Take a lucky dip in this refreshing pool of posts, randomly selected like literary Russian roulette (but more fun and much safer). Or filter by category to take a deeper dive into specific themes.  Enjoy!

Scobie and the sea

This quote has haunted me since I first read Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet about thirty years ago. It is still on my wall in calligraphy. Scobie was a wonderful character.

‘Clea once asked...

Wonder-working juice

A Greek myth concerning a wonder-working juice which confers immortality. However, when asking that Tithonus be granted eternal life they forgot to mention eternal youth, which meant he suffered eternal...

Half-blown rose

Something touching about the 'half-blown', that moment in a rose's beauty when it is heavy with the weight of its own blooming.  Too early here to see any roses in...

Weaving a stanza

Thoreau likens a fisherman's weaving of a creel to creating a poem about the spring. He shows great respect for skills and care in material things and processes.

'He was...

Vigorous and well-preserved

A surprising way to describe an old man's forehead, having the roundness and roughness of an oyster shell.  Or might it be alluding to the sand-polished inside smoothness of the...

Appreciation is a better mode for the understanding of achievement than are all the analytical kinds of accounting for the emergence of exceptional individuals.  Appreciation may judge, but always with gratitude, and frequently with awe and wonder.  

By ‘appreciation’ I mean something more than ‘adequate esteem’.  Need also enters into it, in the particular sense of turning to the genius of others in order to redress a lack in oneself, or finding in genius a stimulus to one’s own powers, whatever these may emerge as being.

Source: Harold Bloom, Genius (London: Fourth Estate, 2002), p. 5

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