Tag Archives: Reading

C.C.C.

“Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason. They made no such demand upon those who wrote them.”

                                                                                        –Charles Caleb Colton

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Twilight

“I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.”

                                                 –Samuel Johnson

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”

                                                 –Joseph Brodsky

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What passes?

Never were days yet called two,

But one night went betwixt.

                 –Thomas Campion

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Enter Title Here

“Prose is the written form of deliberate expression, a medium that can become an art. Whereas speech is halting, comes in fragments, repeats, puts qualifiers after the idea, and often leaves it half expressed, prose aims at organized thought in complete units. The qualifiers of each idea often come before or during its exposition, as required by clarity, the sound of the words, or their rhythm.”

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“Good prose means hard work; as a modern practitioner put it, it is ‘heavy lifting from a sitting position.'”

                                                                                                  –Jacques Barzun

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Minatory, Repressive

“Either the person confesses and he is proved guilty from his own confession, or he does not confess and is equally guilty on the evidence of witnesses. If a person confesses the whole of what he is accused of, he is unquestionably guilty of the whole; but if he confesses only a part, he ought still to be regarded as guilty of the whole since what he has confessed proves him to be capable of guilt as to the other points of the accusation….”

                                                                                            –Book of the Dead

“When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him.”

                                                                                             –Jonathan Swift

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The Final Projection

“We have had a gutful of fast art and fast food. What we need more of is slow art: art that holds time as a vase holds water: art that grows out of modes of perception and whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel; art that isn’t merely sensational, that doesn’t get its message across in 10 seconds, that isn’t falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep-running in our natures. In a word, art that is the very opposite of mass media.”

                                                                                                 –Robert Hughes

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Imaginary Gardens

“It was very clear you don’t decide to be a writer. You are one or you’re not one. This drives people crazy, because everybody thinks it’s easy just to sit down and scribble, and that’s it. Well, it isn’t it, and you have to have a certain gift, which is not art. It’s not a democracy. In fact, art is the enemy of democracy.”

                                                                                           –Gore Vidal

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“We appreciate the chance to read your work…”

“Those brought up on the passive pleasures of films and television find the act of reading anything at all difficult and unrewarding.”

                                                                                                 –Gore Vidal

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Workstudy

“The hardest thing in the world to do is to write straight honest prose on human beings. First you have to know the subject; then you have to know how to write. Both take a lifetime to learn…”

                                                                               –Ernest Hemingway

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All the bells say: too late.

“A country which is supposed to be built on dissent, built on the value of the individual, now distrusts dissent at least as much as any totalitarian government can and debases the individual in many ways because it places security and money above the individual; and when these things are cultivated and honored in the country, no matter what else it may have, it is in danger of perishing, because no country can survive, it cannot survive, without a patient, active responsibility for all its citizens.

We have begun to see what happens to a country when it is run according to the rules of a popularity contest; we have begun to see that we ourselves are for more dangerous for ourselves than Khrushchev or Castro.”

                                      –James Baldwin, “What Price Freedom?” (1964)

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