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.
It’s sort of weird if you think about it. We live in a pretty apathetic age, yet we’re surrounded by an enormous amount of information about other people. If you feel like it, you can easily gather that information about them. Having said that, we still hardly know anything about people.
Autumnal language: fullness and falling
away from the tree of self,
elegir. (by Ginebra_)
People are more than you think they are. And they’re less, as well. The trick lies in negotiating your way between the two.
- Parent to child at the library: Shhh...remember what we said about being loud in the library?
- Child: We'll wake up the books.
- Parent: That's right.