Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “literature”

Susan Sontag on How the False Divide Between Pop Culture and “High” Culture Limits Us
Susan Sontag on How the False Divide Between Pop Culture and “High” Culture Limits Us

“There are contradictory impulses in everything.”

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Letter to Borges: Susan Sontag on Books, Self-Transcendence, and Reading in the Age of Screens
Letter to Borges: Susan Sontag on Books, Self-Transcendence, and Reading in the Age of Screens

“Books are not only the arbitrary sum of our dreams, and our memory. They also give us the model of self-transcendence… a way of being fully human.”

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What Makes a Great Interview
What Makes a Great Interview

“True storytellers write not because they can but because they have to. There is something they want to say about the world that can only be said in a story.”

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William Faulkner’s Little-Known Jazz Age Drawings, with a Side of Literary Derision
William Faulkner’s Little-Known Jazz Age Drawings, with a Side of Literary Derision

From the sartorial to the satiric, or how the award-winning author’s youthful pretensions earned him a helping of high-brow mockery.

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The Lincoln of Literature: Mark Twain, <em>The Atlantic</em>, and the Making of the Middlebrow Magazine
The Lincoln of Literature: Mark Twain, The Atlantic, and the Making of the Middlebrow Magazine

How Twain entered the literary elite and purged literature of elitism.

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Great Writers Reflect on the Divide Between Private Person and Public Persona in Hand-Drawn Self-Portraits
Great Writers Reflect on the Divide Between Private Person and Public Persona in Hand-Drawn Self-Portraits

“Only the crazed and the privileged permit themselves the luxury of disintegration into more than one self.”

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Susan Sontag on Literature and Freedom
Susan Sontag on Literature and Freedom

“Literature can train, and exercise, our ability to weep for those who are not us or ours.”

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Vintage Catalog Cards for Literary Classics from the Semi-Secret Archive of the Library of Congress
Vintage Catalog Cards for Literary Classics from the Semi-Secret Archive of the Library of Congress

An affectionate reminder that a book is a node in a complex human network of authors, readers, and librarians, connecting time, space, and sensibility.

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The Only Surviving Recording of Raymond Chandler’s Voice, in a BBC Conversation with Ian Fleming
The Only Surviving Recording of Raymond Chandler’s Voice, in a BBC Conversation with Ian Fleming

“You starve to death for ten years before your publisher knows you’re any good.”

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Edward Gorey’s Vintage Book Covers for Literary Classics
Edward Gorey’s Vintage Book Covers for Literary Classics

Melville, Conrad, Colette, Chekhov, Chaucer, Gogol, Kafka, Shaw, Pushkin, and more.

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