Snippets from The Old Boys

Really enjoyed William Trevor’s The Old Boys.

“As the future narrows one turns too much towards the past. One sees it out of proportion, as though it matters.”

“Mr Nox was not lonely … but he had faced loneliness as a boy and come to terms with it.

Snippets from The Science of Story

The cure for the horror is story

We know how this ends. You’re going to die and so will everyone you love. And then there will be heat. All the change in the universe will cease, the stars will die. And there will be nothing left of anything but infinite dead freezing void.

Being “nobody-but-yourself”

This bit of advice from e.e.cummings made me think. (h/t Maria Popova).

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.

This may sound easy. It isn’t.

A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling.

Facts, Stories & Brain Scans

“We tend to use the word story casually, as if stories and narratives were ephemeral decorations for some unchanging underlying reality. The deeper neurological truth is that stories do not cloak reality but create it, triggering cascades of perception and motivation.

Blessed Unrest

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

If you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium
and be lost.

The School Side of the Brain

“When it comes to thinking about learning, nearly all of us have a School side of the brain, which thinks that school is the only natural way to learn, and a personal side that knows perfectly well that it’s not.”

D.H.Lawrence on points, flowers and fading

A lead-pencil has a point, an argument may have a point, remarks may be pointed, and a man who wants to borrow five pounds from you only comes to the point when he asks you for the fiver. Lots of things have points: especially weapons.

Packaged Opinion

There is simply too much to think about. It is hopeless — too many kinds of special preparation are required. In electronics, in economics, in social analysis, in history, in psychology, in international politics, most of us are, given the oceanic proliferating complexity of things, paralyzed by the very suggestion that we assume responsibility for so much.

Democracy and docility

“Why do we demand and go to war for democracy as nations, yet accept with docility that no one has the right to choose their own boss?”

Ricardo Semler

St Exupery and The Immensity of the Sea

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery