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February 2013

EDITH WHARTON ~ INNER ISOLATION

in The words that make sense... brilliant writings by writers... by
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“She felt a stealing sense of fatigue as she walked; the sparkle had died out of her, and the taste of life was stale on her lips. She hardly knew what she had been seeking, or why the failure to find it had so blotted the light from her sky: she was only aware of a vague sense of failure, of an inner isolation deeper than the loneliness about her.”
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth

Edith Wharton, 1905

IVAN TURGENEV ~ GAMES OF THE MIND

in The words that make sense... brilliant writings by writers... by
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“Moreover, probably owing to excessive self-consciousness, perhaps as the result of the generally unfortunate cast of my personality, there existed between my thoughts and feelings, and the expression of those feelings and thoughts, a sort of inexplicable, irrational, and utterly insuperable barrier; and whenever I made up my mind to overcome this obstacle by force, to break down this barrier, my gestures, the expression of my face, my whole being, took on an appearance of painful constraint. I not only seemed, I positively became unnatural and affected. I was conscious of this myself, and hastened to shrink back into myself. Then a terrible commotion was set up within me. I analysed myself to the last thread, compared myself with others, recalled the slightest glances, smiles, words of the people to whom I had tried to open myself out, put the worst construction on everything, laughed vindictively at my own pretensions to ‘be like every one else,’—and suddenly, in the midst of my laughter, collapsed utterly into gloom, sank into absurd dejection, and then began again as before—went round and round, in fact, like a squirrel on its wheel. Whole days were spent in this harassing, fruitless exercise.”
― Ivan Turgenev, Diary of a Superfluous Man

MIKHAIL BULGAKOV ~ THE EYES AND THE TRUTH

in The words that make sense... brilliant writings by writers... by
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“The tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes never! You’re asked an unexpected question, you don’t even flinch, it takes just a second to get yourself under control, you know just what you have to say to hide the truth, and you speak very convincingly, and nothing in your face twitches to give you away. But the truth, alas, has been disturbed by the question, and it rises up from the depths of your soul to flicker in your eyes and all is lost.”
― Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

ANTON CHEKHOV ~ HUMAN RELATIONS

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“There should be more sincerity and heart in human relations, more silence and simplicity in our interactions. Be rude when you’re angry, laugh when something is funny, and answer when you’re asked.”
Anton Chekhov

THE TOLSTOY FAMILY ~ A LIFE IN PICTURES

in The Tolstoy Family ~ A Life in Pictures by
tolstoy

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Count Lev Tolstoy and his Wife Countess Sophia Tolstoy

At Home in Tolstoy’s Study, 1907

COLETTE ~ ON MEMORIES

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colette

“It is the image in the mind that links us to our lost treasures; but it is the loss that shapes the image, gathers the flowers, weaves the garland.”
― Colette, My Mother’s House & Sido

SILENT WOOD ~ POEM BY ELIZABETH SIDDAL

in Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Victorian Avantgarde by
Siddal-photo

O silent wood, I enter thee
With a heart so full of misery
For all the voices from the trees
And the ferns that cling about my knees.

In thy darkest shadow let me sit
When the grey owls about thee flit;
There will I ask of thee a boon,
That I may not faint or die or swoon.

Gazing through the gloom like one
Whose life and hopes are also done,
Frozen like a thing of stone
I sit in thy shadow – but not alone.

Can God bring back the day when we two stood
Beneath the clinging trees in that dark wood?

Photo of Elizabeth Siddal  ca. 1860

Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal (25 July 1829 – 11 February 1862) was an English artists’ model, poet and artist who was painted and drawn extensively by artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, including Walter Deverell, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais (including Millais’ 1852 painting Ophelia) and most of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s early paintings of women.   (Wikipedia)

JORGE LUIS BORGES ~ PARADISE

in The words that make sense... brilliant writings by writers... by
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“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
Jorge Luis Borges

ANDRE GIDE ~ YOUR INNER SELF

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” Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself – and thus make yourself indispensable.”

Andre Gide

GIORGIO DE CHIRICO ~ THE MYSTERY OF OUR MINDS

in Art & the Unconscious Mind by
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“Although the dream is a very strange phenomenon and an inexplicable mystery, far more inexplicable is the mystery and aspect our minds confer on certain objects and aspects of life.”

Giorgio de Chirico

Painting is by Giorgio de Chirico, Melancolia, 1912

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