February 18

Amber page:

Sholem Aleichem (Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich), the man who fiddled on the rooves of Anatevka, born today in 1859

André Breton, founder of Surrealism and seriously engaged anti-Fascist, born today in 1896

And Nikos Kazantzakis, born today in 1883, and I know you've never heard of him. Or maybe you'll recognise the title of that not terribly good novel "Zorba the Greek", which of course you haven't read, probably haven't even seen the film, but I'll bet that you do know the music that Mikos Theodorakis wrote for it (before the military junta threw him into jail as a subversive). And yet, among the European writers of the 20th century, were there any who were greater than he? "Report To Greco"; his accounts of his travels in China and Japan, his "Last Temptation of Christ" which Martin Scorsese tried so valiantly to turn into a movie...

And after the people, the events:

The publication of the first part of John Bunyan's "The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which is to Come", precise day and month disputed, but probably today, and definitely 1678 ; the second part came out in 1684

And no disputing this one: Mark Twain's great American novel "Huckleberry Finn", published in America, today in 1885; except that, how very strange, it had already been published, in Britain, two months previously, on December 10th 1884

And I would include the discovery of Pluto, today in 1930, only it was rejected as a planet from the MC2-Factor, or was it Big Planetary Brother, because it only had star-quality, and not that extra something that gets you the name of a planetary god, and the status too (have you ever wondered where popular music would be today if this had been the only route to stardom in the 1960s: imagine Bob Dylan turning up on a TV talent show and doing Blowin' In The Wind or It's Alright Ma I'm Only Bleeding. They'd have laughed him out of the studio.)

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