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Choose an author as you choose a friend. Wentworth Dillon c.1633–1685, Irish poet and critic, Essay on Translated Verse 1684
Be sure that you go to the author to get at his meaning, not to find yours. John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies, 1865
I was sorry to have my name mentioned as one of the great authors because they have a sad habit of dying off. Chaucer is dead. Spencer is dead, so is Milton, so is Shakespeare, and I’m not feeling so well myself. Mark Twain
Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. John Milton, Areopagitica, 1644
A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called ‘leaves’) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time – proof that humans can work magic. Carl Sagan
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. G K Chesterton, Heretics
For thousands of years mankind has dreamt of a giant library that contained every book in the world. Every human being would be able to visit this library. In the twenty-first century technology could make that dream a reality. Storyville: Google and the World Brain, BBC 2013
Man’s attempt to build a library that contained all knowledge began in the third century B.C. in Ancient Egypt. (ibid.
In the late nineties, pioneers began to combine the scanner, the book and the Internet to create giant digital libraries. ibid.
Google scanned around ten million books. Six million of these were books in copyright – scanned without asking the authors’ permission. ibid.
Alongside Google and the Internet Archive, several large internet corporations have been implementing their own book scanning projects. Among them: Amazon, Microsoft and in China, Baidu. ibid.
Authors’ Guild files lawsuit against Google, alleging copyright infringement. ibid.
Google face lawsuit from American publishers. ibid.
Google have agreed to pay $125 million in a settlement. ibid.
The Settlement gave Google an exclusive right to sell scans of all out-of-print but in-copyright works. These books are sometimes known as Orphans. ibid.
In September 2009 the US Congress held a hearing into competition and monopoly in the digital books market. ibid.
In August 2009 an American court began Fairness Hearings to consider whether it should approve the Google Book Settlement. No cameras were present. ibid.
Judge Chin rejected the Google Books Settlement. The Authors Guild and Google remain in dispute. ibid.
The Authors Guild is suing Google for up to $2 billion in damages for scanning books in copyright. ibid.
Google continues to scan out-of-copyright books in agreement with major libraries. They are also showing snippets of copyrighted books in agreement with many publishers. ibid.
Now government and libraries in Europe and America are working together to build their own public and free digital libraries. ibid.
A work of art has an author and yet, when it is perfect, it has something which is essentially anonymous about it. Simone Weil
Jahweh = J writer; Elohim = E writer; & P & D [Deuteronomist] ... The authorship theory has come to be known as Documentary Hypothesis. Mysteries of the Bible s3e7: Who Wrote the Bible? A&E 1996
Many similar discrepancies throughout its pages suggest that the Bible had more than one writer. In fact within the first five books of the Bible scholars have identified the hand of at least four different groups of scribes writing over several hundred years. This theory is called the Documentary Hypothesis. But when did the process of writing the Bible begin? Bible’s Buried Secrets 1/2
The two different writers became known as E for Elohim & J for Jahweh. Bible’s Buried Secrets 2/2
Inspires another group of scribes in the 7th century B.C. – who scholars call the D writers. ibid.
P creates what we know today as the first five books of the Bible. ibid.
The view that Moses had personally written down the first five books of the Bible was virtually unchallenged until the seventeenth century. Michael Coogan, Stonehill College
Four different sources? Then Moses can’t have written it [Pentateuch] at all. Dr Robert Beckford, Who Wrote the Bible? Channel 4 2004
The first writer – Mark – was relying on hearsay. ibid.
Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author's words reverberating in your head. Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies
An author is a fool who not content with boring those he lives with insists on boring future generations. Charles de Montesquieu 1689–1755
The best author will be the one who is ashamed to become a writer. Friedrich Nietzsche
Though by whim, envy, or resentment led,
They damn those authors whom they never read. Charles Churchill, 1731–64, The Candidate
An author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children. Benjamin Disraeli
Is it not singular how some men continue to obtain the reputation of popular authorship without adding a word to the literature of their country worthy of not? ... To puff and to get one’s self puffed have become different branches of a new profession. Anthony Trollope, The Way We Live Now, 1875
Take away from English authors their copyrights, and you would very soon take away from England her authors. Anthony Trollope, Autobiography, 1883
The praise of ancient authors proceeds not from the reverence of the dead, but from the competition, and mutual envy of the living. Thomas Hobbes, 1588–1679, Leviathan
When we see a natural style, we are quite surprised and delighted, for we expected to see an author and we find a man. Blaise Pascal, Pensees, 1670
I shall be but a shrimp of an author. Thomas Gray, letter to Horace Walpole 25th February 1768
Any fool may write a most valuable book by chance, if he will only tell us what he heard and saw with veracity. ibid.
What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers. Logan Pearsall Smith, All Trivia, 1933
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though. J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever after. F Scott Fitzgerald, 1896–1940