Posts Tagged: maria popova

Notable NYC: 9/23–9/29

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Literary events and readings in and around New York City this week!

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Notable NYC: 4/15–4/31

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Saturday 4/15: Protest in support of releasing Donald Trump’s tax returns. Bryant Park, 1 p.m., free. Thom Donovan and Marissa Perel join the Segue Series. Zinc Bar, 4:30 p.m., $5. Sunday 4/16: Tongo Eisen-Martin, Mahogany Browne, and Jive Poetic read poetry. Berl’s Poetry Shop, 3 p.m., free.

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How Books Saved Mary Oliver’s Life

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Feeling anxious about today’s election? Brain Pickings gives us a look at how writer Mary Oliver copes when times are tough: The second world—the world of literature—offered me, besides the pleasures of form, the sustentation of empathy (the first step of what Keats called negative capability) and I ran for it. I relaxed in it. I stood […]

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The Lyrics of Friendship

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What is friendship if not learning the song of another’s heart and singing it back to them? In a reflection on friendship and language, Brain Pickings’s Maria Popova explores Eudora Welty’s writings on the topic. Popova writes: “[I]t might be the basic necessities of friendship, [Welty] suggests, that sparked in us the evolutionary need for […]

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Saving Our Minds

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At Brain Pickings, Maria Popova reviews Albert Camus’s Lyrical and Critical Essays, and suggests works by Nietzsche and Susan Sontag to read alongside Camus’s eye- and mind-opening work: If we are to save the mind we must ignore its gloomy virtues and celebrate its strength and wonder. Our world is poisoned by its misery, and seems to wallow […]

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Reading for a Cloudy Day

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At Brain Pickings, Maria Popova muses on Richard Hamblyn’s The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies, which details the true story of Luke Howard, a 19th century English meteorologist whose work was admired by German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Aside from chronicling the unlikely friendship between a […]

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Kafka’s Father

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Franz Kafka’s letters reveal how the author’s father impacted his writing and his life, and a relationship fraught with fear. Kafka worried about his father’s “intellectual domination” creating an environment of “emotional tyranny.” Over at Brain Pickings, Maria Popova finds in Kafka’s letters a deeply haunting father-son relationship: What I would have needed was a […]

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Anatomy of a Motherfucker

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Maria Popova collects the advice of Cheryl Strayed and uses Strayed’s words to deconstruct motherfuckery. Invoking the time right before she wrote her first book, when she too was a twenty-something writer plagued by the same fear that she was “lazy and lame,” Strayed recounts how she “finally reached a point where the prospect of […]

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Making Art and Being an Artist

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When does an artist get to be called an artist? Anne Truitt explored the labels in her diary seven years in the making, Daybook: The Journal of an Artist. Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings looks at Truitt’s work and the “existential discomfort” at facing her life’s retrospective. Truitt wrote: The “just me” reaction was, […]

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Word of the Day: Kakorrhaphiophobia

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(n.) an abnormal fear of failure or defeat; from the Greek kakos (“bad, evil”); syn. atychiphobia Everybody in L.A. fails. We just do. —Moby, from “Creativity and Freedom to Fail” Maria Popova of Brainpickings pertinently asks in her March 2014 review of Sarah Lewis’s insightful book The Rise, “How, then, can we transcend that mental block, […]

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Learning to Look Closer

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Over at Brain Pickings, Maria Popova talks with cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz about her new book On Looking, which is about the way sensory awareness impacts our perception of reality. The two discuss how “a writer is a professional observer” and how when you look at things more closely, you see—and imagine—them differently: When you […]

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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. As Popova […]

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To Sleep, Perchance to Write

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You’ve read about famous authors’ workspaces, writing schedules, and semi-compulsive rituals, but have you read about their sleep habits? Brain Pickings’s Maria Popova collaborated with information designer Giorgia Lupi and Rumpus illustrator Wendy MacNaughton to create a series of super-charming illustrations of writers correlating their wake-up times with their creative productivity. (Of course Bukowski got up at noon.) Check […]

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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 […]

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Advice from Vonnegut

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Advice my father gave me: never take liquor into the bedroom. Don’t stick anything in your ears. Be anything but an architect. To celebrate Kurt Vonnegut, Maria Popova posted on her Brain Pickings an interesting list of advices the author use to give his children, excerpted from his collection of letters.

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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 […]

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New York through Jack Kerouac’s Eyes

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Maria Popova from Brain Pickings takes a look at a chapter titled “New York Scenes” from Kerouac’s 1960 book, Lonesome Traveler. According to Popova, the chapter is “a kind of narrative emotional cartography of Manhattan, woven of fascinating sketches of Gotham’s vibrant life and cast of characters as recorded in Kerouac’s travel journals, written in his signature […]

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The Wishing Tree

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Maria Popova of Brain Pickings got her hands on a copy of William Faulkner’s only children’s book, written for his stepdaughter (and a few other children in his life) and published in a print run of 500. With words like “choss” and “youall,” it may not be the best way to teach kids new vocabulary, […]

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Susan Sontag on Art: Illustrated Diary Excerpts

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Rumpus contributor Wendy MacNaughton has teamed up with Maria Popova (of Brain Pickings) to illustrate selected excerpts from Susan Sontag’s diaries. The artwork is available on Etsy as an 11×14 print on heavy cotton rag paper with razored edges in a limited edition of 300, signed and numbered, bearing a hand-stamped inscription on the back. They’re also donating a […]

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