reading everything.

Life surprised him

To Malraux, Picasso's genius was his unending self-questioning, his incessant challenging of himself and his creation. His style is both a continuation of styles and his overcoming these styles. Malraux quotes him saying, "Down with style! Does God have a style?" and says that while Picasso was painting Guernica, he told him he had discovered what to expect from painting in the Greek Bronze Age Cycladic "frying pan" pottery and, especially, in a flat "violinwoman" terra-cotta fetish.'Life surpri...
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The only commodity he wished he could buy much of

When William James marveled at Osler's energy and interests, Osler is said to have told James that he was fearfully conscious of time, that it was the only commodity he wished he could buy much of, because there was so much he could do with it. If there was any undertone of sadness in a happy and wonderfully successful life, it flowed from Osler's understanding that there is no final escape from the oblivion of the grave and the dead house.—from William Osler: A Life in Medicine by Michael Bliss...
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Reading cultures thrived aboard ships

Scholars have discovered an extraordinarily high literacy rate among sailors: from seventy-five to ninety percent. Reading cultures thrived aboard ships. Maritime narratives since at least William Dampier's A New Voyage Around the World (1697) regularly included natural history descriptions into every kind of adventure at sea, which reflected and primed sailor-readers toward marine observation.—from Ahab's Rolling Sea: A Natural History of “Moby-Dick” by Richard J. King (read it) ...
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