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Literature

This category contains 68 posts

Leaves of Grass : Walt Whitman / Lawren Harris

O swift wind! O space and time! now I see it is true, what I guessed at; What I guess’d when I loaf’d on the grass; What I guess’d while I lay alone in my bed, And again as I walk’d the beach under the paling stars of the morning. My ties and ballasts leave … Continue reading

A Note : Wisława Szymborska / David Bates

Life is the only way to get covered in leaves, catch your breath on the sand, rise on wings; to be a dog, or stroke its warm fur; to tell pain from everything it’s not; to squeeze inside events, dawdle in views, to seek the least of all possible mistakes. An extraordinary chance to remember … Continue reading

Paris is a moveable feast – Ernest Hemingway

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. —Ernest Hemingway to a friend,1950 9 Ford Madox Ford and the Devil’s Disciple The Closerie des Lilas was the nearest good cafe when … Continue reading

Combat – Albert Camus

Le monde est ce qu’il est, c’est-à-dire peu de chose. C’est ce que chacun sait depuis hier grâce au formidable concert que la radio, les journaux et les agences d’information viennent de déclencher au sujet de la bombe atomique. On nous apprend, en effet, au milieu d’une foule de commentaires enthousiastes que n’importe quelle ville … Continue reading

PARIS: Louis Aragon / Marc Chagall

PARIS Où fait-il bon même au coeur de l’orage Où fait-il clair même au coeur de la nuit L’air est alcool et le malheur courage Carreaux cassés l’espoir encore y luit Et les chansons montent des murs détruits Jamais éteint renaissant de la braise Perpétuel brûlot de la patrie Du Point-du-Jour jusqu’au Père-Lachaise Ce doux … Continue reading

I Am Not Yours: Sara Teasdale / Louise Bourgeois

I am not yours, not lost in you, Not lost, although I long to be Lost as a candle lit at noon, Lost as a snowflake in the sea. You love me, and I find you still A spirit beautiful and bright, Yet I am I, who long to be Lost as a light is … Continue reading

Solitude : Guy de Maupassant / Edward Hopper

There we were, a bunch of men, after a dinner together. We’d had a great time. One of the guys, an old friend, asked me: “Would you mind taking a walk down the Champs-Elysees with me?” We left on a slow stroll down the long avenue, under trees with barely any leaves left on them. … Continue reading

Past One O’Clock : Vladimir Mayakovsky / Peter Seelig

1 She loves me-loves me not. My hands I pick and having broken my fingers fling away. So the first daisy-heads one happens to flick are plucked, and guessing, scattered into May. Let a cut and shave reveal my grey hairs. Let the silver of the years ring out endlessly ! Shameful common sense – … Continue reading

The Nobodies: Eduardo Galeano / Carol Munder

Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and nobodies dream of escaping poverty: that one magical day good luck will suddenly rain down on them—will rain down in buckets. But good luck doesn’t rain down yesterday, today, tomorrow, or ever. Good luck doesn’t even fall in a fine drizzle, no matter how hard the nobodies … Continue reading

The passion according to G.H – Clarice Lispector

GIVE ME YOUR HAND: I am now going to tell you how I entered the inexpressive that was alwayqs my blind and secret search. How I entered whatever exists between the number one and the number two, how I saw the line of mystery and fire, and which is surreptitios line. A note exists between … Continue reading

I Am With You : Kassák Lajos / Manuel Alvarez Bravo

In front of you I go you in front of me the early sun’s gold chain jingles on my wrist. Where are you going — I ask you answer — how do I know. I speed up my walk but you speed all the more. I in front of you you in front of me. … Continue reading

Song of the Open Road – Walt Whitman

Poetry

How is it over there? How lonely is it? Is it still glowing red at sunset? Are the birds still singing on the way to the forest? Can you receive the letter I dared not send? Can I convey… the confession I dared not make? Will time pass and roses fade? Now it’s time to … Continue reading

The Tale of Genji: The Sensualist by Murasaki Shikibu

So get this: the world’s first novel came from Japan — and it was written by a woman — and it’s all about sex. Japanese literary buffs and commoners alike are celebrating the 1000th anniversary of The Tale of Genji. The author Murasaki Shikibu (c. 973 – c. 1014 or 1025) was a maid of … Continue reading

How Distant Everything Is! Emil Cioran / Akihiro Furuta

How Distant Everything Is! I don’t understand why we must do things in this world, why we must have friends and aspirations, hopes and dreams. Wouldn’t it be better to retreat to a faraway corner of the world, where all its noise and complications would be heard no more? Then we could renounce culture and … Continue reading

Foucault’s Pendulum : Umberto Eco

Whoever reflects on four things, it were better he had never been born: that which is above, that which is below, that which is before, and that which is after. – Talmud, Hagigah 2.1 I showed up at Garamond the morning they were installing Abulafia, as Belbo and Diotallevi were lost in a ditribe about … Continue reading

The Adulterous Woman : Albert Camus / Pierre Boncompain

A HOUSEFLY had been circling for the last few minutes in the bus, though the windows were closed. An odd sight here, it had been silently flying back and forth on tired wings. Janine lost track of it, then saw it light on her husband’s motionless hand. The weather was cold. The fly shuddered with each … Continue reading

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