Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “creativity”

Rilke on Inspiration and the Combinatorial Nature of Creativity
Rilke on Inspiration and the Combinatorial Nature of Creativity

“One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others… One must also have been beside the dying, one must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window…”

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The Art of Sympathetic Enthusiasm: Goethe on the Only Opinion Worth Voicing About Another’s Life and Creative Labor
The Art of Sympathetic Enthusiasm: Goethe on the Only Opinion Worth Voicing About Another’s Life and Creative Labor

In praise of the “loving sympathy” that makes life worthy of living.

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Nobel Laureate André Gide on the Five Elements of a Great Work of Art
Nobel Laureate André Gide on the Five Elements of a Great Work of Art

“You come to doubt whether there is any secret there; it seems that you touch the depths at once. But ten years later you return to it and enter still more deeply.”

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T.S. Eliot on Writing: His Warm and Wry Letter of Advice to a Sixteen-Year-Old Girl Aspiring to Become a Writer
T.S. Eliot on Writing: His Warm and Wry Letter of Advice to a Sixteen-Year-Old Girl Aspiring to Become a Writer

“Don’t write at first for anyone but yourself.”

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Walking as Creative Fuel: A Splendid 1913 Celebration of How Solitary Walks Enliven “The Country of the Mind”
Walking as Creative Fuel: A Splendid 1913 Celebration of How Solitary Walks Enliven “The Country of the Mind”

“Nature’s particular gift to the walker… is to set the mind jogging, to make it garrulous, exalted, a little mad maybe — certainly creative and suprasensitive.”

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An Axiom of Feeling: Werner Herzog on the Absolute, the Sublime, and Ecstatic Truth
An Axiom of Feeling: Werner Herzog on the Absolute, the Sublime, and Ecstatic Truth

“The soul of the listener or the spectator… actualizes truth through the experience of sublimity: that is, it completes an independent act of creation.”

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Zadie Smith on What Writers Can Learn from Some of History’s Greatest Dancers
Zadie Smith on What Writers Can Learn from Some of History’s Greatest Dancers

“Between propriety and joy choose joy.”

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“A Wrinkle in Time” Author Madeleine L’Engle on Self-Consciousness and the Wellspring of Creativity
“A Wrinkle in Time” Author Madeleine L’Engle on Self-Consciousness and the Wellspring of Creativity

“When we can play with the unself-conscious concentration of a child, this is: art: prayer: love.”

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W.H. Auden on the Political Power of Art and the Crucial Difference Between Party Issues and Revolutionary Issues
W.H. Auden on the Political Power of Art and the Crucial Difference Between Party Issues and Revolutionary Issues

“In our age, the mere making of a work of art is itself a political act.”

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Oliver Sacks on the Three Essential Elements of Creativity
Oliver Sacks on the Three Essential Elements of Creativity

“It takes a special energy, over and above one’s creative potential, a special audacity or subversiveness, to strike out in a new direction once one is settled.”

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