“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
“Every January, the Davos gathering sounds a little more bemused about what is happening in the world outside. In 2016 it worried about the threat of mass disease, just as the Ebola threat was receding. In 2015, its annual report dwelt on the return of geopolitics following Russia’s annexation of Crimea the year before. In its first report in 2006 it was anxious about epidemics and the risk of terrorism after the Asian flu crisis and the London Underground attacks. And so on. Davos specializes in projecting the future from a recent past that took it by surprise.”
- Edward Luce in The Retreat of Western Liberalism
“The programme was vague; the main thing was just to get going.”
Nicolas Bouvier in the travel classic The Way of the World.
“If you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”
Motto of American Lung Association, quoted in the article Oceans suffocating as huge dead zones quadruple since 1950, scientists warn.
Swedish author Henning Mankell’s settling of accounts, a book called Quicksand, was his written reckoning with a cancer diagnosis. He ranged widely, and lamented that not many of us are remembered for long. His example:
Construction of the Great Wall lasted 1800 years.
“If you think of the work being handed down from father to son that means there were over sixty generations who never saw the end of the work they and their forefathers had been engaged on.”
This makes me less apt to stand in an overnight queue for iPhone version x.xxx.
Cheers, and may 2018 treat us all well.
I believe I know the only cure, which is to make one’s center of life inside of one’s self, not selfishly or excludingly, but with a kind of unassailable serenity – to decorate one’s inner house so richly that one is content there, glad to welcome anyone who wants to come and stay, but happy all the same when one is inevitably alone.
- Edith Wharton
This from Suzy Hansen:
“Here’s the thing: no one ever tells Americans that when they move abroad, even if they are empathetic and sensitive humans-even if they come clean about their genetic inability to learn languages, even if they consider themselves leftist critics of their own government-that they will inevitably, and unconsciously, spend those first months in a foreign country feeling superior to everyone around them and to the nation in which they now have the privilege to live.”
She doesn’t mean it as a compliment.