Authors in Ann Arbor

Authors in Ann Arbor

Everything that was supposed to happen to me is happening to someone else. From writing a book that went big time, to being on the NYTimes list, to becoming an overnight to millionaire, to getting a movie deal, to national book award and surely, some sort of Academy Award and Pulitzer and every other prize in the future…it was supposed to happen to me. But it’s not. And it’s hard to deal with.

I read an article that said people who believe such things have clearly led a charmed life where things come easily to them. I’m not sure that this is true, but I really did harbor those dreams. Until they happened to someone else. And now I’m not sure where to go from here.

So I am going into the past! Here are some things that our old timey papers reported about authors:

  • In 1870, John Esten Cooke recommended “calm and healthful idleness” for writers. That’s a super idea and definitely sums up my summer! Thanks, John Esten!
  • Oooh, casting some shade at some author identified only as Torpin: Have you read Torpin’s latest? Reply: Well, no, but I’ve sort of gathered it in. Does the plot thicken? No, but his style does. OH NO YOU DINNIT 1892 ANN ARBOR!

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  • 1896 tells us that there are three kinds of authors: the good, the bad, and the popular.  The first make fame, the second make books, and the third make money. I would quibble in that the second also tend to make lots and lots of money and the first often don’t even get their foot in the door but hey 1896, pretty good burn.

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  • Then there was this guy in 1895 who went by the name of Father Prout. He would take a popular poem, translate it into another language, and then show it to the writer and claim the writer had stolen the poem from antiquity. People fell for it and poets fell from favor with their readers.  WTAF?!?! Who DOES this?!?!
  • This is list of authors’ ages. That’s it. Just a list of how old they are.
  • 1862 talks about celebrated authors including some dude named Steele who wrote very well about temperance–when sober. Johnson wrote an essay on politeness, but he himself is a “perfect boor.” Seneca wrote about poverty on a table made of solid gold. And Sterne, who wrote about charity and pathos, was well known to be a selfish man who beat his wife (dick) and “wasted his sympathy over a dead monkey.”

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