We rely upon the poets, the philosophers, and the playwrights to articulate what most of us can only feel, in joy or sorrow. They illuminate the thoughts for which we only grope; they give us the strength and balm we cannot find in ourselves. Whenever I feel my courage wavering, I rush to them. They give me the wisdom of acceptance, the will and resilience to push on.
If detective stories are ‘escape literature’ (and why shouldn’t they be!) the reader can escape to sunny skies and blue water as well as to crime in the confines of an armchair.
A Pleasant Afternoon/Portrait of a Young Woman Reading. Lilian Matilda Genth (American, 1876-1953). Oil on canvas.
Genth worked as a dress designer before winning the Elkins Scholarship, which allowed her to study with J.A.M. Whistler in Paris for a year. Upon her return to the US, she began painting female nudes in landscapes, for which she became well known. Later in her career, she abandoned the nude in favor of scenes from her travels across Europe and Asia.
- Person: hey have you read any good books lately?
- Me: are you ready for this conversation
By Ben Morson
Yet how strange is the beauty of music! The brief beauty that the player brings into being transforms a given period of time into pure continuance; it is certain never to be repeated; like the existence of dayflies and other such short-lived creatures, beauty is a perfect abstraction and creation of life itself. Nothing is so similar to life as music.