Miscellany and Trivia

Anecdote Johann Wolfgang Goethe – German writer, artist, and politician (1749 –1832)

Goethe once wrote a very long letter to one of his friends. In the end he added a postscript explaining: 'I am very sorry for sending you such a long letter but I did not find enough time to write a shorter one.'

Anecdote Ernest Hemingway – American author and journalist (1899 – 1961)

Hemingway had a son who at the age of twenty had already tried to work in many different professions. He considered himself a person with a huge life experience and decided to publish his diaries so he asked his father, already a famous writer awarded the Nobel Prize, to write a preface to his memoirs.

'After that, we'll talk about the copyright', the son added.

'My son', the writer said, 'you should know that I, as your father, own all the rights regarding your person'.

Anecdote James Joyce – Irish novelist and poet (1882 – 1941)

One day a friend visited the writer and found him totally depressed. Joyce explained that he couldn't finish some book he was writing.

'So how much have you written yet?', the friend asked.

'Seven words', Joyce replied.

'It's not that bad', the friend tried to console him.

'Maybe, but I still don't know in what order I should put them', said the writer.

Anecdote Alexandre Dumas – French writer (1802 – 1870)

One day the writer's son found him reading some book that seemed to absorb him completely. Curious, he asked him what book was it.

'It's a really fascinating novel!', the writer said. 'I can't wait to find out what finally happens to the characters.'

'And who's the author?', asked his son.

'Me! I wrote it myself!", said the writer.

Anecdote Theodore Roosevelt – The twenty-sixth President of the United States (1858 – 1919)

While delivering a campaign speech one day Theodore Roosevelt was interrupted by a heckler: “I’m a Democrat!” the man shouted.
“May I ask the gentleman,” Roosevelt replied, quieting the crowd, “why he is a Democrat?”
“My grandfather was a Democrat,” the man replied, “my father was a Democrat and I am a Democrat.”
“My friend,” Roosevelt interjected, moving in for the kill, “suppose your grandfather had been a jackass and your father was a jackass. What would you then be?”
Alas, Roosevelt was thwarted by the quick-witted heckler, who promptly replied: “A Republican!”

Anecdote Lyndon Johnson – The thirty-sixth President of the United States (1908 – 1973)

Lyndon Johnson was fond of differentiating between two kinds of speeches: "The Mother Hubbard speech, which, like the garment, covers everything but touches nothing; and the French bathing suit speech, which covers only the essential points."

Anecdote Richard Nixon – The thirty-seventh President of the United Sates (1913 – 1994)

Shortly after the Watergate story broke, Richard Nixon was asked by British television interviewer David Frost to explain his approval of such illegal activities as burglary and the unauthorized opening of mail. "Well," Nixon boldly replied, "when the president does it, that means it is not illegal."

Anecdote Ronald Reagan – The fortieth President of the United Sates (1911 – 2004)

The latter portion of Jimmy Carter’s presidency was plagued by recession. The American economy did not pick up again until Ronald Reagan had assumed the helm (in the early 1980s).
“Depression is when you are out of work,” Reagan declared after taking office. “Recession is when your neighbor is out of work…”
And a recovery? “A recovery is when Jimmy Carter is out of work!

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