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“O Me! O life!”: Celebrating Gemini Writers

Posted by Sarah Bofenkamp on

 

Despite the fact that Italian medieval poet Dante Alighieri had no recorded date of birth, he was almost certainly a Gemini. After all, who else could write a timeless, silken narrative about hell, purgatory, and heaven? Who else could write, “pregnant with holy power which is the source / of all of whatever genius may be mine.” Who but a Gemini could circle the world with the eternal twins - the multitudes! - holding endless court inside of them? 

Gemini authors, like Dante, have historically been the torches who light our descent into the dark… who cast the spectral shadows which dance for us and tell us stories. They are the ones who glitter and charm, trick and inspire. Their books call out like the mythical sirens they are, moving through ink and time to each of us. Dashiell Hammett, Djuna Barnes, Yasunari Kawabata, Louise Erdrich, Walt Whitman, Countee Cullen.

And if somehow all of that doesn’t sound delightful, read it again. Read Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron or Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring: works that find beauty hidden amongst both plague and pesticide. Watch as they orbit around Mercury, these messengers between worlds, with wings on their shoes. Follow them anywhere. 

Sarah J. Bofenkamp is a reader, writer, and librarian living in Palouse, Washington.
Famous Gemini Authors
Dante Alighieri - May, 1265
Alexander Pope - May 21, 1688
Robert Creeley - May 21, 1926
Arthur Conan Doyle - May 22, 1859
Margaret Fuller - May 23, 1810
Scott O’Dell - May 23, 1898
Bob Dylan - May 24, 1941
Michael Chabon - May 24, 1963
Raymond Carver - May 25, 1938
Jamaica Kincaid - May 25, 1949
Alexander Pushkin - May 26, 1799
Dashiell Hammett - May 27, 1894
Rachel Carson - May 27, 1907
John Cheever - May 27, 1912
John Barth - May 27, 1930
Harlan Ellison - May 27, 1934
Ian Fleming - May 28, 1908
G.K. Chesterton - May 29, 1874
Countee Cullen - May 30, 1903
Walt Whitman - May 31, 1819
Marquis de Sade - June 2, 1740
Thomas Hardy - June 2, 1840
Dorothy West - June 2, 1907
Barbara Pym - June 2, 1913
Cornel West - June 2, 1953
Allen Ginsberg - June 3, 1926
Larry McMurtry - June 3, 1936
Ivy Compton-Burnett - June 5, 1884
Federico García Lorca - June 5, 1898
Thomas Mann - June 6, 1875
Gwendolyn Brooks - June 7, 1917
Nikki Giovanni - June 7, 1943
Louise Erdrich - June 7, 1954
Saul Bellow - June 10, 1915
Maurice Sendak - June 10, 1928
William Styron - June 11, 1925
Djuna Barnes - June 12, 1892
Anne Frank - June 12, 1929
W.B. Yeats - June 13, 1865
Fernando Pessoa - June 13, 1888
Dorothy L. Sayers - June 13, 1893
Harriet Beecher Stowe - June 14, 1811
Yasunari Kawabata - June 14, 1899
Jerzy Kosiński - June 14, 1933
Brian Jacques - June 15, 1939
Giovanni Boccaccio - June 16, 1313
Joyce Carol Oates - June 16, 1938
James Weldon Johnson - June 17, 1871
John Hersey - June 17, 1914
Osamu Dazai - June 19, 1909
Tobias Wolff - June 19, 1945
Salman Rushdie - June 19, 1947
Lillian Hellman - June 20, 1905

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