March 28, 2019
Garrison Keillor heads to Steele County for a solo performance to benefit the Historical Society. 7:30 p.m.
February 24, 2019
“Old Friends” Garrison Keillor, Christine DiGiallonardo, Richard Dworsky reunite at Crooners. Shows at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Fergus Falls, MN
February 23, 2019
“Old Friends” Garrison Keillor, Christine DiGiallonardo, Richard Dworsky reunite at A Center for the Arts. 7:30 p.m.
Detroit Lakes, MN
February 22, 2019
“Old Friends” Garrison Keillor, Christine DiGiallonardo, Richard Dworsky reunite at Historic Holmes Theatre. 7:30 p.m.
St. Cloud, MN
February 21, 2019
“Old Friends” Garrison Keillor, Christine DiGiallonardo, Richard Dworsky reunite at Pioneer Place on Fifth. 7:30 p.m.
I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet IV)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favorite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And vows were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,—
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.
I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet IV) by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Public domain.
It’s the birthday of Alice Hoffman, (books by this author) born in New York City (1952). Growing up, she thought that her brother was the smart one, and that as a girl she couldn’t be a veterinarian or a writer, the two things she was most interested in, but should settle for life as a hairdresser. But she read a lot, and she said: “When I wasn’t reading science fiction, I read a lot of fairy tales and anything to do with magic. I was crazy about Mary Poppins and the E. Nesbit books and Edward Eager. I really loved those stories that begin with a normal family and then all of a sudden, something magical enters their lives.” After high school, she got a job in the Doubleday factory, but she hated it so much that she quit the first day and went to night school and on to graduate school to study writing. But she thought that the magical stories she had loved as a kid didn’t fit into adult writing. Then she read One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), by Gabriel García Márquez, and it changed her life. She said, “It allowed me to see that a writer could take everyday realities and transform them into something fabulous.”
One of her professors helped her get her short stories published, and Ted Solotaroff, the editor of The American Review, read one and asked her if she had written a novel. She lied and said yes, and immediately started to write one. Solotaroff published part of it in The American Review, and it became her first novel, Property Of (1977), published when she was 25 years old. She has published 26 novels since then, including Practical Magic (1995), Here on Earth (1997), The River King (2000), The Story Sisters (2009). and most recently, The Rules of Magic (2017), a prequel to Practical Magic.
It’s the birthday of poet César Vallejo (books by this author), born in Santiago de Chuco, Peru (1892). As a young man, he worked as a miner, and then as a cashier at a sugar plantation that employed slave laborers. He was horrified by the exploitation of poor workers, and he became a socialist.
In 1920, he was at a festival in his hometown — a festival that deteriorated into lootings and arson. He was mistakenly arrested and thrown in jail, and he spent the next four months writing the poetry that would appear in his first major collection, Trilce (1922).
After he was released from prison, he moved to Paris, where he slept on subway trains and park benches for months. He was sick and depressed, and he couldn’t find a steady job. He wrote to his brother: “I have the desire to work and to live my life with dignity. I am not a bohemian: poverty is very painful, and it’s no part for me, unlike for others. … My will veers between the point at which one is reduced to the sole desire for death and the intention of conquering the world by sword and fire.”
Hawthorne sent the manuscript to his publisher, James Fields, in February of 1850. Fields went to work getting the novel typeset, and he also did what most American publishers did in those days: worked to get a version published in England at the same time. There were no American copyright laws, so it was extremely difficult for American authors to make money on their books. England, on the other hand, did have copyright laws, so if American authors could get a British version published they could make some money there. However, Fields didn’t quite get everything in place by March, so by the time The Scarlet Letter was published in America, there were stolen versions all over Britain.
Fourteen years after The Scarlet Letter was published, Hawthorne had still made less than $2,000 from it. But it was a big seller. The first edition, a run of 2,500 copies, sold out in 10 days. The Scarlet Letter tells the story of the exiled Hester Prynne, who has a child out of wedlock and is forced by the community to wear a large scarlet letter “A” — for “adultery” — on her chest.
It’s the birthday of the man whose most famous line was “Take my wife — please”: comedian Henny Youngman, born in London (1906). He said, “I was so ugly when I was born, the doctor slapped my mother.” He grew up in New York City, and he made his first appearance at an amateur night when he was 16. His father didn’t approve — he called the cops and had his son pulled off the stage, and sent him to vocational school. But Youngman persevered, and after he became a comedian he traveled an average of 500,000 miles a year to perform. He delivered one-liners while playing a 19th-century violin, telling at least 50 jokes in an eight-minute routine. He said, “If a joke is too hard to visualize, I tell the young comics, then what the hell good is it?”
He said, “When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.”
And, “The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.”
And, “My grandmother is over 80 and still doesn’t need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle.”
And, “Why do Jewish divorces cost so much? They’re worth it.”
And, “My dad was the town drunk. Most of the time that’s not so bad; but New York City?”
And, “I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places.”
And, “I was so ugly when I was born, the doctor slapped my mother.”
And, “A Jewish woman had two chickens. One got sick, so the woman made chicken soup out of the other one to help the sick one get well.”