„Trotzdem blieb ihr Blick auf den Tod nüchtern, schon weil er im Krankenhaus in Kirchblüt ständig auf den Fluren lauerte, wie sie sagte, anders als bei Karl und mir, die er zu früh umkreist und nicht mehr freigelassen hatte, und wenn sich Karl über den Tod beschwerte, als sei er etwas, über das man Beschwerde führen könne, sagte Aja bloß, hör auf mit diesem Todgerede. Karl und ich kannten den Tod, seit mein Vater mich nur noch als Erzählung umgab, seit Ben in zwei Sekunden aus Karls Leben verschwunden war, und deshalb schreckte uns der Gedanke auch nicht, eines Tages selbst nicht mehr da zu sein, wenn wir über Friedhöfe spazierten und nach Gräbern schauten, und so wie wir gerade begonnen hatten, einen Ort zum Leben zu suchen, suchten wir einen zum Sterben.“– Zsuzsa Bánk, Die hellen Tage

„Trotzdem blieb ihr Blick auf den Tod nüchtern, schon weil er im Krankenhaus in Kirchblüt ständig auf den Fluren lauerte, wie sie sagte, anders als bei Karl und mir, die er zu früh umkreist und nicht mehr freigelassen hatte, und wenn sich Karl über den Tod beschwerte, als sei er etwas, über das man Beschwerde führen könne, sagte Aja bloß, hör auf mit diesem Todgerede. Karl und ich kannten den Tod, seit mein Vater mich nur noch als Erzählung umgab, seit Ben in zwei Sekunden aus Karls Leben verschwunden war, und deshalb schreckte uns der Gedanke auch nicht, eines Tages selbst nicht mehr da zu sein, wenn wir über Friedhöfe spazierten und nach Gräbern schauten, und so wie wir gerade begonnen hatten, einen Ort zum Leben zu suchen, suchten wir einen zum Sterben.“
– Zsuzsa Bánk, Die hellen Tage

When I decided to stop writing about five years ago I [sat] down to reread the 31 books I’d published between 1959 and 2010. I wanted to see whether I’d wasted my time. You never can be sure, you know. My conclusion, after I’d finished, echoes the words spoken by an American boxing hero of mine, Joe Louis. He was world heavyweight champion from the time I was 4 until I was 16. He had been born in the Deep South, an impoverished black kid with no education to speak of, and even during the glory of the undefeated 12 years, when he defended his championship an astonishing 26 times, he stood aloof from language. So when he was asked upon his retirement about his long career, Joe sweetly summed it up in just 10 words. “I did the best I could with what I had.”

Philip Roth on his life as a writer.


Paul Watzlawick: Anleitung zum Unglücklichsein

Die Mechanismen in groben Zügen:

  1. Vor allem eins: dir selbst sei treu… „Es gibt nur einen richtigen Weg - nämlich meinen!“
  2. Die vier Spiele mit der Vergangenheit
  3. Misstrauen: Allem und Jedem - „Immer wenn ich an eine Ampel komme, ist sie rot.“
  4. „Vermeide alles, was möglicherweise eine Gefahr oder ein Problem darstellen könnte!“ Watzlawick weist darauf hin, dass der konsequente Versuch, ein Problem zu vermeiden, in Wahrheit zur Verewigung führt
  5. Selbsterfüllende Prophezeiung
  6. Vor Ankommen wird gewarnt - von George Bernard Shaw stammt der berühmte Aphorismus: „Im Leben gibt es zwei Tragödien. Die eine ist die Nichterfüllung eines Herzenswunsches. Die andere ist seine Erfüllung.“
  7. Wenn du mich wirklich liebtest, würdest du gern Knoblauch essen
  8. Wer mich liebt, mit dem stimmt etwas nicht - „Das Dilemma sieht folgendermaßen aus: ‘Ich achte mich selbst nicht, ich kann niemanden achten, der mich achtet. Ich kann nur jemanden achten, der mich nicht achtet.’“
  9. Edel sei der Mensch, hilfreich und gut 
  10. Das Leben ist ein Nullsummenspiel - „Vom amerikanischen Psychologen Alan Watts stammt der Aphorismus, das Leben sei ein Spiel, dessen Spielregel Nr. 1 lautet: ‘Das ist kein Spiel, das ist todernst.’“

explore-blog:

Lena Dunham's favorite books, from the Ideal Bookshelf project. How delightful to see The Letters of Edna St. Vincent Millay among them, an infinitely delightful out-of-print gem.

explore-blog:

Lena Dunham's favorite books, from the Ideal Bookshelf project. How delightful to see The Letters of Edna St. Vincent Millay among them, an infinitely delightful out-of-print gem.

“That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating on anything is very hard work.”  ― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

“That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating on anything is very hard work.”

― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

On Judging Books

Found via jarrettfuller:

Brett Victor’s reading tip on judging what you have read:

It’s tempting to judge what you read:

I agree with these statements, and I disagree with those.

However, a great thinker who has spent decades on an unusual line of thought cannot induce their context into your head in a few pages. It’s almost certainly the case that you don’t fully understand their statements.

