Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “out of print”

Technology, Wisdom, and the Difficult Art of Civilizational Self-Awareness: Thomas Merton’s Beautiful Letter of Appreciation to Rachel Carson for Catalyzing the Environmental Movement
Technology, Wisdom, and the Difficult Art of Civilizational Self-Awareness: Thomas Merton’s Beautiful Letter of Appreciation to Rachel Carson for Catalyzing the Environmental Movement

“Technics and wisdom are not by any means opposed. On the contrary, the duty of our age… is to unite them in a supreme humility which will result in a totally self-forgetful creativity and service.”

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Florence Nightingale Visits a Mosque: The Founder of Modern Nursing on Women, Islam, and Religion’s Power Structures
Florence Nightingale Visits a Mosque: The Founder of Modern Nursing on Women, Islam, and Religion’s Power Structures

“It was so pleasant to see a place where any man may go for a moment’s quiet, and there is none to find fault with him, nor make him afraid.”

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Rachel Carson on Writing and the Loneliness of Creative Work
Rachel Carson on Writing and the Loneliness of Creative Work

“If you write what you yourself sincerely think and feel and are interested in… you will interest other people.”

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What to Look for During a Total Solar Eclipse: Mabel Loomis Todd’s Poetic 19th-Century Guide to Totality, with Help from Emily Dickinson
What to Look for During a Total Solar Eclipse: Mabel Loomis Todd’s Poetic 19th-Century Guide to Totality, with Help from Emily Dickinson

“A vast, palpable presence seems overwhelming the world. The blue sky changes to gray or dull purple, speedily becoming more dusky, and a death-like trance seizes upon everything earthly.”

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The World’s First Celestial Spectator Sport: Astronomer Maria Mitchell’s Stunning Account of the 1869 Total Solar Eclipse
The World’s First Celestial Spectator Sport: Astronomer Maria Mitchell’s Stunning Account of the 1869 Total Solar Eclipse

“All nature rejoiced, and … we rejoiced with Nature.”

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Great Writers on the Letters of the Alphabet, Illustrated by David Hockney
Great Writers on the Letters of the Alphabet, Illustrated by David Hockney

A choral serenade to the building blocks of language starring Susan Sontag, Iris Murdoch, Ian McEwan, Joyce Carol Oates, Martin Amis, Doris Lessing, John Updike, and more titans of literature.

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The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. Cummings on Art, Life, and Being Unafraid to Feel
The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. Cummings on Art, Life, and Being Unafraid to Feel

“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.”

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Gauguin’s Stirring First-Hand Account of What Actually Happened the Night Van Gogh Cut off His Own Ear
Gauguin’s Stirring First-Hand Account of What Actually Happened the Night Van Gogh Cut off His Own Ear

“Between two such beings as he and I, the one a perfect volcano, the other boiling too, inwardly, a sort of struggle was preparing.”

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A Pioneering Scientist on Memory, the Value of Our Unremembered Work, and the Incalculable Sum Total of the Human Experience
A Pioneering Scientist on Memory, the Value of Our Unremembered Work, and the Incalculable Sum Total of the Human Experience

“Are we not … parts of a greater organism, kept alive through the ever more vividly circulating blood of an enormous past?”

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A Bioluminescent Wonder: Rachel Carson on the Art of Illuminating Nature Beyond Scientific Fact
A Bioluminescent Wonder: Rachel Carson on the Art of Illuminating Nature Beyond Scientific Fact

A transcendent account of “one of those experiences that gives an odd and hard-to-describe feeling, with so many overtones beyond the facts themselves.”

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