“What makes Mozart, Vivaldi, the Beatles, essential to our lives? Is it the hours we spend with scores on our knees, listening in the dark? Or the hours and hours and hours we spend with them just on, wrapped around our lives - giving them some emotion to organize that they, miraculously, do?”—Adam Gopnik, The Table Comes First
“Offhand, I can remember seeing just three girls in my life who struck me as having in classifiable great beauty at first sight. One was a thin girl in a black bathing suit who was having a lot of trouble putting up an orange umbrella at Jones Beach, circa 1936. The second was a girl aboard a Caribbean cruise ship in 1939, who threw her cigarette lighter at a porpoise. And the third was the Chief’s girl, Mary Hudson.”—J.D. Salinger (via pineconeonthetent)
“What we all feel now is the constant pressure to know enough, at all times, lest we be revealed as culturally illiterate. So that we can survive an elevator pitch, a business meeting, a visit to the office kitchenette, a cocktail party, so that we can post, tweet, chat, comment, text as if we have seen, read, watched, listened. What matters to us, awash in petabytes of data, is not necessarily having actually consumed this content firsthand but simply knowing that it exists - and having a position on it, being able to engage in the chatter about it. We come perilously close to performing a pastiche of knowledgeability that is really a new model of know-nothingness.”—Karl Taro Greenfeld, "Faking Cultural Literacy"