"Where do my stories come from?" Singer was once asked. "They come from God. Farmers get crops. Writers get stories." You can't help but love Singer's stories. They are so easy to read. Simple but deep. Here is one of the many things I learned from him: "I never give to anyone else the time I have set aside for my writing." Thank you, Isaac Bashevis Singer, for Gimpel the Fool, Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy, The Family Moskat, 12 books of short stories, 13 children's books, and four memoirs. And for writing in Yiddish. To celebrate the day, here's a clip from the American Masters Oscar-nominated documentary, Isaac in America, followed by the trailer from Barbara Streisand's movie version of Yentl.
We've all heard the adage, "Mediocre writers borrow. Great writers steal." So anyone familiar with Shakespeare's Twelfth Night sees the theft of that material in Yentl. But what a miracle Singer makes of that stolen rib in this story of a girl who thirsts for knowledge so much, she's willing to pretend she's a boy in order to get it.
TAGS: Writers & Writing, Famous Birthdays
I like big books, and I cannot lie. My background includes talk radio, newspapers and TV news. I've hosted a morning-drive classical music program on the California coast and published nationally in Reader's Digest, the Christian Science Monitor, and Playboy. I've won awards for my journalism and my fiction. One of my essays even made it into an anthology for college English courses. For real? Yes, for real.
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