Men can’t just write serious songs anymore (Kanye West’s “New Slaves,” which I find arresting, but…) or make serious films or write serious books. They also need to date/marry/love serious women who are doing serious things other than dating so-called serious men. Women who actually reflect these so-called serious men’s so-called anti-establishment politics. Hard to take Kanye West’s stark anti-corporate, anti-capitalist, anti-media rap anthem seriously when he’s dating Kim Kardashian. It’s not just what we say or sing or write or read, it’s who we’re with. It’s how we live. It’s the women we respect enough to take seriously and the seriousness we encourage women to pursue themselves. It’s not enough to just be with serious and talented men.
Never knew that!
Most commonly we come to books with blurred and divided minds, asking of fiction that it shall be true, of poetry that it shall be false, of biography that it shall be flattering, of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices. If we could banish all such preconceptions when we read, that would be an admirable beginning. Do not dictate to your author; try to become him. Be his fellow-worker and accomplice. If you hang back, and reserve and criticise at first, you are preventing yourself from getting the fullest possible value from what you read. But if you open your mind as widely as possible, then signs and hints of almost imperceptible fineness, from the twist and turn of the first sentences, will bring you into the presence of a human being unlike any other.
Photograph by Lady Ottoline Morrell, 1926
Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.
— Vladimir Nabokov
A scattering of mind (like rain
flung out small and squalled
against the random panes
attention turns to in its hunt
for some lasting fascination
that will hold its gaze and not allow
a second scene to come and slide
its heart away) is hard to stay
and even harder to abide.
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, Reno, Nevada, 1960
Photograph by Eve Arnold
I think you can leave the arts, superior or inferior, to the conscience of mankind.
— W.B. Yeats
Neither race nor gender is an intrinsic feature of bodies, even though the markers of gender and race typically are. To have a race is not to have a certain appearance or ancestry, and to have a gender is not to have a certain reproductive anatomy.
— Sally Haslanger
Men can’t just write serious songs anymore (Kanye West’s “New Slaves,” which I find arresting, but…) or make serious films or write serious books. They also need to date/marry/love serious women who are doing serious things other than dating so-called serious men. Women who actually reflect…