-sister.

At the end of the play, knowing that he will suffer the same fate as his father, Oswald asks his mother to euthanize him. Helene is left to contemplate her decision, and the audience never knows what that is.

Ghosts was perhaps the most controversial play of its time, shunned by most European theaters. Even copies of the play script were banned, but that didn't stop young libertines from gathering for secret readings and impromptu performances.

How then, you might ask, did the play's London producers get around the Lord Chamberlain - England's ferociously strict theater censor - and stage an uncensored production of Ghosts?

The same way they got around the censor to put on other controversial plays like George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession. They formed a private club called the Theatre Society and bought their own private theater where they staged plays behind closed doors for members only.

Speaking of Shaw, he attended the premiere of Ghosts, which was a one-night-only performance, due to its extremely controversial nature. He described the audience as being "awe-struck" throughout the play.

Critics, who were either Theatre Society members themselves or guests of members, also attended. They reacted with absolute horror. Ghosts was described as:

An open drain; a loathsome sore unbandaged; a dirty act done publicly... gross, almost putrid indecorum... Nastiness and malodorousness laid on thickly as with a trowel... As foul and filthy a concoction as has ever been allowed to disgrace the boards of an English theatre... Maunderings of nook-shotten Norwegians... If any repetition of this outrage be attempted, the authorities will doubtless wake from their lethargy.

The author, Henrik Ibsen, was described as "a gloomy sort of ghoul, bent on groping for horrors by night," and his London audience was comprised of "lovers of prurience and dabblers in impropriety."

The critics also expressed outrage that the Lord Chamberlain would allow such plays to be staged even behind closed doors for the members of a private club. Fortunately, he didn't move to censor private theatrical clubs.

Years later, Ibsen's Ghosts would be staged again in London, and the legendary Irish writer James Joyce saw the play. He loved it. Remembering how he had been denounced by moralists over his classic epic novel, Ulysses, Joyce was inspired to write a poem called Epilogue to Ibsen's Ghosts:

... Since scuttling ship Vikings like me
Reck not to whom the blame is laid,
Y.M.C.A., V.D., T.B.,
Or Harbourmaster of Port-Said.

Blame all and none and take to task
The harlot's lure, the swain's desire.
Heal by all means but hardly ask
Did this man sin or did his sire.

The shack's ablaze. That canting scamp,
The carpenter, has dished the parson.
Now had they kept their powder damp
Like me there would have been no arson.

Nay, more, were I not all I was,
Weak, wanton, waster out and out,
There would have been no world's applause
And damn all to write home about.

Quote Of The Day

"People want only special revolutions, in externals, in politics, and so on. But that's just tinkering. What is really is called for is a revolution of the human mind." - Henrik Ibsen

Vanguard Video

Today's video features a complete performance of Henrik Ibsen's classic play, Ghosts, starring Dame Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh, which aired as an episode of the BBC TV series, Theatre Night. Enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2018

IWW Members' Publishing Successes

Lori Sambol Brody

I have a story up at Smokelong Quarterly Today, "The Sky Is Just Another Neighborhood."

Dave Gregory

In a ten hour stretch yesterday three of my stories came up online. I found all three publications from other Yahoos posted here but in case anyone is unfamiliar with the online journals/blogs, all three accepted my stories within twelve hours of submission and published them within four weeks.

I sent the piece to the Short Humour Site, went to bed, and it was online by the time I woke up!. None paid, unfortunately. The last two publish stories and poetry. All three stories were written prior to my joining IWW.

The Short Humour Site (Southampton, England): Just a short, silly piece. (300 words)

Soft Cartel ("somewhere between Florida & Cuba"): This work shows my frustration with magazines refusing to publish my stories in favour of more formulaic ones. (1400 words)

Eunoia Review: (Singapore): Using corn as a metaphor, this piece shows how far the main character has come from nature since childhood. (2100 words)

Kristen Howe

Thanks to everyone at the Nfiction list for helping me out with two hubs, one new and old to be revised.

Last week, Hub Pages had published my Pillow hub without any plagiarism errors. And just now, Hub Pages has just moved my Editing and Revision (part one) hub to Hobby Lark. You guys are the best!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Notes For March 9th, 2018

This Day In Literary History

On March 9th, 1913, the legendary English writer Virginia Woolf delivered the manuscript for her first novel, The Voyage Out, to her publisher. She was 31 years old at the time. A year earlier, she married writer and activist Leonard Woolf.

During their studies at King's College, Cambridge, and King's College, London, Virginia and Leonard formed the nucleus of a circle of writers, artists, and intellectuals who called themselves the Bloomsbury Group.

E.M. Forster and Lytton Strachey were among the other writers in the group, whose members were famous (or should that be infamous) for being free-thinking, libertine intellectuals (many were openly gay or bisexual, including Virginia Woolf) during the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras.

In The Voyage Out, (1915) in a modern version of the mythic voyage, young Rachel Vinrace embarks on a trip to South America aboard her father's ship, launching her on a course of self-discovery.

