Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.

Daily suggestions of novels, short stories and poetry for a literary life.

“Why does the mind do such things? Turn on us, rend us, dig the claws in. If you get hungry enough, they say, you start eating your own heart. Maybe it’s much the same.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin (via plaante)

solesoffire:

literature meme | characters 3/7

Mrs Dalloway (published on 14 May 1925) is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a fictional high-society woman in post-World War I England. It is one of Woolf’s best-known novels.

Clarissa Dalloway, the heroine of the novel, struggles constantly to balance her internal life with the external world. Her world consists of glittering surfaces, such as fine fashion, parties, and high society, but as she moves through that world she probes beneath those surfaces in search of deeper meaning. Yearning for privacy, Clarissa has a tendency toward introspection that gives her a profound capacity for emotion, which many other characters lack. However, she is always concerned with appearances and keeps herself tightly composed, seldom sharing her feelings with anyone. She uses a constant stream of convivial chatter and activity to keep her soul locked safely away, which can make her seem shallow even to those who know her well. Constantly overlaying the past and the present, Clarissa strives to reconcile herself to life despite her potent memories.(x)

Interpreter of MaladiesA short story collection by Jhumpa Lahiri
Why you should read it: Lahiri does an exceptional job of writing quiet, melancholy stories about everyday life that anyone can relate to, no matter their circumstances. Her timing is perfect, as she weaves a collection of stories that slowly provide you with information about the characters and their motivations. 
In what context should you read this: Any. It’s a good summer read because it’s rather short and easy to read quickly. 
Things to look out for: The story ‘A Temporary Matter’ is my favorite and a piece that deserves to be lingered on.
Follow ups: Lahiri has written several novels, if you’re interested in her writing.

Interpreter of Maladies
A short story collection by Jhumpa Lahiri

  • Why you should read it: Lahiri does an exceptional job of writing quiet, melancholy stories about everyday life that anyone can relate to, no matter their circumstances. Her timing is perfect, as she weaves a collection of stories that slowly provide you with information about the characters and their motivations. 
  • In what context should you read this: Any. It’s a good summer read because it’s rather short and easy to read quickly. 
  • Things to look out for: The story ‘A Temporary Matter’ is my favorite and a piece that deserves to be lingered on.
  • Follow ups: Lahiri has written several novels, if you’re interested in her writing.
“I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will. I could use it to run, push buttons, of one sort or another, make things happen. There were limits but my body was nevertheless lithe, solid, one with me. Now the flesh arranges itself differently. I’m a cloud, congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear, which is hard and more real than I am and glows red within its translucent wrapping. Inside it is a space, huge as the sky at night and dark and curved like that, though black-red rather than black. Pinpoints of light swell, sparkle, burst and shrivel within it, countless as stars. Every month there is a moon, gigantic, round, heavy, an omen. It transits, pauses, continues on and passes out of sight, and I see despair coming towards me like famine. To feel that empty, again, again. I listen to my heart, wave upon wave, salty and red, continuing on and on, marking time.”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
theparisreview:

When Charlotte Brontë was thirteen and her brother, Branwell, was twelve, they designed and wrote a series of tiny books: “Measuring less than one inch by two inches, the books were made from scraps of paper and constructed by hand. Despite their diminutive size, the books contained big adventures, written in ink in careful script.”
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

theparisreview:

When Charlotte Brontë was thirteen and her brother, Branwell, was twelve, they designed and wrote a series of tiny books: “Measuring less than one inch by two inches, the books were made from scraps of paper and constructed by hand. Despite their diminutive size, the books contained big adventures, written in ink in careful script.”

For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

likeafieldmouse:

Oscar Wilde’s letter to an Oxford student on the uselessness of art:

My Dear Sir

Art is useless because its aim is simply to create a mood. It is not meant to instruct, or to influence action in any way. It is superbly sterile, and the note of its pleasure is sterility. If the contemplation of a work of art is followed by activity of any kind, the work is either of a very second-rate order, or the spectator has failed to realise the complete artistic impression. 

A work of art is useless as a flower is useless. A flower blossoms for its own joy. We gain a moment of joy by looking at it. That is all that is to be said about our relations to flowers. Of course man may sell the flower, and so make it useful to him, but this has nothing to do with the flower. It is not part of its essence. It is accidental. It is a misuse. All this is I fear very obscure. But the subject is a long one.

Truly yours,

Oscar Wilde

“People will do anything rather than admit that their lives have no meaning. No use, that is. No plot.”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale