"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stop daydreaming and get to work

It's like your teachers said. Fantasy makes your dreams less likely to come true.

Positive fantasies "'make energy seem unnecessary' say Heather Kappes and Gabriele Oettingen. 'By allowing people to consummate a desired future,' the researchers explain, 'positive fantasies trigger the relaxation that would normally accompany actual achievement, rather than marshaling the energy needed to obtain it.'"

But only positive fantasies. If your daydreams feature worrying that you'll never achieve your goals, that's supposed to energize you. According to this research, pessimists should be more successful than optimists, no?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Missing Almost Everything

"Consider books alone. Let's say you read two a week, and sometimes you take on a long one that takes you a whole week. That's quite a brisk pace for the average person. That lets you finish, let's say, 100 books a year. If we assume you start now, and you're 15, and you are willing to continue at this pace until you're 80. That's 6,500 books, which really sounds like a lot."

Then when you add music, movies, etc. All the time not spent doing what we love... It's a thinky piece about how things have to be chosen, how we choose them, how and why things fade -- because of new things, because of all the access we supposedly have to everything, via the internet, Netflix, etc.

It's worth following the link to Ebert's article, or follow it here. Which illustrates for me that things fade also because times and people change. Nobody wants to read all the old books, see all the old movies. I don't have that much interest in all of what Ebert mentions. I do appreciate more than just Howl in Allen Ginsberg's work, and I read Flaubert, Murdoch, Borges, Nabokov, Stendhal. Ebert says his goal is "to enjoy reading." I think that's the point. If you enjoy focusing your reading on a theme, becoming an expert, or if you read what you like, whether you read widely or narrowly, you have to trust yourself and just go. Otherwise, you risk spending too much time thinking about it when you could be reading, going to concerts, movies, etc.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bookstores to Visit

Really beautiful. Slideshow.

The Montague Bookmill, pictured, is one of the four (of 14) I have been to.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Go the Fuck to Sleep

The "children's" book for tired parents became a bestseller a month before its release, thanks to a pirated PDF (which I read). It's also gotten a "significant" film deal, which I can't say I understand, but, whatever. The text consists of four-line poems ending with a variation of "Go the fuck to sleep." The illustrations are typical of childrens' books. One of publishing's little mysteries, I guess.

Read about it.