Instead, you can say:

I have now learned that there exists a worldview in which all of these statements are consistent.

And if it feels worthwhile, you can make a genuine effort to understand that entire worldview. You don’t have to adopt it. Just make it available to yourself, so you can make connections to it when it’s needed.


2014: go on reading, read more!, learn to become more comfortable with traveling, get well physically, take time coping with losses, better trust own feelings, protect self-worth, try out a work experience, write, initiate a photo project, choose an education, don’t forget to take paper and pencil out and to just draw. 

2014: go on reading, read more!, learn to become more comfortable with traveling, get well physically, take time coping with losses, better trust own feelings, protect self-worth, try out a work experience, write, initiate a photo project, choose an education, don’t forget to take paper and pencil out and to just draw. 

Als ich meine Wohnung aufschließe, sitzt der Tod auf meinem Bett, ich taumle. Ein Mann, der aussieht wie ich, dreißig Jahre älter: Unangemeldet ist mein Vater aus Hamburg angereist. Ich wußte nicht, daß er einen Schlüssel hat. Ich wußte nicht, daß er mir so ähnlich sieht.

– Wolfgang Herrndorf (1965-2013), nach zu lesen auf seinem Blog Arbeit und Struktur. Am besten, man beginnt vornedie Dämmerung.

A walk, loss of some footage, a cold, last pages of Susan Cain’s book and too much Gabriel Byrne in ‘In Treatment’. Welcome, that was my day. Last one #berlin

A walk, loss of some footage, a cold, last pages of Susan Cain’s book and too much Gabriel Byrne in ‘In Treatment’. Welcome, that was my day. Last one #berlin


"This mere existence, that is, all that which is mysteriously given to us by birth and which includes the shape of our bodies and the talents of our minds, can be adequately dealt with only by the unpredictable hazards of friendship and sympathy, or by the great and incalculable grace of love, which says with Augustine, ‘Volo ut sis (I want you to be),’ without being able to give any particular reason for such supreme and unsurpassable affirmation.”

— Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

"This mere existence, that is, all that which is mysteriously given to us by birth and which includes the shape of our bodies and the talents of our minds, can be adequately dealt with only by the unpredictable hazards of friendship and sympathy, or by the great and incalculable grace of love, which says with Augustine, ‘Volo ut sis (I want you to be),’ without being able to give any particular reason for such supreme and unsurpassable affirmation.”

— Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism
Identify your own core personal projects

"First, think back of what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not."

"Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate to. At my law firm I never once volunteered to take on an extra corporate legal assignment, but I did spend a lot of time doing pro bono work for nonprofit women’s leadership organization."

"Finally, pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire (…) When I asked myself whom I did envy, the answer came back instantly. My college classmates who’d grown up to be writers or psychologists."

—Susan Cain, Quiet



“Try to let what is unfair teach you… What is unfair can be a stern but invaluable teacher… You can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between. Try to learn. Be coachable. Try to learn from everybody, especially those who fail. This is hard.”
— David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
Try to let what is unfair teach you… What is unfair can be a stern but invaluable teacher… You can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between. Try to learn. Be coachable. Try to learn from everybody, especially those who fail. This is hard.

— David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
“Be visible (…neat, graceful, hardworking, reliable, tidy, ordinary, carefree, quiet, exuberant, enjoyable, obedient, guilty, outspoken, tough, yourself, confident, governed, restrained, healthy, plain, straight forward, normal weight-ish, modest, unpretentious, well mannered, charming, smallish) !” 
“Don’t be different (…demanding, tall, soft spoken, thoughtful, prudent, cautious, considerate, clever, emotional, profound, appraising, tasteful, sensitive, sentimental, empathetic, affectionate, caring, loving, incredulously, vigorous, reserved, shy, observant, analyzing, improving, unsociable, delimiting, superior, outstanding) !”What family tells us. 

Be visible (…neat, graceful, hardworking, reliable, tidy, ordinary, carefree, quiet, exuberant, enjoyable, obedient, guilty, outspoken, tough, yourself, confident, governed, restrained, healthy, plain, straight forward, normal weight-ish, modest, unpretentious, well mannered, charming, smallish) !” 

Don’t be different (…demanding, tall, soft spoken, thoughtful, prudent, cautious, considerate, clever, emotional, profound, appraising, tasteful, sensitive, sentimental, empathetic, affectionate, caring, loving, incredulously, vigorous, reserved, shy, observant, analyzing, improving, unsociable, delimiting, superior, outstanding) !”

What family tells us. 

If I choose to think this way in a store and on the freeway, fine. Lots of us do. Except thinking this way tends to be so easy and automatic that it doesn’t have to be a choice. It is my natural default setting. It’s the automatic way that I experience the boring, frustrating, crowded parts of adult life when I’m operating on the automatic, unconscious belief that I am the centre of the world, and that my immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world’s priorities.

– David Foster Wallace in his commencement speech at Kenyon College in 2005. I recommend you to watch this video over here.