Category Archives: Quote

What’s the most epic book ever written?

The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe

“A man can stand a lot as long as he can stand himself. He can live without hope, without friends, without books, even without music, as long as he can listen to his own thoughts.”

“We know that we are going to die, in fact it is the only thing we know of what is in store for us. All the rest is mere guesswork, and most of the time we guess wrong. Like children in the trackless forest we grope our way through our lives in blissful ignorance of what is going to happen to us from one day to another, what hardships we may have to face, what more or less thrilling adventures we may encounter before the great adventure, the most thrilling of all, the Adventure of Death.”

“Happiness we can only find in ourselves, it is a waste of time to seek for it from others, few have any to spare. Sorrow we have to bear alone as best we can, it is not fair to try to shift it on others, be they men or women. We have to fight our own battles and strike as hard as we can, born fighters as we are.”

“To my amazement, I have heard that there are people who have never seen a gnome. I can’t help pitying these people. I am certain there must be something wrong with their eyesight.”

Answer featured in Quora Digest.

What are some good short stories?

I have answered this at Quora.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro
by Ernest Hemingway.

“The cot the man lay on was in the wide shade of a mimosa tree and as he looked out past the shade onto the glare of the plain there were three of the big birds squatted obscenely, while in the sky a dozen more sailed, making quick-moving shadows as they passed.”

“Now he would never write the things that he had saved to write until he knew enough to write them well. Well, he would not have to fail at trying to write them either. Maybe you could never write them, and that was why you put them off and delayed the starting. Well he would never know, now.”

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d
by WALT WHITMAN

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

O powerful western fallen star!
O shades of night—O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear’d—O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless—O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul.
…………………………………………….

Also posted on Quora.

Becoming a Redwood

Becoming a Redwood by Dana Gioia

Unimaginable the redwoods on the far hill,
rooted for centuries, the living wood grown tall
and thickened with a hundred thousand days of light.

The old windmill creaks in perfect time
to the wind shaking the miles of pasture grass,
and the last farmhouse light goes off.

Something moves nearby. Coyotes hunt
these hills and packs of feral dogs.
But standing here at night accepts all that.

You are your own pale shadow in the quarter moon,
moving more slowly than the crippled stars,
part of the moonlight as the moonlight falls,

Part of the grass that answers the wind,
part of the midnight’s watchfulness that knows
there is no silence but when danger comes.

A graduate of Stanford Business School, Gioia claims to be “the only person, in history, who went to business school to be a poet.”

Reshape our Rage – The New Yorker interview

“People in the world have every reason to be in a state of total rage. What we do with that rage together is important.” – Judith Butler

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/judith-butler-wants-us-to-reshape-our-rage

Maybe rage channeled such artful imagery:
Alan Clarke

Fold your life in two

Fold your life in two. Where are you? What are you doing?

I am a struggling starving student, in between graduation and my postgraduate exams (I followed the postgraduate courses of English Methodology and language teaching).
I am all alone in the big city trying to make ends meet. I am studying for my finals (3 tough exams) and gathering information for completing my degree. I spend my days torn between work and libraries (for the past month I have been “dwelling” in the impressive Library of the Romanian Academy).

Between the covers of my thesis I have put two most loved topics, Greek Mythology and the Victorian writers and molded them into “Gods in Exile”. The banishment of the Greek gods from the dreamy and adorned Victorian poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Elisabeth Barret Browning, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was an exciting and extremely exotic journey:
“I have been here before, But when or how I cannot tell: I know the grass beyond the door, The sweet keen smell, The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti
during which I heard the zephyr stirring, magic windows appeared into unbreakable walls, bluer seas sang in my sleep, foamy rivers condemned me to contemplation.
But life is difficult, I am consumed with the lack of time for my studies and fatigue and of course, money is scarce. It was one of the most difficult year ever.

“Pain doesn’t destroy language: it changes it. What is difficult is not impossible. ” Anne Boyer on the articulation of pain.

“To write with the truth of pain in your mouth is gruesome poetry … You’ll have to cut out your heart with every word and show it to the world, then hope it will heal. This is how the light gets in, also the dark. To acknowledge fear, defeat, despair and pretend serenity of a lesson learned while patching up the wounds is … Life.” – From my Tyranosaurus Writing

I have always been fascinated with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, poet of words and colours.

How to tell a great story

How to tell a great story from Seth

“A great story is true. Not necessarily because it’s factual, but because it’s consistent and authentic. Consumers are too good at sniffing out inconsistencies for a marketer to get away with a story that’s just slapped on.”

Art by Boris Diodorov.