How I’m Spending Winter Break

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Emil Filla, “Reader of Dostoevsky” (1907)

“In short, our gentleman became so caught up in reading that he spent his nights reading from dusk till dawn and his days reading from sunrise to sunset, and so with too little sleep and too much reading his brains dried up, causing him to lose his mind.”
— Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

In Praise of Musicality

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“Aristotle maintains that, more than color or smell, rhythm and melody ‘resemble dispositions.’ It is musicality, in other words, that most strongly conveys sensibility, communicates emotional intelligence. If Aristotle is right, then we prose writers can enhance the effects of our writing by paying more attention to the sounds of our sentences. We can heighten the effectiveness of our sentences if we imagine writing not so much for readers but for listeners.”
— Barbara Hurd, “The Sounds and Sense of Sentences”

Having a Raskolnikov Day

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“One new, insurmountable sensation was gaining possession of him almost minute by minute: it was a certain boundless, almost physical loathing for everything he met and saw around him, an obstinate, spiteful, hate-filled loathing. All of the people he met were repulsive to him — their faces, their walk, their movements were repulsive. If anyone had spoken to him, he would probably have just spat at him, bitten him…”

Too True

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“Intelligence is often the enemy of poetry, because it limits too much, and it elevates the poet to a sharp-edged throne where he forgets that ants could eat him or that a great arsenic lobster could fall on his head.”
— Frederico García Lorca

We Are the Work

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“Truth must in. We are the work. The made-world is all decoration, and only matters that when it is not completely given over to its appointed task of providing a setting of the most consummate brutality, sterility, and hideousness, it is just plain ridiculously silly! Look about you — those clothes, houses, cars — woweee!!” — Kenneth Patchen