November 14th, 2005 by Michael Moncur in Biography
Peter F. Drucker, known as the “father of modern management,” died Friday at the age of 95. He’s the author of a number of books including “The Effective Executive,” and also the author of some of my favorite quotations.
To learn more about Peter Drucker, see Wikipedia’s biography of Drucker, read more Peter Drucker quotations, or visit the nonprofit foundation he started, the Leader to Leader Institute. A printed compilation of his writings, The Essential Drucker, is also available.
October 26th, 2005 by Laura Moncur in Biography
Edgar Allan Poe specialized in touching on themes entirely too horrible. As a young adult, we were forced to read The Tell-Tale Heart several times. The school system seemed to overlook the fact that he had written many other stories. Sadly, senior year, the curriculum called for The Masque of the Red Death, which is entirely too allegorical for teenagers.
They should have made us read The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. It was a brilliant story about forestalling death using hypnosis. It shows the early American viewpoints on science and hypnosis, where they were intermingled as if both were equally valid. It’s also creepy as they come. If only they had assigned that story.
I would have also liked to read the The Cask of Amontillado before I became an adult. The petty rage and the sheer horror of the end of it is far more terrifying than The Pit and the Pendulum. Unidentified torturers are far less scary than a friend gone made with angry revenge.
I thought that I was a Poe Specialist until I played the game, The Dark Eye. It is a computer game that is based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe starring the voice of William S. Burroughs. It is a beautiful reinactment of some of Poe’s scariest stories. You play through each story through the eyes of the villian and the victim. It’s a wonderful game to play when you’re alone home at night during a rain storm.
October 6th, 2005 by Michael Moncur in Biography
Every few years someone comes up with another idea of who (if not Shakespeare) may have written the plays attributed to him, since our knowledge of Shakespeare himself is sketchy. The usual suspects include Christopher Marlowe and Francis Bacon.
Now, in an upcoming book, Brenda James and William Rubinstein propose that the real author of the plays was Sir Henry Neville, an English nobleman. They claim Neville was a relative of Shakespeare and hired him to direct and act as “front man” for the plays, to keep Neville himself out of the limelight.
Their evidence includes similarities with Neville’s political situations and locations, similar writing styles, a page of notes written by Neville that might have been used for Henry VIII, and, amusingly, a document found in 1867 which allegedly shows 17 attempts by Neville to forge William Shakespeare’s signature.
Then again, according to this article by Tom Veal, Brenda James began her research by “deciphering a hidden message” in the dedication to Shakespeare’s sonnets. Sounds a bit Bible Code to me.
I doubt we’ll ever know the whole truth about Shakespeare, but it’s certainly fun to speculate. [via MetaFilter]
October 4th, 2005 by Michael Moncur in Biography
Groucho Marx, born Julius Henry Marx in 1890, was an american comedian and the best known of his family comedy troupe, the Marx Brothers. He started performing comedy in vaudeville and moved to radio and television as the world changed. See Wikipedia’s biography of Groucho Marx for more.
Continuing the my favorite quotations series, here are my favorite quotes from Groucho Marx.
September 12th, 2005 by Michael Moncur in Biography
Continuing the my favorite quotations series, here are some of my favorite quotations from H. L. Mencken.
Henry Louis Mencken was born in Baltimore, Maryland on September 12, 1880, 125 years ago today. Mencken was a journalist, writer, social critic, and cynic, and one of my favorite people to quote. Wikipedia has a good biography of Mencken if you’d like to learn more.
As always, it’s hard to choose favorites from someone who wrote so much and with such an inimitable style. See our complete list of H. L. Mencken quotations for more.