“I am glad you are happy — but I never believe much in happiness. I never believe in misery either. Those are things you see on the stage or the screen or the printed pages, they never really happen to you in life.”—Francis Scott Fitzgerald to his 11-year-old daughter, “Scottie” [via Letters of Note]
“The ideal reader of my novels is a lapsed Catholic and failed musician, short-sighted, color-blind, auditorily biased, who has read the books that I have read. He should also be about my age.”—Anthony Burgess, Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 48
“We are allowed to order—from the state library—only nonfiction and law books. Of the law books, we can only order books containing court opinion. We can get any decision of the California District Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts, the Circuit Courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. But books of an explanatory nature are prohibited. Many convicts who do not have lawyers are forced to act in propria persona. They do all right. But it would be much easier if they could get books that showed them how properly to plead their cause, how to prepare their petitions and briefs. This is a perpetual sore point with the Folsom Prison Bar Association, as we call ourselves.”— Eldridge Cleaver, “No Sex in the Prison Library” - Lapham’s Quarterly
“Ma vi domando: che cosa garantisce una democrazia che una dittatura non possa garantire? Certo, garantisce qualcosa: l’invivibilità della vita. Non risolve la vita. Chi sceglie la libertà, sceglie il deserto. Se la democrazia fosse mai libertà. Ma la democrazia non è niente; è mera demagogia. Qualora noi meritassimo una libertà, dovrebbe essere affrancamento dal lavoro e non occupazione sul lavoro. Anche se non si scappa mai.”—Carmelo Bene [via pooryorickproductions]
“I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.”—Robert Pirosh attempt at a screenwriting job [via Letters of Note]
638 Ways to Kill Castro is a Channel 4 documentary film, broadcast in the United Kingdom on November 28, 2006, which tells the story of some of the numerous attempts of the Central Intelligence Agency to kill Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro.
I’ve built instapaper placebo because instapaper itself is too complex for what I need. I don’t need a nice mobile app for reading. I don’t need a way to remove all the clutter from the page. I don’t need an online cross-platform bookmark syncing service. I just need a way of offloading all my good intentions. A way to stop hoarding links. And with less stuff to read I can make more stuff instead. Productive stuff. Like instapaper placebo.
“In December 1843, The Economist relayed its first reported anecdotes about China: tales of foreigners being deceived by fake Chinese products. These included, according to one written account, “counterfeit hams” made of wood, coated in dirt and wrapped with an outer layer of hog’s skin: “The whole is so curiously painted and prepared, that a knife is necessary to detect the fraud.” Another foreigner, “M. Osbeck”, told of being duped by a blind flower-salesman on the street: “I learned from this instance that whosoever will deal with the Chinese must make use of his utmost circumspection; and even then must run the risk of being cheated.”—The Economist in China: Old hands
The goal of the Freud Archives had never been to make the documents of Freudianism available to the public, as Luther Evans, the Librarian of Congress, undoubtedly believed when Eissler approached him. In reality, the Library of Congress and the American people had been duped. What Anna Freud and the Freudian Family sought, quite simply, was a safety deposit box where they could lock up the archives — their archives — and protect them from the curiosity of outsiders.
IDP is a ground-breaking international collaboration to make information and images of all manuscripts, paintings, textiles and artefacts from Dunhuang and archaeological sites of the Eastern Silk Road freely available on the Internet and to encourage their use through educational and research programmes.
“D’Arline, I adore you, sweetheart. I know how much you like to hear that — but I don’t only write it because you like it — I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you. It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you — almost two years but I know you’ll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; and I thought there was no sense to writing. But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you.”—Richard Feynman writing to his deceased wife [via Letters of Note]