The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – April 10, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is April 10th, the 100th day of the year 2024, with 266 days remaining.

“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”

Italo Calvino

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was first published. This novel is now considered a masterpiece of American literature and a critical exploration of the American Dream in the roaring twenties. The work offers a poignant critique of wealth, power, and disillusionment in post-war America.

Notable Birthdays:

  • Lew Wallace (April 10, 1827-February 15, 1905), an American lawyer, Union general in the American Civil War, governor of the New Mexico Territory, politician, diplomat, and author of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, was born on this day. Wallace’s novel has been a significant influence in American literature and cinema, depicting the adventures of a falsely accused Jewish nobleman during the time of Jesus.

Today’s Readings:

From The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On April 10, 1633, Banarasidas, the Indian poet and philosopher, passed away. He is best known for his autobiographical poem Ardhakathanaka, which provides a valuable insight into the life and times of a Jain merchant in the early modern period of Indian history.

Reflection:

Today, as we recall the profound narrative of The Great Gatsby and the historical tales of Lew Wallace, let us appreciate the diverse ways literature can document and critique both the personal and societal quests for meaning, power, and identity.

Poem of the Day:

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

Advice for Writers:

Drawing inspiration from F. Scott Fitzgerald, explore themes of ambition, loss, and the relentless passage of time in your narratives. Consider how your characters’ past actions and desires shape their present and future, echoing the complex interplay of fate and personal agency in The Great Gatsby.

Have a day of deep reflection and timeless stories, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may the classics speak to you with new voices and the histories remind you of enduring truths.

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