Quote: Belongs

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was."
- Ernest Hemingway, "Old Newsman Writes: A Letter from Cuba," Esquire (New York, Dec. 1934).

Bookshelf: Twilight Saga

I just finished reading the Twilight saga. I started last Friday, and finished late last night (Thursday). I'll admit I got completely sucked in. It's not so much the love story or the adventure, but Stephenie Meyer manages to pull me along, sometime begrudgingly. About 2.5 books into reading, though, I realized my biggest issue with the novels: Bella. I do not like the heroine.

She is one of the most selfish, whiny, reckless, foolish, manipulative and inconsistent characters I have ever read. Her love for Edward is both her strongest trait and her biggest vulnerability. Often, I was disgusted by her inability to see things clearly and put those she loved first in a practical way, not some self-sacrifice that wouldn't wind up doing anyone any good and just get her into worse trouble/harm. Those around her were portrayed as much, much stronger, like she was a fragile doll that needed protection at all times. No one gave her complete information, no one trusted her to take care of herself (usually with good reason, because she would usually make the illogical choice.) She seemed incapable of looking at a situation objectively, without this obsessive desire to just have Edward and Jacob close to her. Even at their own personal cost. Selfish. Stupid. **spoiler alert** And once she decides to have the child, she doesn't care about the cost. She's maniacal in her martyrdom. And then once she becomes a vampire, I almost don't believe her new identity. But the personal strength she showed as a vampire finally made me, again somewhat begrudgingly, respect her.


Flowers Lead to Books

Maira Kalman's blog about springtime and about books. And thinking and not thinking. If I could translate my feelings on this sunny May day, that would be it. I just want to be outside, doing something cliche like sit on a bench in Bryant Park with a book.

Quote: Thoughts on Work

(Photo via Flickr)
Three rules of work:
1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
2. From discord, find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Attributed to Albert Einstein, but in grad school, a similar message was also ingrained in my mind...

Three rules of good writing:
1. Clarity.
2. Brevity.
3. Euphony.

Thanks, Professor Hajdu!