Words of Wisdom: Henry Miller

I believe that today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it: we must search for fragments, splinters, toenails, anything that has ore in it, anything that is capable of resuscitating the body and soul. It may be that we are doomed, that there is no hope for us, any of us, but if that is so then let us set up a last agonizing, bloodcurdling howl, a screech of defiance, a war whoop! Away with lamentation! Away with elegies and dirges! Away with biographies and histories, and libraries and museums! Let the dead eat the dead. Let us living ones dance about the rim of the crater, a last expiring dance. But a dance!

Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer, 1934)

In love, there’s sentiment and passion; I know only sentiment through myself, passion through others. I hear certain voices I know say: sentiment equals love of the intellect; I can answer: passion equals the love of the body

Berthe Morisot (French Impressionist Painter, 1841-1895)

Berthe Morisot, Julie Daydreaming, 1894. Oil on canvas. Private Collection.

The feeling of love is among the greatest and eternal aspects one discovers in the human spirit. It is remarkable in that it survives under all circumstances and trials, it always retains its appeal in the sphere of art…

Chingiz Aitmatov (Forward to Jamila)

Excerpt from Russiapedia:

Chinghiz Aitmatov was the most celebrated representative of Kyrgyzstan… [and] is revered for building a bridge between the world of traditional Kyrgyz folklore and modern Eurasian literature. A bilingual and bicultural writer, Aitmatov wrote his prose and plays in both his native Kyrgyz and in Russian. His works have been translated into more than 150 languages. He brilliantly combined elements of Kyrgyz folktales and epics with formally traditional Russian realism.

A major theme in Aitmatov’s stories concerns inequality among male and female members of traditional Central Asian society…He writes about the lack of access to education in the region (especially in rural areas and particularly for girls), treatment of women as commodities and polygamy…Aitmatov believed that mankind’s socio-political, economic, ideological and even environmental problems would disappear if education could be advanced beyond rote memorization, and if a true communal concern, a true love, could meld humans and nature. Chingiz Aitmatov declared: “In the end, what is right? What should be the standard for distinguishing between right and wrong? I have to believe that it is love for our fellow human beings, a love that wishes all who have been born on this planet happiness and freedom. No ideology or national structure is more important than this. And it is when people love that they become true heroes.

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