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Reads by Maria Popova

A Placid Ecstasy: Walt Whitman’s Most Direct Reflection on Happiness
A Placid Ecstasy: Walt Whitman’s Most Direct Reflection on Happiness

“What is happiness, anyhow? … so impalpable — a mere breath, an evanescent tinge…”

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Werner Heisenberg Falls in Love: The Love Letters of the Nobel-Winning Pioneer of Quantum Mechanics and Originator of the Uncertainty Principle
Werner Heisenberg Falls in Love: The Love Letters of the Nobel-Winning Pioneer of Quantum Mechanics and Originator of the Uncertainty Principle

“Life’s essence should always be clearly noticeable behind the love, or the music, or the work.”

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The Art of Receptivity: Hilton Als on Love
The Art of Receptivity: Hilton Als on Love

“The thing seemingly freely given often isn’t. It is rare to receive the gift of love, for instance, from someone who doesn’t want to be celebrated for their generosity in having offered it.”

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An Openness to Life: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dag Hammarskjöld on Love, Failure, and What It Means to Be Yourself
An Openness to Life: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dag Hammarskjöld on Love, Failure, and What It Means to Be Yourself

“Openness to life grants a lightning-swift insight into the life situation of others.”

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Nietzsche on Depression and the Rehabilitation of Hope
Nietzsche on Depression and the Rehabilitation of Hope

In praise of “the rejoicing of strength that is returning, of a reawakened faith in a tomorrow and the day after tomorrow,… of impending adventures, of seas that are open again.”

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Zadie Smith on Optimism and Despair
Zadie Smith on Optimism and Despair

“Progress is never permanent, will always be threatened, must be redoubled, restated and reimagined if it is to survive.”

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