“Isadora arrived in our plain and tasteless Republic before the era of the half-nude revue, before the discovery of what is now called our Native Literary School, even before the era of the celluloid sophistication of the cinema, which by its ubiquity does so much to unite the cosmopolisms of Terre Haute and New York. What America now has, and gorges on in the way of sophistication, it then hungered for. Repressed by generations of Puritanism, it longed for bright, visible and blatant beauty presented in a public form the simple citizenry could understand. Isadora appeared as a half-clothed Greek… A Paris couturier recently said woman’s modern freedom in dress is largely due to Isadora. She was the first artist to appear uncinctured, barefooted and free. She arrived like a glorious bounding Minerva in the midst of a cautious corseted decade. The clergy, hearing of (though supposedly without ever seeing) her bare calf, denounced it as violently as if it had been golden. Despite its longings, for a moment America hesitated, Puritanism rather than poetry coupling lewd with nude in rhyme. But Isadora, originally from California and by then from Berlin, Paris and other points, arrived bearing her gifts as a Greek. She came like a figure from the Elgin marbles. The world over, and in America particularly, Greek sculpture was recognized to be almost notorious for its purity. The overpowering sentiment for Hellenic culture, even in the unschooled United States, silenced the outcries. Isadora had come as antique art and with such backing she became a cult.”
— "Isadora," by Janet Flanner (The New Yorker, 1927)

Never start packing the night before if you can bake a cake instead.

“Collect books, even if you don’t plan on reading them right away. Nothing is more important than an unread library.”
— Austin Kleon

(via lifeofbookworm)

“I turned the pages so fast. And I suppose I was, in my mindless way, looking for a something, version of myself, a heroine I could slip inside as one might a pair of favourite shoes.”
— Ian McEwan (Sweet Tooth)

(via lifeofbookworm)

“Let’s look at it this way: I once looked at the various categories of movies Netflix suggested for me, combined them, twisted them, supplemented them, and deduced that if Netflix came up with the category ‘Understated Historical Dramas Based On True Stories About Intellectual Women Traveling,’ it would be perfect. I want to read - and write - biographies of women I could imagine Emma Thompson, perhaps in a dreadful perm or an extravagant wig, playing in a biopic. I want to investigate how woman throughout history thought about their lives, and what they thought about their shoes. I want to know what they told their daughters about men, what they wrote to their husbands, their mothers, their friends. I want to uncover the story of every great sisterhood ever, whether biological or de facto. Which authorities did they let shape their lives, which could they not overcome, and which did they resist? What did they eat for breakfast and what did they read in bed? Does any of this matter? Am I just nosy? Or can I call this ‘insatiable curiosity’?”
— can I just write this in my personal statement for graduate school??
“Die kleine Stadt Salzburg mit ihren gut 40.000 Einwohnern, die ich mir gerade um ihrer romantischen Abgelegenheit willen gewählt, hatte sich erstaunlich verwandelt: sie war im Sommer zur künstlerischen Haupstadt nicht nur Europas, sondern der ganzen Welt geworden. Max Reinhardt und Hugo von Hofmannsthal hatten in den schwersten Nachkriegsjahren, um der Not der Schauspieler und Musiker abzuhelfen, die im Sommer brotlos warn, ein paar Aufführungen, vor allem jene berühmte Freilichtaufführung des “Jedermann” auf dem Salzburger Domplatz veranstaltet, die zunächst aus der unmittelbaren Nachbarschaft Besucher anlockten; später hatte man es auch mit Opernaufführungen versucht, die sich immer besser, immer vollendeter anließen. Allmählich würde die Welt aufmerksam. […] nie war in Europa eine ähnliche Konzentration der schauspielerischen und musikalischen Vollendung gelungen wie in dieser kleinen Stadt des kleinen und lang mißachteten Österreich. Salzburg blühte auf. In seinen Straßen begegnete man im Sommer jedweden aus Europa und Amerika, der in der Kunst die höchste Form der Darbietung suchte, in Salzburger Landestracht - weiße kurze Leinenhosen und Joppen für die Männer, das bunte ‘Dirndlkostüm’ für die Frauen -, das winzige Salzburg beherrschte mit einemmal die Weltmode.”
Die Welt von Gestern, Stefan Zweig