Entries from December 2012

New York, 1944

kertesz

André Kertész
West 134th Street, New York, 1944

Categories: Photography    Tags: ·

Write posthumously

In his 1988 book of essays, Prepared for the Worst, Christopher Hitchens recalled a bit of advice given to him by the South African Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer. “A serious person should try to write posthumously,” Hitchens said, going on to explain: “By that I took her to mean that one should compose as if the usual constraints—of fashion, commerce, self-censorship, public and, perhaps especially, intellectual opinion—did not operate.

Jeffrey Eugenides (read the whole thing here)

Fan Ho

fan_ho

Fan Ho
Approaching Shadow, Hong Kong, 1956

Via Facie Populi. More here.

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Quote of the Day

We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.

— Winston Churchill

Categories: Odds & Ends    Tags: ·

The desire to matter

The desire to matter as much as we once did to our mother is at the broken heart of all narcissistic endeavour, whether it’s writing novels, tweeting or carrying the right kind of handbag. Writing fiction is the symptom of many psychological distortions — a terror of mortality among them — the most poignant of which is a longing for perfect recognition, perfect understanding. This is the illusion hovering at the end of every painstakingly edited line. There was a time when Franzen’s mother imitated his “wuh” sound, mimicked his O-shaped gape, as if it was a work of genius, as if it mattered to the culture. The secret motivation of even the most gifted writer may be to enjoy this again — this is our blueprint for the experience of mattering — and “writer’s block” is perhaps a fancy way of describing the moments in which this seems impossible.

Talitha Stevenson

Categories: Writing    Tags: ·

Orwell in torment

It is now 16 years since my first book was published, & abt 21 years since I started publishing articles in the magazines. Throughout that time there has literally been not one day in which I did not feel that I was idling, that I was behind with the current job, & that my total output was miserably small. Even at the periods when I was working 10 hours a day on a book, or turning out 4 or 5 articles a week, I have never been able to get away from this neurotic feeling, that I was wasting time. I can never get any sense of achievement out of the work that is actually in progress, because it always goes slower than I intend, & in any case I feel that a book or even an article does not exist until it is finished. But as soon as a book is finished, I begin, actually from the next day, worrying that the next one is not begun, & am haunted with the fear that there will never be a next one—that my impulse is exhausted for good & all. If I look back & count up the actual amount that I have written, then I see that my output has been respectable: but this does not reassure me, because it simply gives me the feeling that I once had an industriousness & a fertility which I have now lost.

— George Orwell, 1949 notebook entry (via)

Categories: Productivity · Writing    Tags: ·

Bonnie Prince Billy: I See a Darkness

Categories: Music    Tags:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Creativity, happiness and flow

Categories: Productivity · Writing    Tags: · · · ·

Louis C.K. on Twitter

Categories: Internet    Tags: · · ·

Chief’s ring

Robert Parish is selling his 1986 Celtics NBA championship ring. How sad. Best single-season NBA team I’ve ever seen. (Via Red’s Army.)

Categories: Sports    Tags: ·

Steve Jobs on ideas vs. execution

One of the things that really hurt Apple was after I left, John Sculley got a very serious disease. And that disease — I’ve seen other people get it, too — it’s the disease of thinking that having a great idea is really ninety percent of the work. And if you just tell people, “Here’s this great idea,” then of course they can go off and make it happen. The problem with that is that there’s a tremendous amount of craftsmanship between having a great idea and having a great product.

Steve Jobs (via david)

Categories: Creativity · Writing    Tags: ·

Steve

Categories: Creativity    Tags: ·

Quote of the Day

Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.

Mike Tyson

Categories: Odds & Ends    Tags: ·

Obama offstage

“As the First Cameraman for the United States of America, Arun Chaudhary filmed President Barack Obama all over the world. Luckily he captured these backstage moments for your viewing pleasure.” (via)

Categories: Odds & Ends    Tags: ·