Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “creativity”

Poetry and the Revolution of Being: Jane Hirshfield on How Great Art Transforms Us
Poetry and the Revolution of Being: Jane Hirshfield on How Great Art Transforms Us

“Why ask art into a life at all, if not to be transformed and enlarged by its presence and mysterious means?… And by changing selves, one by one, art changes also the outer world that selves create and share.”

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning on the Dangerous Myth of the Suffering Artist and What Makes Life Worth Living
Elizabeth Barrett Browning on the Dangerous Myth of the Suffering Artist and What Makes Life Worth Living

A beautiful clarion call for making creative work “the filling joy of your life” no matter how difficult the cards you’ve been dealt.

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Rachel Carson on Writing and the Loneliness of Creative Work
Rachel Carson on Writing and the Loneliness of Creative Work

“If you write what you yourself sincerely think and feel and are interested in… you will interest other people.”

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Wallace Stevens on Reality, Creativity, and Our Greatest Self-Protection from the Pressure of the News
Wallace Stevens on Reality, Creativity, and Our Greatest Self-Protection from the Pressure of the News

“[The artist’s] function is to make his imagination … become the light in the minds of others. His role, in short, is to help people to live their lives.”

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Billy Collins’s Advice to Writers
Billy Collins’s Advice to Writers

“Spotlessness is the niece of inspiration.”

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The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. Cummings on Art, Life, and Being Unafraid to Feel
The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. Cummings on Art, Life, and Being Unafraid to Feel

“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.”

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Sam Shepard in Praise of Writing Letters as an Incomparable Art of Human Connection and a Creative Practice
Sam Shepard in Praise of Writing Letters as an Incomparable Art of Human Connection and a Creative Practice

An ode to the art of relationship sculpted in time.

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Gauguin’s Stirring First-Hand Account of What Actually Happened the Night Van Gogh Cut off His Own Ear
Gauguin’s Stirring First-Hand Account of What Actually Happened the Night Van Gogh Cut off His Own Ear

“Between two such beings as he and I, the one a perfect volcano, the other boiling too, inwardly, a sort of struggle was preparing.”

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Beethoven and the Crucial Difference Between Genius and Talent
Beethoven and the Crucial Difference Between Genius and Talent

“Genius has to be founded on major talent, but it adds a freshness and wildness of imagination, a raging ambition, an unusual gift for learning and growing, a depth and breadth of thought and spirit…”

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Beethoven’s Advice on Being an Artist: His Touching Letter to a Little Girl Who Sent Him Fan Mail
Beethoven’s Advice on Being an Artist: His Touching Letter to a Little Girl Who Sent Him Fan Mail

“The true artist is not proud… Though he may be admired by others, he is sad not to have reached that point to which his better genius only appears as a distant, guiding sun.”

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