Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “letters”

Engraving Is Eternal Work: How to Dodge a Deadline Like William Blake
Engraving Is Eternal Work: How to Dodge a Deadline Like William Blake

A subtle lesson in taking responsibility while protecting the integrity of the creative process and the freedom of the artistic imagination.

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Extraordinary Letters on Love, Life, Death, Courage, and Moral Purpose Without Religion from a Victorian Woman Who Lived and Died with Uncommon Bravery
Extraordinary Letters on Love, Life, Death, Courage, and Moral Purpose Without Religion from a Victorian Woman Who Lived and Died with Uncommon Bravery

“Love, like strength and courage, is a strange thing; the more we give the more we find we have to give.”

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The Lioness in the Tall Grass: Farmer and Poet Laura Brown-Lavoie’s Extraordinary Letter to Children About the Power of Storytelling
The Lioness in the Tall Grass: Farmer and Poet Laura Brown-Lavoie’s Extraordinary Letter to Children About the Power of Storytelling

In praise of sentences that pull you in with all their teeth.

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Keats on the Measure of Compassion
Keats on the Measure of Compassion

“The best of Men have but a portion of good in them — a kind of spiritual yeast in their frames which creates the ferment of existence — by which a Man is propell’d to act and strive and buffet with Circumstance.”

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Alexander Chee’s Lovely Letter to Children About How Books Save Us
Alexander Chee’s Lovely Letter to Children About How Books Save Us

“A book to me is like a friend, a shelter, advice, an argument with someone who cares enough to argue with me for a better answer than the one we both already have.”

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Losing the Birds, Finding the Words: Eve Ensler’s Extraordinary Letter of Apology to Mother Earth
Losing the Birds, Finding the Words: Eve Ensler’s Extraordinary Letter of Apology to Mother Earth

“I am the reason the birds are missing… I am made of dirt and grit and stars and river, skin, bone, leaf, whiskers and claws. I am a part of you, of this, nothing more or less. I am mycelium, petal pistil and stamen… I am energy and I am dust. I am wave and I am wonder. I am an impulse and an order.”

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Art, Atheism, and the Freedom of Expression: Frida Kahlo’s Searing Protest Letter to the President of Mexico
Art, Atheism, and the Freedom of Expression: Frida Kahlo’s Searing Protest Letter to the President of Mexico

A spirited defense of “public freedom of expression and opinion, the means of progress of every free people.”

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Middle Age and the Art of Self-Renewal: An Extraordinary Letter from Pioneering Education Reformer Elizabeth Peabody
Middle Age and the Art of Self-Renewal: An Extraordinary Letter from Pioneering Education Reformer Elizabeth Peabody

“The perilous time for the most highly gifted is not youth… The perilous season is middle age, when a false wisdom tempts them to doubt the divine origin of the dreams of their youth…”

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Keats on Depression and the Mightiest Consolation for a Heavy Heart
Keats on Depression and the Mightiest Consolation for a Heavy Heart

“I am now so depressed I have not an Idea to put to paper — my hand feels like lead — and yet it is an unpleasant numbness it does not take away the pain of existence…”

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William Godwin’s Stunning 1794 Advice to a Young Activist on How to Confront the Status Quo with Self-Possession, Dignity, and Persuasive Conviction
William Godwin’s Stunning 1794 Advice to a Young Activist on How to Confront the Status Quo with Self-Possession, Dignity, and Persuasive Conviction

“Above all… abstain from harsh epithets and bitter invective… Truth can never gain by passion, violence, and resentment. It is never so strong as in the firm, fixed mind, that yields to the emotions neither of rage nor fear.”

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