Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “out of print”

The Year of the Whale: A Lyrical Illustrated Serenade to One of Our Planet’s Most Precious Creatures
The Year of the Whale: A Lyrical Illustrated Serenade to One of Our Planet’s Most Precious Creatures

“Moving through a dim, dark, cool, watery world of its own, the whale is timeless and ancient; part of our common heritage and yet remote, awful, prowling the ocean floor a half-mile down, under the guidance of powers and senses we are only beginning to grasp.”

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Meeting Virginia Woolf
Meeting Virginia Woolf

“She just walked across, very shyly, and stood there looking absolutely beautiful. She was much more beautiful than any of the photographs show.”

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Anton Chekhov’s 6 Rules for a Great Story
Anton Chekhov’s 6 Rules for a Great Story

Mastering the essential complementarity of compassion and total objectivity.

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The Trailblazing 18th-Century Woman of Letters Germaine de Staël on Ambition and the Crucial Difference Between Ego and Genius
The Trailblazing 18th-Century Woman of Letters Germaine de Staël on Ambition and the Crucial Difference Between Ego and Genius

“True glory cannot be obtained by relative celebrity.”

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Stunning, Sensual Illustrations for a Rare 1913 Edition of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ by English Artist Margaret C. Cook
Stunning, Sensual Illustrations for a Rare 1913 Edition of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ by English Artist Margaret C. Cook

“Thoughts, silent thoughts, of Time and Space and Death…”

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George Sand’s Only Children’s Book: A Touching Parable of Choosing Kindness and Generosity Over Cynicism and Greed, with Stunning Illustrations by Russian Artist Gennady Spirin
George Sand’s Only Children’s Book: A Touching Parable of Choosing Kindness and Generosity Over Cynicism and Greed, with Stunning Illustrations by Russian Artist Gennady Spirin

“It is written in the book of destiny that any mortal who dedicates himself to doing good must risk everything, including life itself.”

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Borges on Turning Trauma, Misfortune, and Humiliation into Raw Material for Art
Borges on Turning Trauma, Misfortune, and Humiliation into Raw Material for Art

“All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.”

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Loving vs. Being in Love: Jane Welsh Carlyle on Navigating the Heart’s Contradictions
Loving vs. Being in Love: Jane Welsh Carlyle on Navigating the Heart’s Contradictions

“A passion, like the torrent in the violence of its course, might perhaps too, like the torrent, leave ruin and desolation behind… My love for you… is deep and calm, more like the quiet river, which refreshes and beautifies where it flows.”

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Thomas Carlyle on What Self-Help Really Means and the Healing Power of Love in Moments of Blackest Despair
Thomas Carlyle on What Self-Help Really Means and the Healing Power of Love in Moments of Blackest Despair

“The feeling of recklessness and stormy self-help, when friends grow cold, and the world seems to cast us off, and the heart gathers force from its own wretchedness, converting its ‘tortures into horrid arms.’ There is strength here and dignity…”

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Carl Sagan on Mystery, Why Common Sense Blinds Us to the Universe, and How to Live with the Unknown
Carl Sagan on Mystery, Why Common Sense Blinds Us to the Universe, and How to Live with the Unknown

“We are bathing in mystery and confusion on many subjects, and I think that will always be our destiny. The universe will always be much richer than our ability to understand it.”

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