“Had Prozac been available last century, Baudelaire’s “spleen”, Edgar Allan Poe’s moods, the poetry of Sylvia Plath; the lamentations of so many other poets, everything with a soul would have been silenced…
If large pharmaceutical companies were able to eliminate the seasons, they would probably do so- for a profit, of course.”—
YES YOU SEE BECAUSE ANTIDEPRESSANTS MAGICALLY WIPE OUT YOUR ENTIRE CAPACITY FOR MELANCHOLY IN ONE FELL SWOOP LIKE YOU LITERALLY POP ONE PILL AND BOOM THERE’S A BIG SMILE ON YOUR FACE AND THEN YOU CAN NEVER WRITE POETRY AGAIN BECAUSE AS WE ALL KNOW IT’S ONLY POSSIBLE TO WRITE GOOD POETRY WHEN YOU’RE IN A FETAL POSITION DRY SOBBING AT ONE IN THE AFTERNOON AND WONDERING IF YOU’D HAVE THE EMOTIONAL ENERGY TO SHOOT YOURSELF IF YOU HAD A GUN GODDAM THOSE EVIL DOCTORS AND THEIR MEDICINE THEY RUINED LITERATURE FOREVER BECAUSE AS WE ALL KNOW LITERALLY NOBODY HAS EVER WRITTEN ANYTHING EVEN HALFWAY DECENT SINCE ANTIDEPRESSANTS CAME OUT ALSO FUCK THE POLIO VACCINE AND AIRPLANES FOR SOME REASON
This pisses me off on two counts: the complete misunderstanding of how mental illness affects the brain (it saps energy and ruins concentration, making you less likely to produce art, not more) and the assumption that it’s okay if a human being suffers terrible pain as long as it means they’re churning out poems that you like.
“Dante’s Paradiso is the apotheosis of the virtual world, of nonmaterial things, of pure software, without the weight of earthly or infernal hardware, whose traces remain in the Purgatorio. The Paradiso is more than modern; it can become, for the reader who has forgotten history, a tremendously real element of the future. It represents the triumph of pure energy, which the labyrinth of the Web promises but will never be able to give us; it is an exaltation of floods and bodies without organs, an epic made of novas and white dwarf stars, an endless big bang, a story whose plot covers the distance of light years, and, if you really want familiar examples, a triumphant space odyssey, with a very happy ending. You can read the Paradiso in this way too; it can never do you any harm, and it will be better than a disco with strobe lights or ecstasy. After all, with regard to ecstasy, Dante’s third cantica keeps its promises and actually delivers it.”—Umberto Eco, A Reading of the Paridiso. (via dantereader)
Inferno, Canto X: Many artists have attempted to illustrate Dante Alighieri’s epic poem the Divine Comedy, but none have made such an indelible stamp on our collective imagination as the Frenchman Gustave Doré.
“Dante, I think, committed a crude blunder when, with a terror-inspiring ingenuity, he placed above the gateway of his hell the inscription “I too was created by eternal love”—at any rate, there would be more justification for placing above the gateway to the Christian Paradise and its “eternal bliss” the inscription “I too was created by eternal hate”—provided a truth may be placed above the gateway to a lie! For what is it that constitutes the bliss of this Paradise?”—Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, 1887. (via dantereader)
“'I love,' said Susan, 'and I hate. I desire one thing only. My eyes are hard. Jinny's eyes break into a thousand lights. Rhoda's are like those pale flowers to which moths come in the evening. Yours grow full and brim and never break. But I am already set on my pursuit. I see insects in the grass. Though my mother still knits white socks for me and hems pinafores and I am a child, I love and hate.'”—(via vwvw)
The most obvious difference between the two manuscripts is that Emily’s is free of corrections by Heger, while his markings appear on all three pages of Charlotte’s essay, so that, between the lines, a master–pupil dynamic emerges. In 1856, he told Elizabeth Gaskell, the novelist who was writing Charlotte’s biography, that he “rated Emily’s genius as something even higher than Charlotte’s.” Still, throughout the months both sisters spent at the pensionnat, Heger paid much more attention to Charlotte’s work, possibly because, unlike her disaffected sibling, she responded with flattering compliance. The more he critiqued and corrected her writing, the more she attempted to please him. (As she later wrote in a poem, “Obedience was my heart’s free choice/ Whate’er his word severe.”)
"Many of Munro’s readers had sadly concluded that she was not, somehow, the kind of writer that the Nobel committee seemed to like; I had decided that she would join the list of noble non-Nobelists, a distinguished category that includes Tolstoy, Nabokov, Borges, Hrabal, Sebald, Bernhard, Ingmar Bergman—and Chekhov, as it happens.
We were wrong, and for once it was wonderful to be wrong.”