I was learning something from the painting of Cezanne that made writing simple true sentences far from enough to make the stories have the dimensions that I was trying to put in them.
I was learning very much from him but I was not articulate enough to explain it to anyone.
Besides it was a secret.
-Hemingway, “A Moveable Feast”
It will take you longer to read this post and click through to its attached link than it would for you to simply read Anton Chekhov’s shortest-ever short story in its entirety.
I’m always meaning to read more Chekhov…
I don’t adopt anyone’s ideas. I have my own.
“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.”-Leo Tolstoy, The Kruetzer Sonata
Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky? Eight Experts on Who’s Greater
I just read this article on The Millions (can’t get enough of that place). I love both, but if I had to pick, it would be Tolstoy for me every time. I thought this line was particularly true:
”Tolstoy’s novels are unique in the way they’re constructed entirely out of short, perfect, easy-to-read scenes, and in the way those scenes build on one another until they address the most complex issues in a nonchalant, natural way.”
War and Peace struck me so strongly that, upon finishing, I desperately needed to talk to someone about it. I found this article from The Millions (linked in the title above), and in it the author perfectly articulated the way it felt to read War and Peace, and why I am compulsed to read in the first place:
"In the end, though, the reason I read novels is not because I can talk about them with other people, or because I’m looking for ideas to explain the world. I read them for the pure aesthetic moment that comes from seeing life perfectly distilled into words."
I am still shocked by the perfect distillation of life I find when reading War and Peace.