Brain Pickings has a free Sunday digest of the week’s most interesting and inspiring articles across art

Brain Pickings has a free Sunday digest of the week’s most interesting and inspiring articles across art

Newsletter sunday

Brain Pickings has a free Sunday digest of the week’s most interesting and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children’s books, as well as other strands of our look for truth, beauty, and meaning. Listed here is an illustration. Like? Claim yours:

midweek newsletter

Also: Because Brain Pickings is within its twelfth year and because I write primarily about ideas of a timeless character, We have made a decision to plunge into my vast archive every Wednesday and choose from the thousands of essays one worth resurfacing and resavoring. Contribute to this midweek that is free for heart, mind, and spirit below — it really is separate through the standard Sunday digest of brand new pieces:

The greater Loving One: Astrophysicist Janna Levin Reads W.H. Auden’s Sublime Ode to the Unrequited Love for the Universe

Favorite Books of 2018

Emily Dickinson’s Electric Love Letters to Susan Gilbert

Rebecca Solnit’s Lovely Letter to Children About How Books Solace, Empower, and Transform Us

A Brave and Startling Truth: Astrophysicist Janna Levin Reads Maya Angelou’s Stunning Humanist Poem That Flew to Space, Inspired by Carl Sagan

In Praise for the Telescopic Perspective: A Reflection on Living Through Turbulent Times

A Stoic’s Key to Peace of Mind: Seneca regarding the Ant >

The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. Cummings on Art, Life, and Being Unafra >

10 Learnings from ten years of Brain Pickings

The Writing of “Silent Spring”: Rachel Carson plus the Culture-Shifting Courage to speak Truth that is inconvenient to

Timeless Suggestions About Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers

A Rap on Race: Margaret Mead and James Baldwin’s Rare Conversation on Forgiveness and the Difference Between Guilt and Responsibility

The Science of Stress and How Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease

Mary Oliver on What Attention Really Means and Her Moving Elegy on her Soul Mate

Rebecca Solnit on Hope in Dark Times, Resisting the Defeatism of Easy Despair, and What Victory Really method for Movements of Social Change

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives

Related Reads

Annie Dillard from the Art associated with Essay and also the Different Responsibilities of Narrative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Short Stories

Ted Hughes on the best way to Be a Writer: A Letter of Advice to His 18-Year-Old Daughter

W.E.B. Dubois on Earning One’s Privilege: His Magnificent Letter of Advice to His Teenage Daughter

Famous Writers’ Sleep Habits vs. Literary Productivity, Visualized

7 Life-Learnings from 7 many years of Brain Pickings, Illustrated

Anaпs Nin on Love, Hand-Lettered by Debbie Millman

Anaпs Nin on Real Love, Illustrated by Debbie Millman

Susan Sontag on Love: Illustrated Diary Excerpts

Susan Sontag on Art: Illustrated Diary Excerpts

Albert Camus on Happiness and Love, Illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton

The Holstee Manifesto

The Silent Music associated with the Mind: Remembering Oliver Sacks

Just how to Read Intelligently and Write a Essay that is great Frost’s Letter of Advice to His Young Daughter

“Only an individual who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery therefore the stamina to publish essays,” E.B. White wrote in the foreword to his collected essays. Annie Dillard sees things almost the way that is opposite insisting that essayists perform a public service — they “serve due to the fact memory of a people” and “chew over our public past.” Himself, the advice Pulitzer-winning poet Robert Frost (March 26, 1874–January 29, 1963) offered to his eldest daughter, Lesley, not only stands as an apt mediator between White and Dillard but also some of the most enduring wisdom on essay-writing ever committed to paper although he had never written an essay.

During her junior year in college, Lesley shared her exasperation over having been assigned to write an academic essay about a book she didn’t find particularly inspiring. The art of the essay, and even thinking itself in a magnificent letter from February of 1919, found in The Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 1 (public library), the beloved poet gave his daughter sage counsel on her particular predicament, emanating general wisdom on writing.

5 years before he received the initial of his four Pulitzer Prizes, 45-year-old Frost writes:

I pity you, being forced to write essays where the imagination has no chance, or close to no chance. Just one single word of advice: stay away from strain or at the very least the appearance of strain. One way to go to work is to read through your author a few times over having an eye out for anything that occurs for your requirements while you read whether appreciative contradictory corroborative or parallel…

He speaks to your notion that writing, like all creativity, is a case of selecting the few thrilling ideas from the large amount of dull ones that happen to us — “To invent… is always to choose,” as French polymath Henri Poincarй famously proclaimed. Frost counsels:

There ought to be more or less of a jumble in your thoughts or in your note paper following the time that is first even after the second. Much that you shall think of in connection will come to nothing and stay wasted. But some of it ought to go together under one idea. That idea could be the thing to write on and write into the title at the head of your paper… One idea and a few subordinate ideas — the trick is to have those occur to you as you read and catch them — not allow them to escape you… The sidelong glance is exactly what you depend on. You look at your author however you keep carefully the tail of the eye about what is going on in addition to your author in your own mind and nature.

Reflecting on his days as an English teacher at New Hampshire’s Pinkerton Academy, Frost points to precisely this quality that is over-and-above the factor that set apart the few of his students who mastered the essay through the great majority of the who never did. (Although because of the time of his tenure the Academy officially accepted young women, Frost’s remark that is passing his class consisted of sixty boys reveals a tremendous amount about women’s plight for education.) He writes:

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