Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “literature”

The Poetics of the Psyche: Adam Phillips on Why Psychoanalysis Is Like Literature and How Art Soothes the Soul
The Poetics of the Psyche: Adam Phillips on Why Psychoanalysis Is Like Literature and How Art Soothes the Soul

“Everybody is dealing with how much of their own aliveness they can bear and how much they need to anesthetize themselves.”

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Annie Dillard on the Art of the Essay and the Different Responsibilities of Narrative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Short Stories
Annie Dillard on the Art of the Essay and the Different Responsibilities of Narrative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Short Stories

“Writers serve as the memory of a people. They chew over our public past.”

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Salvador Dalí’s Sinister and Sensual Paintings for Dante’s “Divine Comedy”
Salvador Dalí’s Sinister and Sensual Paintings for Dante’s “Divine Comedy”

From Heaven to Hell in melting faces and flying bones.

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A Solitary World: A Breathtaking Homage to H.G. Wells from a New Genre of Cinematic Poetry
A Solitary World: A Breathtaking Homage to H.G. Wells from a New Genre of Cinematic Poetry

“What is this spirit in man that urges him forever to depart from happiness, to toil and to place himself in danger?”

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The Project of Literature: Susan Sontag on Writing, Routines, Education, and Elitism in a 1992 Recording from the 92Y Archives
The Project of Literature: Susan Sontag on Writing, Routines, Education, and Elitism in a 1992 Recording from the 92Y Archives

“A writer is someone who pays attention to the world — a writer is a professional observer.”

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From the Gold Rush to Silicon Valley: How Mark Twain Became the Steve Jobs of His Day
From the Gold Rush to Silicon Valley: How Mark Twain Became the Steve Jobs of His Day

The power of mischief, timing, and typography.

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Flannery O’Connor on Why the Grotesque Appeals to Us, Plus a Rare Recording of Her Reading “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
Flannery O’Connor on Why the Grotesque Appeals to Us, Plus a Rare Recording of Her Reading “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”

“There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored.”

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Djuna Barnes Interviews James Joyce in 1922: The Iconic Irishman’s Most Significant Interview
Djuna Barnes Interviews James Joyce in 1922: The Iconic Irishman’s Most Significant Interview

“He turned to quill and paper, for so he could arrange, in the necessary silence, the abundant inadequacies of life, as a laying-out of jewels — jewels with a will to decay.”

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Joseph Brodsky on How to Develop Your Taste in Reading
Joseph Brodsky on How to Develop Your Taste in Reading

“You stand to lose nothing; what you may gain are new associative chains.”

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The Poetic Principle: Poe on Truth, Love, Reason, and the Human Impulse for Beauty
The Poetic Principle: Poe on Truth, Love, Reason, and the Human Impulse for Beauty

“A poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. The value of the poem is in the ratio of this elevating excitement.”

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