5:06 pm 73 notes
“I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.”
— John Green, Looking for Alaska
1:22 pm 6 notes
François Lelord’s Hector and the Search for Happiness now back in stock at BooksActually !
4:59 pm 4 notes
“And yet honor, which Nabuliune is telling them all about now, is not quite a game, for without honor we are nothing. Anything for honor. That was always said in both our families: the honor of a Corsican. And when as a little girl I would ask what it was this honor, they told me not to ask because if you try to see what honor is made of then you pull it to pieces and cannot put it back together again. You must merely honor honor, that being the only honorable thing in the world.”
— Anthony Burgess, Napoleon Symphony
1:57 pm 48 notes
“Cecilia’s diary begins a year and a half before her suicide. Many people felt the illuminated pages constituted a hieroglyphics of unreadable despair, though the pictures looked cheerful for the most part. The diary had a lock, but David Barker, who got it from Skip Ortega, the plumber’s assistant, told us that Skip had found the diary next to the toilet in the master bedroom, its lock already jimmied as though Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon had been reading it themselves. Tim Winer, the brain, insisted on examining the diary. We carried it to the study his parents had built for him, with its green desk lamps, contour globe, and gilt-edged encyclopedias. “Emotional instability,” he said, analyzing the handwriting. “Look at the dots on those i’s. All over the place.” And then, leaning forward, showing the blue veins beneath his weakling’s skin, he added: “Basically, what we have here is a dreamer. Somebody out of touch with reality. When she jumped, she probably thought she’d fly.”“
— Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides
7:07 pm 16 notes
Leatherbound Classics now available at BooksActually !
3:40 pm 5 notes
“If those arrangements were to disappear as they appeared, if some event of which we can at the moment do no more than sense the possibility – without knowing either what its form will be or what it promises – were to cause them to crumble, as the ground of Classical thought did, at the end of the eighteenth century, then one can certainly wager that man would be erased, like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea.”
— Michel Foucault, The Order of Things
4:40 pm 1 note
“The chair is an immensely suggestive form. It is one of the most anthropomorphic furniture types: it has a back, a seat and legs, sometimes arms, and occasionally elbows, knees and feet. It sits and invites sitting – even unoccupied, it has a certain human presence. In this light, Vincent’s Chair with His Pipe (1988), the famous painting by Vincent van Gogh of a simple rush-bottomed wooden chair, can be seen as a self-portrait of the artist, or rather as a ‘self-portrait as a chair’, as the eminent US philosopher Arthur C Danto pointed out in 397 Chairs (1988).”
— How to design a Chair
“At the same time, children’s drawings of houses are similar to schematic depictions of the human face. In dream analysis, the house is often identified as a symbol for the human body. Gaston Bachelard’s La Poétique l’espace (‘The Poetics of Space’ 1958) explores the psychic nature of the house, from the attic where thoughts are kept, corresponding to the superego, to the basement where things are buried and forgotten, the lair of the id. Houses house not only people and their belongings, they also contain memory and meaning. In such domestic theatres, lives are played out.”
— How to design a House
7:13 pm 5 notes
“Back in the apartment, after a steaming bath to get warm again, Claire and Rolanne meet in the kitchen over a cup of tea. They try to convince themselves that the young Greek is out of danger and will get better. They refuse to believe the negative prognosis of the military doctor who hospitalized him.
“He’ll pull through,” says Claire stubbornly. “It’s like a pledge, as if there in the back of the ambulance, and afterwards, he had promised me that together we would fight. Do you remember?”
No sooner had they lifted him out of the ambulance than the boy had regained consciousness, his eyes seeking Claire’s. Then he grabbed her hand with an unimaginable strength and wouldn’t let go. All the way to his bed in an overcrowded ward Claire had gone on talking, saying any old thing, everything that went through her head, just to keep him conscious. She had promised to return the next day and the days that followed.
“It’s so stupid to get attached like this to a kid you don’t even know… If he doesn’t pull through…”
“No, Clarinette, it’s normal, and that’s what makes it so painful sometimes.” “
— Anne Wiazemsky, My Berlin Child
“She came on stage, greeted by applause. Her Bedouin garments were a shock, she’d put her headpiece back on, I hadn’t seen her dressed as a boy since the previous concert. She was going to start with I’m Afraid That Your Love. We should never have let her, she had just learned the poem and her voice was not warmed up. She was already concentrating, little Bedouin boy, long-distance runner before the start. Her eyes locked onto me, and only me, where I was sitting in the first row; her voice, too long restrained, suddenly soared, strung tight as a wire. She sang the first two verses without letting go of, then she took a turn and sang them again in the same breath. “Your eyes told me, and your hands / My heart too, but it can deceive me / Your love may be only pity…” The audience reacted immediately with a long ovation. She lowered her face and her body absorbed the blow, I caught the smile she was hiding against her breast. She raised her eyes, plunged head-long. I knew she was following the melody very closely. Slowness, modulations, hesitations, even the slight hoarseness on certain syllables. But the structure had disappeared, the song emerged as if dictated by an utterly free inspiration, the words became transparent. She had spent all those hours, she had stolen the secret, she possessed it, transforming it into sounds, in the trembling of her vocal chords. A little peasant girl, nothing more, but a medium.”
— Sélim Nassib, I Loved You for Your Voice
5:45 pm 12 notes
“This is an iconic painting that many children have replicated, but the psychological complexities of the agitated mind that produced it are rare. Painted three years after Munch’s father’s unexpected death, The Scream was deliberately childlike and naive in its visual language. Munch was consciously untainted by society’s expectations. He explained how he captured memories: ‘I do not paint what I see but what I saw.’”
— Susie Hodge, Why Your Five Year Old Child Could Not Have Done That: Modern Art Explained