Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “out of print”

Legendary Anthropologist Margaret Mead on Work, Leisure, and Creativity
Legendary Anthropologist Margaret Mead on Work, Leisure, and Creativity

“If we make one criterion for defining the artist… the impulse to make something new… — a kind of divine discontent with all that has gone before, however good — then we can find such artists at every level of human culture, even when performing acts of great simplicity.”

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Art in the Light of Conscience: The Great Russian Poet Marina Tsvetaeva on Loving vs. Understanding and the Paradoxical Psychology of Our Resistance to Ideas
Art in the Light of Conscience: The Great Russian Poet Marina Tsvetaeva on Loving vs. Understanding and the Paradoxical Psychology of Our Resistance to Ideas

“Not to go onwards (in verse, as in everything) means to go backwards — that is, to leave the scene.”

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Chinua Achebe on How Storytelling Helps Us Survive History’s Rough Patches
Chinua Achebe on How Storytelling Helps Us Survive History’s Rough Patches

“There is no one way to anything.”

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The Courage to Despair: Goethe, the Inner Tension of Creativity, and What It Takes to Be a Great Artist
The Courage to Despair: Goethe, the Inner Tension of Creativity, and What It Takes to Be a Great Artist

“[The artist] must be shaken by the naked truths that will not be comforted. This divine discontent, this disequilibrium, this state of inner tension is the source of artistic energy.”

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A Cry of Gratitude: Baudelaire’s Magnificent Fan Mail to Wagner
A Cry of Gratitude: Baudelaire’s Magnificent Fan Mail to Wagner

“However used to fame a great artist may be, he cannot be insensible to a sincere compliment, especially when that compliment is like a cry of gratitude.”

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Simone de Beauvoir on How Chance and Choice Converge to Make Us Who We Are
Simone de Beauvoir on How Chance and Choice Converge to Make Us Who We Are

“My life … runs back through time and space to the very beginnings of the world and to its utmost limits. In my being I sum up the earthly inheritance and the state of the world at this moment.”

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Nobel Laureate André Gide on the Freedom of Expression and the Vital Role of Art as Both Insurgency and Acceptance
Nobel Laureate André Gide on the Freedom of Expression and the Vital Role of Art as Both Insurgency and Acceptance

“The sole art that suits me is that which, rising from unrest, tends toward serenity.”

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Trailblazing Philosopher Susanne Langer on the Purpose of Art, How It Works Us Over, and How Abstract Thinking Gives Shape to Human Emotion
Trailblazing Philosopher Susanne Langer on the Purpose of Art, How It Works Us Over, and How Abstract Thinking Gives Shape to Human Emotion

“In the history of language, in the growth of human understanding, the principle of metaphorical expression plays a vastly greater role than most people realize. For it is the natural instrument of our greatest mental achievement — abstract thinking.”

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Mozart and Haydn’s Beautiful, Selfless Friendship
Mozart and Haydn’s Beautiful, Selfless Friendship

“If I could only impress on the soul of every friend of music, and on high personages in particular, how inimitable are Mozart’s works, how profound, how musically intelligent, how extraordinarily sensitive!”

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A Beginning, Not a Decline: Colette on the Splendor of Autumn and the Autumn of Life
A Beginning, Not a Decline: Colette on the Splendor of Autumn and the Autumn of Life

In praise of “the gaiety of those who have nothing more to lose and so excel at giving.”

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