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.
A Podcast That Has Old-School Smarts -
[Julie] Klausner might be at her most irresistible when the speed of her monologue picks up, and she seems to be working out ideas out loud. As critics develop and refine opinions into reviews, their first impressions, which is often the most honest ones, can get lost or muted. That rarely happens in “How Was Your Week?” In fact, Ms. Klausner, who studied at the Upright Citizens Brigade, makes you think that criticism could learn something from improv.
—Jason Zinoman, The New York Times
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
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)
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)
Seattle Times Arts Section (at the time of this posting)
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)
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
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