lexlingua: (Reading)

"If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."

~ Mark Twain
lexlingua: (Reading)

"... The strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time — filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured."

~ John Koenig, about his work, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
lexlingua: (Macabre)
Season 5 of Game of Thrones is coming up on April 12, 2015.

In celebration, here's my favourite scene from Season 4:

lexlingua: (Reading)

The Pursuit of the Ideal

"What is clear is that values can clash that is why civilizations are incompatible. They can be incompatible between cultures, or groups in the same culture, or between you and me.  You believe in always telling the truth, no matter what; I do not because I believe that it can sometimes be too painful and too destructive.  We can discuss each other’s point of view, we can try to reach common ground, but in the end what you pursue may not be reconcilable with the ends to which I find that I have dedicated my life. Values may easily clash within the breast of a single individual; and it does not follow that, if they do, some must be true and others false.  Justice, rigorous justice, is for some people an absolute value, but it is not compatible with what may be no less ultimate values for them mercy, compassion as arises in concrete cases.

Both liberty and equality are among the primary goals pursued by human beings through many centuries; but total liberty for wolves is death to the lambs, total liberty of the powerful, the gifted, is not compatible with the rights to a decent existence of the weak and the less gifted.  Equality may demand the restraint of the liberty of those who wish to dominate; liberty without some modicum of which there is no choice and therefore no possibility of remaining human as we understand the word may have to be curtailed in order to make room for social welfare, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, to leave room for the liberty of others, to allow justice or fairness to be exercised.

The notion of the perfect whole, the ultimate solution, in which all good things coexist, seems to me to be not merely unattainable that is a truism but conceptually incoherent; I do not know what is meant by a harmony of this kind.  Some among the Great Goods cannot live together.  That is a conceptual truth. We are doomed to choose, and every choice may entail an irreparable loss. These collisions of values are of the essence of what they are and what we are."

~ Isaiah Berlin, British philosopher (1909-1997) in The Crooked Timber of Humanity 1988
lexlingua: (typing...)

“I write fantasy because it’s there. I have no other excuse for sitting down for several hours a day indulging my imagination. Daydreaming. Thinking up imaginary people, impossible places. Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored. Making it tell the same tale over and over again makes it thin and whining; its scales begin to fall off; its fiery breath becomes a trickle of smoke.

It is best fed by reality, an odd diet for something nonexistent; there are few details of daily life and its broad range of emotional context that can’t be transformed into food for the imagination. It must be visited constantly, or else it begins to become restless and emit strange bellows at embarrassing moments; ignoring it only makes it grow larger and noisier. Content, it dreams awake, and spins the fabric of tales. There is really nothing to be done with such imagery except to use it: in writing, in art.

Those who fear the imagination condemn it: something childish, they say, something monsterish, misbegotten. Not all of us dream awake. But those of us who do have no choice.”

lexlingua: (Coffee)
I found this survey completely by chance on Late Nights with Good Books, and fell in love with it. Here’s my take on the Perpetual Page Turner’s A to Z alphabetical survey about books.

The A to Z Survey... )
lexlingua: (Coffee)
THE WORLD'S FIRST KNOW-IT-ALL: Job, from the Bible (Verse 18)
Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
—The LORD to Job in Job 38:1-18, (c. 1660 BC)

lexlingua: (Macabre)
VIDA Project looks at the different rates of publication between men and women in the world of literary arts (both fiction and non-fiction) in various literary outlets of the world. Their research stretches across magazines like Harper's, New York Times, London Review, Boston Review, Granta Books, the New Yorker, etc.
The results point towards discrimination, because women's works published in a given year seem to be roughly 25%, as compared to works of the male novelist/ writer. Poetry is one area where women's works almost comprise 25% of the works. 
The VIDA Count has done this survey in 2010, and in 2011. The results remains pretty much the same, and have apparently created a huge furore in the literary world. Some of the comments received are downright disparaging, the others are downright feminist. Here's what people ahve said, as per the VIDA Count website:
"[F]urious debates over The Count took place in comment boxes, both nationally and internationally; women writers are discriminated against and should be righteously indignant; women writers are whiners and should simply write better books; women writers should write about more “important” subjects; women writers’ subjects are just as important as male writers’, dammit!; women writers’ subject matter isn’t inherently different than men’s, it’s just reviewed differently; women writers should submit more work to magazines; male writers should submit less; editors should actively solicit more work from women writers…"

lexlingua: (Random)
“I have wandered in many lands, seeking the lost regions from which my birth into this world exiled me, and the company of creatures such as I myself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw, in Caesar and Cleopatra

lexlingua: (Reading)
This picture describes Books for booklovers all over the world, and can be found at Demotivation.

Books, they have addled her brain.

But it appears that Demotivation lifted this image from the original work of a Russian artist, Anastasia Gorbunov. Gorbunov had submitted her art for a contest to incentivize book-reading. The slogan for her poster was: "Reading isn't dangerous. Not reading is." Apparently, Demotivation changed it to "Books: That is exactly how they work."

I am not sure if Demotivation edited her work without her permission. There is no resource on the web where I can find her portfolio or any news of copyright infringment. I found these claims over at Lightly Seared and MadArtLab.

Meanwhile, I hope Gorbunov has other art up her sleeve-- with watermarks, of course-- so the rest of us can look and sigh with wonder.

lexlingua: (Contemplation)

"He thought that fear of death was perhaps the root of all art, perhaps also of all things of the mind. We fear death, we shudder at life's instability, we grieve to see the flowers wilt again and again, and the leaves fall, and in our hearts we know that we, too, are transitory and will soon disappear. When artists create pictures and thinkers search for laws and formulate thoughts, it is in order to salvage something from the great dance of death, to make something that lasts longer than we do."

~ Herman Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund.

lexlingua: (Reading)
Half the harm that is done in this world
Is due to people who want to feel important
They don’t mean to do harm
But the harm does not interest them.
Or they do not see it, or they justify it
Because they are absorbed in the endless struggle
To think well of themselves.

T. S. Eliot


lexlingua: (Default)

January 2017



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