Category: Literature

This is the reading list Earnest Hemingway recommended to a kid in 1934.  The kid told him he wanted to be a writer and asked him what he should, therefore, read.  Hemingway would have been 35 at the time and had authored numerous novels including The Sun Also Rises copyrighted in 1925: The Blue Hotel—Stephen […]

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William B. Yeats—Irish poet—said John Stuart Mill—philosopher of democracy—had a good handle on where good prose comes from when he said—I’m paraphrasing—”rhetoric is spoken but poetry is overheard.” I think he means that poetry is what you get when you’re not trying too hard.  Have you ever said “wow, I should write that down, that’s […]

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The only thing I can control is how hard I work at something I believe is good. After law school a lawyer I know told me studying was a great stress reliever.  I’m sorry, what?  I was prepping for the California bar exam.  Wouldn’t half a day of Seinfeld reruns be a better stress reliever?  […]

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I read Chapter 58 of “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville this morning titled “Brit.”  It’s only 1000 words, or so, and takes the form of an essay rather than a continuation of the book’s plot.  Melville makes comparisons between the natural world and the nature of man, you and me, everyone’s favorite subject, when you […]

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It is one thing to tell a story.  It is another thing for anyone to listen to your story.  Telling true stories is when you hold up a mirror to your audience.  How then do we discover truth?  How are discoveries made?; the same way Columbus made them; with experimentation, exploration, and innovation (in business).  […]

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“Make It Don’t Say It” The action creates the feeling.  You cannot tell someone how to feel by describing your own.  You can only show them.  The implicit demand behind “do you love me?” has worked zero times in the history of abstract thought. “All you have to do is write one true sentence.  Write […]

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I finally read Moby Dick start to finish.  I started it a decade ago but, obviously, was not ready for it.  At 35, I picked it up again and could not have done this any sooner than now, regrettably true as that is.  But age is just a number; a point of departure; an index. I’m one day […]

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