IT TAKES AS LONG AS IT TAKES

In Draft No. 4, John McPhee describes an important point about writing that he learned most pointedly shortly after beginning to write for The New Yorker.

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SUMMER READING RECAP

At the end of May, I put together a list of books I hoped to read over the next three months.

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HAPPINESS AS BY-PRODUCT RATHER THAN END

May Sarton:
… in seeking happiness above all, of course we never find it. It is a by-product and not the end of life surely.

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FREEDOM TO CHEW OVER ODD IDEAS

Jane Jacobs:
I was brought up to believe that there is no virtue in conforming meekly to the dominant opinion of the moment.

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THE WORST OF TIMES, THE BEST OF TIMES

Simone Weil, 1938:
You could not have wished to be born in a better time than this, when everything has been lost.

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WHY STUDY PHILOSOPHY?

Heinrich Blücher, via Hannah Arendt:
Advice to students: if you’re inclined to study philosophy, “you can do it only if you know that the most important thing in your life would be to succeed in this and the second most important thing, almost as important, to fail in precisely this.

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