The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – March 23, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is March 23rd, the 82nd day of the year 2024, with 284 days remaining.

“March teases with the last chill of winter and the earliest breath of spring, weaving a tapestry of days filled with tentative promises.”

Langston Hughes

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1842, Stendhal, the pseudonym of Marie-Henri Beyle, a key figure in the development of 19th-century realism, published his renowned novel The Red and the Black. This work, exploring themes of ambition, love, and social climbing in post-revolutionary France, remains a classic in French literature and a profound study of character and society.

Notable Birthdays:

Akira Kurosawa (March 23, 1910 – September 6, 1998), the Japanese filmmaker and screenwriter, was born on this day. Known for his epic narratives and profound humanism, Kurosawa’s films like Rashomon and Seven Samurai have had a profound influence on storytelling, not just in film but also in literature, through their exploration of complex themes and innovative narrative techniques.

Today’s Readings:

From The Red and the Black by Stendhal:

“A novel is a mirror walking along a main road.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On this day in 1857, Elisha Otis’s first elevator was installed at 488 Broadway in New York City. While technically an engineering feat, the elevator radically changed urban landscapes and subsequently influenced countless narratives in literature, symbolizing shifts in social dynamics and modernity.


As we navigate the changing seasons, let the enduring insights of Stendhal and the cinematic genius of Kurosawa inspire us to look deeper into our own stories and the structures that shape them. March’s lingering cold and budding warmth offer a perfect metaphor for the personal and societal transformations that literature so adeptly mirrors.

Poem of the Day:

“An Early Spring” by Ted Kooser:

Alone with the fading sounds of winter,
The crusted snow giving way underfoot,
We watch for the green shoots of possibility
Breaking the ground, as if first to discover them.

Advice for Writers:

Explore the metaphorical use of season changes in your writing to reflect the inner transformations of characters or societal shifts. Inspired by Stendhal’s introspective realism and Kurosawa’s narrative depth, consider how your settings, characters, and their developments can reflect broader themes of ambition, identity, and change.

May your day be filled with reflective insights and creative inspiration. Until tomorrow, continue to explore the depths of human experience through your words and stories.

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