Publishing History

Days The Writing Stopped

Four hundred years ago this week, it was a sad time in the history of literature. April 22-23, 1616 the two most important writers in Spanish and English history died.

First, Miguel de Cervantes, best known for Don Quixote passed away. He had a substantial and lasting imprint on the Spanish language. He wrote novels, plays and poetry, making Spanish one of the “romance” languages of the world.

The next day, William Shakespeare died. The English playwright, poet and actor regarded as the most important figure in English literature and the greatest playwright who ever lived. His works are still studied in every country on the planet.

Why is this important?

If you believe writing and books to be some sort of “avocation” only to make a little money or express your personal creativity, you are dangling your feet in the kiddie-pool, believing you are actually swimming.

You don’t need to swim in the deep end to find meaning and purpose, but knowing that the writing of books is more than your words on your paper will develop a healthy appreciation and perspective.

In the less-deep end of the pool, books can make people laugh, give great help, communicate important information or great recipes for wonderful meals.

In the deep end, books absorb the greatest thinking and insight the world has ever known, even the thoughts of the creator God of the universe were captured in mere words, although within the limits of finite human understanding.

Today let’s briefly swim in the deep end by reading the words of two of the greatest of all time, Miguel and William, who changed the world with their writing:

From reading too much, and sleeping too little, his brain dried up on him and he lost his judgment.
Miguel de Cervantes

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
William Shakespeare

It is one thing to praise discipline, and another to submit to it.
Miguel de Cervantes

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
William Shakespeare

Truth will rise above falsehood as oil above water.
Miguel de Cervantes

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.
William Shakespeare

Modesty, tis a virtue not often found among poets, for almost every one of them thinks himself the greatest in the world.
Miguel de Cervantes

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.
William Shakespeare

Those who’ll play with cats must expect to be scratched.
Miguel de Cervantes

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all.
Miguel de Cervantes

The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.
William Shakespeare

God bears with the wicked, but not forever.
Miguel de Cervantes

Boldness be my friend.
William Shakespeare

Thou hast seen nothing yet.
Miguel de Cervantes

Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.
William Shakespeare

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

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