"She loved the sea for its storms alone, cared for vegetation only when it grew here and there among ruins — for her temperament was more sentimental than artistic, and what she was looking for was emotions, not scenery." - Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert)
Books can make a difference in dispelling prejudice and building community: not with role models and recipes, not with noble messages about the human family, but with enthralling stories that make us imagine the lives of others. A good story lets you know people as individuals in all their particularity and conflict; and once you see someone as a person—flawed, complex, striving—you’ve reached beyond stereotype.
My brother’s Library
— Franz Kafka
Édouard Manet’s ex libris for an 1875 French translation of Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’ by Stéphane Mallarmé.
(by Xin Lí)
Under fun’s new administration, writing fiction becomes a way to go deep inside yourself and illuminate precisely the stuff you don’t want to see or let anyone else see, and this stuff usually turns out (paradoxically) to be precisely the stuff all writers and readers everywhere share and respond to, feel. 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.