The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – February 28, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is February 28th, the 59th day of the year 2024, with 307 days remaining.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

Seneca

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1901, Linus Pauling, an American chemist, biochemist, and peace activist, was born. While primarily known for his scientific achievements, Pauling also contributed significantly to literature through his writings on chemistry and peace, influencing both scientific and philosophical discourse.

Notable Birthdays:

  • Michel de Montaigne (February 28, 1533 – September 13, 1592), one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre, was born on this day. His essays delve into the human condition with introspection and insightful observations, continuing to impact readers worldwide.
  • Jason Aldean (born February 28, 1977), an American country music singer and songwriter, celebrates his birthday today. His narrative-driven songs often explore themes of life, love, and heartache, resonating with broad audiences and enriching the country music genre.

Today’s Readings:

From Essays by Michel de Montaigne: “The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On February 28, 1983, the final episode of MASH* aired, becoming the most-watched episode of any television show in U.S. history. The series, based on the 1968 novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors by Richard Hooker, was praised for its blend of humor and poignant commentary on the realities of war.

Reflection:

As we mark the end of February, let us reflect on the insights of Michel de Montaigne and Linus Pauling. Their works remind us of the power of self-reflection and the pursuit of knowledge, urging us to think critically about the world and our place within it.

Poem of the Day:

“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by Michel de Montaigne, embrace the personal and introspective in your writing. The essay format offers a powerful way to explore and communicate complex ideas, personal experiences, and philosophical thoughts.

Have a thoughtful and creative day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your reflections deepen and your beginnings be bright.

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