“I was one of those children who tended to perceive the world in terms of things read about it. I began with a literary idea of experience, and I still don’t know where all the lies are. For example, it may not be true that people who try to fly always burst into flames and fall. That may not be true at all. In fact people do fly, and land safely. But I don’t really believe that. I still see Icarus.”—Joan Didion (interviewed in The Paris Review)
"On Jan. 17, 1946, a psychiatrist named Walter Freeman launched a radical new era in the treatment of mental illness in this country. On that day, he performed the first-ever transorbital or "ice-pick" lobotomy in his Washington, D.C., office. Freeman believed that mental illness was related to overactive emotions, and that by cutting the brain he cut away these feelings… .
One of Freeman’s youngest patients is today a 56-year-old bus driver living in California. Over the past two years, Howard Dully has embarked on a quest to discover the story behind the procedure he received as a 12-year-old boy.”
This is from 2005 and fills me with a deep, threatening sadness.
"The concept of "friend sex" first gained cultural traction in the early aughts, just as the New York Times and Oprah introduced spooked parents to the scourge of debauched "rainbow parties" in Midwestern basements. Now, years after we’ve stopped wringing our hands over the concept of "friends with benefits," it’s time to ask the question: Does it work?"
“If there were no eternal consciousness in a man, if at the foundation of all there lay only a wildly seething power which writhing with obscure passions produced everything that is great and everything that is insignificant, if a bottomless void never satiated lay hidden beneath all — what then would life be but despair?”—Soren Kierkegaard (Fear and Trembling)
“All this age fills up your head, Hilda said. So you cannot remember what it was like, being a child. Probably you don’t even remember the fear. So much of the it. So little of you. The lunge under the blanket.”—Donald Barthelme (The Dead Father)
"Mr. Wallerstein, who can’t afford to pay down interest and thus watches the outstanding loan balance grow, is in roughly the same financial hell as people who bought more home than they could afford during the real estate boom. But creditors can’t foreclose on him because he didn’t spend the money on a house.
He spent it on a law degree. And from every angle, this now looks like a catastrophic investment.”
“This wasn’t the person he’d thought he was, or would have chosen to be if he’d been free to choose, but there was something comforting and liberating about being an actual definite someone, rather than a collection of contradictory potential someones.”—Jonathan Franzen (Freedom) (via brdgrl)
"Dr. Aron and Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., a professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey, have studied how individuals use a relationship to accumulate knowledge and experiences, a process called “self-expansion.” Research shows that the more self-expansion people experience from their partner, the more committed and satisfied they are in the relationship."
A friend just linked me to this. I don’t know how I feel about it, except that I’m now slightly more depressed.