to “all those who of set purpose choose to walk alone, who know the special grace attaching to it”

Nature’s particular gift to the walker, through the semi-mechanical act of walking — a gift no other form of exercise seems to transmit in the same high degree — is to set the mind jogging, to make it garrulous, exalted, a little mad maybe — certainly creative and suprasensitive, until at last it really seems to be outside of you and as if it were talking to you whilst you are talking back to it. Then everything gradually seems to join in, sun and the wind, the white road and the dusty hedges, the spirit of the season, whichever that may be, the friendly old earth that is pushing life firth of every sort under your feet or spell-bound in a death-like winter trance, till you walk in the midst of a blessed company, immersed in a dream-talk far transcending any possible human conversation. Time enough, later, for that…; here and now, the mind has shaken off its harness, is snorting and kicking up heels like a colt in a meadow.

Kenneth Grahame

How to compose a successful critical commentary

  1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

  2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

  3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

  4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Pinter in 1978 – 02.05.16

I dated this because there probably’ll be more than one.

There was a recent rescreening of 1978 interview.

This on writing his first play

I wrote that play totally without calculation. In other words, I started at the top and at a certain point There was a knock at the door and someone came in, and I had absolutely no idea who he was, who he might be, what he might say, and I let it run. I let it happen, and found that he did have a voice, that he was the Landlord, in fact. That was the first chapter.

The two visitors arrived, and I didn’t know what they were on about really, or what they wanted. They were just part of the whole atmosphere.

This on starting:

It remains the essential joy of writing, I think. You’ve got a blank page, one moment, there’s nothing on it, and the next moment there’s something on it.

Now if you know what that something’s going to be, really, fully and comprehensively before you get to it, I don’t quite see where the spring of discovery can exist.

The discovery exists in the act of discovery.

On Rational Faith in the Human Spirit

Humanist radicalism … seeks to liberate man from the chains of illusions; it postulates that fundamental changes are necessary, not only in our economic and political structure but also in our values, in our concept of man’s aims, and in our personal conduct.
To have faith means to dare, to think the unthinkable, yet to act within the limits of the realistically possible; it is the paradoxical hope to expect the Messiah every day, yet not to lose heart when he has not come at the appointed hour. This hope is not passive and it is not patient; on the contrary, it is impatient and active, looking for every possibility of action within the realm of real possibilities.

Erich Fromm from “The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness”


The situation of mankind today is too serious to permit us to listen to the demagogues — least of all demagogues who are attracted to destruction — or even to the leaders who use only their brains and whose hearts have hardened. Critical and radical thought will only bear fruit when it is blended with the most precious quality man is endowed with — the love of life.

As highlighted by Brain Pickings

“Robots Are Taking Over So Learn Animation Before It’s Too Late”

“Here’s the gist of Altucher’s argument: autoworkers have no future because driverless-cars are coming, and there’ll soon be 90% fewer cars on the road since everybody will carpool, so autoworkers should learn creative job skills that require little to no effort and pay lots of money, like animation, website design, and illustration.”

– Why you should quit your job now.




“Numbers it is. All music when you come to think. Two multiplied by two divided by half is twice one. Vibrations: chords those are. One plus two plus six is seven. Do anything you like with figures juggling. Always find out this equal to that. Symmetry under a cemetery wall. He doesn’t see my mourning. Callous: all for his own gut. Musemathematics. And you think you’re listening to the etherial. But suppose you said it like: Martha, seven times nine minus x is thirtyfive thousand. Fall quite flat. It’s on account of the sounds it is.”
– James Joyce from Ulysses

“Go bravely to it, not as a coward.”

Stop worrying about content and what your dipshit peers will think and who you may or may not offend on social media and whether or not someone will google you in the future and give you or not give you a job because those jobs will kill your soul anyway.
All of those things are things you don’t need in your life. They are the things that come from without, not from within. And that’s what matters: What’s inside of you. That is the stuff of you.

Susannah Breslin