Brain Pickings Icon
Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “language”

Nabokov’s Synesthetic Alphabet: From the Weathered Wood of A to the Thundercloud of Z
Nabokov’s Synesthetic Alphabet: From the Weathered Wood of A to the Thundercloud of Z

“The long A of the English alphabet… has for me the tint of weathered wood, but a French A evokes polished ebony.”

read article

Ursula K. Le Guin on Art, Storytelling, and the Power of Language to Transform and Redeem
Ursula K. Le Guin on Art, Storytelling, and the Power of Language to Transform and Redeem

“One of the functions of art is to give people the words to know their own experience… Storytelling is a tool for knowing who we are and what we want.”

read article

Meet Mary Somerville: The Brilliant Woman for Whom the Word “Scientist” Was Coined
Meet Mary Somerville: The Brilliant Woman for Whom the Word “Scientist” Was Coined

How a Scottish polymath forever changed the course of gender in science and made a high art of connecting the seemingly disconnected.

read article

Nietzsche on Truth, Lies, the Power and Peril of Metaphor, and How We Use Language to Reveal and Conceal Reality
Nietzsche on Truth, Lies, the Power and Peril of Metaphor, and How We Use Language to Reveal and Conceal Reality

“What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished…”

read article

Six Dots: The Remarkable Life and Legacy of Child Inventor Louis Braille, Illustrated
Six Dots: The Remarkable Life and Legacy of Child Inventor Louis Braille, Illustrated

How a tenacious boy created one of the most life-changing inventions in human history.

read article

The Conscience of Words: Susan Sontag on the Wisdom of Literature, the Danger of Opinions, and the Writer’s Task
The Conscience of Words: Susan Sontag on the Wisdom of Literature, the Danger of Opinions, and the Writer’s Task

“A writer ought not to be an opinion-machine… The job of the writer is to make us see the world as it is, full of many different claims and parts and experiences.”

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 get a small percentage of its price. That helps support Brain Pickings by offsetting a fraction of what it takes to maintain the site, and is very much appreciated