Sunday, February 3, 2013
Aristotle on what is good (Rhetoric, Book 1 - Chapter 6)

The following is a more detailed list of things that must be good.


Happiness, as being desirable in itself and sufficient by itself, and as being that for whose sake we choose many other things.


Also justice, courage, temperance, magnanimity, magnificence, and all such qualities, as being excellences of the soul.


Further, health, beauty, and the like, as being bodily excellences and productive of many other good things: for instance, health is productive both of pleasure and of life, and therefore is thought the greatest of goods, since these two things which it causes, pleasure and life, are two of the things most highly prized by ordinary people.


Wealth, again: for it is the excellence of possession, and also productive of many other good things.


Friends and friendship: for a friend is desirable in himself and also productive of many other good things.


So, too, honour and reputation, as being pleasant, and productive of many other good things, and usually accompanied by the presence of the good things that cause them to be bestowed.


The faculty of speech and action; since all such qualities are productive of what is good.


Further — good parts, strong memory, receptiveness, quickness of intuition, and the like, for all such faculties are productive of what is good.


Similarly, all the sciences and arts.


And life: since, even if no other good were the result of life, it is desirable in itself.


And justice, as the cause of good to the community.

Aristotle on what is good (Rhetoric, Book 1 - Chapter 6)

The following is a more detailed list of things that must be good.
Happiness, as being desirable in itself and sufficient by itself, and as being that for whose sake we choose many other things.
Also justice, courage, temperance, magnanimity, magnificence, and all such qualities, as being excellences of the soul.
Further, health, beauty, and the like, as being bodily excellences and productive of many other good things: for instance, health is productive both of pleasure and of life, and therefore is thought the greatest of goods, since these two things which it causes, pleasure and life, are two of the things most highly prized by ordinary people.
Wealth, again: for it is the excellence of possession, and also productive of many other good things.
Friends and friendship: for a friend is desirable in himself and also productive of many other good things.
So, too, honour and reputation, as being pleasant, and productive of many other good things, and usually accompanied by the presence of the good things that cause them to be bestowed.
The faculty of speech and action; since all such qualities are productive of what is good.
Further — good parts, strong memory, receptiveness, quickness of intuition, and the like, for all such faculties are productive of what is good.
Similarly, all the sciences and arts.
And life: since, even if no other good were the result of life, it is desirable in itself.
And justice, as the cause of good to the community.
Saturday, January 5, 2013

picadorbookroom:

Alain de Botton on writing and reading. 

(Source: blackmorgan)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 Saturday, December 29, 2012
picadorbookroom:



When you started writing, in high school or college, it wasn’t out of a wish to be published, or to be successful, or even to win a lovely award like the one you’re receiving tonight. It was in response to the wondrousness and humiliation of being alive. Remember?


—Jeffrey Eugenides, 2012 Whiting Award speech
[Image: via]

picadorbookroom:

When you started writing, in high school or college, it wasn’t out of a wish to be published, or to be successful, or even to win a lovely award like the one you’re receiving tonight. It was in response to the wondrousness and humiliation of being alive. Remember?

Jeffrey Eugenides, 2012 Whiting Award speech

[Image: via]

Friday, December 28, 2012




The patient process of Nature was once imitated by men. Miniatures, ivory carvings, elaborated to the point of greatest perfection … all these products of sustained, sacrificing effort are vanishing, and the time is past in which time did not matter. Modern man no longer works at what cannot be abbreviated.




—Paul Valery (1871 - 1945)

The patient process of Nature was once imitated by men. Miniatures, ivory carvings, elaborated to the point of greatest perfection … all these products of sustained, sacrificing effort are vanishing, and the time is past in which time did not matter. Modern man no longer works at what cannot be abbreviated.

Paul Valery (1871 - 1945)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012
I think one of the biggest lies that society tells us is that sex is easy and straightforward — that sex used to be complicated for our 19th century ancestors, but now we’ve come to grips with it, and now we can laugh about things that in the past were sources of shame and embarrassment. We’ve got this narrative that people were repressed before and now they’re liberated; of course, that’s not true at all. Sex is not something you can be liberated from in any kind of definitive way. It’s constitutionally problematic. Think More About Sex - Salon (via stuffmomnevertoldyou)
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Seattle Times Arts Section (at the time of this posting)

Seattle Times Arts Section (at the time of this posting)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Urban living has always tended to produce a sentimental view of nature. Nature is thought of as a garden, or a view framed by a window, or as an arena of freedom. Peasants, sailors, nomads have known better. Nature is energy and struggle. It is what exists without any promise.

