Category Archives: books

Scrooge

“ … It was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.” Christmas would also be a serious time, for Scrooge. He would remember that night of his sudden … Continue reading

Posted in books, Literature | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Golden Age

The ideal is always something inhuman: “These men were the so-called golden race, subjects of Cronus, who lived without cares or labour, eating only acorns, wild fruit, and honey that dripped from the trees, drinking the milk of sheep and … Continue reading

Posted in books | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Religion, Magic, and Science

It’s useless to try to define something like religion. James Frazer says all he’ll do is say what he means by it, and then try to be consistent in using the term throughout his work. By “religion”, Frazer means A … Continue reading

Posted in books | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

You must be ecstatic

In The Night Manager, Madame Latulipe asks Jonathan if he is in love. “Not that I am aware, madame,” he replies. “You are unhappy? You are lonely?” “I am blissfully content.” “But to be content is not enough! You must … Continue reading

Posted in books, Literature, Writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Enjoyment in Writing

Past, present, and future are bound together when Henry Miller is writing. “The past is the springboard, the present the melting pot, and the future the delectation.” The past is the springboard because it is from the memories of his … Continue reading

Posted in books, Literature, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Orpheus

Orpheus is playing his lyre with tears in his eyes, begging the rulers of the underworld to return Eurydice to him. All Pluto and Persephone want is to be rid of those dewy eyes, tearing at their heart strings. They … Continue reading

Posted in books, Literature, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Building

“We have no need for genius – genius is dead. We have need for strong hands …” How to start writing? Take a building block and set it down. It is Paris, 1930 perhaps, and a day in the life … Continue reading

Posted in books, Literature, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tree Spirits in The Golden Bough

In spring, early summer, or midsummer the villagers would go out into the woods to cut down a tree. They’d bring it back to the village and set it up there (“amid general rejoicings”); or, in other villages, they would … Continue reading

Posted in books | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

See What I’m Saying

First sentence of William Burroughs’ The Wild Boys: “The camera is the eye of a cruising vulture flying over an area of scrub, rubble and unfinished buildings on the outskirts of Mexico City.” Burroughs thinks in pictures and his books … Continue reading

Posted in Beat Generation, books, Literature, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hegel’s Democratic Spirit

The Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit is a good place to begin with Hegel. The key question he’s asking in these pages is: What is philosophy? And his answer tells us a lot about what kind of philosopher he … Continue reading

Posted in books, Hegel, Philosophy | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments