Golding, the novelist and the knight.

William Golding was born in Cornwall on September 19th, 1911.  His father used to teach science, his mother fought for women’s rights. As a child he attended the same school where his father taught; later in 1930 at age 19 he moved to Oxford for Natural Sciences but after two years changed to English Literature. He published his book of poems in 1934 after he took his BA degree. Five years later he took the role of schoolmaster, teaching philosophy and English. In 1940 during World War II he joined the Royal Navy and later also experienced the horrors of D-Day. After war in 1945 he took back his role as a schoolmaster, this time teaching English only and this went on for 16 years until 1961. Golding’s Lord of the Flies was rejected many times, even by Faber & Faber’s reader but this novel was later praised by the company’s new editor who asked him to make a few changes and finally in 1954 this famous novel was published. Golding won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1979, Booker Price in 1980 and in 1983 the Nobel Prize for Literature. He wrote a play (The Brass Butterfly), 14 novels, poems, other non-fiction and more unpublished work. In 1988 he was knighted by the Queen; five years later he died of heart failure.This man left a huge legacy behind when it comes to literature and his books are still being given to study from to this day… I am still to read a whole book of his but I’ve read excerpts and so far it’s hair raising material, but the kind that keeps you going back… Speaking of hair raising material , in art , this is the painting from Magritte  – Reproduction Prohibited (1937),  which always gives me that feeling yet like Golding’s writings, not only attracts me but I became to love it.  It is a ‘portrait’ commissioned by poet Edward James, who hated to be seen, and next to him is a copy of a book by Poe. (Magritte was a fan of his).

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Twain; the humorist steamboatman and the controversial author.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on November 30th,1835. He was one of the 3 children out of 7 who survived sickness during childhood. When he was 4 years old his family moved to Hannibal, a port town on the Mississippi River, the inspiration behind St. Petersburg in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. At 12 years old, a year after his father died, Samuel left school and started working as a printer’s apprentice. Three years later he took the role of a typesetter and wrote articles & sketches for the Hannibal Journal. At 18 he left this role and worked as a printer in various cities. At 21 he managed to fulfill his dream of becoming a steamboatman, for him the best role he ever had, but this didn’t last long as the service was cut short by the outbreak of Civil War. From this role he also got his pen name “mark twain” (had others before) which is the leadsman cry for a measured river depth of 12 feet i.e. safe water for a steamboat. Twain loved science and became close to inventor Nikola Testa. He even patented 3 inventions including a history trivia game & a self-pasting scrapbook of which he sold over 25,000. In 1870 he married Olivia Langdon and together they had 4 children. He published his most famous Tom Sawyer in 1876 and its sequel Huckleberry Finn in 1884 (UK), 1885 (US). Hemingway considered the latter to be a masterpiece. Still, because of the open language, both were banned for some time from the Brooklyn Public Library. Another novel that stood out was his bitter The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894)… Twain experienced sadness through poverty, elation through short-lived luxury, depression due to the death of 3 of his children and wife, and fame through what he wrote until he died on April 21, 1910 at age 74. Considered by many, including Faulkner, as the father of American Literature, he will surely remain one of those who will never be forgotten.

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