“At its best, literature is pure encounter: it resists consumption because it cannot be used up and it cannot expire. The bonds that are formed between readers and writers, between readers and characters, and between readers and ideas, are meaningful in a way that the bonds formed between consumers and products can never be. Literature demands curiosity, empathy, wonder, imagination, trust, the suspension of cynicism, and the eradication of prejudice; in return, it affords the reader curiosity, empathy, wonder, imagination, trust, the suspension of cynicism, and the eradication of prejudice.”
Eleanor Catton on literature and elitism, prompted by a commenter’s objection to our use of “crepuscular.”
8:13 am • 9 February 2014 • 1,073 notes
"I ran away to California for a week without telling anyone. I wanted to remove myself from everything, to see if I could work out some things in my head. But it actually created more problems. I learned it doesn’t really work that way."
"How do you mean?"
"Just that if you can’t figure out your problems in your present circumstances, you’re probably not going to figure them out by running away from them."
9:32 am • 24 January 2014 • 11,085 notes
From the original Alice In Wonderland manuscript, handwritten and illustrated by Lewis Carroll.
See more on Open Culture here.
8:39 am • 15 January 2014 • 1,510 notes
"I can’t stand moral absolutism. You know, there’s always that guy who wants to point out that Martin Luther King cheated on his wife— as if he obviously couldn’t have been a great person if he did something like that. Or someone will bring out an inspirational quote, and get you to agree, and then inform you that Hitler said it. As if a good thought couldn’t come from Hitler. Moral absolutism keeps us from learning from the past. It’s easy to say: ‘Hitler was a demon. Nazis were all bad seeds.’ That’s simple. It’s much harder to say: ‘Is that humanity? Is that me?’"
5:34 am • 3 January 2014 • 68,315 notes
“Faulkner’s favorite drink is often listed as the julep, which is probably correct: his house in Oxford still displays his beloved metal julep cup. But his old standby was the toddy, which he describes ‘compounding … with ritualistic care.’”
From your favorite posts of 2013, Robert Moor on William Faulkner’s cocktail of choice.
3:28 am • 1 January 2014 • 299 notes
“The sensation of falling into the past is not unlike that of coming home for the holidays.”
— Patrick O’Brian (via theparisreview)
10:11 am • 26 December 2013 • 1,537 notes