The writer cannot make the seas of distraction stand still, but he [or she] can at times come between the madly distracted and the distractions. — Saul Bellow, born 99 years ago today, on how writers and artists save us from the “moronic inferno” of our time – wonderfully insightful essay from a quarter century ago presaging our age of distraction (via explore-blog)
Alexander Pushkin´s autograph on Eugene Onegin (2nd canto) 1820.
My Library by Tom Gauld
"Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business."
— Henry David Thoreau
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
83 years ago, Arturo Toscanini, one of the greatest composers of all time, was injured by a group of fascists for refusing to play their anthem Giovinezza.
He was conducting a memorial concert for Italian composer Giuseppe Martucci, at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna. When he was ordered to begin by playing Giovinezza, he refused, even though the fascist foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano was in the audience. Afterwards he was, in his own words, “attacked, injured and repeatedly hit in the face” by a group of blackshirts. Mussolini, incensed by the conductor’s refusal, had his phone tapped, placed him under constant surveillance and confiscated his passport. The passport was returned only after a world outcry over Toscanini’s treatment. On the outbreak of WWII, Toscanini left Italy. He returned seven years later to conduct a concert at the restored La Scala Opera House, which was destroyed during the war… (more)
"World outcry"…everyone who questions the value of using #BringBackOurGirls should see this.