Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “culture”

Sylvia Plath and the Loneliness of Love
Sylvia Plath and the Loneliness of Love

“Life is loneliness… Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship — but the loneliness of the soul, in its appalling self-consciousness, is horrible and overpowering.”

read article

The Mirror of Enigmas: Chance, the Universe, and the Fragility of Knowing Who We Are
The Mirror of Enigmas: Chance, the Universe, and the Fragility of Knowing Who We Are

“There is no human being on earth capable of declaring with certitude who he is.”

read article

James Baldwin on Love, the Illusion of Choice, and the Paradox of Freedom
James Baldwin on Love, the Illusion of Choice, and the Paradox of Freedom

“Nothing is more unbearable, once one has it, than freedom.”

read article

Alain de Botton’s Animated Field Guide to Surviving Heartbreak and Embracing Need as a Central Dignity of Relationships
Alain de Botton’s Animated Field Guide to Surviving Heartbreak and Embracing Need as a Central Dignity of Relationships

A resaning antidote to one of the most dangerous and damaging romantic myths in our culture.

read article

I Measure Every Grief I Meet: Emily Dickinson on Love and Loss
I Measure Every Grief I Meet: Emily Dickinson on Love and Loss

“‘Tis good — the looking back on Grief.”

read article

Probable Impossibilities: Physicist Alan Lightman on Beginnings, Endings, and What Makes Life Worth Living
Probable Impossibilities: Physicist Alan Lightman on Beginnings, Endings, and What Makes Life Worth Living

How our cosmic improbability confers dignity and meaning upon our shared existence.

read article

The Ocean and the Meaning of Life
The Ocean and the Meaning of Life

“Contemplating the teeming life of the shore, we have an uneasy sense of the communication of some universal truth that lies just beyond our grasp… the ultimate mystery of Life itself.”

read article

The Conscience of Color, from Chemistry to Culture
The Conscience of Color, from Chemistry to Culture

“Colors are not possessions; they are the intimate revelations of an energy field… light waves with mathematically precise lengths… deep, resonant mysteries with boundless subjectivity… Our lives, when we pay attention to light, compel us to empathy with color.”

read article

Matter, Music, and the Mind
Matter, Music, and the Mind

“Sound is sea: pattern lapping pattern… Matter delights in music, and became Bach.”

read article

Citizen Science, the Cosmos, and the Meaning of Life: How the Comet That Might One Day Destroy Us Gives Us the Most Transcendent Celestial Spectacle
Citizen Science, the Cosmos, and the Meaning of Life: How the Comet That Might One Day Destroy Us Gives Us the Most Transcendent Celestial Spectacle

Encounters with the beautiful and the sublime in the science of “the single most dangerous object known to humanity.”

read article

View Full Site

Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I receive a small percentage of its price, which goes straight back into my own colossal biblioexpenses. Privacy policy.