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John Ashbery

And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name You can’t say it that way any more. Bothered about beauty you have to Come out into the open, into a clearing, And rest. Certainly whatever funny happens to you Is OK. To demand more than this would be strange Of you, you who have so many lovers,… Continue reading John Ashbery

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Avant-garde · Classic · Excerpt · Fiction · Irish Culture · Irish Literature · Modernism · Paraphrase · Passage · Quote · Stream of Consciousness · Theatre of the Absurd

Samuel Beckett

And I shall resemble the wretches famed in fable, crushed beneath the weight of their wish come true. And I even feel a strange desire come over me, the desire to know what I am doing, and why. So I near the goal I set myself in my young days and which prevented me from… Continue reading Samuel Beckett

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Brazilian Culture · Brazillian Literature · Classic · Collection · Excerpt · Fragment · Modernism · Poetry

Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Flight from reality. Farther still: flight from fantasy. Farther than anything: flight from oneself, flight from flight, exile without water or words, the voluntary loss of love and memory, — Carlos Drummond de Andrade, from “Lesser Life,” Multitudinous Heart: Selected Poems, transl. by Richard Zenith (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015)

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Classic · Excerpt · Fiction · Greek Culture · Greek Literature · Novel · Paraphrase · Passage · Philosophy · Quote

Nikos Kazantzakis

When shall I at last retire into solitude alone, without companions, without joy and without sorrow, with only the sacred certainty that all is a dream? When, in my rags—without desires—shall I retire contented into the mountains? When, seeing that my body is merely sickness and crime, age and death, shall I—free, fearless, and blissful—retire… Continue reading Nikos Kazantzakis

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Classic · Excerpt · French Culture · French Literature · Non-fiction · Paraphrase · Passage · Philosophy · Quote · Religion · Theory

Georges Bataille

We have in fact only two certainties in this world—that we are not everything and that we will die. To be conscious of not being everything, as one is of being mortal, is nothing. But if we are without a narcotic, an unbreathable void reveals itself. I wanted to be everything, so that falling into… Continue reading Georges Bataille

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Classic · Excerpt · Fiction · German Culture · German Literature · Novel · Paraphrase · Passage · Philosophy · Quote

Hermann Hesse

A savage desire for strong emotions and sensations burns inside me: a rage against this soft-tinted, shallow, standardized and sterilized life, and a mad craving to smash something up, a department store, say, or a cathedral, or myself. — Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf: A Novel. (Penguin Books, Limited (UK); New Ed edition February 25, 1999) Originally… Continue reading Hermann Hesse

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American Culture · American Literature · Chicago Literary Renaissance · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · Traditionalism

Carl Sandburg

I speak of new cities and new people. I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes. I tell you yesterday is a wind gone down, a sun dropped in the west. I tell you there is nothing in the world only an ocean of to-morrows, a sky of to-morrows. — Carl Sandburg, from… Continue reading Carl Sandburg

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Classic · Collection · Excerpt · Fiction · Passage · Philosophy · Poetry · Portuguese Culture · Portuguese Literature

Fernando Pessoa

I look at my past life as at a field lit up by the sun when it breaks through the clouds, and I note with metaphysical astonishment how my most deliberate acts, my clearest ideas, and my most logical intentions were after all no more than congenital drunkenness, inherent madness, and huge ignorance. I didn’t… Continue reading Fernando Pessoa

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