It is no surprise to me that hardly anyone tells the truth about how they feel. The smart ones keep themselves to themselves for good reason. Why would you want to tell anyone anything that’s dear to you? Even when you like them and want nothing more than to be closer than close to them? It’s so painful to be next to someone you feel strongly about and know you can’t say the things you want to.
I like books, and stories, that shock me. Books where you reach the end and feel thoroughly shaken with the thoughts of “What the hell did I just read?” It’s not the shock value itself that is valuable here. Rather it is the reasons why something was shocking. I have a lot of respect for people who realise that art (literature included) isn’t just art. Art doesn’t have to just be entertainment. Stories are more powerful than that. Often more powerful than we realise or even intend for them to be. After all, if books do indeed belong to their readers, then we can never truly predict how our words will resonate with those who read them. Any book can influence, and inspire, and bring people to a greater understanding of the world in which we live. And so I like writers who attempt to harness this power that they hold. Writers who attempt to use their words reveal truths, in Orwell’s case, truths that we would often prefer not to be aware of.
Biblioteca degli Uffizi, Firenze.
I always had the deepest affection for people who carried sublime tears in their silences.
The only authentic ending is the one provided here:
John and Mary die. John and Mary die.
John and Mary die.
So much for endings. Beginnings are always more fun. True connoisseurs, however, are known to favor the stretch in between, since it’s the hardest to do anything with.”
Palpable facts are mortal.The things we remember are emotions and impressions and illusions and images and characters: the elements of fiction.
Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin - find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that that was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.