Also aboard the ship are a collection of characters whom Woolf uses to satirize Edwardian life. Some characters are modeled after her fellow Bloomsbury Group members, such as St. John Hirst (Lytton Strachey) and Helen Ambrose (artist Vanessa Bell, Woolf's sister).

The novel also features Clarissa Dalloway, who would return as the main character in Woolf's legendary 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway.

E.M. Forster described The Voyage Out this way:

[It is] a strange, tragic, inspired book whose scene is a South America not found on any map and reached by a boat which would not float on any sea, an America whose spiritual boundaries touch Xanadu and Atlantis... it is absolutely unafraid... here at last is a book which attains unity as surely as Wuthering Heights, though by a different path.

Virginia Woolf struggled to write her first novel, as she suffered from periods of depression and once attempted suicide. In March of 1941, nearly thirty years after The Voyage Out was published, she committed suicide at the age of 59.

Woolf's London home had been destroyed in the Blitz, she feared the war, and suffered from severe depression. So, she drowned herself in the River Ouse. Her body wouldn't be found for almost a month.

In her suicide note, Virginia wrote the following to her husband, Leonard Woolf:

I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I can't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do.

You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know.

You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that — everybody knows it.

If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.

Quote Of The Day

"Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works." - Virginia Woolf

Vanguard Video

Today's video features a rare recording of Virginia Woolf discussing the craft of writing! It's the only surviving recording of her voice, taken from a BBC radio broadcast in 1937 - four years before her death. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Notes For March 8th, 2018

This Day In Literary History

On March 8th, 1935, Of Time and the River, the second novel by the legendary American writer Thomas Wolfe, was published. The book was a sequel to Wolfe's highly acclaimed debut novel, Look Homeward, Angel (1929).

Of Time and the River, subtitled A Legend of Man's Hunger in His Youth, was a semi-autobiographical novel that picked up where Look Homeward, Angel left off.

The novel opens with Wolfe's protagonist, 22-year-old Eugene Gant, leaving North Carolina to do graduate studies at Harvard University.

An aspiring writer, Gant studies play writing and strikes up a close friendship with Francis Starwick, his professor's assistant. Starwick, a Midwesterner and cultured, fastidious scholar, enjoys getting drunk with Gant and talking about writing and philosophy.

Feeling little support for his literary aspirations from his professors and his family, Gant finds a kindred spirit in Starwick. After his father dies, Gant returns to North Carolina, but having tasted life outside his stifling Southern home town, he determines to become a writer.

He goes off with Francis Starwick to Europe, where he embarks on an existentialist odyssey as he and Starwick try find happiness and enlightenment as they live the lives of artists. Ultimately, Gant returns to the United States.

That's just a threadbare outline of the plot. Of Time and the River is a huge epic novel that originally clocked in at over 300,000 words.

It took Thomas Wolfe and his editor at Scribner's a few years just to edit the finished manuscript down to a publishable length, which turned out to be just over 800 pages of Wolfe's dazzling, richly descriptive, philosophical prose.

Unfortunately, the cuts included numerous important passages pertaining to the friendship of Eugene Gant and Francis Starwick, including the revelation of Starwick's homosexuality, which was only briefly mentioned in Of Time and the River.

In the cut material, which would be published later as The Starwick Episodes, Starwick's homosexuality is given an open and honest treatment, as he is depicted as a tormented gay man who longs to find acceptance and escape the closet.

Gant's reaction is also honest - he is initially shocked and repulsed. Yet, when he and Starwick engage in soul-baring conversations about sexuality, Gant begins to lose his homophobia.

The character of Starwick was based on Wolfe's college friend, playwright Kenneth Raisback, a gay man who was murdered - a crime that would never be solved.

Sadly, Thomas Wolfe died suddenly from tuberculosis of the brain in 1938. He was 38 years old.

In 2016, the acclaimed feature film Genius was released. It told the story of the close yet tumultuous relationship between Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law) and Max Perkins (Colin Firth), his editor at Scribner's.

Perkins had previously discovered legendary writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, and edited their work for publication. He was also the only editor to recognize the genius of Thomas Wolfe and sign him to a book contract.

Colin Firth and Jude Law give excellent performances as Perkins and Wolfe, as they battle over editing down Wolfe's impossibly long novels for publication, the brilliant writer's lack of discipline, fondness for whiskey, and burgeoning ego taking a toll on their relationship.

Directed by Michael Grandage, working from a great screenplay by John Logan, Genius is a film not to be missed.

Quote Of The Day

"This is Man: a writer of books, a putter-down of words, a painter of pictures, a maker of ten thousand philosophies. He grows passionate over ideas, he hurls scorn and mockery at another's work, he finds the one way, the true way, for himself, and calls all others false - yet in the billion books upon the shelves there is not one that can tell him how to draw a single fleeting breath in peace and comfort. He makes histories of the universe, he directs the destiny of the nations, but he does not know his own history, and he cannot direct his own destiny with dignity or wisdom for ten consecutive minutes." - Thomas Wolfe

Vanguard Video

Today's video features a presentation on the writings of Thomas Wolfe. Enjoy!

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