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Excerpts

Quotes from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Here we’ll explore quotes from The Bell Jar, an influential modern novel that took mental illness head on in a chronicle both terrifying and tender.

The Bell Jar wasn’t published in the U.S. until 1971, in accordance with the wishes of Ted Hughes, to whom she had been married at the time of her death (though they were separated at the time). From the 1971 Harper and Row edition:

“This extraordinary work chronicles the crackup of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, successful — but slowly going under, and maybe for the last time.

Step by careful step, Sylvia Plath takes us with Esther through a painful month in New York as a contest-winning junior editor on a magazine, her increasingly strained relationships with her mother and the boy she dated in college, and eventually, devastatingly, into the madness itself.”

 

The reader is drawn into her breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes completely real and completely rational, as probably and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration in the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is far in any novel.”

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Excerpts

Man’s Search for Meaning – Achievement Orientation Quote

“But today’s society is characterized by achievement orientation, and consequently it adores people who are successful and happy and, in particular, it adores the young. It virtually ignores the value of all those who are otherwise, and in so doing blurs the decisive difference between being valuable in the sense of dignity and being valuable in the sense of usefulness.

If one is not cognizant of this difference and holds that an individual’s value stems only from his present usefulness, then, believe me, one owes it only to personal inconsistency not to plead for euthanasia along the lines of Hitler’s program, that is to say, ‘mercy’ killing of all those who have lost their social usefulness, be it because of old age, incurable illness, mental deterioration, or whatever handicap they may suffer.

Confounding the dignity of man with mere usefulness arises from conceptual confusion that in turn may be traced back to the contemporary nihilism transmitted on many an academic campus and many an analytical couch.”

― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Categories
Excerpts Psychology

The Gift of Fear – Survival Signals by Gavin De Becker (Excerpt)

The following is respectfully quoted from “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker:

Many homicides have occurred at the courthouse where women were seeking protection orders, or just prior to the hearings. Why? Because the murderers were allergic to rejection. They found it hard enough in private but intolerable in public. For men like this, rejection is a threat to identity, the persona, to the entire self, and in this sense their crimes could be called murder in defense of the self. In To Have or To Harm, the first major book on stalking, author Linden Gross details case after case in which court orders did not prevent homicides. Here are just a few:

Categories
Poetry

Come to the orchard in Spring. Rumi

Come to the orchard in Spring.
There is light and wine, and sweethearts
in the pomegranate flowers.

If you do not come, these do not matter.
If you do come, these do not matter.

The above is apparently taken from the book “Open Secret: Versions of Rumi” written by Moyne and Barks.

pomegranate-flowers.jpg

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Excerpts

How should one read a book? Virginia Woolf Book Quote

The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess.
—Virginia Woolf, “How Should One Read a Book?”

 

Categories
Excerpts Psychology

Don’t trust your memories

I came across an interesting take on the False Memory Syndrome. While we all experience memory failures from time to time, false memories are unique in that they represent a distinct recollection of something that did not actually happen. It is not about forgetting or mixing up details of things that we experienced; it is about remembering things that we never experienced in the first place.

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Book Reviews

Some strong quotes from “The Book Thief”

I absolutely loved “The Book Thief” – a story about the Second World War, about the killing of Jews and concentration camps, about death and fatherhood and a little girl.

I re-read my favourite passage from the book – the day before the Jews marched towards the death camp – the last day of peace on the street:

Now more than ever, 33 Himmel Street was a place of silence, and it did not go unnoticed that the Duden Dictionary was completely and utterly mistaken, especially with its related words.

Silence was not quiet or calm, and it was not peace.


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Excerpts

Best sex scene in Atlas Shrugged * Ayn Rand

Whoever told you that Atlas Shrugged is a boring book, they never mentioned that it features some pretty cool characters, love triangles by the truckload and one sex scene that would make Anne Rice blush! Well, maybe not Anne Rice but it’s definitely better than Murakami’s approach.

The sound came from his engine, from the control of his hands on the wheel; she held onto that; the rest was to be endured, not resisted.
She lay still, her legs stretched forward, her hands on the arms of the seat, with no sense of motion, not even her own, to give her a sense of time, with no space, no sight, no future, with the night of closed eyelids under the pressure of the cloth-and with the knowledge of his presence beside her as her single, unchanging reality, They did not speak. Once, she said suddenly, “Mr. Galt.”
“Yes?”
“No. Nothing. I just wanted to know whether you were still there.”
“I will always be there.”

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Excerpts

Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations Excerpt

We enjoy publishing our thoughts and those of our writers, but we also love going to primary sources whenever possible. Today we’re sitting at the feet of ancient Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius to hear his timeless thoughts on what matters in life—and what doesn’t. The following is excerpted from Book II of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations.

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Excerpts

Alias Grace * Peaches and stones (Episode 1)

When you write, I feel as if you are drawing on me, drawing on my skin with the feather end of an old-fashioned goose pen. As if hundreds of butterflies have settled all over my face, and are softly opening and closing their wings. But underneath that is another feeling, a feeling of being wide-eyed awake and watchful. It’s like being wakened suddenly in the middle of the night, by a hand over your face, and you sit up with your heart going fast, and no one is there. And underneath that is another feeling still, a feeling of being torn open, not like a body of flesh, it is not painful as such, but like a peach. And not even torn open, but too ripe and splitting of its own accord. And inside the peach, there’s a stone

Alias Grace