Blood Work

At the door of every happy person there should be a man with a hammer whose knock would serve as a constant reminder of the existence of unfortunate people. -Chekov

How to Criticize Israel Without Being Anti-Semitic


If you’ve spent any time discussing or reading about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I guarantee you’ve heard some variation of this statement:

OMG, Jews think any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic!

In the interests of this post, I’m going to assume that the people who express such…

And about emotions: all emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you. Everything that you can think in the face of your childhood, is right. Everything that makes more of you than you have heretofore been in your best hours, is right. Every heightening is good if it is in your whole blood, if it is not intoxication, not turbidity, but joy which one can see clear to the bottom. Do you understand what I mean?

—Rilke - Letters to a Young Poet

"For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm. There are not many such books. All the rest is either topical trash or what some call the Literature of Ideas, which very often is topical trash coming in huge blocks of plaster that are carefully transmitted from age to age until somebody comes along with a hammer and takes a good crack at Balzac, at Gorki, at Mann."—
Vladimir Nabokov