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“If I could catch the feeling, I would; the feeling of the singing of the real world, as one is driven by loneliness and silence from the habitable world.”

Source: Virginia Woolf on the Relationship Between Loneliness and Creativity – Brain Pickings

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Portrait of John Keats by William Hilton

“The roaring of the wind is my wife and the Stars through the window pane are my Children… I do not live in this world alone but in a thousand worlds.”

BY MARIA POPOVA

“Nourish yourself with grand and austere ideas of beauty that feed the soul… Seek solitude,” the great French artist Eugène Delacroix counseled himself in 1824. Just a few years earlier, another timeless patron saint of the creative spirit extolled the rewards of solitude as a supreme conduit to truth and beauty.

Celebrated as one of the greatest poets humanity has ever produced, John Keats (October 31, 1795–February 23, 1821) married an extraordinary capacity for transcendence with an uncommon share of sorrow. His short life was suffused with loss from a young age — his father died after a horseback accident when Keats was eight and his mother died of tuberculosis when he was fourteen. And yet even amid his darkest despair, Keats…

Source: Keats on the Joy of Singledom and How Solitude Opens Our Creative Channels to Truth and Beauty – Brain Pickings


Why “the demand for happiness and the patient quest for it” isn’t a luxury or a mere need but our existential duty.

“To decide whether life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question of philosophy,” Albert Camus wrote in his 119-page philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus in 1942. “Everything else … is child’s play; we must first of all answer the question.” One of the most famous opening lines of the twentieth century captures one of humanity’s most enduring philosophical challenged — the impulse at the heart of Seneca’s meditations on life and Montaigne’s timeless essays and Maya Angelou’s reflections, and a wealth of human inquiry in between. But Camus, the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature after Rudyard Kipling, addressed it with unparalleled courage of conviction and insight into the irreconcilable longings of the human spirit.

In the beautifully titled and beautifully written A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning (public library), historian Robert Zaretsky considers Camus’s lifelong quest to shed light on the absurd condition, his “yearning…

Continue reading: A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus on Our Search for Meaning and Why Happiness Is Our Moral Obligation | Brain Pickings.

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