Drawing on thousands of sparkling, moving, entrancing quotations amassed over decades of slow-savoured reading, to refresh the mind and spirit, invigorate tired thought and flaccid prose, and improve the world’s Powerpoint presentations beyond belief. Dive in!

Getting to know your guest

One of several exchanges in which Rory Stewart finds himself being presented as anything but what he is.  These introductions took place on his hike across hundreds of kilometres of...

Mind the mine

Rory Stewart walked a long stretch of remoteness in Afghanistan, part of an even longer walk which took him across Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.  His account of the Afghan adventure...

Say what you ought

A laughing summary of a lady's capacity to say the right thing at the right moment, just what she ought, no more no less.

The image is simply one I...

An excellent precaution

Long gone the days of bedbugs and room tics, when a lady might think to travel with her own linen. Still, something in the wording suggests a wryness in Jane Austen's...

Call him Titus

Baby Titus, born into a crumbling, rambling pile of stone, with parents of a warmth and tenderness approximately equivalent to the building material of their castle. Here is his mother,...

Footing the bullet bill

This is half funny, half awful - your country of birth, having given you the death sentence, hounds you in exile with bills to cover the cost of your eventual...

Argumentative authenticity

You can't help admiring people said to be as authentic as argumentative, including in themselves, and in their art and architecture.

This from a slender, entertaining and masterful look at...

A page per year

Taleb is an erudite and provocative writer, sometimes coming across as intellectually arrogant, though always interesting. Here he shows a healthy sign of self-deprecation which I found entertaining. He's published a...

On living forever

Welcome to the WritingRedux podcast!

This long and winding quotation enchanted me to the extent that I wrote it out by hand some 20-30 times and sent individual copies to...

I have discovered that, with the passing of the years, my ignorance in countless areas… has become increasingly perfected while, at the same time, a lifelong practice of haphazard readings has left me with a sort of commonplace book in whose pages I find my own thoughts put into the words of others.   

Source: Alberto Manguel, The City of Words, CBC Massey Lecture Series (Toronto: Anansi Press, 2007), p. 3

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