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Reads by Maria Popova

Sylvia Plath Reads “Spinster” in a Rare BBC Recording
Sylvia Plath Reads “Spinster” in a Rare BBC Recording

A subversive lamentation of how our compulsion for control empties life of love.

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The Joy of Swimming: An Illustrated Celebration of the Water as a Medium of Bodily, Mental, and Spiritual Movement
The Joy of Swimming: An Illustrated Celebration of the Water as a Medium of Bodily, Mental, and Spiritual Movement

From the history of the bathing suit to Rumi, a loving homage to aquatic bliss.

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The Remarkable Love Letters of Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger
The Remarkable Love Letters of Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger

“Why is love rich beyond all other possible human experiences and a sweet burden to those seized in its grasp? Because we become what we love and yet remain ourselves.”

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Dostoyevsky on Poverty, Ambition, Success, Creative Integrity, and the Ultimate Ideal of Art
Dostoyevsky on Poverty, Ambition, Success, Creative Integrity, and the Ultimate Ideal of Art

“The artist … must consecrate all his toil to the holy spirit of art — such toil is holy, chaste, and demands single-heartedness.”

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A Madman Dreams of Tuning Machines: The Story of Joseph Weber, the Tragic Hero of Science Who Followed Einstein’s Vision and Pioneered the Sound of Space-Time
A Madman Dreams of Tuning Machines: The Story of Joseph Weber, the Tragic Hero of Science Who Followed Einstein’s Vision and Pioneered the Sound of Space-Time

…and a remarkable letter from Freeman Dyson on the difficult, necessary art of changing one’s mind.

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The Importance of Being Scared: Polish Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska on Fairy Tales and the Necessity of Fear
The Importance of Being Scared: Polish Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska on Fairy Tales and the Necessity of Fear

“Andersen had the courage to write stories with unhappy endings. He didn’t believe that you should try to be good because it pays … but because evil stems from intellectual and emotional stuntedness and is the one form of poverty that should be shunned.”

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