"But that’s the key – we have to go outside ourselves. Disconnecting from the internet might help us reclaim some small lease on our attention, but that attention does us no good if we’re just feeding it back into ourselves on an endless loop. Putting down your phone doesn’t equal putting real work into empathy, just as not actively pursuing sex doesn’t equal granting women the status of complete human beings in your mind. Fetishizing “presence” by telling everyone to stop staring at their phones perpetuates the myth that simply being around other people automatically means you’re attuned or empathetic to them. As if it’s impossible to have a real, face-to-face conversation with someone and still fail to take in a single word they’re saying. As if it’s impossible to spend hours staring at Facebook and still be a good friend to your real friends later."
"We’re not babes in the wood. We’re men and women, long before our time, in the flower of our full-blooded youth … I suppose that it’s too bad that we aren’t humble, starry-eyed, shy, respectful innocents, standing reverently at their side for instructions."
John F. Carter
"Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free."
"What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies."
"On the Road," Jack Kerouac
"This was not sifting through Hemingway with a sieve for something I could relate to. This was not combing through Dylan trying to contort myself into thinking I was enjoying myself. This was my older sister telling me that our story was already fucking riveting. This was my best friend sitting down next to me after not seeing each other for a while and telling me what she’s been up to."
"More Adventurous," Christine Frair
"Text printed on the best paper with no margins or unbalanced margins is vile. Or, if we’re being empathetic, sad. (For no book begins life aspiring to bad margins.) I know that sounds harsh. But a book with poorly set margins is as useful as a hammer with a one inch handle. Sure, you can pound nails, but it ain’t fun. A book with crass margins will never make a reader comfortable. Such a book feels cramped, claustrophobic. It doesn’t draw you in, certainly doesn’t make you want to spend time with the text.
On the other hand, cheap, rough paper with a beautifully set textblock hanging just so on the page makes those in the know, smile (and those who don’t, feel welcome). It says: We may not have had the money to print on better paper, but man, we give a shit. Giving a shit does not require capital, simply attention and humility and diligence. Giving a shit is the best feeling you can imbue craft with. Giving a shit in book design manifests in many ways, but it manifests perhaps most in the margins."
"Let’s Talk About Margins," Craig Mod
"This tragic Cherokee business which we stirred at a meeting in the church yesterday will look to me degrading & injurious do what I can. It is like dead cats around one’s neck. It is like School Committees & Sunday School classes & Teachers’ meetings & the Warren street chapel & all the other holy hurrahs. I stir in it for the sad reason that no other mortal will move & if I do not, why it is left undone.
The amount of it, be sure, is merely a Scream but sometimes a scream is better than a thesis."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"I thought that the book might be about becoming, perhaps mine. I thought that if I looked hard enough into the past that something would be revealed. I thought it might have been a cleansing fire. But it wasn’t; it was a yoke. I had been seduced by the idea of being a writer, a writer of books. I imagined the book might advance my career, legitimize my tinkering. That isn’t a reason to write a book."
"The Book I Didn’t Write," Elmo Keep
(Source: The Awl)
"This command of inner riches gives what she writes, and no doubt gave what she said, an extraordinary force and authority, even when her words are exaggerated or false.
It is harder to divest oneself of inner riches than of outward possessions; the rich man can sell all he has and give it to the poor. Those who find inner riches an obstruction to the growth of the spirit have the harder task of divesting the soul of all that makes it interesting and fetching to their fellows, of going away from the warm, rough world into other regions, into fire or ice or darkness."
"The Life and Death of Simone Weil," J. M. Cameron