John Berger, “The White Bird” (1985)

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Museums function like the homes of the nobility to which the public at certain hours are admitted as visitors. … as soon as a work is placed in a museum it acquires the mystery of a way of life which excludes the mass.


—John Berger, Understanding a Photograph (1968)

Museums function like the homes of the nobility to which the public at certain hours are admitted as visitors. … as soon as a work is placed in a museum it acquires the mystery of a way of life which excludes the mass.

—John Berger, Understanding a Photograph (1968)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

After his return to France in 1821, [Théodore] Géricault was inspired to paint a series of ten portraits of the insane, the patients of a friend, Dr. Étienne-Jean Georget, a pioneer in psychiatric medicine, with each subject exhibiting a different affliction. There are five remaining portraits from the series, including Insane Woman. The paintings are noteworthy for their bravura style, expressive realism, and for their documenting of the psychological discomfort of individuals, made all the more poignant by the history of insanity in Géricault’s family, as well as the artist’s own fragile mental health. 

(via Wikipedia)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Village seems to be the hardest-hit, its streets a fluorescent wasteland of yogurt shops: eight by our count with another on the way. “There’s been a veritable war in the Village,” Douglas Elliman’s retail queen Faith Hope Consolo remarked. “It’s the fastest growing franchise in the country.”

The Food That Ate Manhattan: The Implacable Rise of Frozen Yogurt Leaves Us Cold

Monday, December 3, 2012

The role of muse is a fairly dangerous one, in my experience, fraught with insanity and blood loss. Yet it is so necessary to any creative transaction. As a muse, you’re really just the plot device in someone else’s drama. 

The Magic Merge / Tracy Rose Keaton / Frequencies, Volume 1

The role of muse is a fairly dangerous one, in my experience, fraught with insanity and blood loss. Yet it is so necessary to any creative transaction. As a muse, you’re really just the plot device in someone else’s drama. 

The Magic Merge / Tracy Rose Keaton / Frequencies, Volume 1

Watch Conversation: Lorin Stein, Editor of the Paris Review on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

picadorbookroom:

Lorin Stein, Editor of The Paris Review, speaks with PBS arts correspondent, Jeffrey Brown, about the art of the short story

JEFFREY BROWN: Give me an example of some either connection between a contemporary writer and an older story or, I don’t know, some insight that surprised you.

LORIN STEIN: It was a lot of fun seeing Mona Simpson, who is a writer and used to be an editor of the Paris Review, talking about when Norman Rush’s story came into the Review and how her colleague read the first sentence and said, we’re going to publish this after reading one sentence. It’s something editors don’t usually admit, but you can tell in one sentence.

JEFFREY BROWN: Really?

LORIN STEIN: Yes, you can, you usually can. Not always, but usually. A story is short enough that if you don’t make a mistake in the first sentence, you probably won’t make a mistake all the way through.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

One could call Alex’s situation a journalistic cautionary tale, but it is also a prime example of what happens when place and character collide to create drama unique to a specific historical moment. By situating the novel in the internet and portraying it as an actual place (rather than just a portal to email and Google) Grose accurately depicts how one’s online existence can come to feel more authentic and important than life in the “real” world.

Alizah Salario on Sad Desk Salad / Is the Internet the Novel’s Saving Grace? / Los Angeles Review of Books

One could call Alex’s situation a journalistic cautionary tale, but it is also a prime example of what happens when place and character collide to create drama unique to a specific historical moment. By situating the novel in the internet and portraying it as an actual place (rather than just a portal to email and Google) Grose accurately depicts how one’s online existence can come to feel more authentic and important than life in the “real” world.

Alizah Salario on Sad Desk Salad / Is the Internet the Novel’s Saving Grace? / Los Angeles Review of Books

Moving backward from the center of the present moment as it exits my inside thinking of it, the progression of my father’s dementing memory forms a film of familiarly linear burrows.

Blake Butler / Seven Interruptions of the Image / Frequencies, Volume 1