Why Biographies?

“In ‘Contemporary Biography’ (1934), Mark Longaker wrote: ‘The present-day reader most often goes to biography because he is most interested in himself,’ One gathers that Longaker meant that one reads biography in search of models of behavior, to discover the secrets behind the facades of public figures, and to compare one’s own life to those of the great and famous. An equally compelling reason for reading biography is that it can reinforce the belief in the power of men and women not only to shape their own destiny but to rise above what seem irresistible trends in politics, economics and social psychology to lead lives of dignity, elegance, achievement and sometimes even grandeur. Well-written biographies remind us that in the end men and women, not impersonal forces, are the true measure and motor force of history.”

Joseph Epstein exploring “On Life-Writing” edited by Zachary Leader

“The Art of Biography,” The Wall Street Journal, Books, Saturday/Sunday, January 2–3, 2016

 

“When in the night I lay awake…”

 Starlight, real snowflake macro photo on dark woolen fabric - Alexey Kljatov
When in the night I lay awake
The moon became a silver lake
Across it swam a single swan
That turned into a white snowflake

It grew until the lake was gone
Beneath the crystals, clear as drawn
Then burst into a million stars
That fell until the break of dawn

Like rays of light through prison bars
Like gems adorning crowns of tsars
They fell as I succumbed to sleep
Like healing drops upon fresh scars



Live for the Love of it,
Sasha A. Palmer (aka Happy)


image credit: Starlight, snowflake photo by Alexey Kljatov