Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “diaries”

Kierkegaard on Ideals, Happiness, and the False Allure of the Extraordinary
Kierkegaard on Ideals, Happiness, and the False Allure of the Extraordinary

“The Highest is not to comprehend the Highest, but to do it, and note this well, including all the burdens it involves.”

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Sylvia Plath on Free Will, the Pillars of Personhood, and What Makes Us Who We Are
Sylvia Plath on Free Will, the Pillars of Personhood, and What Makes Us Who We Are

“I: how firm a letter; how reassuring the three strokes: one vertical, proud and assertive, and then the two short horizontal lines in quick, smug succession.”

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Louise Bourgeois on Art, Integrity, the Trap of False Humility, and the Key to Creative Confidence
Louise Bourgeois on Art, Integrity, the Trap of False Humility, and the Key to Creative Confidence

“To be an artist is a guarantee to your fellow humans that the wear and tear of living will not let you become a murderer.”

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Sylvia Plath’s First Job: How the Beloved Poet’s Formative Experience as a Farm Worker Shaped Her Writing
Sylvia Plath’s First Job: How the Beloved Poet’s Formative Experience as a Farm Worker Shaped Her Writing

“Farm work is one of the best jobs for getting to know people as they really are.”

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How a Dream Came True: Young Jane Goodall’s Exuberant Letters and Diary Entries from Africa
How a Dream Came True: Young Jane Goodall’s Exuberant Letters and Diary Entries from Africa

How the beloved scientist transformed a childhood fantasy into the rugged reality of revolutionary work.

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The Great French Artist Eugène Delacroix on Self-Doubt, Idea-Ambivalence, and the Cure for Procrastination
The Great French Artist Eugène Delacroix on Self-Doubt, Idea-Ambivalence, and the Cure for Procrastination

“I must never put off for a better day something that I could enjoy doing now.”

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Virginia Woolf on the Past and How to Live More Fully in the Present
Virginia Woolf on the Past and How to Live More Fully in the Present

“The past only comes back when the present runs so smoothly that it is like the sliding surface of a deep river.”

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Vacation and the Art of Presence: Anaïs Nin on How to Truly Unplug and Reconnect with Your Senses
Vacation and the Art of Presence: Anaïs Nin on How to Truly Unplug and Reconnect with Your Senses

“As you swim, you are washed of all the excrescences of so-called civilization, which includes the incapacity to be happy under any circumstances.”

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Nobel Laureate André Gide on What It Really Means to Be Original and Goethe’s Paradoxical Model of Creativity
Nobel Laureate André Gide on What It Really Means to Be Original and Goethe’s Paradoxical Model of Creativity

“If one does not absorb everything, one loses oneself completely. The mind must be greater than the world and contain it…”

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Emerson on What Beauty Really Means, How to Cultivate Its True Hallmarks, and Why It Bewitches the Human Imagination
Emerson on What Beauty Really Means, How to Cultivate Its True Hallmarks, and Why It Bewitches the Human Imagination

“The secret of ugliness consists not in irregularity, but in being uninteresting.”

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