Nabokov and Homeland Security – how Russia’s most revered literary émigré became an American
“The germ of a story is a new and simple element introduced into an existing situation or mood.”
The great Malcolm Cowley on the four stages of writing:
“Genius, in its writings, is our best path for reaching wisdom … the true use of literature for life.”
Harold Bloom’s 100 geniuses of language and literature, visualized.
“This world would not be satisfying unless one person were allowed to express gratitude and thanks to another.”
Heart-warming fan mail for Mark Twain
“For myself and others it is the end of a world. I merely feel quite numb at the moment, and can’t think about this or anything else…”
T.S. Eliot, Edith Sitwell, E.M. Foster, Elizabeth Bowen, H.G. Wells, and others grapple with the ineffable
“A feather is trimmed, it is trimmed by the light and the bug and the post, it is trimmed by little leaning and by all sorts of mounted reserves and loud volumes…”
A book is a book is a book… unless it’s a BOOK. Gertrude Stein’s vintage verses about objets, gloriously illustrated by artist Lisa Congdon.
“The habit of writing thus for my own eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. … What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art. ”
Virginia Woolf on the creative benefits of keeping a diary:
A rare first edition, featuring gorgeous black-and-white woodcuts by Woolf’s sister, Vanessa Bell:
“All the Arts … imitate as far as they can the one great truth that all can see.”
Virginia Woolf’s early journals and letters:
Artist Jane Mount paints “portraits” of beloved thinkers (writers, artists, filmmakers, philosophers) through the spines of their favorite books – absolutely wonderful:
“Fiction becomes a weird way to countenance yourself and to tell the truth instead of being a way to escape yourself or present yourself in a way you figure you will be maximally likable.”
David Foster Wallace on the nature of fun:
“In an unmoored life like mine, sleep and hunger and work arrange themselves to suit themselves, without consulting me.”
Vonnegut’s uncompromising daily routine:
Some of today’s most exciting graphic artists adapt a remarkable spectrum of literature since 1800, spanning everything from “the bad boys of Romanticism” — Keats, Byron, and Shelley — to cornerstones of science and philosophy like Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra.
“I just love as much as I did when I landed into your disappointed arms, that means with my whole self and all my dirty heart; I cannot do less.” ~ Simone de Beauvoir
The Shakespeare classic, brought to new life with artist Kevin Stanton’s stunning cut-paper illustrations.