Opera Omnia

This blog is a collection of things I read about, and get so excited that I burst inside, but have nowhere to put them. So I will put them here.

“The worst thing you can do for your partner and your relationship is believe that you know how to make intimate unions work. In reality, there’s no way that any of us could know. Biology, which takes many, many generations to change, has not prepared us for love’s special challenges in our rapidly changing culture. Tradition is hopelessly outdated – the old socialized roles and norms have broken down almost completely – and pop-psychology gives little more than platitudes or oversimplified and contradictory advice. But don’t despair: The human brain is amazingly adaptive and capable of learning. The only thing that blocks us from being able to learn how to love better is the ego; we simply don’t want to admit that we don’t know how to do it right. To be relieved of the awful burden of ego, repeat the following out loud, three times: I don’t know what the hell I’m doing when it comes to making a modern intimate relationship work! Once relieved of the burden of defending our egotistical preconceptions and prejudices about how relationships should be – and how our partners should see themselves and the world – we’re free to apply our intelligence and creativity to learning how to love the unique persons we come to love. The most loving thing you can say to your partner is: Teach me how to love you, and I will teach you how to love me.”



You will never be able to experience everything. So, please, do poetical justice to your soul and simply experience yourself.

—Albert Camus, from Notebooks (via bbook)

(Source: violentwavesofemotion, via bbook)


The Great Moon Hoax of 1835 - Life on the Moon

On Tuesday, 25 August 1835, the New York Sun began publishing, in serial form, a long account of stunning astronomical breakthroughs by the famous British astronomer, Sir John Herschel. They were made “by means of a telescope of vast dimensions and an entirely new principle.” Herschel, the article declared, had discovered planets in other solar systems and had “solved or corrected nearly every leading problem of mathematical astronomy.” Then, almost as if it were an afterthought, the article revealed Herschel’s final, stunning achievement: he had discovered life on the moon!

But the newspaper article described more than just life, they discovered entire civilizations. The account told of fantastic animals, including bison, goats, unicorns, bipedal tail-less beavers, and bat-like winged humanoids who built temples. There were even trees, oceans and beaches.

Eventually, the authors announced that the observations had been terminated by the destruction of the telescope, by means of the sun causing the lens to act as a ‘burning glass’, setting fire to the observatory.

The article was an elaborate hoax. Herschel hadn’t observed life on the moon, nor had he accomplished any of the other astronomical breakthroughs credited to him in the article. In fact, Herschel wasn’t even aware until much later that such discoveries had been attributed to him. However, the announcement caused enormous excitement throughout America and Europe. To this day, the moon hoax is remembered as one of the most sensational media hoaxes of all time.

Authorship of the article has been attributed to Richard A. Locke, a Cambridge-educated reporter who was working for the New York Sun at the time. Locke never publicly admitted to being the author and the newspaper never issued a retraction.

(via danforth)


You Wish Your Neurons Were This Pretty

When Greg Dunn finished his Ph.D. in neuroscience at Penn in 2011, he bought himself a sensory deprivation tank as a graduation present. The gift marked a major life transition, from the world of science to a life of meditation and art.

Now a full-time artist living in Philadelphia, Dunn says he was inspired in his grad-student days by the spare beauty of neurons treated with certain stains. The Golgi stain, for example, will turn one or two neurons black against a golden background. ”It has this Zen quality to it that really appealed to me,” Dunn said.

(via aleskot)

When was super depressed, I wasn’t working—I was always too depressed. Hemingway did his best work when he didn’t drink, then he drank himself to death and blew his head off with a shotgun. Someone asked John Cheever, “What’d you learn from Hemingway?” and he said “I learned not to blow my head off with a shotgun.” I remember going to the Michigan poetry festival, meeting Etheridge Knight there and Robert Creeley. Creeley was so drunk—he was reading and he only had one eye, of course, and had to hold his book like two inches from his face using his one good eye. But you look at somebody like George Saunders—I think he’s the best short story writer in English alive—that’s somebody who tries very hard to live a sane, alert life.

You’re present when you’re not drinking a fifth of Jack Daniel’s every day. It’s probably better for your writing career, you know? I think being tortured as a virtue is a kind of antiquated sense of what it is to be an artist.

In an interview with The FixMary Karr debunks the toxic mythology that it is necessary to be damaged in order to be creative. My own vehement defiance to that mythology is what led me to choose Ray Bradbury – the ultimate epitome of creating from joy rather than suffering – as the subject of my contribution to The New York Times’ The Lives They Lived.

Pair with Karr on why writers write.

(via explore-blog)

(Source: , via fuckyeahawesome)


Artist Rosamond Purcell has long trained her camera lens on museum collections, making acts of organization an integral part of her striking photography and writing, but in a recent installation she set out to physically duplicate one of the most iconic collections.

Ole Worm, a 17th century Danish physician, linguist, and natural philosopher, created one of the first iterations of what we could come to know as the modern museum. The Museum Wormianum cabinet of curiosities in his home, visible in a frontispiece engraving published in a catalogue of the cabinet that came out in 1655 after his death, had everything from specimens of the natural world to scientific instruments to ethnogrpahic objects. It was all aimed not just at being a spectacle, but at being a source of study and understanding. Purcell said she had “looked at the engraving for years and years” and was “just fascinated with what was on the walls and on the shelves and wanted to reproduce it.” 

More on Ole Worm’s return to life, thanks in part to artistic obsession…

(via ebtpearce)

All my best ideas come from having no answer - from not knowing. You never know the truth of the matter until you do it. And just when you think you know a picture everything starts to be something else. And you have to understand that’s not going wrong. That’s just the way things are.

—John Cassavetes  (via bbook)

(Source: johncassavetes, via bbook)


I despise formal restaurants. I find all of that formality to be very base and vile. I would much rather eat potato chips on the sidewalk.
—Werner Herzog


I despise formal restaurants. I find all of that formality to be very base and vile. I would much rather eat potato chips on the sidewalk.

—Werner Herzog

(Source: iloveretro)