Central European literary life

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"When embarking on a novel the author is not unlike the captain of a vessel setting out on a voyage with sealed orders in his pocket. But when he opens the envelope after having put out to sea, he finds that the order is written in invisible ink. Unable to read it, he is constantly aware of a duty to perform. For he is a captain of a warship, not a pleasure-cruiser. The indecipherable yet imperative orders in his pocket fill him with the consciousness of his responsibility. This is the greatness of the writer’s mission; this is his predicament."
- Arthur Koestler, born on September 5, 1905.
Photo of Koestler aboard the Graf Zeppelin on its first flight to the North Pole

"When embarking on a novel the author is not unlike the captain of a vessel setting out on a voyage with sealed orders in his pocket. But when he opens the envelope after having put out to sea, he finds that the order is written in invisible ink. Unable to read it, he is constantly aware of a duty to perform. For he is a captain of a warship, not a pleasure-cruiser. The indecipherable yet imperative orders in his pocket fill him with the consciousness of his responsibility. This is the greatness of the writer’s mission; this is his predicament."

- Arthur Koestler, born on September 5, 1905.

Photo of Koestler aboard the Graf Zeppelin on its first flight to the North Pole

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