Tag Archives: Writing

1753: Dedication

Tobias Smollett dedicated his third novel to himself: TO DOCTOR ——— You and I, my good friend, have often deliberated on the difficulty of writing such a dedication as might gratify the self-complacency of a patron, without exposing the author … Continue reading

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1939: That Mighty Obstruction

Ernest Vincent Wright’s 1939 novel, Gadsby, was written without words that contain the letter “e.” Here is the opening: If youth, throughout all history, had had a champion to stand up for it; to show a doubting world that a … Continue reading

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1927: Work in Progress

On May 20, 1927, James Joyce wrote to Harriet Shaw Weaver about what should happen if he were unable to complete Finnegans Wake. Another writer, Joyce said, should take it up and finish it; he had the person in mind: … Continue reading

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1939: Typewriter

This giant Underwood typewriter was on display in the Business Systems and Insurance Building at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. It weighed 14 tons and worked—letters could be typed on stationery measuring 9 by 12 feet.

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1936: Then It Will Be Over

Here we are, alone again. It’s all so slow, so heavy, so sad … I’ll be old soon. Then at last it will be over. So many people have come into my room. They’ve talked. They haven’t said much. They’ve … Continue reading

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1953: Description

As for his feet, sometimes he wore on each a sock, or on the one a sock and on the other a stocking, or a boot, or a shoe, or a slipper, or a sock and a boot, or a … Continue reading

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1821: In Life the Firmest Friend

From a letter written by Percy Bysshe Shelley to Thomas Love Peacock, August 1821: Lord Byron gets up at two. I get up, quite contrary to my usual custom…at twelve. After breakfast, we sit talking till six. From six till … Continue reading

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