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March 20 2013

Because the world is so full of death and horror, I try again and again to console my heart and pick the flowers that grow in the midst of hell.
— Hermann Hesse, Narziß und Goldmund (Narcissus and Goldmund), 1930.
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March 12 2013

Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
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March 11 2013

Preface to the book “I Tempi di Roma” (Edizioni Bolis, Italy, 2000) written by Henri Cartier-Bresson. It reads: Time runs and flows and only our death can stop it. The photograph is a guillotine blade that seizes one dazzling instant in eternity.
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I love the silent hour of night, for blissful dreams may then arise, revealing to my charmed sight what may not bless my waking eyes.
Anne Bronte
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March 06 2013

Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay. In the modern state there are very few sites where this is possible. The only others that come readily to my mind require belief in an omnipotent creator as a condition for membership. It would seem the most obvious thing in the world to say that the reason why the market is not an efficient solution to libraries is because the market has no use for a library. But it seems we need, right now, to keep re-stating the obvious. There aren’t many institutions left that fit so precisely Keynes’ definition of things that no one else but the state is willing to take on. Nor can the experience of library life be recreated online. It’s not just a matter of free books. A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.
Remember, ideas become things.
Tags: book quotes
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Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.
Charles Bukowski
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March 04 2013

You’re not like the others. I’ve seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon, last night. The others would never do that. The others would walk off and leave me talking. Or threaten me. No one has time anymore for anyone else. You’re one of the few who put up with me.
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
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There’s a loneliness that only exists in one’s mind. The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby 
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Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid, Lemony Snicket
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March 03 2013

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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March 02 2013

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond, e.e. cummings
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It’s just that I feel so sad these wonderful nights. I sort of feel they’re never coming again, and I’m not really getting all I could out of them.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
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The Red-Headed League, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
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March 01 2013

My whole wretched life swam before my weary eyes, and I realized no matter what you do it’s bound to be a waste of time in the end so you might as well go mad.
Jack Kerouac, On the Road 
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February 28 2013

January 29, 1845: Edgar Allan Poe’s ”The Raven” is published.

Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem was published toward the end of his life - he died in 1849 of mysterious causes after suffering for years in poverty and alcoholism, particularly after the death of his wife, Virginia. As Poe was writing “The Raven”, Virginia was dying of tuberculosis, which lent a personal touch to the poem’s subject matter (and also to that of some of Poe’s other poems). The titular raven, Poe wrote, was a symbol of “Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance”. The poem itself is full of allusions, from the “bust of Pallas” to “Night’s Plutonian shore” to Seraphim and the balm of Gilead.

“The Raven” was first published in the Evening Mirror, and then in February of 1845 in The American Review under the name “Quarles”. It was an immediate hit among both critics and casual readers, although one notable non-fan of the poem was Ralph Waldo Emerson, an important figure in the Transcendentalist movement of American literature - a movement Poe deeply disliked. Of “The Raven”, Emerson commented ”I see nothing in it”. The poem also turned Poe into a well-known and well-respected author, but unfortunately, he remained destitute for the rest of his life; of this sad set of circumstances he wrote (in a letter to Frederick W. Thomas) in May of 1845:

I have made no money. I am as poor now as ever I was in my life – except in hope, which is by no means bankable.

Illustrations by Gustave Doré.

Time is a good place to travel
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February 27 2013

Something in me vibrates to a dusky, dreamy smell of dying moons and shadows.
Zelda Fitzgerald
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You say you're 'depressed' - all i see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn't mean you're defective - it just means you're human.
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
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Books don't offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
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February 26 2013

To love a TV show is to know one of two things: Either it will eventually leave you, or you will eventually leave it. There’s no middle ground for the committed. Once you’re in, you’re in, and you’re going to be in until the thing is canceled or until you lose interest because you’ve either figured out all of the show’s tricks or it’s just not the same anymore. That show you loved more than anything? It will eventually feel sort of old and pointless to you after a while, and you’ll have moved on to some new thing that feels fresher but will inevitably disappoint you somewhere down the line. And so it goes. You’ll someday remember that show you loved with such intensity—it will probably be off the air by this point—and you’ll wonder idly why they don’t make ’em like that anymore. The answer is because you’re not who you were anymore, and you can’t fall for a show like that because you’re no longer the same person.
Todd VanDerWerff
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