Sunday, April 27, 2014

on writing - psychological barriers

Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they
die of.    - James Richardson

No surprises for the writer, no surprises for the reader.    - Robert Frost

I think of this sometimes - how sensitivity to the world either means you
get lauded for it, get paid for it, get celebrated and loved for it; or at another
moment, feel burdened by it, or unable to deal, or panicked, or scared, or
shut down.    - Aimee Bender

Begin to write always before the impression of novelty has worn off from
your mind, else you will be apt to think that the peculiarities which at first
attracted you are not worth recording; yet those slight peculiarities are the
very things that make the most vivid impression upon the reader.  Think
nothing too trifling to write down, so it will be in the smallest degree
characteristic.  You will be surprised to find, on re-persuing your journal,
what an importance and graphic power these little particulars assume.
- Nathaniel Hawthorne

By Alessandro Lupi

Thursday, April 24, 2014

on reading - 3 wisdoms

The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a
passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday.
- James Richardson

There is divine beauty in learning... To learn means to accept the
postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here
before me, and I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were
composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters,
teachers and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences, their
quests. And so are you.
- Elie Wiesel

There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and
bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those,
dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag - and
never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because
it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book which
bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when
you are forty or fifty - and vise versa. Don’t read a book out of its
right time for you.
- Doris Lessing

By Isabelle Arsenault

Friday, April 4, 2014

on writing - walter benjamin

I love this well-worded bit of writing advice from Walter Benjamin:

Let no thought pass incognito, and keep your notebook as strictly as
the authorities keep their register of aliens.