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Posts Tagged: brain pickings

The Gift of Understanding

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Author and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton is featured on Brain Pickings for her new book, Meanwhile in San Francisco: A City in its Own Words. MacNaughton’s beautiful illustrations remind us of the importance of community, and an essential message:

[T]here is no greater gift we can give each other than the gift of understanding, of looking and really seeing, of peering beyond the persona and into the person with an awareness that however different our struggles and circumstances may be, we are inextricably bonded by the great human longing to be truly seen for who we are.

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The Cliché of Leadership

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Think about it. A real leader is somebody who, because of his own particular power and charisma and example, is able to inspire people, with ‘inspire’ being used here in a serious and non-cliché way. A real leader can somehow get us to do certain things that deep down we think are good and want to be able to do but usually can’t get ourselves to do on our own.

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Grimm Fairy Tales Just Got Grimmer

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British art giant David Hockney is best known for pop-art paintings like A Bigger Splash, but he has also worked in many other mediums—including, it seems, illustrations for children’s books.

Over at Brain Pickings, Maria Popova highlights a recently reissued collection of fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm with striking, discomfiting drawings by Hockney.

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Hear Virginia Woolf’s Voice

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Over at Brain Pickings, Maria Popova highlights the only known recording of Virginia Woolf’s voice.

In the recording, Woolf reads from an essay on craft (which Popova conveniently reprints in the post): “How can we combine the old words in new orders so that they survive, so that they create beauty, so that they tell the truth?”

We hope it doesn’t sound disrespectful to point out that her voice sounds a lot like the Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey, and it’s delightfully mesmerizing.

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Remembering David Foster Wallace

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Five years ago today, groundbreaking writer David Foster Wallace took his own life.

Maria Popova at Brain Pickings remembers him with a post excerpting Conversations with David Foster Wallace, a “collection of 22 interviews and profiles of the beloved author.” A preview:

Really good work probably comes out of a willingness to disclose yourself, open yourself up in spiritual and emotional ways that risk making you look banal or melodramatic or naive or unhip or sappy, and to ask the reader really to feel something.

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