Our newsletter is evolving. Instead of sharing an ever-growing list of book recommendations — which can still be found in the group chat from here on out — we’re going to crowdsource meaningful things you guys have read/created each week.
Here's how this is gonna work:
Step 1. You find or create a quote, an article, some beautiful prose, an educational passage, a piece of art, a funny meme — anything you think other bookworms might like.
Step 2. EMAIL IT TO ME!
Step 3. I will archive and curate your submissions for the newsletter.
This format, this juxtaposition, this organized chaos is bound to generate some gloriously weird and infinitely interesting outcomes. Indeed, it already has.
Let’s get to it! :)
“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."
—H. P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu
“Devils never drive humanity to extinction. Why? Because if people cease to exist, so do devils.”
—Koji Suzuki, The Ring
"While Swedish graduations evidently vary a bit from school to school, the general gist is the same. Graduation day is one of jubilant celebration, a success and a release. Both boys and girls dress in white and wear traditional caps. They gather together, often by class, at the school. Parents are gathered outside holding signs they have made with pictures of their kids, often as babies.
One class at a time comes out. At some schools, they perform a song and/or dance they have created. At the one we attended, the class came out behind a band. The students then race to their parents and friends who bedeck them with a huge assortment of stuffed animals, flowers and trinkets that they hang from ribbons on their necks.
Next, a line of huge trucks pull up. Their sides have been decorated by students. The kids climb on board to music being piped at ear splitting levels. Once on board, they sing, dance, wave and drink their way around town.
When the parade is over, the celebration continues. Families host massive parties where the kids rotate through, greeting each other with hugs and gifts.
We experienced such joy, such warmth, a true spirit of jubilation, of pride in accomplishment in these graduates.
No pretentious speeches. No diploma-handing-out. No sweating.
Instead of being the objects of a few more tedious lectures, on being advised one last time by those in authority, how to live their lives, students in Sweden are handed the reigns of their own spirit and allowed to fly.
"I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ya see that? Already, weird and interesting things are afoot! First, we have three quotes — one about intellect and two about its pitfalls, right? Then comes a beautiful passage about the various ways in which we celebrate our intellectual accomplishments anyway. The last quote kind of ties it all together by highlighting a phenomenon with which we are all familiar — consciously moving towards a destination, arriving, and forgetting how we got there. As H.P. Lovecraft so ominously points out, perhaps this isn’t such a bad thing.
And so, with that being said, I propose a toast…
May we all live consciously on our “placid islands of ignorance,” and may we all have some fun while we’re at it.
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