Here’s “School of Athens” by Raphael. Doesn’t it fill you with an awe and reverence and admiration for learning?
WAR AND PEACE has tons of amazing, unforgettable moments in it. There’s a thread listing many of them, on Goodreads. Here’s one of my favorites. BTW, this text is from the spectacular translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. I can’t recommend their many translations from great Russian writers, highly enough. To the right Rostov saw the first rows of … Read More
Looking at this painting fills me with emotions like those I might have if I were actually there witnessing the thing it depicts. I feel for that milkmaid. It looks to me like she recently handwashed all of her clothes, but there’s dirt from much use that just won’t come out. But look how carefully, faithfully, diligently she’s doing her … Read More
Here’s a quote from Ernest Hemingway’s THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA: He looked across the sea and knew how alone he was now. But he could see the prisms in the deep dark water and the line stretching ahead and the strange undulation of the calm. The clouds were building up now for the trade wind and he looked … Read More
If you’ve ever thought about writing, you’ve probably wondered if you could describe what sex feels like. Well, Walt Whitman, the poet, had a shot at it in the freaking 1800’s. Don’t we all have the impression that nobody talked about sex until, like, 1960 or something like that? Not so. Walt Whitman had a surprisingly frank take on it … Read More
As you may have noticed, what I’m trying to do here is provide very punchy, powerful, easy-to-get-with emotional insights. Lots of great poems, plays and novels have beautiful stretches in them that lead up to, or include, something brief and powerful. I’m looking for these moments to feature in blog posts on this site. Similarly, with paintings, music and sculpture, … Read More