‘We know truth when we see it.’February 24, 2017
[Illustration by Ralph Steadman for Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451.’]
“Character is higher than intellect. Thinking is the function. Living is the functionary… A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
[A] great influence into the spirit of the scholar, is, the mind of the Past, — in whatever form, whether of literature, of art, of institutions, that mind is inscribed. Books are the best type of the influence of the past… The theory of books is noble. The scholar of the first age received into him the world around; brooded thereon; gave it the new arrangement of his own mind, and uttered it again… It was dead fact; now, it is quick thought. It can stand, and it can go. It now endures, it now flies, it now inspires. Precisely in proportion to the depth of mind from which it issued, so high does it soar, so long does it sing.
I do not see how any man can afford, for the sake of his nerves and his nap, to spare any action in which he can partake. It is pearls and rubies to his discourse. Drudgery, calamity, exasperation, want, are instructers in eloquence and wisdom. The true scholar grudges every opportunity of action past by, as a loss of power. It is the raw material out of which the intellect moulds her splendid products.
Character is higher than intellect. Thinking is the function. Living is the functionary. The stream retreats to its source. A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think…’
More framer Cultural Ambassador Maria Papova/brainpickings:
The American Scholar: Emerson’s Superb Speech on the Life of the Mind, the Art of Creative Reading, and the Building Blocks of Genius
Books.July 11, 2016
‘I love books. A perfected technology that’s five hundred years old, a chance to hold and share and actually feel the weight of an idea.’
What does your bookshelf say about you?September 15, 2015
The patina of books and the magic thrill of a new idea
‘Show me your bookcase, the ideas that you’ve collected one by one over the years, the changes you’ve made in the way you see the world. Not your browser history, but the books you were willing to buy and hold and read and store and share.
Every bookshelf tells a story. You can’t build one in a day or even a week… it’s a lifetime of collected changes. On the shelf over there I see an Isaac Asimov collection I bought when I was 12, right next to a yet-to-be-published galley by a friend of mine. Each of them changed my life.
It’s thrilling to juxtapose this look backwards with the feeling I get when a great new book arrives. It hasn’t been read yet (at least not by me) and it it offers unlimited promise, new possibilities and perhaps the chance to share it with someone else after I’m done.’