5 Fun Facts About 5 Great Writers

William Shakespeare:

William Shakespeare invented many new words, such as “dawn”, but his inventive spirit also extended to the spelling of his name. Shakespeare had a variety of ways to spell his own name, including “Shagspur,” “Shaxpers,” and “Shakespere.” The lack of standardized spelling conventions during Shakespeare’s time allowed for such variations, which made this iconic figure even more mysterious and enigmatic.


Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, known for his contributions to magical realism, drew inspiration from a unique source—his grandfather, a pensioned colonel from the Civil War. He was raised by his maternal grandparents, who played a crucial role in shaping his literary perspective. In his memoir, Marquez revealed that his novella “No One Writes to the Colonel,” was influenced by his grandfather’s experiences. The protagonist’s role as a veteran of the Thousand Days War mirrors the colonel’s journey. Interestingly, Marquez considered this novella his best work, which is more intimate and personal than his renowned book “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”


Ernest Hemingway:

Ernest Hemingway, renowned for his adventurous life, survived several plane crashes and had an unexpected affinity for polydactyl cats. Polydactyl cats are those with more toes than normal cats. His fascination with these cats began when a ship captain gifted him a six-toed cat named “Snowball.” After he committed suicide, his home transformed into a museum and shelter for “Hemingway cats,” now having more than 50 polydactyl cats there, descendents of his pet cats. These polydactyl cats, now also known as “Hemingway cats,” added a unique dimension to the Nobel laureate’s legacy.


Albert Camus:

Albert Camus, celebrated for his philosophical contributions, was also a fan of sports in his teenage years. Before turning into literature, he excelled as a goalkeeper in football, even playing for the University of Algiers and considering a professional career. He probably found the parallels between goalkeeping and philosophical contemplation intriguing. Does being a goalkeeper prompt reflections on the meaning of existence? Emm. However, Camus had to abandon his athletic dreams at 17 due to a tuberculosis diagnosis. Still, he maintained that football taught him invaluable lessons in morality, obligations, and the ethics of friendship.


Jorge Luis Borges:

Jorge Luis Borges faced a significant personal challenge at the age of 55: he became completely blind. Moreover, despite the fact that he is fluent in many languages, Borges consistently chose to write in his native tongue. This decision showcased his humility and perhaps a lack of confidence, revealing the complex interplay between his literary genius and personal insecurities. Additionally, Borges is sometimes confused with fellow Latin American authors such as Marquez and Bolano.

Runxin Li

Kazel Li is a first year sophomore and a new writer at The Oracle. She loves literature, philosophy, economics, and reptiles.

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