Tag Archives: Bohumil Hrabal

This week in Literature and Arts

Seems impossible, but Steven Tyler turns 70 today! Steven was born March 26, 1948 in Manhattan (I wouldn’t have pegged him for a NYer). Happy birthday, Steven. Have a great one, man!

March 26, 1959: Raymond Chandler goes for the big sleep, dying at 70.

March 26, 1920: Scribner publishes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s debut novel This Side of Paradise (the book began life as The Romantic Egoist, but was revised after failing to sell).

Scott was fixing cars to pay his bills when the novel appeared in bookstores. In weeks he’d be the darling of American literature. He was 25 years old and had opened the door for many young writers to come.

Happy birthday to scholar and poet A.E. Housman, born in Bromsgrove. Worcestershire, England, March 26, 1859.

A Shropshire Lad is the real thing.

March 27, 1952: Singin’ In the Rain premieres at Radio City Music Hall before opening nationwide April 9.

I’m not a musicals fan, but I like this one tremendously because if the singing/dancing were removed there’s still a fun romantic comedy at work.

Happy birthday to Bohumil Hrabal, Born March 28, 1914, in Brno, Austria-Hungary. Probably not the most widely read guy on American shores, but he’s one of the greats.

His novel I Served the King of England will knock you on your ass!

Join me in wishing a happy 75th birthday Eric Idle, born March 29, 1943 in blitzkrieg England.

Monty Python; The Rutles; Spamalot; wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more.

Happy 75th, Eric. Still one of the great twits!

March 30, 1939: Detective Comics No. 27 featuring the six-page adventure, “The Case of Chemical Syndicate” introduces the “mysterious and adventurous” costumed crime-buster, The Bat-Man.”

Fuck yeah!

Happy 76th birthday to Eric Clapton, born March 30, 1942 in Surrey, England.

He’s still god.

Happy 75th birthday to Christopher Walken, born as Ronald (after Ronald Coeman) in Astoria, Queens, March 31, 1943. Except for a brief part in The Anderson Tapes most fans think his career began with The Deer Hunter but he actually did TV in the 50s as a kid, even appearing with Martin & Lewis.

Walken’s given good performances in a variety of genres—although he’s arguably the worst James Bond villain—but has made a career playing psychos, and he’s great at it, but I actually like some of the smaller, more controlled performances in Suicide Kings and The Maiden Heist. Big or small he’s always fun to watch.

Happy 75th, Chris!

Happy 89th birthday to Milan Kundera, born April 1, 1929, in Brno, Czechoslovakia. Despite having fled to France in 1975 to escape political persecution as a writer, he’ll probably never win the Nobel Prize because he abandoned politics as a theme in his latter novels.

Enjoy your birthday, sir.

Michael Rogers (mermsr@optimum.net) is a Jesse H. Neal Gold Award-winning freelance writer, editor, reviewer, and photographer. He is also former Media Editor and audiobook reviewer at Library Journal.

This week in Literature and Arts

March 26, 1959: Raymond Chandler goes for the big sleep, dying at age 70.

He didn’t invent the hardboiled PI, but nobody had done it better since.

March 26, 1920: F. Scott Fitzgerald catapults into the American literary scene with the Scribner’s publication of his first novel, This Side of Paradise (the book started life as The Romantic Egoist, but was revised after failing to sell).

He was 25 years old and working on cars for money.

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