He had been born for hopes and for joys…

Everyone saw in my face evil traits that I didn’t possess. But they assumed I did, and so they developed. I was modest, and was accused of being deceitful: I became secretive. I had a strong sense of good and evil; instead of kindness I received nothing but insults, so I grew resentful. I was…

But I will write in spite of everything.

“This tremendous world I have inside of me. How to free myself, and this world, without tearing myself to pieces. And rather tear myself to a thousand pieces than be buried with this world within me.” from his Diaries “I am constantly trying to communicate something incommunicable, to explain something inexplicable, to tell about something I…

To live, to err, to fall, to triumph.

In Joyce, one can find the boundaries of tradition and innovation closely entwined. Perhaps no other author can perfectly embody that turn-of-the-century decadent style with the desire to explore a new world free of the literary conventions and convictions that had previously reigned. And while reading his work, one can find that eagerness and excitement…

The experience of this sweet life.

The man who lies asleep will never waken fame, and his desire and all his life drift past him like a dream, and the traces of his memory fade from and his desire and all his life drift past him like a dream, and the traces of his memory fade from time like smoke in…

Fruit and pies, to remember.

“Try this freshly-made pie and an egg,” continued Madame. Chichikov did so, and having eaten more than half of what she offered him, praised the pie highly. Indeed, it was a toothsome dish, and, after his difficulties and exertions with his hostess, it tasted even better than it might otherwise have done. “And also a…

Of Solitude.

The contagion is very dangerous in the crowd. A man must either imitate the vicious or hate them both are dangerous things, either to resemble them because they are many or to hate many because they are unresembling to ourselves… If a man do not first discharge both himself and his mind of the burden…

Epilogue. Chapter III. Ilyusha’s Funeral.

And even if we are occupied with most important things, if we attain to honor or fall into great misfortune—still let us remember how good it was once here, when we were all together, united by a good and kind feeling which made us, for the time we were loving that poor boy, better perhaps…

Boston Cream Pie and dreams.

Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream! My spirit not awakening, till the beam Of an Eternity should bring the morrow. Yes! tho’ that long dream were of hopeless sorrow, ’Twere better than the cold reality Of waking life, to him whose heart must be, And hath been still, upon the lovely earth,…

Winter Notes on Summer Impressions.

Why, we don’t even know what living means now, what it is, and what it is called? Leave us alone without books and we shall be lost and in confusion at once. We shall not know what to join on to, what to cling to, what to love and what to hate, what to respect…

To define is to limit.

Wilde is piously intent in killing whatever remains of my soul, because he says to know an essence, you must stifle it: he wants me to yearn for my soul. Its value depends on how much exertion it takes to destroy it. André Gide about Wilde, in a letter to Valéry from 1891. Wilde was…

The Idea of North

At the center of the technological debate, then,  is a new kind of listener—a listener more participant in the musical experience.  The emergence of this mid-twentieth-century phenomenon is the greatest achievement of the record industry.  For this listener is no longer passively analytical; he is an associate whose tastes, preferences, and inclinations even now alter…