Life is an experimental journey undertaken involuntarily. It is a journey of the spirit through the material world and, since it is the spirit that travels, it is the spirit that is experienced. That is why there exist contemplative souls who have lived more intensely, more widely, more tumultuously than others who have lived their lives purely externally.
~Fernando Pessoa, June 13, 1888 – November 30, 1935
The Book of Disquiet
Image: by Bottelho (wiki)
I’m stuffed with literature. I don’t talk to anyone.
What’s the world for you if you can’t make it up the way you want it?
passions form labyrinths in which
we lose and find and
then lose ourselves again.
Happy birthday, Truman Capote (born September 30, 1924)
"Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act."
- Truman Capote
The present was a speck that kept blinking brightening and diminishing, something neither alive nor dead. How long did it last? One second? Less? It was always in flux; in the time it took to consider it, it slipped away.
Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland
A very special entry in the Classics and Coffee Club for Septmber 29th, which apparently is International Coffee Day. We’ve got the whole process on display here, from the manual grind to the pour-over rig and, what’s that in the corner? Stefan Zweig’s Chess Story?
In The Impossible Exile, his book about Zweig, George Prochnik tells us that Zweig himself frequented Vienna’s Café Imperial. Here it is circa 1920 (before it and the hotel it was located in were requisitioned by Nazis as a place to roll out the red carpet for Hitler).
As always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.
favorite place ❤️ (at Iliad Bookshop)
They’re not like compact discs or even phonograph records. These are things that had their day and they were replaced. You can say that you’ve seen the same progression with books in that e-books have a lot of nice bells and whistles. But the big difference is that audio recordings of music have only been around for, I’m going to say, 120 years at the most. Books have been around for three, four centuries. There’s a deeply implanted desire and understanding and wanting of books, of needing books, that isn’t there with music. It’s a deeper well of human experience.